Saturday 4 May 2024

Not bad, considering the conditions!

A light SW wind all day. Showers till mid morning then just a few spots of rain in the afternoon.

"Seawatch" - Pete 
Sea sampling heysham 0750 -0840: vis fine 0800-0820, otherwise rubbish: 
2 gannet
1 red throated diver
6 common scoter
7 sandwich tern.  
As expected no arctic tern.

I walked along the south sea wall starting 08:30 (Malcolm). Visibility was shocking through the fine rain. The showers were forecast as light, but as I walked out the only way you could describe it as light was that it wasn't dark! Fortunately by the time I had got back to Red Nab it was indeed just light, fine rain. 
The heavier shower had grounded some birds though.
Common Sandpiper 2 - one along the sea wall and one on Red Nab, neither were seen on the way out.
Common Sandpiper

Whimbrel 3 on Red Nab 
Pale-bellied Brent goose 5 (again, not there on the way out, but their arrival more to do with the stage of the tide than the weather I think)
Pale-bellied Brent geese

Wheatear 1 on foreshore 
Linnet 4 on saltmarsh 
Rock Pipit 1 on foreshore 

Heysham skear - low water 15:50 (Malcolm)
Eider c70, Red-breasted Merganser 3 and  Great Crested grebe 1
Eider being watched by Bar-Tailed Godwit

Little Egret 10 - the SW wind bringing the small shrimps close inshore.
Little Egret
Apart from the c1,000 Oystercatcher the waders were very dynamic today and even my normally vague counting proved difficult!
Knot for most of my circuit I could only account for 50, then 1,500 appeared just as I was leaving.
Bar-Tailed Godwit several flocks around at least: 82, 3, 9, 70 and 33 = 197

Just a few of the Bar-Tailed Godwit

Whimbrel 23 at least - they were scattered all around the skear, 13 was the most I could see at any one time, but there were almost certainly more. Then another 10 arrived together from the north.
This is just a short scan around a small section of skear, but it picks up 6 Whimbrel.

10 Whimbrel coming in from the north side as the tide rose.
No Curlew or Redshank seen
Turnstone 20
Dunlin 90 - the dunlin were flying around in small flocks, at lest three of which included....
Sanderling 13 minimum 
Sanderling with Dunnock

Sanderling just beginning to moult to summer plumage

Sanderling, this one's moult more advanced, with Dunlin

This one finds a small invertebrate

This is the largest group of 10 - 11 feeding with Turnstone, Dunlin and Knot. There were at least 2 + 1 with two other groups of Dunlin.