Dusting it off and donning my twitchers hat I set off for Heysham Harbour to target a 'gull' and arrived at the power station outfalls to find - to my amazement - I was the only one on duty, well its 9.30am not 5.30am I thought to myself, but there I was....alone!
Sabine's Gull. Mike Watson.
It felt and sounded like a gale to me, whether or not it officially was I have no idea, but lets say it was blowing a howler. Making the best of views I had at the outfall through a telescope on the verge of a nervous breakdown I picked up an adult Little Gull, uncounted adult and juvenile Arctic Terns, and at least one Common Tern, but wait a minute, this isn't a bad start but....wheres the 'target bird'. OK, now I move on to the next outfall where there are more birds feeding - or at least looking for something to feed on - and here it came into the scope and gave me excellent and often close views, a pretty smart bird this adult Sabine's Gull.
From here I walked cautiously - I'm in danger of being blown into the sea here you know - to the harbour wall to spend just a while looking out to sea to no avail, but noting at least 90 Turnstones taking shelter on the old wooden jetty. I retreated even more cautiously back along the sea wall to find a wind blow Wheatear opposite the caravan park.
Sabine's Gull. Mike Watson.
My own personal opinion of the photograph of the Sabine's Gull above, is that it has the whole atmosphere of what I saw at Heysham Harbour today and not just a picture of a bird in an empty sky, this shot shows the bird passing the old wooden jetty which is slowly crumbling into the sea. A brilliant image with my thanks to Mike Watson for allowing it on Birds2blog.
The day from here on turned out to be a little on the dull and unproductive side. At Conder Green I saw a Common Sandpiper on Conder Pool which brings me another day closer to suggesting this bird is going to be this years wintering individual at Conder Green. Also on the pool, 5 Little Grebe, and the two site faithful Wigeons, a Grey Plover was in the channel below the railway bridge, and c.70 Swallows were hawking over the marsh. On Glasson Marsh from Bodie Hill 2 Little Egret.
Apart from the fact it was now high tide at Cockersands, the wind made it almost impossible to scan the only land above water at what remained of Plover Scar, but I managed to pick out a Whimbrel, c.25 Turnstone, and a 'few' Ringed Plover, a single Eider was off here, and at least 20 Greenfinch were in what I insist on calling the 'setaside' by Lighthouse Cottage.
Lesser Yellowlegs/Pectoral Sandpipers. Colin Bushell.
Well, if this had been taken at Hesketh Out Marsh you'd have to call CB a little on the greedy side at finding these three together, but these are on the coast east of Rio de Janeiro and you can see more exciting stuff like this HERE....Thanks for this Colin, keep 'em cumin!