Sunday, 25 February 2007

Unexpected gull roost

Heysham Obs
So you think you know your local patch! A visit to the southern end of Ocean Edge to see what was on the tideline in late afternoon saw (an unprecedented??) 520 large gulls (approx 35% LBBG, 40% imm HG and 25% ad Herring Gull) on the mudflats/tide edge along with c250 Black-headed and one Ad Med Gull. A 4-wheel drive was careering around the mudflats to the south, probably celebrating the Countryside Agency now setting the tone re-behaviour on SPAs, and this may have led to some 'corralling' in the Heysham direction but most new arrivals were flying straight over the nearby old Pontins site.

If this roost continues for the next few weeks, it is surely a candidate for one of the many white-winged gulls which will presumably head north with (or without) migrant LBBGs.

At least one Shag was in the harbour and the 1st W Med Gull was along the north harbour wall. A high tide visit saw the 1st W Little Gull flying around the outfalls but no sign of the Ad which was probably sat on the sea out of sight.

60 Greenfinch were on the feeder by the office - plenty here c/f the trend elsewhere being very few at garden feeders

Middleton IE: 4 Mute, 9 Tufted Duck, 1 Pochard, 5 Goldeneye, 2 Little Grebe, 23 Teal, 20 Common Snipe, 15 Coot, 9 Mallard

2 Avocet Allen/EM Pools. Male and 2 female Scaup Glasson area