Tuesday, 18 June 2019

The sweltering "warmth" of summer!

Teperature reached 16 degrees at 14:00. Hardly hot, but enough to stimulate some insect activity.
Middleton Nature Reserve early afternoon.
First records this year, to my knowledge:
Common darter 2
Emperor 1

No sign of any Painted lady, but Janet reported several from Heysham Moss, just east of the recording area boundary.

Two introduced species seem to be flourishing:
1. Signal crayfish - this pile of debris on the main pond are the remnants of this species eaten by otter. Spraints surround the area. N.B. The Otter are natural.

2. Fish in main pond. It is not clear how fish were introduced, possibly naturally. There were c400 7cm long fish taking small insect from surface. They appear to be Rudd, but could be more exotic.

Two pair of mute remain each with 5 young.
Mallard with single chick represents the only young duck so far this year

Ocean Edge salt marsh
Lapwing 1. A bit unseasonable.

Heysham Office Moth Trap
Still meagre numbers with last night's catch of:
Heart and Dart - 9
Mottled Rustic - 2
Riband Wave - 1
Marbled Minor agg. - 1


Monday, 17 June 2019

GCG still here!

Heysham skeer - evening low water
Still 5 Great-crested grebe
No Eider seen
Little egret 6
Only waders were Oystercatcher

Grey seal - very close in

Sunday, 16 June 2019

No surprises today

It is still cool when sun not shining. Checked all along south shore and harbour wall, not a butterfly to be seen today, let alone a Painted lady.

Gull numbers on outflows and Red Nab significantly increased, but no sign of Mediterranean gulls.

Middleton Nature Reserve - yesterday evening
Grasshopper warbler 1 reeling
Stock dove 2 seen together twice.

Heysham Reserve
A few butterflies around the reserve, mostly Common Blue and Speckled Wood.

Burnet Companion - one behind office building

Little Egret - one with Grey Heron on main marsh

Roe Deer - one splashing about to right hand side of jetty boardwalk, possibly browsing on young trees growing in the flooded area there.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Cool June surprise

I cannot remember such a protracted period of cool weather in June. All the more surprising then to see this Painted lady, on Ocean Edge salt marsh.
The picture above was taken at 10:00. After lunch, there was a short down pour. I had a quick check of harbour area after that (14:30) and located another six Painted lady on a 20m stretch between the lighthouse and waterfall. Clearly there has been a significant and/or concentrated movement.

Common tern feeding on No.2 outflow. 1 hour before high water.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Rock pipit perseverance

(MD - Pete's still away)
The lingering, presumed female, Rock pipit, at the failed nest site near harbour lighthouse, has not been seen for four days.  (sex based on distictive supercilium of nest building bird)
Today a male Rock pipit was seen displaying (parachuting) several times over Ocean Edge salt marsh.
The potential downside to this possible new breeding location is the lack of an obvious nesting area, that wouldn't be vunerable to predation. I'll keep an eye on developments.

In contrast the the north shore Rock pipits have at least one, probably two, fledged young.
Three feeding events were seen, and at one point there appeared to be be four birds around, but only clear views of two at a time, so couldn't confirm two juvenile.

This first picture shows two birds. The rest show detail of the upper bird.

Red Nab - mid morning
Over 50 Black-headed today, mainly 2cy, no sign of any Mediterranean gulls.
One of these Eider seems to have some sort of leg tag, but couldn't get any clearer shots than these.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Drip feeding

Little to report.
Heysham skeer - low water mid afternoon
Great-crested grebe - still 5
Eider 29
The only waders were Oystercatchers

South shore - early evening
Black-headed gull numbers are growing quickly c30 today (many 2cy)
Curlew roost on Red Nab getting underway. 23 flew in today. There were 415 by 10/07 last year, so some way to go!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019


Pete and Jean are away till later next week, so records will be depleted.
Only thing of "note" today was a 1cy Black-headed gull - quite early for here.

Hopefully we'll be getting Mediterranean gulls soon.

No sign of Guillemot in hharbour, for fourth visit. Looks like it's moved on. (MD)