Friday, 5 October 2007

A nice varied morning of common bird migration

Heysham Obs
A nice change from the slog down to Flamborough's Old Fall Plantation. A calm, rather clear morning with a light SE wind saw a lot of migration, most of it overhead and quite high.

Vis Mig from the office intermittently 0700-1000
The alba wagtails were too high and/or not directly overhead and only 5 were definitely White. Highlights:

Meadow Pipit - 115 SE
Chaffinch - 38 SW
Brambling - 2 SW
Siskin - 31 SE
alba Wagtail - 64 SE
Grey Wagtail - 2 SE
Goldfinch - 29 S
Greenfinch - 77 SW
Coal Tit - 3 S
Skylark - 30 SW
Starling - 29 S
Blackbird - 2 SE
Song Thrush - 3 S
Jay - 2 S
Lesser Redpoll - 15 SE - Reinforcing the impression some of the birds seen/heard last week were almost certainly not Lesser were four small groups of obvious Lesser (on call & size) this morning
Crossbill - An extremely noisy flock of 9 to the SE at 0910hrs. These were heard for 'ages' in the direction of the wooden jetty before they appeared!
Reed Bunting - 1 S
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 3 separate birds appeared to be heading south fairly high and purposefully (but birds 'doing the rounds' are a regular sight)
Redwing - 2 SE
Linnet - 10 SE
Long-tailed Tit - 3 flocks totalling 51 birds S
Woodpigeon - 11 S

Goldcrest at their highest numbers this autumn but this is not anything dramatic with perhaps 20 around early on. No phylloscs for the first time this autumn. Two Blackcap seen. Main feature was at least 3, probably 4 rapid-transit flocks of Long-tailed Tit (max. 16).

The two nets by the office were run and caught too many birds with respect to trying to monitor high vis at the same time. Most of these were Greenfinch (c15 new ones) but included 3 Goldcrest, a rather grey, orange-breasted Robin and a continental Song Thrush. An unringed adult male Great-spotted Woodpecker caused a bit of excitement and earache!

Two Red Admiral south during the vis mig watch (early in the day for butterflies). Comma by the office later on. Migrant Hawker by the office.

Great White Egret Leighton Moss area, also up to 9 Bearded Tit on the grit trays. NNEW on the late Avocet. The Bearded Tit population is very low this year with a max of c20 pairs and very poor productivity in 2007 (only 13 juvs ringed). No sign of yesterdays Purple Sandpiper at the Stone Jetty