Saturday, 14 April 2007

Nice clear run for migrants but not a lot to concentrate them on the coast

Heysham Obs
The theme of this posting (see also Elsewhere) is an impression that many birds are dropping in on a broad front exactly where they want to be!

New species for the year comprised Lesser Whitethroat (at least 2, including a bird ringed in a previous year & the earliest ever at Heysham by 5 days (I think)) and Grasshopper Warbler. The latter was on Middleton IE. Ringing revealed an early morning spurt of migrants producing single figures of Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff in the nets but nothing subsequent to this. This is typical of misty but cloudless mornings. Unfortunately the OE/Red Nab end was not covered but there were 6 Wheatear elsewhere.

Vis Mig
Murkier than yesterday with fewer birds: North Harbour 0700-1000hrs. Evidence of some disorientation in the murk with some Meadow Pipit coming 'in-off' and heading south and another 'flopping' down on the mound for an hour before moving off north:

Meadow Pipit 48
alba Wagtal 6
Redpoll spp 2
Swallow 5
Goldfinch 8
Linnet 17

Sea passage
Visibility poor. 4 Sandwich Tern in and 3 Common Scoter in

2 juv Shag on wooden jetty, outfalls not checked for Little Gull. No sign of Purple Sandpiper with Turnstone numbers down to 18 (this is not unusual with spring passage records)

A few male Orange Tip & lots of Brimstone. Parsnip Moth and Bramble shoot Moth new for the year in the trap (both micros). First (very early) Large Red Damselfly of the year in the NR marsh

At least 6 male and one female Pied Flycatcher in Upper Hindburndale but no sign of any Redstart. Osprey low over Aldclife at 1435hrs - presumably heading north. Pair & additional adult Med. Gull Leighton Moss. At least two Lesser Whitethroat Aldcliffe along with a pair of GARGANEY until at least 1700hrs on the pond which held Yellow-winged Darter last year (c300m north of Aldcliffe Lane). A moth trapping session in the woodland just east of Silverdale Moss this evening saw 4 Barred Tooth-striped, 12 Lunar Marbled Brown, Waved Umber and White Pinion-spotted plus the more usual culprits at this time of year.