Trip reports

Visit to Heysham Nature Reserve

Calling redshank in meadow

Saturday, 5 December 2009

16 members gathered at the Reserve centre to meet Reuben Neville, the Warden, who gave his time and expert knowledge to take us round. As we walked down towards the shore a prolonged, heavy shower made us fear the worst, but soon it cleared and a rainbow heralded a dry, but cloudy day. On the way to Ocean Edge Long-tailed tit, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Robin, Chaffinch, Blackbird and Blue tit were seen and a Bullfinch was heard. At the shore we made our way towards the power station outfalls and the South harbour wall with small flocks of Curlew passing overhead. A Little Egret got up (fairly new to this shore) and there were Oystercatcher, Redshank and Turnstone everywhere. Among the Black-headed gulls over the outfall we found a juvenile Little gull. Greylag geese and 7 Whooper swans were spotted flying far out at sea and Cormorants were fishing closer in. Careful searching found 2 Purple Sandpipers, and a Guillemot flew into the harbour.
As we made our way back to Red Nab a Kingfisher was seen briefly before flying off along the shore. A few Knot were roosting with Oystercatchers and a large flock of Knot was performing aerial acrobatics further down the coast. A small flock of Wigeon was floating near the Nab and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Shelduck and an Eider were also spotted. Among the numerous Oystercatchers in front of the caravans was a lone Lapwing.
We returned to the centre for lunch, then transferred to Half-Moon Bay and walked to the North harbour wall. 4 Twite were feeding on weed seeds by the roadside and further along, the gull flock contained 2 Mediterranean gulls, which obligingly perched together close to us on the railings (no-one had a camera!). Dense flocks of Oystercatchers and Redshank were roosting on the seawall. As the tide dropped a few Dunlin were feeding with other waders at Half-Moon Bay.
Other birds seen during the day included Magpie, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Starling, Raven, Carrion Crow, Herring gull and Lesser and Greater Black-backed gulls.
The day was rounded off in festive fashion with mulled wine and mince pies hospitably provided by Chris and Bill Ashby in their new home with a glorious view over the Bay.