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Birdwatching habits and key individuals

Posted by pete marsh 
Birdwatching habits and key individuals
September 17, 2017 04:58PM
I went to see the Rose-coloured Starling on the outskirts of Kendal yesterday and ran into Jenny Brown's Point sea-watching legend Tom Wheeler. Tom has been responsible for by far the largest number of sightings by a single individual of RSPB 'property' birds, which would otherwise have gone unnoticed, at the Leighton Moss end of the Bay. This was particularly the case with skuas during SW winds in April and May and many of these spiralled up and overflew Leighton Moss at height, with the hide hordes oblivious (but maybe not anyone on the tower platform if there was somewhere comfortable to lie down up there and stare at the sky!). They were also often not duplicated passing Heysham, as they were probably sat on the sea floating in with the tide in the Kent channel area and not visible

Unfortunately he had to give up for family reasons about 5 years ago, but he is hoping to cover the skua passage again in spring 2018 and without Tom as the focal point, recent coverage has been very sparse other than bi-monthly WeBS. Nearer the time, please do encourage him and hopefully this key element of local birding can be kick-started again, especially if a keen newcomer to seawatching can be found lurking in a hide amongst the Leighton Long Lenses :-). Writing the skua section for the annual Lancashire Bird Report, which I have been doing for years, has not been the same without the JBP contribution.

The other place "in need of coverage", especially at low/incoming tide is Morecambe Stone Jetty - another site where the records have nosedived since Jon Carter covered it twice a day when he worked nearby

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/09/2017 05:03PM by pete marsh.
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