Monday, 8 October 2007

almost certainly another one!

Heysham Obs
An excursion around the non-operational land looking for Black Redstart also involved checking the willows on the west side of the 'tank farm'. This is the inaccessible migrant 'black hole' to the south of the Nature reserve office. A Yellow-browed Warbler was located on call opposite the security lodge, seemingly associated with Long-tailed Tits. 10 seconds or so through the foliage almost certainly (therefore not absolutely 100% certainly) involved at least one view of the left leg and it was unringed. However, there was never an occasion when both legs were visible at the same time, therefore a bit of overnight soul-searching 'downgrades' this record to "almost certainly a different bird" to yesterday. The bird did also seem to have paler, less yellow-suffused wingbars than yesterday's bird but comparing in-hand and field views is not really safe. It appeared to move towards the top of the tank farm, giving a further contact call, and could not be found later

Other grounded birds
Very little vis today due to the cloud cover and intermittent light drizzle so some species such as Grey Wagtail and Meadow Pipit were grounded.
For the first time I can remember at this time of year, there were NO Greenfinch sightings during the 'normal' vis period 0700-1000 and this indicates just how high a percentage of this species in October are visible migrants and therefore absent during this morning's conditions (as also indicated by the lack of retraps):

Chiffchaff: at least 7
Goldcrest: Odd - c30 in the scrub/woodland near 1/2 Moon Bay yet very few on the reserve (less than 10).
Bullfinch - the last few days have seen occasional vis mig birds - today's birds were grounded and FOUR (a good daily total for here) were ringed
Grey Wagtail - three grounded birds (or perhaps prospective wintering birds - time will tell as two were ringed)
Song Thrush =- at least 12 grounded birds
Stonechat - male on the S end of the tank farm late morning
Meadow Pipit - 5 on the NHW mound
Robin - good numbers of extra birds with individuals hemmed in by residents on the non-operational land and also on the mound

Vis mig from next to the NR office
Very little: 5 Chaffinch, 4 Song Thrush, 5 Redwing, 3 Meadow Pipit, one Lesser Redpoll.

North harbour wall
Just one 2nd W Med seen in a quick visit and no sign of either Guillemot species

Todays ringing included 4 Bullfinch, 3 Chiffchaff, two Grey Wagtail, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and 7 new Long-tailed Tit.

Ringing totals (excluding pulli) to date comprise the following above par: Blue Tit (85), Great Tit (34), Grey Wagtail (34), Goldfinch (48), Lesser Whitethroat (28), Reed Bunting (39), Grasshopper Warbler (12), Bullfinch (11) and below par: Robin (55), Greenfinch (96), Wren (30), Willow Warbler (73), Whitethroat (54), Redstart (1), Garden Warbler (2). This includes a mixture of migrants, CES records and late summer wetland ringing at Middleton IE. The most obvious feature this year has been the contrast between good Lesser Whitethroat numbers and poor Common Whitethroat, both breeding population and productivity. So far this autumn, there has been more movement by tit species following a run of very poor years. The ringing is organised by Alan Draper with regular help from Andrew Cadman, Jean Roberts and Pete Marsh.

Brief sunlight in late afternoon saw a few Red Admiral, 2 Comma and a few Common Darter but no Migrant Hawker.

Great White Egret Leighton Moss area, also 9 Little Egret and the juvenile Marsh Harrier