Saturday, 20 October 2018

Moth highlight Heysham NR and an unringed Cetti's warbler at Middleton

Today's efforts did not look promising with a forecast which was suitable for mist-netting, but the uniform unbroken cloud for the first few hours certainly put the lid on significant vis and the wind direction suggested a paucity of grounded migrants.  The highlight came very early on - a twilight check of what was on the outside of the moth trap window:
Scarce Bordered Straw

Red Nab/Ocean edge shore
Bar-tailed Godwit - 950
Grey Plover - 320
Med Gull - one (small) adult
Teal - female/juv Red Nab
Wigeon - huge increase to 144
Shelduck - 420 (142 Red Nab)

Middleton
Cettis Warbler - a new unringed bird - probably a new dispersing arrival but cannot rule out a local bird which somehow avoided the nets

Office area grounded
Very quiet - not a single Goldcrest heard, just the 'resident' male Chiffchaff and another singleton ringed along with a single Blackcap.  About 10 Blackbird and 6 Song Thrush completes the perceived grounded migrant total within audible/visual range of the office

Vis mig
Swan spp - two high to north
Mute Swan - 5 north then u-turned over Middleton
Chaffinch - 15
Brambling - 1
Little Egret - 2 S
Starling - just 6+20
Greenfinch - at least 1!
Alba wagtail - 2
Goldfinch - 2
Pink-footed Goose - 850 N at 0910

Friday, 19 October 2018

Starling and Chaffinch vis

Every morning has been different this week and this morning looked very duff at dawn with cloud spilling in from the west.  However, it soon became apparent that small flocks of Starlings were bombing SW - a route which is not ex-local-roost.  Indeed they were crossing over local ex-roost birds heading east from the harbour.

Vis mig
Starling - 1374 SW in about 26 flocks
Chaffinch - 153 (including flock of 36)
Meadow Pipit - 17
Jackdaw - 161
Grey Wagtail - 2
Redwing - 51
Linnet - 3
alba Wagtail - 14
Siskin - 4
Greenfinch - 10
Skylark - 14
Goldfinch - 2
Pink-footed Goose - 316 plus 35 S
Whooper Swan - 13 south

Grounded
Chiffchaff - the resident male by the office still
Goldcrest - 3 ringed
Blackcap - one ringed
Robin - unringed bird
Wheatear - 1

No sign Chough Heysham Head

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Its back or another has turned up!

Chough Heysham Head 1130ish per Malcolm - Throbshaw Point area, then flew south. We suspect it may be a passage bird, on a day when there have been lots of corvid movement, as its behaviour was atypical of last winter's resident which Malcolm daw virtually daily.  We'll see.

Crystal clear conditions didn't promise very much other than a bit of vis, but a single Yellow-browed Warbler and, perhaps more unusually as obviously not a 'one-off', a flock of three Chiffchaff were caught.  Earlier a Long or Short-eared Owl was chased by three Carrion Crow in semi-darkness east towards the entrance gate.  The owl probably tried to land as it became light in the middle of the tank farm crow roost!  What I could see of it and the fact it obviously disturbed a thorn-bush and caused roost Carrion Crows to pursue it before they would normally have "got up" does suggest a Long-eared looking for a suitable daytime roost just before dawn.  Indeed the Carrion Crows seemed to fly back to bed and didn't start generally making their presence felt again for another 25 mins!

Vis 0730 - 1230
Chaffinch 185
Brambling 3
Jackdaw 175
Carrion Crow 23
Woodpigeon 65
Stock Dove 2
Collared Dove 1
Pink-footed Goose 53
Mistle Thrush 14
Redwing 13
Skylark - 4
Lesser Redpoll 3
alba wagtail 14
Linnet 3
Meadow Pipit - 10

Shore
Wheatear 1
Rock pipit at least 1

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Brambling at last

Ringing included a pleasant flock of Long tailed tit   and three Chiffchaff and a Blackcap is some more migrant Greenfinch.

An adult Common Tern was a bit of a surprise on the outfalls


Vis 0730-123
Flock of 10 Brambling plus at least one other
58 Carrion Crow
14 Jackdaw
95 Chaffinch
13 Greenfinch
2 alba wagtail
8 Song Thrush
6 Skylark
2 Meadow Pipit
4 Redwing
1 Siskin
1 redpoll sp
100 Pink-footed Geese north at 07:50
14 Starling NW later in the morning so not ex roost


A possible Yellow-browed calling distantly x 2 in the tank farm direction from the office was not confirmed due to a horrendous amount of background noise this am

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

What a grey day

Thick cloud and mizzle put the dampners on the vis but there were a few odds and ends of migrants.

Heysham NR

Vis 0730-1200
Mistle Thrush - 1 SE
Reed bunting - 1 S
Chaffinch - 12
alba wagtail - 8
Meadow Pipit - 1

Grounded:
Blackcap - 1
Goldcrest - 3
Blackbird - 6
Song Thrush - 3
Chiffchaff - 1

Middleton NR
Grounded:
Redwing - 5
Goldcrest - 3

Monday, 15 October 2018

Not quite what was expected

What seemed to be a corridor from the eastern side of Britain (at least) along the northern edge of the cloud was 'fudged' by some heavy cloud north-east of us.   It was also rather clear under the high cloud on site.  Plan B was to monitor the mainly North to South Chaffinch passage and also quite a bit of cross-bay vis, including another 'should have run a Grey Wagtail tape'.   There were a handful of grounded migrants but they didn't include the expected Goldcrest arrival with numbers way down on yesterday and the morning certainly didn't have a 'yellow-brow' feel about it

Grounded Heysham NR
Chiffchaff - 3 new birds ringed plus one ringed Midd
Blackcap - 2 new birds ringed plus one ringed Midd
Song Thrush - three then inland
Blackbird - c15, then inland
Goldcrest - 1!
NO Redwing

Vis mig HNR
Great -spotted Woodpecker - one high SE
Chaffinch - 78
Skylark - 9 plus two (H)
Meadow Pipit - 45
alba Wagtail - 41
Carrion Crow - 18
Rook - two together south
Jackdaw - 31
Fieldfare - bit of a surprise in the context - 6 SW calling (IOA)
Siskin - 2
Lesser Redpoll - 2+ heard
Grey Wagtail - 2
Goldfinch - at least 27 migrants
Linnet - flock of 7 SE
Greenfinch - at least 25 migrants
Merlin - one presumed male high to SE, including chasing Meadow Pipit
Tree sparrow - one (ringed)
Coal tit - c5

No sign of YBW in yesterday's area

Middleton - Pink-footed Goose - c500 flew north after dawn very high and far to the east.
                  Swallow - 3 south
                  Sparrowhawk - 1 high flew south

Ringing
Mostly migrant finches today with Greenfinch and Chaffinch conspicuous.   Four Chiffchaff and three Blackcap a bit unexpected as there seemed to be little grounded.  Just five Goldcrest ringed.  A Tree Sparrow was a new addition to the ringed species list for the year where it is very erratic and unpredictable.  Just one Redwing ringed at Middleton.

Misc
Shoveler - Drake middleton no swimming pond

Moths
Large Wainscot in Middleton actinic, November Moth agg in office trap





Sunday Yellow-browed

Sorry for the late update here

Good jobs the forecasts were not believed today and we headed for a dawn start to find us sandwiched between two blobs of rain on the alarm app but in the end not s single drop landed on the obs!   The wind also decreased much earlier than we thought and this led to ideal ringing conditions.  The downside of this is that local birds also don't notice the nets and we ended up with the highest proportion of retraps of the autumn, notably "all' the Dunnocks in the vicinity!

Yellow-browed Warbler - this was found by Malcolm in the trees and scrub on the west side by the entrance to Ocean Edge. and was there for at least an hour before cars arrived emptying multiple dogs and we left it to any visiting birders.  No further reports on the information network.  One of four today in our area (Sunderland, Fluke Hall, JBPoint being the other three)

Grounded HNR
Redwing - 10
Blackbird - 15
Chiffchaff -4 (& 3 more ringed at Middleton in the afternoon)
Goldcrest - 15-20 plus a similar number down the landscape strip to Red Nab
Robin - at least one migrant ringed

Vis mig HNR
Chaffinch - 30
Meadow Pipit - 2
alba Wagtail - 6
Grey Wagtail - 1
Reed Bunting - 1
Coal Tit - 11