Friday, 10 July 2020

And, still they come.....

Brisk westerlies with more sunshine than showers

Middleton Nature Reserve mid morning
The wildfowl is pretty much as last report, other than the female mallard’s chicks are now independent and seem to be everywhere.
It’s getting to the time when the aggressive male mute family on the “no swimming” pond will be wanting to return to the main pond. Perhaps, this year, it might be dissuaded by the presence of the 4 additional birds on the main pond. If not, there will be a lot of feathers flying.

This is the adult Little Grebe on main pond, anther adult plus an immature bird on “no swimming” pond.

Cetti’s warbler singing again on central marsh.

Dragonflies: Emperor 3, Common Darter 2 (female/immature)

South shore mid morning
Common Tern 4 adults on outflows ref Kevin.
Later,  just one 2nd calendar year tern.
Mediterranean gull - just one adult seen on Red Nab
Rock Pipit 2, together on Red Nab

Moths
This is the source of today’s title.
Lunar Hornet Clearwing Justine had four, from four widespread sites at Middleton including on the south side of the entrance road and near Moneyclose Lane anemometer 
That’s a total of 8 in three days of a previously unrecorded species!

Another decent moth from Kevin’s overnight trap - a Crescent Striped
A very local coastal species.

And, finally, this is a reminder of how the year is moving on.
A Comma feeding on bramble, has always been regarded as the archetypal sign that Autumn has arrived!


Thursday, 9 July 2020

2cy Arctic Tern!

Light breezes with fewer showers than expected.

Red Nab early afternoon - flooding tide (PM)
Common Tern - 4 adult settled
Arctic Tern - 1 adult, plus 1 2nd calendar year (2cy very rare in Europe)
Mediterranean gull 
Adult 5
3cy x1
2cy x 1
It was likely that some had already flown off.

Outflows early evening - ebbing tide (MD)
I went down early to watch the beach between the outflows become exposed - hoping for yesterday’s darvic ringed adult Mediterranean to return. The only Meds that turned up today were these 2cy and 3cy birds.

Plenty of juvenile Black-Headed gulls around, some well on their way into moult to first winter plumage.

Whimbrel - at least 3, probably 5 or more.
Grey seal 1


Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Lunar Hornets like double decker buses

Gentle easterlies for most of the day. Mainly overcast with some showers.

Todays title refers to the wait, not the size - you wait since the dawn of time for one to be recorded in the Heysham area......then three turn up together!
Lunar Hornet Clearwing Moth - a total of three attracted to Pete’s daytime pheromone lure near the entrance to the ringing area on Middleton Nature Reserve. First one 08:24.
This one landed on Kevin’s windscreen.

South Shore
Mid morning - tide out (MD)
A few Meadow Browns coming in off against the east breeze were the only sign of insect movement. Not surprising given the recent weather.
Rock Pipit 1 near nest site by lighthouse
Mediterranean gull - 4/5 adult plus 1 x 3rd calendar year resting on rocks on seaward side of the beach next to wooden jetty

Linnet having a bath in freshwater culvert at Red Nab

Willow Warbler in brambles near lighthouse 

Noon - tide flooding (SC)
Mediterranean gull - 5 adult (probably birds near jetty earlier). As tide came in they all departed east over caravan park towards golf course.

Evening - tide ebbing (MD)
At least two adult Mediterranean gull on the mud between outflows. Including the white darvic ringed bird. Unfortunately out of reading range.

Whimbrel 1 (first autumn record)


Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Lunar Hornet Clearwing Is the star

Started with a southerly wind and showers. Almost breathless by evening.

Middleton Nature Reserve early am (PM)

Lunar Hornet Clearwing Moth.  First record for Heysham area. Attracted to pheromone lure.



Harbour and outflows late am (MD)

The solitary Rock Pipit is still “guarding” the nest site, but I also saw it feeding, but don’t know if it returned to nest with food.


The waders are starting to trickle back.

Redshank - 7 together plus 1 juvenile with

Turnstone 6 summer plumage plus 2 juvenile

The juvenile Redshank with some of the Turnstone (juv on right)


Common Tern - at least three adult on outflows

Sandwich Tern 1

Sandwich Tern over No.1 outflow, with Blackpool tower in background 


Heysham skeer late evening

Just checked to see if any other waders were around, apart from the Oystercatchers and Curlew, there were just 18 Redshank (12, 3, 3)

Eider 5

Great Crested Grebe 3 summer plumage.




Monday, 6 July 2020

Wind eases

The wind eased off during the day and shifted to the west. Rain early on then mainly dry.

Two checks of south shore
late morning
Common tern 5 adult on and around Outflows
Rock Pipits - 2 together on Ocean Edge foreshore. 1 near lighthouse

Late afternoon 
Common Tern - just one remaining
Mediterranean gull 2 adult on beach near wooden jetty.

The Sea Holly near Red Nab is in flower
Subtle but striking at the same time.

Middleton Nature Reserve early evening
The sun had come out and the temperature had risen to 17C. So just a 100m walk along western side of main pond, a peek at the “no swimming” pond and back, mainly to see to how the insects were doing.
The only dragonfly seen was one male Black-Tailed Skimmer. Plenty of damselflies.
Butterflies: Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Skipper.
Warblers: singing males - Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Sedge Warbler
Little grebe 1 adult on main pond. Plus this adult and young bird feeding together on the “no swimming” Pond

Rest of wildfowl as per last report

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Good coverage and excellent records

The SW winds blew hard, and, mercifully the rains largely held off till later in the afternoon.
Several observers contributed to today’s records: SC, PC, MJ, NG, KE, JR, PM, MD . Thanks to all.

Today’s morning seabirds from Heyshsm/Stone Jetty: 
Bonxie - 1 plus 2 out (0725 & 0800)
Kittiwake flock of 69 in
Fulmar 1 out
Manx  Shearwater2 out
Gannet c15 out
Common Tern at least 6 (one 2cy)
Arctic Tern - 1 adult
Mediterranean gull 11 on Red Nab: 3 ad, 6 3cy, 2 2cy. One 3cy plus one 2cy On the saltmarsh, but could have come from Red Nab

One of the adult Mediterranean gulls had a white darvic ring. Matt came tantalising close to reading it. Almost impossible with the driving wind and Red Nab rocks.


One of the adult Common Tern had a damaged upper mandible - thanks Kevin

North Harbour Wall early afternoon.
Fulmar 1, 
Kittiwake  2 adult
Gannet 5 out 

Outflows, early evening
Common Tern 2 adult plus 1 2nd calendar year

The 2cy Common Tern with no moult contrast creating the wedge.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Terns hang around

The winds eased slightly today, getting wild again tomorrow. Rain pretty much on and off all day.

Only two reports so far, hopefully more later

Mediterranean gull 1 adult plus 2  x 2nd calendar year flew south, early in the tide from Red  Nab. No others seen

Common Tern At least 4 on and between the two outflows about an hour before high water.

The winds may have eased, but the sea is still "well developed" and the waves will quickly build as the wind increases tomorrow.