Friday, 23 February 2018

Velvet Scoter on a plate...................from at least 30 x

Easy to see from the VP at Heysham Head Chapel this morning as it fed with the Eider flock at low tide and the very beginnings of tidal flow.  Hopeless in the afternoon off the Stone Jetty today - a long way out with the sun 'too far round' to pick it up before it floated past

Chough - no known sightings
Iceland Gull - 3W on waterfall/harbour am, then on Red Nab for second day running late afternoon
Pink-footed Goose - 120 south
Siskin - heard Heysham Head

Thursday, 22 February 2018

First hints of the beast

A bit colder this am but the Chough still in field feeding mode as opposed to grovelling around at the cliff base.

Velvet Scoter - not looked for in the Heysham feeding area but distantly (more so than yesterday by all accounts) off the Stone Jetty on the float-in at c1240
Chough - second field late am
Iceland Gull - waterfall at least 1100hrs
Redwing - 3 grounded Middleton
Pochard - two drakes still
Tufted Duck - pair
Nothing singing or calling in colder weather at Middleton

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Distant Velvet tracking and Cetti's at last

Chough - first two fields north of café, but a bit mobile
Iceland Gull - 3rd W SW corner of harbour am at least
Goldeneye - drake again seen inshore from Knowlys Road
Velvet Scoter - in the recording area with the most southerly Eider gang off the north wall before the tidal flow, then in a 'fast lane' twice as far out as yesterday, overtaking some more inshore birds off the Stone Jetty, then surprisingly ended up not floating into the middle of the Bay, but heading towards Teal Bay, albeit equally distantly and it was seen from there near high tide.  Beware a drake Common Scoter just beyond the first gang of distant Eiders off the SJ, but not seen at Heysham
Eider - 680ish
Cetti's Warbler - contact calling in one of the usual locations near the Middleton 'fence pond'
Siskin - 5 off-passage by Knowlys road - feeder?  IOY
Reed Bunting - singing male Middleton
Water Rail - 1+
Goldcrest - one golf course edge
Coal Tit - golf course edge
Skylark - 1 N

Wildfowl as yesterday, including the two drake Pochard

No sign Green Woodpecker

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Velvet record shot time and Green pecker joins the year list

The strategy had to be to go out of the area to the Stone Jetty.  Perusal of the low tide Eiders off Heysham saw nothing in the first 400 but the 200 furthest out were very tightly packed and if it was still about, it had to be in the middle of that lot.  So it proved as it appeared about 2/3 of the way along the Eider float-in, found by Eric as he watched the flock approach the jetty, so I was primed ready with phone-scoping 'gear'.  Thanks Eric.  Feel rather ashamed though.  If I had read the late Martin Garner's excellent paper properly, I should not have been surprised by bright pink legs on an adult male

Velvet Scoter - see above

Iceland Gull - 3rd W on platforms next to the waterfall at least 0930
Chough - around the cafe area (on factory roof next door at one stage) and first field mid-pm
Med Gull - adult Knowlys road
Green Woodpecker - mobile around the gold course and Middleton western marsh

Middleton NR
Gadwall - 19

Coot - 1
Mute Swan - 6
Moorhen - 9
Mallard - 6
Pochard - 2 drake
Tufted Duck - 3
Teal - 44

Monday, 19 February 2018

Local paper time

The Chough and Iceland Gull were not quite so easy to see today, especially the latter with a midday high spring tide covering the main food source.  The Chough ended up in the sheep fields late morning

They are both in the local Morecambe Visitor on line after emailing the newsworthiness on Sunday

A flock of 5 Blackbirds on Heysham NR may have been early migrants dropped by the morning fog

Med Gull : Knowlys road bird seen

** beast from the east on most forecasts coming up

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Skylark passage and Velvet Scoter appearance

Velvet Scoter - the drake was picked up floating in with Eider off the Stone Jetty at 1015 - it certainly a pain to see and seemingly not always with the main Eider gangs when they have sometimes been comprehensively counted!   In this respect, there could easily be a spring tide factor, as with Eider numbers which are higher in the feeding area on low spring tides
Skylark - c40 over Middleton mid-am, not sure whether any over Heysham NR during coverage earlier on.  Other seen heading south over Middleton sands during webs
Iceland Gull - 3rd W harbour
Chough - first and second fields
Pochard - 2 drake Middleton
Mute - 3 pair plus 4 adult flying around
Coot - 1
Moorhen - 6
Mallard - 2
Gadwall - 19
Tufted - 3 (2m)
Teal - c30

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Chough shunned by the media

Given the fact that it has been seen and/or known about by more people than possibly any other bird ever seen in North Lancashire i.e. the whole of Heysham for a start, attempts to get Lancaster and Morecambe Newspapers and BBC Northwest to do a feature have failed miserably.  Weird - no doubt for wildlife issues they are presumably used to dealing with e.g. RSPB or Wildlife Trust press officers and anyone who contacts them privately is filed under 'oddball- use as last resort'

Chough - mainly in the second field north of half moon bay cafe all day.  I wonder how many pics are in existence!
Iceland Gull - 3rd winter on the incoming tide then had returned to the waterfall at 1515hrs.  Advice to birders tomorrow - go and see this first on the incoming tide before the Chough

Thanks to Mark and Margaret Breaks

Black-tailed Godwit - think its a year tick for here! - one on Red Nab incoming tide
Med Gull - Czech adult north wall/Fishers, Ad Knowlys road.  Czech bird should be off soon so please let me know of any further sightings.  Thanks

No sign of Brents off Knowlys road on incoming tide or on the south side later in the tide cycle