Thursday, 30 October 2014

Small fall by the office

Heysham Obs
The return of the warm and murky really justified a first light arrival, not wasting time en route spending a £30 gift voucher on a months supply of Shreddies and tins of tuna.  Arrival at the office saw a significant Long-tailed Tit flock gathering together an entourage of Goldcrest and a belated mist netting session (carried out by John) produced about 40 new birds.

Chiffchaff - minimum of 4, probably 6
Goldcrest - c20
Treecreeper - fifth of the year to be ringed
Blackcap - 1 male
Song Thrush - 15
Blackbird - surprisingly unremarkable - c15

Vis mig for an hour 0800-0900 (varying degrees of southbound)
Brambling - 1
Chaffinch - 74
Goldfinch - 16
Greenfinch - at least 23
Redwing - 50+1+2
Song Thrush - 5
Woodpigeon - flock of 6
Linnet - ditto
Cormorant - one high to south prob a migrant

Green-brindled Crescent very late for here, also 3 x Red-line Quaker and a Feathered Thorn

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Still missing

Heysham Obs
This morning could have been labelled as a typical half-decent late autumn migration day of dribs and drabs, with peak movements of all the main passage species done and dusted, but for one thing - we are still awaiting any Fieldfare (Woodpigeon passage is not a major feature here for some reason) and this was supposed the be THE day.   I suspect we have not taken into account that half the night was probably unsuitable for migration and therefore we are too far west.  I wonder what vis mig sites to the east experienced?

Siberian Chiffchaff? What struck me (Jean) was the different (colder) tone of brown to the usual Chiffchaffs, the noticeable supercilium and especially the jet black legs.

Underparts.  Note the pointed tail feathers indicating a young bird.

Middleton NR dawn to late morning
Vis mig was very patchy with no consistent movements by any species and just the one minor highlight:
Yellowhammer - one SW c0930
Pink-footed Goose - 50+109 S plus another c500 S out to sea (thanks Sean and Andy)
Chaffinch - 24
Redwing - 12
Reed Bunting - 5 which didn't land
Siskin - 5
Meadow Pipit - 8
Skylark - 11
alba Wagtail - 1
Grey Wagtail - 2 (both caught and ringed!!)
Sparrowhawk - 2 south
Raven - 2
Lesser Redpoll - 2
Starling - 16
Tree Sparrow - 2
Jackdaw - 54
Rook - 29

Chiffchaff - looked like a Siberian on current thinking but it failed to give any calls on release and slipped quickly through the bushes and away [pic later]
Goldcrest - just one
Blackbird - c25
Redwing - c10
Song Thrush = 2
Reed Bunting - c15 (9 ringed)
Cetti's Warbler - what was quite possibly this species was heard calling x 3 at the western end of the reed bed area in the western marsh
Water Rail - 5
Snipe - 2

Heysham NR office area (thanks Andrew)
Redwing 36, Chaffinch 23. Raven, Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker all East.

Office 2 Goldcrests, Chiffchaff,unringed. Lots of Blackbirds.

North Harbour Wall Feeding Site - 06.30 to 11.30
Chaffinch - 12 on seed at dawn on arrival.  Whoosh net set up and two caught as they returned with Twite.
Twite - group of 15 caught and ringed.  Then 10 appeared on sandplant fence/gates but did not use feeding area.  Mid morning, a further three caught, including a retrapped bird from jan/mar 2011.
Possibly new birds arriving.
Linnet - c6 only seen but did not use seed.
Goldfinch - One only with Linnets.
Meadow Pipit - One grounded bird
Great Spotted Woodpecker - appeared in Sea Buckthorn and flew off northwards until out of sight.

Feathered Thorn x 3, Red-line Quaker and the first two Winter Moth of the autumn

Red Admiral down dog track (thanks Janet).  Small Tortoiseshell by office YESTERDAY

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Starlings on the move!

Heysham Obs
A slow start this morning with nothing weather-wise to suggest that filling up with fuel en route to Heysham was missing valuable vis time.

Vis mig 0905-1020
Starling - 1,347 in 24 flocks - all NE to SW, a lot of them quite low so some could have been missed nearer the power station
Chaffinch - 36 SW including flock of 18
Brambling - 5 together in close association with one of the Starling flocks SW
Greenfinch - 5 SW probably vis mig
Grey Wagtail - two - possibly both bloggers
NO thrushes!

Grey Heron - NR marsh
Water Rail - one Heysham NR marsh
Goldcrest - just one heard by office and none on a quick walk round
[No chiffchaff heard today]

Monday 27th

Heysham Obs
Not a lot from today: just 11 Twite seen and single Med Gulls of the three age classes at Middleton late afternoon where there was also a calling Water Rail and a Meadow Pipit

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The dead sea scroll

Heysham Obs
........the scrap of paper I used after accidentally leaving my notebook in the office.  Apart from routine inshore stuff, nothing happened further out that we are aware of.

Seawatching/inshore coverage on and off
Common Scoter - 4
Razorbill - flock three out
Auk spp - 2+1 in
Shag - at least one juvenile.  One flew from the Morecambe direction towards the wooden jetty mid-morning and late in the afternoon one was in the harbour near the waterfall
Little Gull - 2CY on seaward end of Heysham one outfall am before tide came in
Med Gull - at least 2 adult, 3 2CY and one 1CY, mainly outfalls/Red Nab
Peregrine - 2 together flushed everything from Red Nab
Redshank - 375 in roost on beach just south of OE saltmarsh

One Large Wainscot

Saturday, 25 October 2014

More Records to Come?

Heysham NH Wall

Twite - 9 on and around feeding area seen on a very brief mid-morning visit.  1 appeared to have a white colour ring so probably one of our birds from last winter.  Much human activity in the general area.

Hopefully some more records to come?


Friday, 24 October 2014

Double sparrow surprise

Heysham Obs
A 'small bird' addition to the annual ringing species list could have been so good, but it was a House Sparrow - in the company of a single Tree Sparrow - a most unexpected combination outside a limited amount of dispersal in early autumn ('very' in the case of House Sparrow).  There were a few grounded bits this morning with a 'big' olivy-ish (64mm wing) Chiffchaff giving a consistent piping Dunnock call on release.  Not sure what these are labelled as these days now the abietinus cliché has been discredited

Grounded office area
Blackcap - 1
Goldcrest - at least 7
Chiffchaff - 2
Tree Sparrow - 1
House Sparrow - one male

Vis mig
Just a few Chaffinch but no time to monitor

North Harbour Wall
Linnet/Twite - No sign of the group of 21 Twite from yesterday, 4 only positivily indentified, but much human disturbance and very difficult lighting conditions.  These 4 appeared to be new arrivals looking a little lost and not using the feeding area.  20-30 Linnets around with 16 new birds trapped and ringed plus 3 retrapped birds.

Red-green Carpet and November Moth agg new for year, Feathered Thorn and Red-line Quaker made up the quartet

A few bits to add to yesterday later on