Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Power walking

Heysham Obs need to stop.  Nothing at all blown into the outfalls/harbour area but it was an excellent fitness walk after yesterday's car-potato birding.

Inshore stuff
Pink-footed Goose - 62 + 50ish SW
Med Gull - 2 x ad, 1 x 1CY
Kittiwake - 1CY Red Nab
possible obscured Shag on wooden jetty
Grey Wagtail - unringed bird by harbour waterfall

No vis mig of any note and no grounded stuff of note by office

Grounded as wind dropped late afternoon HNR
Goldcrest - 5
Chiffchaff - 1 (by office)
Blackbird - 15
Redwing - 5
Song Thrush - 4
Treecreeper - 1

Feathered Thorn new for the year here plus a latish Pink-barred Sallow

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Difficult conditions with the wind too north-westerly

Heysham Obs

Various times by various observers
Skua spp - distant very dark one (not Bonxie)
Diver spp - one not seen well enough
Little Gull - 2 ad outfalls am
Tern spp - probably juv arctic glimpsed on outfalls
Auk spp - 1
Med Gull - 1CY and ad
Manx Shearwater - group of 3
Kittiwake - group of 3 & a 1CY
Pintail - flock of 19 out

Angle Shades and Red-line Quaker

Monday, 20 October 2014

An unremarkable day

Heysham Obs
Joint 'highlights' were a Caloptilia stigmatella in the moth trap and a 'new' 2CY Little Gull which made a brief appearance in the morning but didn't seem to stay with the outfalls hordes.  A circuit of the reserve in slightly easier conditions than yesterday was unproductive, save some seemingly noisy and 'resident' Chiffchaff in the same places as yesterday

Med Gull - 1 x 1CY, 1 x 2CY, 1 x Ad
Wigeon - 64
Little Egret - 2
Linnet - 60 OE foreshore
Little Gull - 2CY off the end of the outfalls in the morning
Chiffchaff - 3 reserve
Meadow Pipit - one flew south in afternoon - the only vis noted!
Mallard - after being commendably 'wild' for years, three seen coming to bread at the model boat pond

Moth trap
The above and a Black Rustic & Red-line Quaker

Just out of the area, but possibly the bird from within the other day, a 1CY Shag on the Morecambe Stone Jetty groyne with two Cormorant

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Displaced geese

Heysham Obs
Can anyone explain, please, why a cooperative effort between the shooting community and volunteers from the birdwatching community to do a comprehensive goose count is accompanied by "lots of people shooting" (per Fylde-based goose counter)?   This was evidenced even at Heysham where at least 8 skeins flew north-west from the direction of the north Fylde at a time of year when this certainly would not be the norm - indeed it might be unprecedented in such large numbers.  There are no local feeding flocks at this time of year, therefore origin was definitely south of the Lune.  Surely shooting of Pink-footed Goose (or at least in the vicinity of fields used by PFG) should not take place on the count day?

Pink-footed Goose - c600 NNW in eight skeins between 0745 and 0830
Med Gull - 2 x 1CY, 2 x 2CY Red Nab, ad Red Nab
Mallard - 3 OE saltmarsh
Little Egret - 2 Red Nab/OE
Blackcap - male NE corner reserve
Chiffchaff - 5-6
Goldcrest - 2-3
Gannet - 2 adult out
Red-throated Diver - 2 out
Manx Shearwater - gang of 6 out
Common Scoter - 6-10

Hopefully more later but passerine searching conditions very tricky

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Yet another Yellow-browed Warbler

Heysham Obs
Decided to put in an hour by the office to see what the vis mig was like whilst also being in a good area for newly arrived grounded stuff.  Initially it appeared slow, so decided to keep a species list as well as the vis mig totals

Grounded Migrants
Yellow-browed Warbler - heard giving a sequence of calls in the willows by the obs tower pond - a quick sprint uphill and really good views enabled the right tarsus to be seen - unringed - therefore a different bird to midweek.  Watched for a good five minutes but in the rush had left phone at the office and people needed calling.  Thereafter not quite so good views as it moved further back in the willows.  I decided to return to the office and set a mist net as it was also apparent that Goldcrests were on the move.  One further call at 0935 was the last definite example as four further single calls were quite possibly from playbacks, although it was odd that all were single calls.  No sightings in increasingly windy conditions
Goldcrest - 15-20
Chiffchaff - at least two, probably three - one ringed which was "Garden-warbler-coloured" but calling like collybita
Stonechat - female passed through very quickly at c1025
Blackbird - c10
Song Thrush - c5

Vis mig
Goldfinch - 15
Chaffinch - 109
Meadow Pipit - 4
alba Wagtail - 7
Woodpigeon - 3+11
Little Egret - one south
Reed Bunting - 2
Redwing - just 18
Greenfinch - 10
Coal Tit - 2 high to south
Cormorant - one SE
Bullfinch - flock of 6 high to south - the largest vis mig flock I've seen here
Skylark - H + H + 8

Routine stuff in order of appearance:  Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Magpie, Herring Gull. Great spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Curlew, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Ferla Pigeon, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit.

Speckled Wood - 2
Common Darter - 1

Friday, 17 October 2014

The easterly is lost

Heysham Obs
The southerly airflow encouraged a spread of moth traps at the expense of early morning Heysham coverage.  Alan did a small amount of mist netting with rather bizarre results.  Just five birds but two were warblers (Blackcap and Chiffchaff) and another a Pied Wagtail responding to a Grey Wagtail tape!   The 'bread and butter' at this time of year - dawn Redwing followed by Chaffinch, failed to materialise.

Reserve circuit at lunchtime
Chiffchaff - 2
Goldcrest - c5
Blackcap - 1 female (& male caught in morning)
Blackbird - 10
Coal Tit - 3

Offshore/North wall
Meadow Pipit - 6 grounded
Linnet - c20
Eider - 3 flocks of 150, 150 & 30 offshore.

Speckled Wood - 4
SmallWhite - 1
Red Admiral - 6
unseasonal/migrant Turnip Moth in the moth trap
social wasps - hundreds, especially by the office and around a huge nest in NE corner

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Stuttering morning other than grounded thrushes

Heysham Obs
A ringing session plus vis mig at Middleton this morning never really got going with a weak front bearing variable cloud neither producing a burst of rain nor allowing many diurnal migrants through other than in very limited fits and starts.   On the other hand, two species excelled in different ways - grounded Blackbirds and extremely noisy newly arrived Water Rail sorting out the territories

Vis mig Middleton NR dawn onwards, S/SE unless stated
Reed Bunting - at least 10 with a high proportion (8) ringed
Meadow Pipit - 31 in three small widely spaced 'lots' (4 ringed)
Grey Wagtail - two perceived migrants (one ringed)
Redwing - just 235, mainly first thing -all heading inland
Chaffinch - scarce this morning with just 31
alba Wagtail - 20
Siskin - 1+13+11+2
Jackdaw - 29+16
Rook - 5 with first lot of Jackdaw
Carrion Crow - 6 perceived migrants
Skylark - at least 28 mainly E
Jay - two very high flying birds
Song Thrush - 14 inland high
Blackbird - 20 inland high
Goldfinch - 7
Greenfinch - 6
Linnet - 15
Bullfinch - 5
Pink-footed Goose - 60
probable Ring Ouzel - one flew high inland, then 'leaf-fell' on to the rubble mounds but could not be confirmed or relocated - flashing silvery wing panel and structure only two things to go on with a high-flying bird

Grounded Heysham and Middleton circuit
Yellowhammer - female/imm on the rubble mounds
Goldcrest - 15
Blackbird - 72
Song Thrush - 26
Bullfinch - 17 - a really high count (inc flock of 5)
Redwing - just 9
Treecreeper - one dipping pond
Chiffchaff - one and one Phyllosc spp Middleton
Coal Tit - 3
Blackcap - 2
Water Rail - absolute minimum of 7 calling birds Middleton
Gadwall - 10

42 new birds at Middleton in pretty perfect ringing conditions a bit below par with no significant tit flocks (and what was eagerly anticipated to be with them!) and rather sporadic appearance of migrant Reed Bunting in the hit and miss vis mig conditions.   A Grey Wagtail was a welcome unexpected bonus so late in the passage season taking the annual total to a creditable 160

No sign of yesterday's Yellow-browed Warbler in dipping pond area

Two Silver Y in trap and Speckled Wood HNR yesterday.  Small White and 10 Red Admiral seen today.  At least two Migrant Hawker and three Common Darter Middleton