Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Final seawatch of the weekend

Another early start yesterday for my third and and final seawatch if the long weekend, and it was my longest of the lot from 06:25 - 11:15, however it turned out to be the quietest of the lot with reduced numbers of seabirds moving through however the vis was a bit better, totals were:

1 Arctic Skua (dark morph)
102 Arctic Tern
6 Sandwich Tern
5 Gannet
10 Red Breasted Merganser
1 Red Throated Diver
9 Shelduck
13 Whimbrel
1 Bar Tailed Godwit

2 male Whinchat on golf course (yeartick)
3 Yellow Wagtail over (fylde yeartick)
107 Swallow
4 Sand Martin
1 House Martin
1 Swift
4 Lesser Redpoll
41 Goldfinch
3 Wheatear
25 Meadow Pipit
3 Pied Wagtail

Also whilst the tide was coming in I picked out a very white gull roosting on the beach and got the others onto it, however it kept standing face on to us so they couldn't see any plumage details. Luckily after a while it walked a bit to the right and then flew a little further allowing us all to scrutinise its plumage, we determined it was a 3rd winter due to the bill pattern, and from the structure we believed that it was a leucistic Herring Gull. Paul Ellis went out onto the beach and got some shots which I haven't seen yet, however later that day it was put on the bird club website as a 3rd winter Iceland Gull! I haven't been able to confirm this but hopefully will be able to soon.

In the afternoon I made a visit to Freckleton where a surprise came in the form of 6 more Arctic Tern battling up river, 5 of which gave up and flew back downriver with the strong easterly wind behind them, a Little Egret also flew upriver. Then it was on to Preston Docks where 2 Common Terns were displaying over the pontoons, and 3 more terns were flying around which looked like Arctic however I couldn't be sure in the strong winds.

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