Sunday, 15 May 2016

Sea Swallows

I've been busy with various bits of survey work of late and unfortunately this has meant an enforced neglect of the patch and I've missed some of the sea bird passage of late. With my first check of the Pied Flycatcher boxes due to be completed today I managed to get out yesterday morning for a sea watch.

At first light I had clear skies and it was calm. However by 0715 the wind had picked up to a 5 - 10 mph northeasterly.

As you would expect at this time of year there was little vis and it was limited to four Lesser Redpolls, a Linnet, a Whimbrel, 20 Swallows and a Tree Pipit.

My seawatching position happened to be opposite where the waders were roosting at high tide and I had 612 Dunlins, 150 Ringed Plover and 500 Sanderlings (including a leg-flagged bird). Three hundred Knot flew over but these were heading west presumably to join a larger roost on the Ribble estuary.

 Dunlins and Sanderlings

The waders were a bit flighty.

The only grounded migrant I had was a Short-eared Owl on the golf course that the Gulls just wouldn't leave alone. Every time it flew it was mobbed by Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls!

The main feature, and nearly the only feature, at sea was the passage of Arctic Terns. There was nowhere near the numbers that Ian has had of late and this morning I recorded 150 flying east into the bay. Some of them were gaining height rapidly and would be heading over land to the North Sea! In addition to the Sea Swallows all I had was eight Gannets, three Common Terns, six Common Scoters and a Red-throated Diver.

No comments: