Sunday 12 May 2024

First day of the Poms

The light SE breeze freshened during the day. Not as much sunshine, but still warm. The predicted thunderstorms began at 18:00, but didn't last long.

Seawatch report by Pete:
1 light morph Pomarine Skua
2 dark morph Arctic Skua on sea 0535hr. The skuas were floating out of the bay when picked up - the two Arctic together and the Pom about 100-150m further in.  Whilst watching the Pom, the two Arctic’s flew over it causing it also to lift off whence it took the lead climbing quite steeply into the sky with all three lost at height when I had to shift the car to try and see.

inbound flock of 14 Sandwich Tern - a single purposeful flock of 14 flying in -  no bloggers at all 
1 Canada goose
22 C Scoter
2 Guillemot
19 swallow 
8 Whimbrel

Heysham skear - low water 09:30 (Malcolm)
Eider 63
Common Scoter 1 male initially just drifting on the sea, but began feeding when the tide started making.

Male Common Scoter

Red-breasted Merganser 2
Great Crested Grebe 2
Little Egret 6

Number wise there were very few waders on the middle skear, but more variety than of late.
Oystercatcher 300 (more on the outer skear)
Knot just 1 initially on the skear (more on this later).
The solitary middle skear Knot
Dunlin 2, with....
Ringed Plover 12. 
Turnstone 9 - Their behaviour was different today. They normally freeze in silence when you get close, or fly off calling. But today they froze and made contact calls, clearly unhappy that I was there.

Sanderling 3 - there were two feeding near a Turnstone. This clip begins with the leading Sanderling then a larger wader appears, I knew the original two were of a similar size so, I panned back and the second bird was still there. By size, my first thought was that the third bird was a Knot, but it was another Sanderling, just larger.

They clearly weren't in association and the larger bird disappeared just as quickly as it appeared.

Knot (continued). I only saw the single Knot on the skear until the tide was moving me off. Then a flock of c2000 was flying above me. I assumed (and still do) that they had been moved off the outer skear. As I watched them two more flocks totalling c700 were very high above them. These dropped down and they all milled around a while before c700 landed on the skear and the rest headed off to the south. It looks as though those that landed were newly arriving birds, as all they did was rest and preen.

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Ringing report by Alan.

Four mist nets set at Heysham NR this morning from 05.45 onwards produced a particularly unremarkable catch.  There was plenty of song from birds presumably on, or setting up, territories but few birds moving around.  

Robin  1 + 1 retrap

Song Thrush  1

Whitethroat  1

Chiffchaff  1

Willow Warbler  1

Long-tailed Tit   1 + 1 retrap

Blue Tit  1 + 1 retrap

Bullfinch  1

Middleton Nature Reserve 
This nice shot by Janet
Common Blue Damselflies 

These nice mobile phone shots of the northern lights (aurora borealis) on Friday, taken by Garry Byrne, from within the recording area at 23:30.