Monday, 9 July 2007

A summer's day!

Heysham Obs
Summer at last - bitten (or punctured) by my first cleg. The other downside was that the wind increased just as dragonfly-flight temperatures were being reached and conditions were marginal to say the least for any surviving Red-veined Darter.

Middleton IE
A half-decent ringing session in calm weather for about 4 hours, despite the fact that water levels meant only four nets could be set. Highlighted by 7 Grasshopper Warbler (2 adults), 23 Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, 8 Whitethroat, two Lesser Whitethroat and a young Kingfisher

Soft-focus Kingfisher, Middleton (thanks very much, John)

Perhaps more significant was a calling Water Rail, usually indicative of more than one bird being present and, at this time of year, a breeding attempt

The Black Guillemot were reported to be still present in the harbour entrance area, along with at least one Shag, but no further details (via angler chatting to visiting birder). There were AT LEAST three Mediterranean Gull around Stage 2 outfall or the mudflats off Red Nab in late afternoon (1st S, 2nd S, Ad). They coincided with a sharp increase to 665 Black-headed Gull and it became very clear that Heysham One outfall was not functioning food-wise due to the outage

The moulting first summer Kittiwake was on the inner end of Heysham 2 outfall

Vis Mig
Quite a southbound movement of Swifts through Middleton with at least 65 individuals during the course of the morning along with an absolute minimum of 5 (adult) Sand Martin

A request from the butterfly census people: It seems that there has been a catastrophic disappearance of Wall Brown with no records at all in the Obs area so far this year. Please report any sightings of the second brood which should be appearing soon (assuming we did miss one or two first brood).

The Red-eared Terrapin has been in residence for three years in the model boat pond and was seen this morning

A very brief view of what was almost certainly a White-letter Hairstreak at Stairend Bridge (Upper Hindburn) in late afternoon. It looked small and dark, but was slightly into the sun so better be just a little cautious after the extraordinary Purple Hairstreak record from the Trough a couple of weeks or so ago (last summer fast-tracking development?). Also what appeared to be a family party of Siskin