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Post Info TOPIC: Heysham


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RE: Heysham


Also yesterday (25th) to add to the Chough and Iceland Gull

Stonechat - female on wall near the cafe
Shag - imm on rocks to the entrance of the harbour

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The Iceland Gull was in its usual place at the SW end of Heysham harbour. The Chough in Half Moon Bay showed exceptionally wel,l but I couldn't find the reported Velvet Scoter in a flock of c350 Eider.

Cheers John

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I was intrigued by the reports of the Iceland gull at the harbour and was my main focus of the trip and I considered this as my best chance to get reasonable pictures of it for my collection.

I knew in advance that without detailed directions and not knowing the area well, access would be trial and error. A little local help saw me through going via the local nature reserve.

I reached the spot and sadly the Iceland gull was a no show. Got every other ususal gull except, so I headed back towards the Half moon cafe that I passed earlier. As I did along the side of the power station, I kept my eyes peeled on the coast as one usually does and BINGO! (No, I didn't find a casino hall)- One Iceland gull bathing with roosing Oystercatchers and wigeon.

I enjoyed watching it for a good 15 minutes before it flew north by the tide onto a wooden structure and more distant. The attached pictures ain't as good as my glaucous gull but far better then anything I currently have and considering I had steam to deal with from the power station, I'm really happy with the results.

On my way back, I enjoyed the chough views as he showed very well but I felt sorry for him as he kept being flushed by dog walkers. I didn't bother too much of taking pictures of him since I already have a nice collection but I still took a few (attached)

Also noteworthy;

Eiders
Turnstones
Great black backed gull
Jay
Little egret
Kestrel


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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Decided to visit Half moon bay yesterday 18/2/18 to see the long staying Chough.
1 Chough record shots attached.
1500+ Pink footed geese flew over.
1 Little Egret that got me excited due to it having muddy feet in flight.

Cheers Steven

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/96636666@N02/


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This afternoon. Perimeter walk around the power station from Ocean edge holiday park to the lighthouse. 

X2 Brent geese (pale bellied)

X1 little Egret 

X2 rock pipit

200 plus wigeon 

100 plus cormorant 

Star bird of the day was the excellent views of the Iceland gull in the harbour biggrin



-- Edited by Martin Loftus on Sunday 4th of February 2018 10:49:18 PM

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/127030885@N08/


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Chough, female stonechat, cormorant, many oystercatcher and 6 curlew at half moon bay. No sign of the Glaucous gull.
Redshank, dunlin, oystercatcher and ringed plover on the walk to Heysham.
11 eider on the sea as we arrived back at Morecambe. 6 male, 3 female and 2 that appeared to be in eclipse.

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Afternoon visit in gloomy and blustery conditions. Highlights included:- Red Nab, approx 40x oystercatcher, 5x curlew, 10x turnstone, 30x redshank and flock of wigeon at high tide, also here 1st winter glaucous gull. Half Moon Bay. Female stonechat and the long-staying chough giving great views feeding on worms in the fields backing onto the houses until disturbed by rampaging dogs!

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12.00-15.00

Breakwater & Power Station Water Outlets.

2 light bellied Brent Geese, 2m Red Breasted Mergansers, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 154 Wigeon, 4 Turnstones, 5 Little Egrets and 5 Great Black backed Gulls.

As the tide came in flock after flock of Oystercatchers, Curlew and Redshanks flew in from the bay to spend high tide on the rocks.

Cormorants fished the hot water outlets, but I did'nt witness them catch anything. 

A scan through the innumerable, Black Headed, Herring and Lesser Black Backed did'nt produce anything rare. I also only found 5 Common Gulls.

 

 



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John Williams


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Had an hour here this afternoon, productive as always

4 Bar-Tailed Godwit

Mediterranean Gull on the beach, potentially 2

4 Guillemot at the outfall

6 Turnstone on the seaward side

10+ Eider out at sea

Good size mixed flock at the feeding station including at least 12 Twite (all looked ringed), Linnet and Goldfinch



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With John Barber over high tide this morning had extended views of the Bonaparte's Gull in the overtide roost on Red Nab rocks. It appears to be going into moult with a spot of white showing on its forehead in an otherwise very black head plumage.

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I had another great day out twitching today, I headed up to Heysham Power Station and I bagged my first Napolean the with help from some other birders. The tiny Bonapartes Gull was on the shore line and then showed really well on the railings of the outflow, although it was too far fro my lens

http://austinmorley.blogspot.co.uk/

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 29th of July 2013 08:58:54 PM

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Some footage of the adult Bonaparte's Gull from yesterday, albeit rather distant and in a heat haze, which has been present since 15th July.
7 Mediterranean Gull there also

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgsgkLMmqPU

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11.00-15.30 (16.00 High Tide)

Power Staion outflows & Harbour wall/breakwater South Side.

1 Arctic Tern, 2 ad.1 1st winter Mediterranean Gulls, 1, 1st winter Little Gull, 1 1st winter Kittiwake.

A constant stream of Oystercatchers were flying South past the harbour to spend high tide on Red Nab rocks, roosting with them were large numbers of Redshank, Curlew and 5 Bar Tailed Godwits plus lots of gulls.

The decrepit old wooden jetty held a large Cormorant roost, about 30 Turnstones took shelter there as the tide came in and they were joined by 20 or so Starlings.

The only sign of small migrants lurking around the small area of parkland between the caravan site and the power station were 4 very tired racing pigeons.

-- Edited by John Williams on Friday 7th of September 2012 10:31:28 PM

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John Williams


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Had a walk along to the habour Sunday afternoon (after visiting Leighton Moss), parked near the caravan park.

By the ouflows were Kittiwakes with a couple of Little Gulls mixed in. Tide was out so plenty of Turnstones, Oystercatchers, Curlew & Redshank were about.

In the harbour itself were 2 Guillemots, 4 Shags and more Kittiwakes. Bumped into a friend on the way to the harbour who thought the Glaucous might by on the end of wooden jetty but was asleep so difficult to see. Before we left, it woke up and had a good stretch & turn round which nicely confirmed it as the Glaucous.

All in all a cracking day out and not too cold either.

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Had a walk around the point on the north harbour wall yesterday after lunch. About 20 Twite at feeding station, always great to see them chattering together on the fence. From the point looking in to the harbour 4 juv shag (1st winters), several kittiwakes and a 1st winter Glaucous Gull, it is a mucky individual, but very white wing tips, fighting with the other gulls at the outflow/waterfall from the plant.

Med gulls must have been somewhere offshore, as no sign of usual birds. Little gull and purple sandpiper off point too, so if you are doing a news years day bird race it may provide a useful few additions to your list for half an hours birding!!

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No sign of the Sabines Gull in a three hour visit this afternoon - it had been seen twenty minutes before I arrived... Really good spot otherwise with all the birds reported by Dennis: good views of Little Gull and adult and immature Med gulls in flight and on the beach below the outflows. Its a site I'd been meaning to visit for ages and I'll be back!

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nothing much else of note turned up later, superb Sabines gull, great almost summer plumage, just starting to fade on the head but still very distinct, also winter plumage med and little gull too, large flock of knots and oystercatchers, redshanks, 4 turnstones, lots of curlews, no dunlins? bar tailed godwits, 1 fly over golden plover, common and arctic terns, 1 sandwich tern sat with the black headed gull on the shoreline, wheatear and meadow pipits on the rocks

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Did you see it? It was small and brown and flew that way.........................


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Adult Sabine's Gull still currently showing incredibly well this morning from by the broken pier.

Also in the same area Little Gull and Mediterranean Gull.

Info thanks to Dennis Atherton

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Late report from Tuesday 22nd March. I was completing several surveys from the South Harbour Wall from 7:30 till 14:00 between low and high tide. It was a mixed day for weather with some low cloud and sunny spells intermittent throughout the day!? with a very light cool wind from the SW.

It was my last day after 19 months of surveys since September 2009 yawn.gif. It has been an incredible experience and one that was made easier with regular chats with Pete Marsh at the observatory and other folk there such as Jean and Alan. Many thanks for their kindness offering me an escape from the wind, rain and snow on occasion to get a quick brew and warm up before another survey!? Pete's knowledge of birds is second to none and I really have learned a lot from through my brief, but regular, chats and walks.

In 13 months I have spent approximately 400 hours on site, seen 130 species of birds as well as seeing Grey Seal and Porpoise offshore and a variety of butterflies whiz past including Brimstones, which are always a pleasure. As for the birds themselves I've seen a great deal, including RT and GN Diver, Slav Grebe, Leach's Petrel, Gannet and Fulmar, Shag, Whooper Swans, Common Scoter & Scaup, Merlin and Peregrine, Woodcock and Jack Snipe, Bar and Blackwits, Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Flocks of 40,000 Knot biggrin.gif, Grey & Golden Plover, Ringed Plover chicks, Med Gulls galore, Little Gull, Bonxies and Pommies, Little Tern, Black Guillemot, Green Woodpecker, Siberian Chiffchaff, Grasshopper Warbler and much much more.

All I can say is time and careful observation on any site does reward you with birds, it just needs patience and a good eye/ear. I look forward to getting back for the tern and skua spring passage next, although this time it won't be with a weatherwriter and pen!?!?

South Harbour Wall

Cormorant 35+
Pink-footed Goose - 110 north
Shelduck 4+1
Wigeon 20+
Eider 85+
RB Merganser 2
Oystercatcher 1000+
Curlew 60+
Bar-tailed Godwit 400+
Redshank 30+
Knot 3,000+
Turnstone 200+ (spring passage on the go for these birds now)
Purple Sandpiper 1
Guillemot (one floated in for the first Heysham bird of 2011)
Meadow Pipit (minimum of 81 north - noise from boats hampering vis)
alba Wagtail (min of 10 north)
Linnet - 2 north
Rock Pipit (the wintering bird still in residence)
Twite 17+

My last survey day here, after 19 months, I'll miss you Heysham, but I will return!? tears.giftears.giftears.gif


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A late report from surveys I completed on Friday 18th last week. I completed an inter-tidal survey from the North Harbour wall. It was a lovely day in the sunshine, but less so for migrants which were probably flying too high to see or hear? no.gif.

All observations were made between high tide (approx 10am and 9m) and low tide (approx 4pm and 1.5m).

Cormorant 12
Red-throated Diver 3 + 1
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Shelduck 2
Wigeon 20+
Eider 83
Oystercatcher 3,000+
Curlew 20+
Redshank 70+
Ringed Plover 2 (pair back??)
Dunlin 1
Knot 3,000+
Turnstone 120
Purple Sandpiper 1
Razorbill wink.gif 1 (the first auk of the year for Heysham!!??)
Meadow Pipit 2
Skylark 1
Pied Wagtail 8
Twite 6

Also a small pod of Porpoise, first time I've had them off here, with 5 animals together for a few hours feeding in the bay to the north of the Point biggrin.gif.



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Saturday 19 March 2011

A male Wheatear was on the heli-pad this afternoon.

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Glad your visit was worthwhile Joe, Twite are cracking little birds.

I was up there today completing several surveys from the South Harbour Wall from 7:30 till 14:00 with low tide being at 13:54 (3.0m) and high tide being at 06:52 (7.3m). It was cold dull and overcast day, with a very light but biting wind.

South Harbour Wall

Cormorant 9
Shelduck 2
Wigeon 35+
Eider 38
RB Merganser 2 (pair)
Oystercatcher 1000+
Curlew 40+
Bar-tailed Godwit 200+
Redshank 15+
Knot 3,000+
Turnstone 18+
Purple Sandpiper 2
Rock Pipit 1
Twite 6-70+

Visibility was poor throughout the day, offering views out to sea of only 0.5-1.5km, so no chance to observe any Divers, Kittiwakes and Gannets that are normally about in the bay this time of year. The Med Gulls appear to have moved on too, with no sign of any of them in the harbour, the bay or following the Isle of Mann ferries as they normally do, they'll be back at the end of the summer now!?!?wink.gif

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Hi sean, just back from there now! Found c.50 twite exactly where you said. They were very obliging, letting me stand about 10 yards away and watch! Also about were 2 Rock Pipits and 3 Pied Wags. Bit quiet at the nature reserve, long tailed tit and chaffinch being the only birds visible. No sign of divers on the sea, but a nice flypast from a pair of RB Mergansers was nice, along with a flock of oysteys. smile.gif

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Hi Joe, not sure if you will already be up there by now, but the Twite can normally be seen on the North Harbour Wall. If you drive as far as you can along the North Harbour Wall and park up there is an area to your left between the fencing of the gas tower/warehouses and the old sandworks, this is where food is placed down for them, so if you do not see thme on arrival it is worth giving it ten minutes to see if they come down. If they are not there it is worth walking to the point itself, past the gate and along further along the North Harbour Wall and they can be found almost anywhere for the remaining 150m or so on the fence, on the mound near to the point or sitting up on the fencing. Good luck, I hope this message gets to you in time and you find the birds.

PS, keep an eye out for Red-throated Diver, Gannet and Kittiwake, as they seem to be moving through now.

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Sean Sweeney wrote:

Twite 40+





Hi Sean, I am going up to heysham today, and i was wondering wheree the twite were. I know they ring them there, but where abouts exactly?
cheers,
joe

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A cool dampish day, with no wind and very little wave action on the bay today. Cracking morning for birds though, with a local MEGA floating out of the Harbour right in front of my eyes!? biggrin.gif I watched a lovely winter plumaged Slavonian Grebe about 9am this morning, come out of the harbour, taking me to 130 species at this site since I started surveying 18 months ago smile.gif. It must have been tucked away in the harbour for over an hour before I saw it, despite having scanned it half a dozen times watching several Merganers, a Med Gull and a few others in there!

I completed several surveys from the South Harbour Wall from 7:45 till 14 15 with low tide being at 8:15 (0.9m) and high tide being at 13:58 (10.2m).

South Harbour Wall
Cormorant 42
Great Crested Grebe 5
Pink-footed Goose 100 (S to N) and 15 (N to S)
Wigeon 86
Eider 2
RB Merganser 6 (2 male and 4 females)
Peregrine 1 (bombed some Knot just when I was leaving - nice parting gift)
Oystercatcher 1500+ (plus 2,500 on the Helipad at High Tide)
Curlew 300+
Bar-tailed Godwit 2,000
Redshank 30+
Dunlin 200+
Knot 10-15,000+
Turnstone 105+
Grey Plover 8+
Purple Sandpiper 3 (all together with 105 Turnstone on the Jetty at High Tide)
Med Gull 2 (2 adults)
Linnet 2
Twite 40+

Just chuffed to have found another bird to add to my site list there and a cracking bird it was too. So close that I could see all the red of its eyes flame.gif


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I completed an inter-tidal survey at Heysham from the North Harbour wall yesterday (Tues 15th). A very cold damp day, with a light but very cool southerly/south westerly breeze stinging my hands and face all day and touch of light rain to top it off!?!?

All observations were made between high tide (08:43, 7.9m) and low tide (15:31 - 2.4m).

Cormorant 16
Fulmar 1 (first of the year fro Heysham)
Red-throated Diver 1
Pink-footed Goose 20
Shelduck 4
Wigeon 20+
Eider 5
RB Merganser 2
Sparrowhawk (with twite in tallons no.gif)
Oystercatcher 1500
Curlew 30+
Bar-tailed Godwit 800+
Redshank 70+
Dunlin 200+
Knot 8,000+
Turnstone 60+
Grey Plover 8
Purple Sandpiper 1
Med Gull 1 (with near full black hood now biggrin.gif)
Twite 33

Was glad I had a flask to keep me warm smile.gif


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The calm after the storm today at Heysham, lovely calm conditions with a slight SE turning to a SW wind, clear skies for most parts, warming from a cool dawn on site. I completed several surveys from the South Harbour Wall from 7:45 till 14 15 with low tide being at 8:29 (2.1m) and high tide being at 14:08 (8.7m). It was wader-taskic today, with record numbers for me for several species?!?!biggrin.gif

South Harbour Wall
Cormorant 18
Great Crested Grebe 1
Pink-footed Goose 45, 22, 56, 52, 70, 70, 100+ (all S to N)
Shelduck 2
Wigeon 30+
Eider 3
RB Merganser 3 (male and 2 females)
Peregrine (first one for a while)
Oystercatcher 2000+ (Massive flock of 1,500 flew round Point towards Ocean Edge)
Curlew 40+
Bar-tailed Godwit 2,000 (highest count this winter, probably the whole of the Lune Estuary flock all together smile.gif)
Redshank 40+
Dunlin 3-400+
Knot 20,000+ (flying all over the place in clouds today wink.gif)
Turnstone 60+
Grey Plover 30+
Purple Sandpiper 3 (not been 3 together at Heysham for a few years!! biggrin.gif)
Med Gull 2 (2 adults)
Stock Dove 1
Skylark 6 (flying north overhead)
Twite 50+

Nice day for it, after the wind and rain of the last week or so.

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simonthew wrote:

does glasson dock come under heysham.





Glasson Dock and Heysham Harbour are two totally seperate sites Simon, although they both fall within the LDBWS recording area. If you look at a map of the coast you will see that they are seperated (most noticeably) by the Lune estuary. I wish I had a caravan up there wink.gif

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does glasson dock come under heysham. my mum and dad have a caravan at glasson dock and i go up there a couple of times a year,
thanks simon

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I completed an inter-tidal survey from the North Harbour Wall today between just before sunrise and high tide approx midday. High tide was 10m today and at midday is a good time to think about popping to Parkgate or Marshside at the weekend to see what gets flushed out!?

North Harbour Wall
Cormorant 26
Pink-footed Goose 55 and 35
RB Merganser 2 (male and female at different points
Oystercatcher 2000+ (gathered at high tide roost)
Curlew 30+
Bar-tailed Godwit 15
Black-tailed Godwit 1 (scarce for the north harbour wall?)
Knot 3-4,000 in pre-roost (then only approx 120 in high tide roost at Helipad)
Turnstone 26
Purple Sandpiper 1
Med Gull 2 (2 adults)
Twite 30
Song Thrush 1

South of Outflows (during low tide)
Wigeon 200+
Dunlin 20+
Knot approx 10-15,000+
Bar-tailed Godwit 850+
Grey Plover 6
Curlew 20+
Redshank 20+

Very quiet offshore today, with not a single duck or even gull in the Bay?? disbelief.gif



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Have visited a few times since last post, but visit last week was pretty fruitless, so did not bother posting. As for today, what a cracking day. It started cold in the morning before the sun rised, but by mid morning the sun was actually out a little, which warmed me up somewhat. All my observations were between just before 8am till just after 2pm. Wind was a light Westerly and South-Westerly, with high tide at 12:53 hrs.

South Harbour Wall
Red-throated Diver 1
Great Northern Diver 1 (cracking bird drifted in before high tide and came to within 30m, couldn't believe my luck as they are pretty scarce in Lancs with only 2-3 records per year biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
Great Crested Grebe 3
Cormorant 29
Pink-footed Goose 40, 100, 7 (all S to N except the 7 going S)
Shelduck 1
RB Merganser 1 (female in harbour)
Wigeon 20
Eider 29
Oystercatcher 500+ (plus approx 2500 at helipad)
Bar-tailed Godwit 750+
Grey Plover 10+
Dunlin 200+
Knot approx 4-5000+
Turnstone 30+
Purple Sandpiper 2 (after months alone, the little bird now has a friendbiggrin.gif)
Curlew 20+
Redshank 20+
Med Gull 2 (2 adults)
Mistle Thrush
Rock Pipit
Twite 68

Plus a female Bullfinch and a few Coal Tits near to the observatory on the Nature Reserve. All in all a fantastic day considering I was at work. Great Northern Diver at Heysham, Red-necked Grebe at Lytham on way home and Smew at Clifton Country Park back in Manchester clap.gif................

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A mixed day in terrible conditions, I endured a battering from the rain early on, then had a spot of sunshine for a few hours, before a load of sleetly rain caught up with me by midday. Was a neap tide, so not the usual tidal extremes, but still a few good birds knocking about. I completed all my sightings from the North Harbour Wall today:

Cormorant 15+
Oystercatcher 300+
Knot approx 1,000+
Turnstone 40+
Curlew 15+
Redshank 15+
Med Gull 1 adult
Pied Wagtail 1
Twite 15-20

I hope for a better day next week!!??

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Yesterday I braved the freezing tempuratures to complete 6 hours of surveying from the point on the South Harbour Wall. It must have been about -5 or -6 to start with, as the small amount of water that had been on my tripod from the previous day had frozen and I couldn't get a few of the legs down until I thawed them under my coat!??! disbelief.gifconfuse.gif

That said, from sunrise and low tide to high tide there were plenty of surprise guests that popped by and some good numbers of the usual birds too.

South Harbour Wall
Cormorant 20+
Pink-footed Goose 45 (S to N then E)
RB Merganser 2
Goosander (flying overhead N to S, very unusual record)
Wigeon 30+
Eider 2
Oystercatcher 3000+
Bar-tailed Godwit 750+ (very high count on the exposed flats at low tide)
Grey Plover 120+
Dunlin 300+
Knot approx 15,000+
Turnstone 40+
Purple Sandpiper 1 (trying its best to hide behind a Turnstone on the wooden jetty)
Curlew 100+
Redshank 15+
Woodcock (put up on the North Harbour Walls mound by a dog walker, a mega here and a first record for the mound biggrin.gif)
Med Gull 3 (2 adults and the 1st CY bird returning after dissapearing for a few weeks)
Pied Wagtail 1
Skylark 2
Linnet 1
Siskin 1

I also saw a Kingfisher fly over my head when I popped in to the Obs in the early afternoon biggrin.gif, but no sign of the reported Long-tailed Ducks from the weekend......... However, I did see a beautiful Little Owl sat on a short post on the roadside while driving back through Lancaster smile.gif.

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Was out and about completing some survey work from the South Harbour Wall yesterday. Absolutely freezing. As if it were not cold enough at first light, a strong NE wind brought the wind chill factor into the equation by 9-10am and the tempurature must have been closer to -5 to -7 disbelief.gif.

The usual suspects were hanging about doing their usual stuff, but an incredible 33,000 Knot (highest count this year) were massing off the North Harbour wall. They roosted temporarily on the mussel beds, then fed on the beach near to the Helipad, gantastic sight when all in the air together biggrin.gif.

South Harbour Wall
Cormorant 20+
Little Egret 1 (My first record for the Point, seen flying out to sea round Point S to NE, possibly towards Leighton Moss?)
Pink-footed Goose 40 (NW to SE)
RB Merganser 5
Wigeon 80+
Eider 2
Oystercatcher 3500+
Bar-tailed Godwit 400+
Grey Plover 12
Dunlin 100+
Knot approx 33,000+
Turnstone 40+
Curlew 60+
Redshank 20+
Med Gull 2 (2 adults)
Pied Wagtail 2

Lots of Strarlings roosting in the usual place on a platform in the Harbour at the crack of dawn. I watched them completing their morning stretch pf the wings, about 10,000 of them. Who needs Leighton Moss or Lytham St Anns roosts when you can watch on your own at the Heysham Nuclear Plant!?!?smile.gifsmile.gif Also planty of Fieldfare in the air on way home..........


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Late report from last Friday, the 12th November.

I was up comepleting inter-tidal surveys from the North Harbour Wall. Very calm conditions, sunny with a warm feel to air, probably the last day like this in 2010!?!

RB Merganser 1
Eider 80+
Oystercatcher 3000+
Bar-tailed Godwit 8
Grey Plover 1
Dunlin 100+
Knot approx 15,000+
Turnstone 30+
Purple Sandpiper 1 (the first sighting of a lone returning bird)
Curlew 60+
Redshank 20+
Med Gull 3 (2 adults & 1 1st winter)
Meadow Pipit 2
Twite 16
Linnet 1
Pied Wagtail 2
Skylark 2

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Been too hectic at work and life in general last month to post much, so didn't post 2 to 3 days at Heysham last month. Highlight for me was actually a Siberian Chiffchaff, caught and ringed at the nearby obs by Pete Marsh, who luckily let me know about it so I could pop over and see/hear it for myself. Obviously only a sub-species, but always nice to see them and leaves only one left for the whole pack having already seen Canarian, Iberian and both the collybita and abietinus more commonly found in the UK

As for my visit this week, I was up comepleting surveys on Tuesday from the South Harbour Wall Lighthouse area between 7:00 and 1330ish Hrs. Very strong mostly easterly winds blasting me about on the wall, but the lighthouse came to my aid in gifting me a little shelter. Nice day for it other than the wind though.

South Harbour Wall
Cormorant 30+
RB Merganser 7
Eider 1
Sparrowhawk (from south over head then into bay over sandbanks during low tide)
Oystercatcher 300+
Black-tailed Godwit 400+ (most I've had here)
Grey Plover 1
Dunlin 300+
Knot approx 7000+
Turnstone 60+
Curlew 40+ (may be due to many taking advantage of flooded and wet fields)
Redshank 20+
Med Gull 4 (3 adults & 1 1st winter)
Common Gull 2
Stock Dove (in off sea from North going East)
Meadow Pipit 10+
Chaffinch 1
Twite 20+
Pied Wagtail 2
Siskin 11 + 9 in off going SE.

Nature Reserve and Road
Redwing 20+
Siskin 1
Chiffchaff 2 (together, 1 bird very pale and abietinus like, in comparison to more greeny yellow bird)


For reference, the winds have pushed a lots of birds past Heysham in the last few days with Pomerine and Great Skua, good numbers fo Little Gull and Kittiwake, a Long-tailed Duck and a Leach's Petrel nearby. JBP also had some skuas.

-- Edited by Sean Sweeney on Friday 12th of November 2010 02:54:41 PM

-- Edited by Sean Sweeney on Friday 12th of November 2010 03:06:08 PM

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Very active this morning at Heysham, with passerines overhead and winter waders aplenty. I completed several surveys from the South Harbour Wall Lighthouse area between 8:00 and 1500 Hrs. Fairly light to mid wind from Southeast in the morning, swinging to a more south and south west at times in the afternoon, with clear skies and sunshine throughout.

South Harbour Wall
Shag (1 first winter)
Cormorant 60+
Pink-footed Goose 8
Eider 2
Peregrine (north over sea chasing Dunlin, then almost caught a guillemot!!)
Kestrel (out to sea flying south)
Oystercatcher 5284
Black-tailed Godwit 1
Grey Plover 11
Dunlin 390
Sanderling 4 wink.gif
Knot 997
Turnstone 120+
Curlew 152
Redshank 40+
Med Gull 2 (1 adults & 1 1st winter)
Common Gull 2
Common Guillemot 2 (1 in Harbour, 1 north out in bay) smile.gif
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 (unusual record and very strange seeing in off sea)
Meadow Pipit 70+
Rock Pipit 1 (on jetty)
Skylark 20+
Wheatear 1 (on jetty)
Lesser Redpoll 1
Linnet 10+
Pied Wagtail 17+
Goldfinch 12
Greenfinch 4

Nothing crazy, but a cracking day all the same..........biggrin.gif


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Up at Heysham again today to complete an Inter-tidal survey between 0900 to 1500. Fairly quiet with light winds, but still plenty of birds to keep me interested.

North Harbour Wall & Point
Shag (2 first winter)
Cormorant 60+
Pink-footed Goose 30 & 5 (1110 and 1125 hrs)
Eider 10+
Oystercatcher 3000+ flying NE to SE
Bar-tailed Godwit 140 (south of Outflow), 1 flew NE to SE
Grey Plover 2 (south of Outflow)
Dunlin 4 (south of Outflow)
Turnstone 120+
Curlew 300+
Redshank 100+
Med Gull 3 (2 adults & 1 juv/1st winter)
Common Gull 4
Meadow Pipit 12+ (mostly on Mound)
Linnet 30+ (mostly around Mound)
Grey Wagtail 1 (south)
Pied Wagtail 10+
Song Thrush (on Mound late on)
Goldfinch 15+ (on Mound then south)

High Tide at the Helipad
Oystercatcher 1500
Ringed Plover 2
Redshank 100+
Lapwing 23
White Wagtail 2

Still waiting for the big one!?!? A few Redstarts went through the reserve early doors, but nothing like Spurn Heh!?


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Another day up at Heysham today. Pretty cold start, but warmed up in afternoon, despite being cloudy all day with light N/NE wind. Completed surveys today from the South Harbour Wall Point between 0800hrs and 1430hrs.

South Harbour Wall Point
Shag (1 first winter)
Cormorant 60+
Red-breasted Merganser 3
Pink-footed Goose 22
Eider 12+
Oystercatcher 2500+
Bar-tailed Godwit 140 (south of Outflow)
Grey Plover 12 (south of Outflow)
Dunlin 52 (south of Outflow)
Turnstone 120+
Curlew 500+
Redshank 100+
Little Gull 1 (adult in winter plumage briefly midday)
Med Gull 2 (both adult birds)
Common Gull 8 (good numbers for here)
Meadow Pipit 8 (all south)
Linnet 22 + 10 (south)
Grey Wagtail 2 (south)
Pied Wagtail 2

High Tide at the Helipad
Oystercatcher 100
Ringed Plover 2
Redshank 120
Lapwing 18

Lots of fishermen catching Dogfish too, must have seen 30+ pulled out of the water today!?


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Having been away for a week I missed out on the last weeks Leach's Petrel invasion at Heysham, but I was up there yesterday having been requested to complete another winter of surveys up there. This time round I'll be on the south harbour wall looking towards the Point, with inter-tidal surveys on the north harbour wall once a month from now till March 2011.

Yesterday I was there from just before high tide to low tide:

pre-High Tide at the Helipad
Oystercatcher 1500
Ringed Plover 6
Redshank 60
Lapwing 12
Wheatear 1
Alba Wagtail 8

Red Nab and South Harbour Wall Point
Shag (1 first winter)
50+ Cormarant
Little Egret 1 (new bird for me here! biggrin.gif)
Pink-footed Goose 24 and 44 (from N to S at 13:00)
Eider 20+
Oystercatcher 5000+
Turnstone 140+
Curlew 300+
Redshank 50+
Little Gull 1 (adult in winter plumage all day around harbour and jetty)
Med Gull 2 (adult and second winter birds)
Leucistic Black-headed Gull (only had a few very thin black primary feathers)
Common Gull 2 (both first winters)
Sandwich Tern 3
Arctic Tern 1
Alba Wagtail 20+

Looking forward to another winter up there and hoping to get some more crackers!? smile.gif


-- Edited by Sean Sweeney on Wednesday 22nd of September 2010 03:22:45 PM

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Finally got to the harbour viewing point yesterday at about 4pm and met up with a local birder who had not seen any Leach's for at least an hour and a half - the tide going the wrong way he said. But after just 20 minutes he spotted one and I was rewarded with great scoped views of my first Leach's Storm-Petrel.

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After 12 months of completing surveys at Heysham yesterday was my last official visit, so it was nice that at least the weather was nice for me!! A sunny warm day with a light SW wind brought little in terms of active movement of migrants, but did bring a few of the usual suspects. I completed a two 3 hour VP surveys from the beach at Half Moon Bay frmo 10:00 to 16:30 (Low to High Tide)

Eider 26
Oystercatcher 2000+
Turnstone 20+
Curlew 250+
Lapwing 24
Ringed Plover 3 (two juvs now looking big and almost ready to move on)
Redshank 150+
Little Gull 1
Sandwich Tern 26
Swallow 20+
Linnet 10+
Pied Wagtail 8+

I didn't make it over to the Point today, so no sigh of the Purple Sandpiper or Med Gulls, but was nice to sign off with Little Gull and a large flock of 26 Sandwich Terns. Having spent nearly 170 hours viewing from the beach, over 70 hours completing inter-tidal suveys from the north harbour wall and plenty of time from the Point doing vis mig my time finally came to an end, but with 121 species seen over 12 months I'm pretty happy with my time on site.

Highlights have included seeing Whooper Swans landing on the sea, great skeems of Pink-footed Geese flying across Moreombe Bay, Gannets passing by or diving into the channels, Leach's Petrel been blown up to the north harbour wall, Great, Arctic and Pom Skua chasing terns in the channels or simply migrating up the Kent estuary, Little and Med Gulls knocking around the outfalls, Little Tern fishing near the harbour, Black Guillemot, Guillemot and Razorbill fishing outside the Port, Kingfishers sat on the beach, Merlin coming in off the sea, Peregrines chasing pigeons, flocks of 40,000 Knot coming in to roost, spotting the odd Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper in amoungst the large wader flocks, watching Purple Sandpiper hide in the 400 strong Turnstone flocks, Twite feeding on the Mound through the winter, Greenland Wheatears and a Black Redstart on the beach, White Wagtails passing through the beach, Grasshopper Wablers reeling on the reserve, Jack Snipe in the winter and not to mention the countless sunsets and sunrises I've seen. Also some memorable days of completing surveys on a snow covered beach or during horizontal rain, you never quite know what you might get heh, but all been good fun.

I look forward to returning in the future without the need to be completing surveys and simply enjoy the birds passing thorugh. biggrin.gif



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I completed a 6 hour inter-tidal survey from the North Harbour Wall today from 07:30 to 13:30 (low to high tide). Lots of birds out there today, but nothing new for my year list there! Surprise of the day was a Purple Sandpiper back with the Turnstone on the Jetty already, one of the earliest records for the site. The bird still had bits of orangy/brown summer plumage feathering too, lovely to see biggrin.gif

Eider 2
Oystercatcher 4000+
Turnstone 60+
Purple Sandpiper 1 biggrin.gif
Whimbrel 3
Curlew 300+
Lapwing 12
Ringed Plover 12
Redshank 200+
Kittiwake 3 (all juvs) smile.gif
Sandwich Tern 3+
Swallow 40+
Linnet 10+
Pied Wagtail 10+
Wheatear 4

No sign of the Little Gull that has been about of late, or the usual Med Gulls, but at least the sun was shining. Saw plenty of Lapwing (200+) and Dunlin on the shoreline in Morecombe on my way home too.


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Back from a fortnight in Corsica (my honeymoon) I was straight back to work with a days surveying up at Heysham, but no complaints, as it was sunny and I do get paid to go birdwatching for a living smile.gif. Anyway the day was mixed with sunshine in the morning with no wind, while the afternoon was windy from the West with cloud cover, so the shorts were on in the morning, but jumper and trousers in the afternoon (oh the joys of the English summer heh!?). I was completing 2 VP surveys from the beach at Full Moon Bay as usual. The low tide was around 1100hrs and high tide 1630hrs. All observations made between 0930hrs and 1615hrs:

Eider 18
Oystercatcher 2000+
Turnstone 20+
Whimbrel 3
Curlew 200+
Ringed Plover 2 (second brood sucessful with 2 new fledgelings on the beach)
Redshank 200+
Little Gull (1 adult)
Med Gull 1
Sandwich Tern 30+
Swallow 10+
House Martin 2
Meadow Pipit 1
Linnet 10+
White Wagtail 1

Nice to see a Little Gull on the site again, its been a while. A quick visit to Pete at the Observatory office and a scattering of warblers and Spotted Flycatcher had been netted on the reserve that morning too. A few Wheatears had also been spotted the evening before on the beach, but they were not there on my arrival. Back for my final 2 visits for this survey next week wrapping up 12 months of surveying there in total, how time flies heh!? wink.gif

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Another survey today, Monday 26th July, completing 2 VP surveys from the beach at Full Moon Bay. The low tide was around 0700hrs and high tide 1230hrs. All observations made between 0700hrs and 1330hrs:

Oystercatcher 1000+
Turnstone `
Whimbrel 3
Curlew 60+
Ringed Plover 2
Redshank 50+
Dunlin 5
Arctic Tern 1 juv
Swallow 2
House Martin 2
Meadow Pipit 1
Linnet 2

No sign of the Med Gulls from the beach, but no doubt they will have been round the Port at high tide. Of note a Wood Warbler was also ringed at the Obs Station on the reserve while I was on the beach, but couldn't leave my post to go and see it unfortunately disbelief.gif.

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Late report from last Friday, 23rd July. I was completing inter-tidal surveys from up and down the North Harbour Wall for 6 hours from high to low tide. It was a spankingly sunny day, with a few good birds too:

Gannet 1 (distant)
Oystercatcher 450
Curlew 150+
Whimbrel 3
Turnstone (first returning bird)
Ringed Plover 3 (adults with now fully fledged juv)
Sandwich Tern 2
Arctic Tern 1
Common Gull 1 (uncommon there at this time of year)
Med Gull 3 (2 with winter heads and 1 still with black head)
Black Guillemot (quite rare in Lancs this year) smile.gif
Swallow 3
Linnet 6+

Not bad considering the lack of interesting records for the last 5-6 weeks. The Black Guillemot also took me to 121 for the site over the last 11 months, so have had a cracking time overall. biggrin.gif


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A colleague of mine has just rescued a Gannet blown into a churchyard here, it has been released, perhaps the weekends winds will blow another GM Gannet this way.

Keep Birding

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With rain predicted for the rest of the week I made the most of this morning and got up to Heysham for some survey work. The low tide was at 0745hrs and high tide 1315hrs, reaching 9.4m, so pretty high. Nothing much happening out on the sea, but plenty of waders back from the moors, especially Curlew.

Oystercatcher 355 (roosting near Helipad) 200+ (at Rad Nab)
Curlew 40+
Redshank 3 (roosting near Helipad) 80+ (at Rad Nab)
Whimbrel 1
Ringed Plover 1
Mediterranean Gull 3 (all adults, at Red Nab)
Swallow 5
House Martin 2
Sand Martin 5
Meadow Pipit 2
Blackcap 1

Left before the rain biggrin.gif.





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Yet another extremely quiet day at Heysham today. No wind, very hot and the only birds were walking on 2 feet on the beach in clothes, mostly with their dogs no.gif

Only real surprise was a flock of Knot of 26 birds on the mussel beds near the point, which flew off on the incoming tide north west. Also had a surprise Bullfinch near the car park near the beach in the trees, a new site species for me and I think this takes me to 120 species for the site now in the last 9 months, so I can't complain too much for a quiet 4-5 weeks or so smile.gif. The low tide was around 1030hrs and high tide 1630hrs. All observations made between 0900hrs and 1530hrs:

Eider 1
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Oystercatcher 120+
Knot 26
Ringed Plover 2
Sandwich Tern 1
Swallow 5
House Martin 4
Meadow Pipit 2
Whitethroat 2
Chiffchaff 1
Linnet 8+
Bullfinch 1

Back next week, hopefully quieter people-wise and busier bird-wise!

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