First hints of the beast

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
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 c1240Chough - second field late amIceland Gull - waterfall at least 1100hrsRedwing - 3 grounded MiddletonPochard - two drakes stillTufted Duck - pairNothing singing or calling in colder weather at Middleton...

Distant Velvet tracking and Cetti’s at last

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Chough - first two fields north of cafĂ©, but a bit mobileIceland Gull - 3rd W SW corner of harbour am at leastGoldeneye - drake again seen inshore from Knowlys RoadVelvet 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 HeyshamEider - 680ishCetti's Warbler - contact calling in one of the usual locations near the Middleton 'fence pond'Siskin - 5 off-passage by Knowlys road - feeder?  IOYReed ...

Velvet record shot time and Green pecker joins the year list

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
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 maleVelvet Scoter - see aboveIceland Gull - 3rd W on platforms next to the waterfall at least 0930Chough - around the cafe area (on factory roof next door at one stage) and first field mid-pmMed Gull - adult Knowlys...

Local paper time

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
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 morningThey are both in the local Morecambe Visitor on line after emailing the newsworthiness on SundayA flock of 5 Blackbirds on Heysham NR may have been early migrants dropped by the morning fogMed Gull : Knowlys road bird seen** beast from the east on most forecasts coming up...
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Skylark passage and Velvet Scoter appearance

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
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 tidesSkylark - c40 over Middleton mid-am, not sure whether any over Heysham NR during coverage earlier on.  Other seen heading south over Middleton sands during websIceland Gull - 3rd W harbourChough - first and second fieldsPochard - 2 drake MiddletonMute - 3 pair plus 4 adult flying aroundCoot - 1Moorhen - 6Mallard - 2Gadwall - 19Tufted - 3 (2m)Teal - c30...

Chough shunned by the media

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
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 ChoughThanks to Mark and Margaret BreaksBlack-tailed Godwit - t...

Brents back and extra Iceland near miss

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Pale-bellied Brent - returned to skeer off horse paddocks by 1400Thanks MattChough - first two fields all dayThanks MattIceland Gull - 3rd W SW corner harbour (and juv last seen heading for Heysham from Battery Groyne early pm)Med Gull - ad fishers roof, ad off horse fields...

Brent failure

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Cant find them on their usual high spring tide routine!Iceland Gull - 3rd W harbour area on and off all dayThanks Matt for the mobile phone picChough - seemingly ever-present (dangerous word or two!) in the first two fields north of half moon bay cafe Med Gull - ad Knowlys roadJack Snipe - two OE saltmarsh edgeSnipe - 6 OE saltmarsh edgeStonechat - female OE saltmarsh edgeKittiwake - didn't actually see any as there was no seawatching carried out, but it was typical Kittiwake flock weather in the morning tide and John Webb intercepted about 120 off JBP which would have come past here...
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Snipe revealing tide

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Jack Snipe - one OE saltmarsh edgeSnipe - 6 OE saltmarsh edgeChough - first two fields am and pmIceland Gull - 3W around SW corner harbour - it also appears as a still and as a video in RBA's weekly summaryStonechat - female OE saltmarsh edge in cornerNo sign Brents - not unusual during higher tidesIOM Ferry - clipped the corner of the north harbour wall as the strong southerly and gaps in the wooden jetty drifted the boat over, despite rounding the end of the wooden jetty as close as possible...
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Still in winter mode

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
A contrast between two sites today - here and the Snab.  Here was an 'as you were' with everything seen seemingly in habitual winter mode, whilst the Snab produced a whole heap of things starting to move: e.g. three Ringed Plover, 4 Golden Plover, a Dunlin and a gang of 5 pristine Lesser Black-backed Gull inland, joining the winter fare.  Just a reminder that all pics are from the day in question unless stated otherwise - we don't dig things out of the library to decorate daily postings where no pics are available - this is a 'diary blog'Chough - first two fields all day by the look of it!  Thanks Janet:Iceland Gull - e.g. around the SW corner of the harbour at least some of the time over the tide todayPale-bellied Brent Goose - the two awol at HT (under Heysham Head??) but back on the skeer off the horse paddocks from about ...
Continue Reading » Still in winter mode...