Saturday, 31 March 2007

Birding by the Office

Heysham Obs
Thanks for doing the early posting John. Having spent the day trying to survey in a north-easterly "gale" on the Humber, the weather is most definitely in 'migrant blocking' mode. The general exception was the on-going passage of Meadow Pipit on at least the west side. However, unfortunately didnt check the pager late afternoon until we were passing through Harrogate, although the bird was presumably sick/exhausted when found (RF Bluetail Easington - later found dead 7pm)

Vis mig
Rook 2 North towards Heysham Head 1107 hrs (1-2 records per year at Heysham, most regularly with migrant Jackdaw flocks in October)
Meadow pipit 287 0820 - 1120 hrs
alba wagtail 5
Goldfinch 3

Middleton IE ponds
Highlighted by two Jay which are surely now breeding in this area. Other sightings included 8 Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebe, 4 Goldeneye, 6 Mute Swan, 10 Coot and a single Common Snipe

Grounded/ringing
Pretty well zilch as exemplified by just the one Goldcrest being ringed (& the only other bird was a retrap Blue Tit)

Miscellany
Sparrowhawk & singing Chiffchaff on reserve

Elsewhere
Three Mediterranean Gulls at Leighton Moss comprising two adults together and a second summer. Small numbers of Meadow Pipit from elsewhere e,g, Aldcliffe, on the Lune valley flightline, was only recording 30 or so per hour & two flocks of up to 20 were seen whilst driving along Heysham by-pass suggests off-passage accumulations in nearby fields feeling it is time to move on. Green Sandpiper seen at Aldcliffe

Friday, 30 March 2007

The rain stops, the Meadow Pipits flood through

Heysham Obs
Heysham NR office is more of a convenience vis mig site than a result of hours of poring over likely flightlines - it is near a cup of coffee etc etc. Therefore the huge numbers of vis migrants which pass over Rossall and Walney, for example, usually eclipse Heysham totals. Therefore todays first post-rain hour of Meadow Pipit movements was the highest ever r.p.h. in spring from this site.

Vis mig
581 Meadow Pipit north between 0730-0830 followed by a further 355 over the next two hours. The initial movement followed a period of rain during which nothing was moving. Very little else moving with the highlights being a single Grey Wagtail and single (migrant) Kestrel [& 2 Greenfinch, one Chaffinch, just 4 alba Wagtail and 3 Reed Bunting].

Grounded
No ringing, so difficult to discern although the Wheatear count (just one) suggested little.

Miscellaneous
Very surprisingly, the full quota of adult and two first winter Little Gull reappeared on Heysham Two outfall. Shag are becoming elusive but at least two birds are still around - one on the wooden jetty and the other in the harbour. Adult Kittiwake outfalls & harbour. 112 Shelduck Red Nab and area

Elsewhere
Adult Med Gull Leighton Moss and 1st W Med Gull on Pine Lake this evening. Bittern most interesting with perhaps departing migrants during the three evenings of 26th-28th as seen from the lower and/or public hides. The two on the 26th were definitely seen to depart high in the sky, the 3 on 27th may have been 3/4 on 28th. The male was booming on 28th and ignored the gull-calling fly-overs. The male was also booming on evening of 29th and hopefully there are two local females still around as the winter sightings apparently suggested. At least one Little Ringed Plover (LRP on any future postings) Conder Pool
Heysham Moss - Chiffchaff in song.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

not a lot

Heysham Obs
A single juvenile Shag was present in the harbour at lunchtime. Thanks to Lou Cross for preventing the 'blank'.

Elsewhere
Belated posting of female Marsh Harrier at Leighton Moss

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Good variety of migrants

Heysham Obs
Grounded
The most unlikely migrants were two separate Coal Tit (both trapped and ringed). The first migrant Blackcap for the year was followed by another male attending the bird table. Surely the latter was not a newly arrived insect-orientated migrant from the south? Goldcrest were numerous first thing but soon dispersed, unlike yesterday when smaller numbers were passing through steadily all morning. Perhaps 40-50 for the core area. At least 6 Chiffchaff rapidly passed through. Just 5 Wheatear located. Remaining migrants included at least two Song Thrush and a Reed Bunting

Vis Mig
Meadow Pipit were passing through at a similar rate to yestreday early in the morning but again, very high. 220 north 0800-0900/0915-1015. Later 21 in 15 minutes as the passage rapidly tailed off with no obvious movement in the afternoon. Other vis during the 2 hour block comprised: 20 alba wagtail, 5 Chaffinch (rare on the vis in spring), 2 Goldfinch, 8 Greenfinch, 4 'registrations' of Linnet, but none seen!, similar problem with Siskin with 8 seen and one probable 'flock', one Redpoll spp (see yesterdays comment), 4 Skylark.

27 Carrion Crow were temporarily grounded on Ocean Edge foreshore with at least 10 of these observed vis mig arrivals from the south. They did not stay long but the direction of departure not seen.

Ringing
The following were ringed: 18 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Coal Tit, single Blackcap, Robin, Wren, Song Thrush (prob migrant), Magpie (!), Greenfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Blackbird (local).

Miscellaneous
Two Ravens again. Two Black-tailed Godwit briefly on Ocean Edge foreshore. 1st W Little Gull on the sea off Ocean Edge. 112 Shelduck Red Nab.

Today's moth- the appropriately named March moth

Elsewhere
3 Little Ringed Plover Aldcliffe.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Heavenly squeaks

Heysham Obs
Much calmer conditions this morning and potential observers under the cosh with work or looking after mist nets. Therefore a vis morning which required the utmost attention, due to the height of the birds, received just 'sample' coverage. Mist netting saw most of the Goldcrests being females, signalling that we are definitely in the "second half" as regards passage of this species.

Vis mig
Meadow Pipit
Three sample counts reducing in duration as the end of day work deadline loomed! 133 between 0800-0900, 25 in 15 minutes early afternoon and 15 in 10 minutes at 1600-1610hrs. This gives a pretty consistent all-day passage, albeit very high and indiscernable in a noisy environment.

Other species 0800-0900 comprised: 1 Chaffinch, 8 Pied Wagtail, one Redpoll spp (very early for Lesser to be on the move), 4 Linnet, 3 Greenfinch

Grounded/ringing
15 Goldcrest, 3 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Blackbird, 1 Blue Tit, 2 Chiffchaff were ringed. These were probably all at least short-distant migrants. A single Wheatear was at Red Nab.

Misc.
1st W Little Gull still around Heysham 2 outfall but no Shag seen around the waterfall or on the wooden jetty

Elsewhere
..........suggests we missed a passage Osprey within viewing range of Heysham - one seen flying over Warton Crag following at least one over south Lancashire. Returning male Marsh Harrier to Leighton Moss - identified as the bird of at least the last three years. Drake Scaup off the Stone jetty

Monday, 26 March 2007

26th March

2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew "into" the Bay at 9am

Meadow Pipit passage of about 90 birds per hour from 0830-9030 and 140 per hour by lunch time.

Total birds seen in 3 sessions totalling 2 hours:
Meadow Pipit 173
alba Wagtail 34
Wheatear 4
Linnet 7 plus 50 on the deck at Ocean Edge
Siskin 2+
Goldfinch 3
Reed Bunting 1
Carrion Crow 3
All heading NE

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Bits and bobs

Heysham Obs
A few problems this morning so coverage was not as intended.

Visible migration
Suggestion of about 50/hour Meadow Pipit north during the morning. 9 Siskin were recorded heading north during the period just before and after midday

Middleton IE
Same as yesterday plus the dubious highlight of the first grounded (feral) Greylag (4) for the recording area this year. It is a measure of how slow things are that a visit to the Portland Bird Observatory website saw a similar 'daily highlight' - two Canada Geese!

Elsewhere
Adult Med Gull in the Lune valley near Loyne Bridge

Saturday, 24 March 2007

A bit too clear

Heysham Obs
Grounded migrants
Very few birds which could be determined as migrants during the course of the first breeding bird census of the year for the British Energy properties. Only 6 Goldcrest could be found and just one (of these) was ringed. No sign of any Wheatear on the coastal areas

Visible migration
Slightly better with c58 Meadow Pipit and 12 Pied Wagtail north during the period 0830-1000hrs.

Middleton IE
Female Pochard still, also 7 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldeneye, 6 Teal and 3 Snipe.

Miscellaneous bird sightings
Just one 1st W Little Gull noted on the outfalls. No time to check the harbour area. Highlight of the first mapping session of territorial birds on British Energy properties was a staggering 36 singing male Wren...........and this did not include the ideal habitat in the 'tank farm'.

Insects
Male Brimstone on Middleton IE & sightings of 2 Small Tortoiseshell and one Peacock

Elsewhere (locally)
'Dead' according to the pager and LDBWS website!

Friday, 23 March 2007

Trickle of early migrants

Heysham Obs
Visible migration
Meadow pipit 62 generally North 0900 - 1015hrs, part count prior to 0900 suggesting similar numbers.
Pied wagtail 6
Goldfinch 2
Carrion crow 3 'in' past wooden jetty
Greylag Goose: 7 'in'
Red-throated Diver: one 'in' at 1235hrs

Inshore records
Shelduck 36 off Ocean Edge + 10 off RN
Little Gull adult & 2 1st W outfalls
Shag 2 juv in harbour + 1 wooden jetty
Great crested grebe on sea
Red-breasted merganser 2m + 1f

Ringing
29 new birds including 12 Goldcrest, 5 Blue Tit, 3 Robin and surprisingly 2 Dunnock

Insects
First (male) Brimstone of the year. 7 Common Quaker and 5 Hebrew Charcater in moth trap

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Poor visibility = thrushes

Heysham Obs
This morning saw weak frontal cloud and poor visibility. When this happens in March, it often produces a rather autumnal-style grounding of migrant thrushes (and any mist netting usually reveals this to be accompanied by unringed Robins). Grounded thrushes at Heysham are rare in spring with most of them presumably racing overhead during hours of darkness as can sometimes be ascertained by flight calls. A fairly early morning visit saw 15 Redwing and two Fieldfare in the willows to the north of the car park - these flew high inland. A few minutes later, 2 (continental) Song Thrush lifted out of the tank farm scrub and similarly headed inland. More tricky to evaluate was the 'impression' of migrant Blackbird with three males together along the entrance road.

A short late afternoon visit to the outfalls produced the now 'resident' adult & 2 1stW Little Gull. 500 Knot on the mudflats off Red Nab as the tide was ebbing. 2nd year Med Gull & 3 juv Shag seen. Two Raven hanging around the reserve, landing on pylons during the afternoon

Elsewhere
An increase in islandica Black-tailed Godwit in the Carnforth Marsh area to 720, including three with colour rings.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

A low ebb

.....in more ways than one. The lowest low tide I have ever seen at Heysham this late afternoon..........and the only opportunity for birding = the 'guaranteed' Little Gulls on Heysham 2 outfall - just 2 x 1st W - and a bonus in the form of 7 Eiders plonking down off the seaward end.

"500+" Pink-feet were seen from JBP flying over Heysham and towards the Lake District early afternoon

Moths springing back to life with 2 Hebrew Character in the trap

Elsewhere
Highlighted by 3 x Bottle-nosed Dolphin and 2+ Harbour Porpoise seen c2 miles off JBP........and therefore presumably also off Heysham but no time to look today. At least some of these were also seen at JBP yesterday.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Red Nab, Outfalls & Harbour

Shag 5 juv wooden jetty
Kittiwake 2 adult + 1 1st W harbour
Little Gull adult + 2 1st W outfalls
Shelduck 12 off Ocean Edge
Grey Plover off OE
Mistle thrush OE foreshore carrying food
Skua sp 0950 hrs 'in' heat haze hampering visibility

Elsewhere
10 Whooper Swans on Lune floodplain - displaced slightly to the north by a quadbike = opposite Wray road/A683 junction

Monday, 19 March 2007

Red Nab, Outfalls & Harbour

Little Gull TWO adult + 1 1st W outfalls & one of adults in harbour later
Kittiwake 3 ad + 1 1st W in harbour
Red-breasted Merganser 2M + 1F off Red Nab
Shag Two juv wooden jetty
Shelduck 10 off Ocean Edge; poor showing compared with recent counts here.
Raven - two of this scarce but slowly increasing visitor over the reserve
Mistle Thrush with food Ocean Edge foreshore (see John's posting for tomorrow)

Elsewhere
10 Whooper Swans still viewable distantly on the Lune floodplain from the A683 at Farleton. Purple Sandpiper still on the Bubbles Groyne, Stone Jetty mid-morning at high tide

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Rougher than yesterdays photo=waves right over the top of the tower!

Heysham Obs
Seawatching
Half an hour of saltspray saw a flock of c200 (or more accurately 'a lot of') Kittiwake lift up from and then land again on the water - all appeared to be adults - and practically nothing else other than 5 singleton Kittiwake heading out close inshore.

Outfalls
Ad & 2 x 1st W Little Gull outfalls on dropping tide along with 6 Kittiwake (one 1st W)

Harbour
2 juv Shag and one 1st W Kittiwake

Wooden jetty
Single juv Shag and 21 Cormorant

Rest of WeBS
Most birds had been displaced leaving the Heliport and the grassland at the southern end of Ocean Edge as the only roosts: Oystercatcher 3,350 + 750, Turnstone 12, Ringed Plover 4

Middleton
Perhaps one of the outfalls Little Gulls at high tide. Wildfowl included: 5 Mute Swan, 4 Little Grebe, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldeneye, 2 Teal........plus 5 Snipe

Insects
Amazingly another Mottled Grey (2nd ever record) plus single Clouded Drab and Hebrew Character in the moth trap which was at least on the leeward side of the building!

Elsewhere
10 Whooper Swan still on the Lune floodplain but recorded on the WeBS, not in the usual place. Scatter of Kittiwakes from coastal locations and single Fulmar past Cockersands.
7 Little Egret together on Colloway Marsh at high tide and a single Barnacle Goose accompanying the Pinkfeet at Aldcliffe. Light-bellied Brent Goose Jenny Brown's Point to mid-morning only

Saturday, 17 March 2007

First Gannet of the year

If only conditions had been like this!
Heysham Obs
Seawatching
Early morning visit 'totally unproductive' (one hour). 3 adult Gannet out together c1000hrs (also seen from the Stone Jetty). Later a flock of 10 Kittiwake flew in

Miscellaneous Heysham Obs records
Ad & 2 1st W Little Gull Stage 2 outfalls
Shag: at least 4 juveniles around harbour/jetty/NH wall
Wigeon 1 male Red Nab
Shelduck 118 off Ocean Edge + 14 Red Nab; 2 "out"
Pheasant female Red Nab end of nature park. This is the first record for two years on the main BE properties!
Coal tit with metal ring seen today; probably indicating the continued presence of at least a resident male in the area. For the last two years, one has been singing along Moneyclose Lane near the main conifer area but no obvious sign of breeding success or indeed a suitable nest site.

Insects
Just a handful of Common Quaker, Hebrew Character & Clouded Drab in the trap the last few nights - mind you this could be rather more than in the next few, given the weather forecast. It is easy to forget that in some of the last twenty years, only one or two moths in total have been recorded by mid-March. Bumble Bee spp. reported today - normally this might represent the first record but this year at least two species have been out for nearly three weeks

Elsewhere
Light-bellied Brent Goose on the edge of the saltmarsh at Jenny Brown's Point - reported as looking sickly. Female Common Scoter at the most unusual location of Crook of Lune - sat in middle of river - still there at 1145hrs but not mid-late afternoon. 10 Whooper Swans still visible distantly on the Lune floodplain from the A683 at Farleton and the long-stayer still on Aldcliffe Marsh. Purple Sandpiper showing well at the end of the Stone Jetty. Low 20's of Sand Martin at Pine Lake and Leighton Moss this last three days but no wildfowl of interest on Pine Lake today. Still 2,500 Pink-footed Goose on Colloway Marsh but conditions/range prevented thorough search for other species from the cycle track

Friday, 16 March 2007

Try the sea tomorrow morning on incoming tide?

Heysham Obs
Seawatching
3 observers at various (short) times during the morning saw between them from the north harbour wall:
Kittiwake: Flock of c50 'in'
Skua spp: Dark and bulky individual 'out' at rather long range
Red-throated Diver - 2 'out'
Eider pair 'out'
Merlin - female 'in'

Outfalls/Red Nab
Ad & 2 1st W Little Gull Stage 2 outfall mid afternoon
Shelduck 133 off Ocean Edge + 6 Red Nab
Red-breasted Merganser pair RN
Wigeon 2 males RN

Harbour/wooden jetty
Shag 2 in harbour (& 1 cormorant) + 2 wooden jetty
Cormorant 20 wooden jetty

Ringing
A single 40' net plus Goldcrest tape produced 2 male and one female Goldcrest on the first round before it became too windy. Implicitly a few sneaking through in the windy unsettled conditions

Info: The large gulls seem to be building up a bit around the outfalls/harbour waterfall. Keep checking these - there are so many Icelands around and they should start moving north if they have not done so already

Elsewhere
Spotted Redshank on the bubbles groyne at the Stone jetty. 16 Sand Martin at Pine Lake late afternoon (poor things!) with a 2nd S Med Gull passing through there towards the Keer estuary roost with Common & Black-headed Gulls. I only had the briefest of glimpses of the legs but there appeared to be a white darvic

Thursday, 15 March 2007

still mainly winter mode

Heysham Obs
26 Pink-footed Goose and 8 Whooper Swan north this morning, also seen at the Stone Jetty.

No small landbirds recorded on the 'vis'

Ad & 2 x 1st W Little Gull Heysham 2 outfall

3 Shag in the harbour and what looked like an individual of this species flying into the Bay at long range

Female Stonechat Middleton. Female Pochard still there but just 4 Tufted Duck remaining. 4 pairs of Lapwing and a single pair of Oystercatcher on territory - all round the new pond. Will they stay?

Elsewhere
Ad Med Gull in field at northern end of Agnes Ings Lane (Mealbank), Wray this afternoon and 10 Whooper Swan still on the Lune floodplain by Farleton. Nothing new at any other sites.



Pale form of Diurnea fagella, a rather large micro-moth which causes some problems at this time of year as people think it 'should' be in a 'proper' moth book due to its size. Beware! Most specimens are much darker than this but retain the distinctive shape with the long but terminally-rounded forewings. Plus another Small Brindled Beauty at its only Lancashire location (5 close tetrads) to fill the gap! Both taken at Millhouses, near Wray last night.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Two new moth species....and its only mid-March!

Heysham Obs
Red Nab, Outfalls & Harbour
Shelduck 42 south of Ocean Edge + 86 off RN. Also 4 + 2 out NHW
Mute Swan 2 south OE
Peregrine circling off OE
Wigeon 9 off RN
Reed Bunting female in bush near first caravan & RN
Little Gull adult + 2 1st W Heysham 2 outfall
Shag 1 wooden jetty + 1 "in" NHW

Vis
A sample 30 minutes 1000-1030 saw 20 x Meadow Pipit and 2 x alba Wagtail heading north

Moth trap
After checking the relevant annual reports and daily logs (thanks to Steve White for help), there was no evidence that Mottled Grey had occurred at Heysham (see yesterday). Extraordinarily, another new species materialised this morning, a female Oak Beauty:






Elsewhere
Nothing dramatic: similar rate of Meadow Pipit and alba wagtail passage over the Stone Jetty earlier in the morning. The Whooper Swans were back at Farleton at least in part (7+). Two singing Chiffchaff Leighton Moss and blurred shots of a funny looking specimen in Lancaster (see LDBWS photograph page)

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

A quieter day

Heysham Obs
Red Nab/outfalls/harbour
Shelduck 101 RN
Eider 1 male off RN
Little Gull adult & 2 1st W outfalls
Wigeon 11 far out on ebbing tide
Shag 2 in harbour + 2 wooden jetty, later presumably the same 4 on wooden jetty
Red-breasted merganser male out past wooden jetty


Grounded migrants
3 Stonechat on Middleton IE (2 males) but no evidence of Wheatear or Goldcrest after a very clear night. The most unexpected record was a Greenfinch on the north harbour wall mound - a new 'grounded' species for SD36!

Vis
One or two Meadow Pipit

Moth trap: There are no records on the MapMate database and indeed checks of the daily logs and the annual report revealed no evidence that Mottled Grey had been previously recorded at this site.



Thanks to Reuben Neville for this and the above Oak Beauty

Elsewhere
Very little news today other than the continued presence of the Purple Sandpiper at the Stone Jetty and 512 Eider offshore there mid-afternoon, the only notable records from a low tide count between Heysham Harbour and Teal Bay. Avocet number about 14 on the EM complex and nearby 118 easily-spooked Greylag Geese are probably the wild birds which many of us believe still visit this area, as the most southerly regular flock of Icelandic birds. Seemingly negative news on the Lune valley Whoopers but they have plenty of places to hide! No sign of the Lesser Snow Goose at Pilling.

Monday, 12 March 2007

More signs of spring

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
A half-hour seawatch fortuitously coincided with a Bonxie flying purposefully up the centre of the Bay at 1125hrs. Similarly, an adult Shag flew out, then landed on the water and floated in again with the tide

Outfalls: Ad & 2 1st W Little Gull

Wooden jetty/harbour
4 juv Shag on the jetty and one juv by the waterfall (NB 2 x Cormorant also by the waterfall)

Grounded migrants
The first Wheatear of the year on Ocean Edge football pitch. At least 5 Goldcrest still on the reserve during a late afternoon circuit. Single Jay seen (2 there yesterday)

Vis
16 Meadow Pipit and two alba wagtail in 30mins 1030-1100hrs

Moth trap: just one (rather early) Shoulder Stripe



Thanks to Reuben Neville

Elsewhere
Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone Jetty, low numbers of Sand Martin scattered around. Singing Chiffchaff south Lancaster & 2 reports of singing Blackcap, presumed to be wintering birds. 10 Whooper Swans on the Lune flood plain opposite Farleton. Lesser Snow Goose relocated at Pilling Marsh

An extraordinary moth trapping session last night (therefore the records are documented as yesterday) at the superb sheltered woodland site at Millhouses near Wray produced 197 moths, including 3 of the very local Small Brindled Beauty:



Thanks to Jennifer Newton

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Another species for the vis mig trickle!

Heysham Obs
Vis comprised a single Grey Wagtail high to the north

Outfalls: Ad and TWO 1st W Little Gulls

Wooden Jetty: All the Shag were on here and comprised 5 juveniles acting, as 4+1. In this respect, a singleton has roosted on here and kept itself to itself for the whole winter period, whilst the 4 represent the remnants of the flock feeding around the waterfall in the harbour.

Middleton IE: Two Jack Snipe, 15 Snipe, 5 each of Goldeneye & Tufted Duck

5 x Common Quaker and a single Hebrew Character in the moth trap

Elsewhere
For what is intended to remain a factual daily 'diary', not a discursive site, I allowed an opinion to creep in yesterday. Therefore the assertion that the male Bittern at Leighton is 11+ years old is an opinion which has been challenged by at least two other observers. The text has been corrccted accordingly. Apologies for this incorrect initial wording.

Up to three Hawfinch early morning at Sizergh. Red Kite over Hindburndale and single Crossbill in Thrushgill plantation - the first record since last autumn.

Missed the Red Kite [& possibly a house tick - the second near miss with this species] due to checking a moth trap at Millhouses (therefore out of mobile range) which held an astounding 126 moths (what date is this!), including Yellow Horned, Red Sword Grass, Pale Pinion, 8 x Oak Beauty.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Record count of Roe Deer!

Heysham Obs
Harbour: 4 Shag and a single Meadow Pipit. No sign of 1st W Med Gull near HT, despite many anglers & scraps.

Outfalls at high tide: 1st W Little Gull

Middleton IE: Three Roe Deer (one male) along the British Energy-owned section bordering the golf course. From memory , this is the highest number recorded in the area. Pochard still on 'no swimming' pond & at least 3 Little Grebe back.

Elsewhere
No sign Lesser Snow Goose and only one Barnacle Goose on Colloway and adjoining marshes but female Scaup Stodday. 3 Sand Martin Pine lake both morning and evening but elusive. 8 Whooper Swan & 5-7 Mute on Lune floodplain at Farleton, visible distantly from A683. Extremely worrying Bittern situation at Leighton Moss with the single (unknown age) male so far not being able to boom properly and therefore an essential cog in the successful mating process with the two females is missing. The next week or so will be crucial.

Friday, 9 March 2007

No squalls: no seabirds

Heysham Obs
A promising forecast suggesting "aggressive" showers (5-live forecaster) didnt happen and a 30 minute seawatch produced ONE Kittiwake 'in'. No check for Shag.

Outfalls: Ad and TWO 1st W Little Gulls, adult Kittiwake

Moth trap: Common Quaker (2), Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab. Double-striped Pug around security light in early evening.

Elsewhere
Purple Sandpiper Stone Jetty at lunchtime. NNEW on Lesser Snow Goose or 4 Barnacle Geese on Colloway Marsh - only report seemed to be of 2000 "very long range Pinkfeet". Just 5 Avocet left on the EM complex and the Bittern situation at Leighton Moss has been described recently as "one male booming weakly"

Thursday, 8 March 2007


Goldeneye at Middleton - thanks to Simon Hawtin for these images

Heysham obs
4 Shags in the harbour.
No sign of Med Gulls at either high tide or low tide.

Vis: 8am - 1015am: 1 Skylark (!)

Moths: First Clouded Drab and Hebrew Character of the year in the trap

Middleton industrial estate
2 f and 1m Goldeneye
1 Oystercatcher
2 Lapwing
2 Mute Swan

Elsewhere
Lesser Snow Goose and at least 4 Barnacle Geese on Colloway Marsh with 2000 PF Geese

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Trickle of Meadow Pipits

Could people please post any Heysham Obs vis mig records either on to the site or to my e-mail address (see left hand column). Please note number, direction & time e.g. "6 Meadow Pipit north 0700-0715". Thanks very much

Heysham Obs
4 Meadow Pipit recorded flying north this morning - the first indication of passerine vis mig this year. 1st W Med Gull on the north harbour wall, but no sign of the Czech-ringed summer adult (thanks Stuart Meredith).

Elsewhere
Purple Sandpiper on the seaward end of the Stone Jetty first thing. 11 Avocet EM Pool complex.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Red Nab, Outfalls & Harbour

Heysham Obs
Med Gull: Reappearance of adult in full summer plumage on NHW with 1st W also there this afternoon
Shelduck 9 off Ocean Edge.
Red-breasted Merganser pair RN.
Kittiwake 2 ad outfalls.
Little Gull Ad & 1st W outfalls.
Shag 5 in harbour + 1 wooden jetty.
Wigeon 33 RN down from 71 on the 3rd but tide much further out today.

Elsewhere
Summer adult Med Gull Battery groyne this afternoon. 10 or so Whooper Swans still viewable distantly from Farleton on A683 - in 'centre' of floodplain. Purple Sandpiper Stone Jetty this morning

Monday, 5 March 2007

Reappearance or new bird?

Heysham Obs
Thanks to John Frankland for keeping the coverage going: 1st W Med Gull around the harbour entrance along with at least one Shag

Elsewhere
A Canary-like 'fencehopper' along the A588 just south of the sewage works road at the southern end of the 30 limit. Flew across the road into the housing estate. Ad Med Gull (unringed) Stone jetty at lunchtime but no sign of the Purple Sandpiper. No sign of the Lesser Snow Goose, or indeed many PFG off Pilling Lane Ends

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Useless wet strong southerlies

Heysham Obs
Ad Little Gull outfalls, two Shag harbour - both during token coverage in late afternoon

One March Moth in the trap

Elsewhere
Lesser Snow Goose & 7 Barnacle Geese Pilling Marsh before the rain, similarly 3 Spotted Redshank & 2 Greenshank Conder & 3 Scaup Glasson marina. At least 10 Whooper Swan on the Lune valley floodplain opposite Farleton, though distant.

No Sand Martin Pine lake but 4 Shoveler & a male RB Merganser new in. Sand Martin reportedly at Leighton Moss in the afternoon (no further info)

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Red Nab, Outfalls & Harbour

Core area
Little Gull 1st W & adult on both outfalls then on Red Nab as tide came in 10.00 hrs.
Shag 3 in harbour + 3 on wooden jetty.
Cormorant 17 wooden jetty.
Wigeon 71 Red Nab.
Kingfisher on the south harbour wall at 0845hrs, then flew over Power Station

Middleton IE
3 Little Grebe, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Teal, 3 Snipe

Thanks to John and Malcolm for today's news

Elsewhere
Very little news from this area today. Med Gull in the Black-headed Gull colony on the Public Mere at Leighton - aged as 2nd summer. Lesser Snow Goose on Pilling Marsh in the morning but no sign in late afternoon (but 6 Barnacle Geese & one Taiga Bean Goose). Three Little Egret on nearby Middleton Sands

2nd March 2007

Heysham Obs
Just a report of at least 2 Shags in the harbour

Elsewhere
Intermediate-morph Lesser Snow Goose, considered to be of wild origin and tracked from Norfolk, with Pinkfeet at Pilling Lane Ends and area throughout the day. Also two Taiga Bean and 5 Barnacle Geese. 3 Scaup Glasson area. Purple Sandpiper back at Morecambe Stone Jetty.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Heysham Obs
3 Kittiwake in the harbour this morning (1 1stW), ad & 1st W Little Gull around the outfalls and 2-3 Shag around harbour/wooden jetty. Goldcrest by the NR office possibly an early migrant

Elsewhere
Female Scaup Lilian's Hide Leighton Mos, 5 Avocet EM pool complex