Saturday, 28 April 2012

Wheatear carpet at Ocean Edge

Heysham Obs
Thanks to Pete, Pete and one other observer for covering the sea this morning:

Highlights of a 4 hour seawatch from Heysham North Harbour Wall (0600 - 1000 hrs) 

Bonxie - singles into the Bay at 0840 and 0910 hrs 
Arctic Skua - 3 separate dark morphs in at 0905, 0945 and 0950 hrs 
Little Gull - adult in
Also offshore: 17 Gannet, 51 Arctic Tern, 30+ Sandwich Tern, 33 Pink-footed Geese (flock of 32 and 1 flew across the Bay towards Barrow), 11 Eider, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit (full summer plumage), 3 Swift (low over sea at 0810 hrs), 2 Sand Martin, 1 Swallow. 

Turnstone - 70 on wooden pier 

The biggest fall for some time with at least 60, most on Ocean Edge.  A very quick visit to Ocean Edge revealed 51 "obvious" birds on the grass or top of the 'seawall' - there may have ben others on the beach.  Most were on or around the football field - 35 in the bins at once!
There were 6 others on the heliport and 3 on the north wall/sandworks.  Most, if not all, were leggy, large birds with the vast majority males

Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding (or 'loose' arrangement made far too far in advance!), there was no coverage of grounded stuff around the office but a very brief visit indicated at least 5 'extra' silent Willow Warblers in and around the Obs Tower pond area.  Its really hard to predict when there are going to be landfalls in easterlies!