Thursday, 2 October 2008

Pesky Northwesterlies......1st October 2008

......although Merseyside birders wouldn't agree when 107 Leach's were recorded past Seaforth today and I had zilch off Rossall Point!

Yesterday was the day to be at Rossall and fellow Rossall stalwart Ian had 5 west in the afternoon on the falling tide. Unfortunately I was full of a cold and was busy preparing a presentation on the BTO Ringing Scheme for a talk I gave last night.

When the wind swings from westerly or southwesterly to northwesterly it turns off the Leach's passage off Rossall Point. I spent 4 hours at Rossall in the forlorn hope that perhaps just 1 Leach's might buck the trend, but had no such luck!

I did have a few seabirds including some cracking views of Gannets extremely close in. Gannets totalled 9 and Manx Shearwaters totalled 2, although like the Gannets I did have 1 that shot past over the beach. Beautiful! A Bonxie also whizzed past east in the strong WNW wind and it too was very close in. 7 Guillemots battled out of Morecambe Bay against the wind and a single adult Little Gull moved west also.

Talking of battling against the elements it was interesting to note Meadow Pipits moving west out at sea. I had a total of 70 go west and one of them fell victim to a Merlin attack as I had 3 sightings of Merlin heading west amongst the waves and one of the sightings the bird was carrying avian prey.

It was difficult to count the waders as I was sheltering behind the coastguard's tower but I did have 270 Oystercatchers and 14 Sanderling. Cormorant numbers were a little down on recent days and totalled only 37.

These blustery conditions always bring in some wildfowl so a female Teal bobbing up and down in the surf wasn't a surprise bit it soon got fed up of its rollercaster ride and headed off west. 20 Pintail high to the west were a welcome site and Red-breasted Mergansers and Eiders numbered 3 and 2 respectively. All that's left to report is a single Red-throated Diver.

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