Thursday, 2 April 2020

Wishful thinking?

Still only negligible movement observed. Just two Meadow Pipits and an Alba Wagtail.

The wader numbers roosting on the old heliport wall has reduced, partly due to the low neap tides.
Oystercatcher c200
Dunlin c30
Knot c2,000. They were very filghty, couldn't see what was spooking them. But it allowed a thorough inspection of 4,000 legs, no rings.
These are some of the Knot having a mini murmuration. It looked fun, but suspect they weren't doing it for pleasure.

It felt like the weather was trying to tell me (MD) something today. Wishful thinking or not, it felt uplifting.
During my afternoon exercise walk, every cloud seemed to have a silver lining.

On my walk to Trumacar store this morning, I was greeted by what was probably the lowest rainbow that I have ever seen. But rainbow it was, and very nice to see.
Hope springs eternal

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Still waiting.......

The wind shifted round to the west today and was noticeably warmer, but still very little movement.

A trickle of Meadow Pipits and Alba wagtails north. Two stopped briefly on Heysham Head. One was a male White wagtail, didn't get a good enough view of its travelling companion (MD).

There are at least 5 Rock pipits around the recording area shores. Including territorial birds at two locations.

No sign or reports of any Brent geese since 23rd March.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Ringing recoveries

The lockdown and short walk from home strategy has led to three Grey Wagtail reports in quick succession - all on breeding territory - along with a misreported CR Pied Wag which will be passed on

ARB6429   Ringed  Juvenile    Heysham Nature Reserve  2/9/19
Breeding male:  River Brock, Brock, Lancs    26/3/20    22km SE

ARB7379    Ringed:  Juvenile   Middleton NR   14/9/19
Breeding male:  Teviot Haughs, Roxburghshire    20-23/3/20   170km NNE

AOA0043   Ringed   Juvenile  Heysham Nature Reserve 23/9/17
Breeding female:  River Cocker, Cockermouth, Cumbria  30-31/3/20  76km NNW
This is the location of the Cockermouth nest site - thanks Carl

Monday, 30 March 2020

We were in stasis, but's slowed down!

The cold north to northeasterly winds over weekend stopped everything. They eased slightly this morning, but there was still little sign of movement.
Just a trickle of Meadow Pipits and Alba Wagtails.

The real reason for today's post was to share this picture, located near the central slipway of Half Moon Bay field.

The rock artist(s) who created this, convey the message far more eloquently than I ever could (MD).

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Change of strategy

As from now, it will be this blogs strategy to only post records of passing migrants. This is so that readers will not be tempted to leave the relative safety of their homes to locate reported sightings. 
But records of movement  will allow those watching from home or out on their daily exercise to anticipate potential  passage.
This will mean that the blog will now only be updated periodically.
The important thing is that we all stay as isolated as pratical.

For what it's worth, the only sign of passage this morning were Meadow Pipits north.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Chiffchaffs everywhere, but not much else

Light southerly wind and wall to wall sunshine meant genuine warmth. Chiffchaffs were singing in every area of the recording area checked, and many seen not singing. Butterflies also abundant, particularly Brimstone (4 male), also seen Small Tortoiseshell 3, Peacock 2.

Rock pipits - the lighthouse area bird was reported as standing guard over last year's nest site. Plus 2 birds together on Red Nab.
Wheatear 1 male Red Nab.
Felt the need for some vertibrate images today after yesterday's invertibrates, so by way of a change this is one of Wheatear taking off. It's all in the footwork!

This one of Little Egret and Wigeon at Red Nab, just because it reflects how tranquil the day felt.

Middleton Nature Reserve
Stock Dove 2
Buzzard 1
Grey Wagtail 2 - one part of the colour ring scheme

This excellent picture from Janet
Also as part of this scheme:
ARB7379 plus crs Ringed: Middleton NR 1stW Male 14/9/19
Seen: Male holding territory 20 & 24/3/20 Teviot Haughs, Roxburghshire (NT684254) 170Km NNE

The warm sun brought the local newts to life, these Smooth (Common) newts were in the small pond between the dog walk and Red Nab

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Not quite straw clutching....yet

Obviously the current restrictions have an impact on obervation opportunities. Not a hardship compared to the real problems many face. Still, every effort will be made to continue this blog albeit at a much reduced level.

Ocean Edge foreshore early morning (actual caravan site avoided)
Wheatear 3
Meadow Pipit 14 north

Heysham Skeer late afternoon 
No sign of Shag this evening, presumably already eaten.
Eider 123 recognisable blobs counted, many more distant specks almost certainly mainly Eider too.
Great-Crested Grebe 5
Red-Breasted Merganser 3

This is something that I (MD) have never seen before. A Common Whelk had somehow got its scale plate (operculum) stuck between some old mussel shells and couldn't retract to safety as the tide ebbed.
Lucky for the Whelk it was me, not one of the many gulls that found it first. I released it.

This shot shows the operculum on the foot.

When I placesd it the right way up, it "scurried" off.

Three species of Butterfly seen today, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and this female Brimstone.

Not too bad "in flight" pictures