Thursday, 18 October 2007

Worth the effort

Heysham Obs
A painfully slow start was speeded up by a swig of lemon, honey and presumably all sorts of remedial chemicals. Hopefully they were not hallucinogenic as this certainly appeared to be a very good morning. The lateness did not appear to be a problem as most of the action was after 0900hrs as it warmed up. A decision was taken not to set any nets and concentrate on the 'vis'. This was probably an error as, amongst several birds in the catching area, before disappearing into the inaccessible tank farm, were two Jays and an unresolved (legs not seen but presumably the same bird as the other day) Lesser Whitethroat. 65 species were recorded from the vis mig seat in two hours...........and didnt include Starling or any wildfowl/waders!

A Lesser Whitethroat was heard calling and then seen before disappearing towards the net ride/tankfarm area behind the office. Legs not visible but plumage looked the same as the other day.

At 1025 a male Firecrest gave superb views, especially when it raised its crown feathers during a handbags with a Great Tit over whose branch it was. This moved through the bushes opposite the office with a Long-tailed Tit-led flock and was last seen disappearing below the Obs Tower. Other grounded birds within audible range of the office included a Chiffchaff, c10 Goldcrest, c10 Blackbird and 2 Continental Song Thrush

Vis mig from by the office 0840-1040
Swallow - 1 S
Whooper Swan - 4 S
Pink-footed Goose - 93 S
Chaffinch - 146 SW
Greenfinch - 89 SW (many dropping on to feeding station)
Goldfinch - 39 SE
Meadow Pipit - 36 SE
Grey Wagtail - 5 SE
alba Wagtail - 8 SE
Rook - one high to the NE on its own calling all the time
Brambling - 4 SW
Twite - 1 S
Fieldfare - 3 SW
Siskin - 93 SE
Lesser Redpoll - 9 SE
Bullfinch - 1 S
Carrion Crow - 6 high to the east
Woodpigeon - 18 SSE
Skylark - 25 SE
Kestrel - 1 E
Jay - 3 S
Coal Tit - 3+4+1 S (no other tit species showing irruptive movement)
Song Thrush - 4 together high to the south
Redwing - 7 SW
Mistle Thrush - 15 (eventually) high to the SW. Some of the vis on this species has been queried, often due to the habit of landing on pylons before heading off (usually) SE. This flock of 15 was in a different league - at least twice the height of the pylons and arriving from the NE before circling around calling and then eventually heading SW. Both these and the Song Thrush flock pitfalls for the unwary c/f recording as Redwing and Fieldfare.
Jackdaw - two incredibly high flocks (barely visible with the naked eye) of 67 and 74 heading NE
Collared Dove - 1 SW
Dunnock - 2 S
Crossbill - 2 together high to the south about 1000hrs
Linnet - just one S
Great-spotted Woodpecker - one purposefully high to the south
Tree Sparrow - flock of 3 S

...........but no Starlings - this is often the case in clear weather

The above PFG correlated with c100 seen over Bare. 11 Whooper tracked from Leighton to Blea Tarn reservoir late morning. Great White Egret reportedly seen at Leighton Moss. Up to 10 Bearded Tit have been on the grit trays along the causeway but no reports of the Cetti's Warbler in ideal conditions