Sunday, 14 October 2007

Latest ever Lesser Whitethroat and Pink-foot puzzle

Thanks to Doug Carman for photos of today's Lesser Whitethroat. Anyone with any comments on this bird, please e-mail Thanks. [wing 68mm 2=5/6]

Heysham Obs
An inauspicious start as yet another broken mist net pole, before anyone could help to retrieve the situation, led to 20 minutes of poor concentration on the sky as the 'vis migs' piled over. Almost certainly the 'loser' in the numbers game was Chaffinch. A dull rather brown Lesser Whitethroat in the mist net was presumably not of British origin. Also notable were 20 Bullfinch heading high to the south/south-east in groups up to 4

Vis mig from next to the office 0800 (ish)-1100
This was good but difficult to concentrate all the time due to conversation & mist net rounds. The impression that Great Spotted Woodpecker are indulging in 'some' movement over and above the usual was reinforced by yet another unringed bird (3 in the last week or so), 3 'southbound' birds and an individual pecking telegraph poles near Lighthouse Cottage, Cockersands, later in the day.

Green Woodpecker - perhaps the same silent juvenile as the other day flew rather low from the pylon bushes towards the tank farm
Chaffinch - 399 (thats what it added up to!) - SW
Brambling - absolute minimum of 12 SW
Siskin - 67 S
Pink-footed Goose - 826+22+850+750+100+40+1100 north or north-east!!
Carrion Crow - 5 S plus 16 high to the NE with Jackdaw
alba Wagtail - 14 SE
Greenfinch - 109 SW
Starling - 476 high to the south & other less definable birds ignored (c150). First really noticeable movement of the autumn.
Goldfinch - 90 S
Redwing - 76, mainly SW
Song Thrush - 7 high to SW
Reed Bunting - 2 S
Meadow Pipit - just 11 SE
Bullfinch - 20 S/SE - 4+3+2+1+2+3+1+1+1+1+1
Redpoll spp - all but one sounded like Lesser - 8 S/SW
Jackdaw - 18 NE with Carrion Crow (the FIRST flock this autumn!)
Mistle Thrush - 5 SE
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 3 S
Skylark - 2 SE
Rock Pipit - 1 S
Fieldfare - 4 S
Grey Wagtail - 1 S
Dunnock - a lot of contact calling but just two seen to fly high to the south

This was disappointing. The Lesser Whitehroat was very unobtrusive and was never heard to call in the field. A single Chiffchaff was by the office but searching the reserve and dog-track only produced a reasonable number of thrushes and a few Goldcrest. Blackbird were estimated at about 50 for the whole BE properties with Redwing and Song Thrush in the 15 each region. Note that the favoured thrush site - the tank farm - cannot be covered. Just 10 Goldcrest were reported and just 3 'blogging' Jay.

At least 3 2nd W Med Gulls on the north harbour wall. No guillemot spp seen in the harbour

At least 30 Common Darter and two Migrant Hawker by the 'dog walk' pond. At least 2 Red Admiral seen. Brick and the bittersweet-feeding micro = Acrolepia autumnitella

The first record for Heysham and the most northerly so far in Lancashire. Search Bittersweet (or Deadly Nightshade) for leaf mines. Thanks for the picture John (Girdley).

Great White Egret and (briefly) Cetti's Warbler Leighton Moss area. A late Hobby reported Meathop area (still plenty of Migrant Hawker?). Two Whooper Swan back in the Lune Valley near Wenning Foot. No sign of the Great Grey Shrike reported near Wray but a greyish Chiffchaff and at least one Brambling. Disappointingly, no scarce passerines other than the Cetti's and late Lesser Whitethroat reported in ideal searching conditions. It was 'as you were' in the Cockersands stubble with c50 Skylark, c100 Meadow Pipit, 2 Stonechat and single figures Linnet and Reed Bunting. I dont think Thrushgill was covered.