Friday, 29 February 2008

Not a lot for the leap year list

Heysham Obs
The weather looked quite promising this afternoon but was wet and miserable with the wind too far to the south in the morning. However, nothing behind the IOM ferry or on a 30 minute seawatch 1430-1500hrs and the only birds of note were:

Stage 2 outfall
1100hrs: 1st and 2nd winter Little Gulls
1425hrs: 5 adult type and 1 1st W Little Gulls
1505hrs: 9 adult type and 3 1st W Little Gulls
1715hrs: 16 Little Gulls, mostly adult-types

No doubt Ray has a fancy term for this sort of increase. No Kitts or Mediterranean Gulls!

Great White Egret reportedly at the Grisedale Hide in the morning but definitely not later. No sign of the Chough at Warton Crag on Thursday=yesterday evening.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Very brief visit as part of low tide count

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Ad Little Gull dipfeeding with Black-headed Gulls somewhere in Cumbria i.e. miles out!
Ad Med Gull in the harbour

No coverage elsewhere in the recording area

Pale-bellied Brent Goose on the tideline off Sunny Slopes (miles out!)
Ad Med Gull flew south close inshore at Sunny Slopes. Negative news on Chough roosting overnight (Wed/Thu) in Warton Crag quarry; NNEW, but presumably again absent, tonight.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Routine Fare

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Red-throated Diver - one out
Med Gull - adult summer behind the IOM passenger ferry to about the right-angle turn, then flew out[no Kittiwake]
Med Gull - 2nd W/S around the north wall

Outfalls/Ocean Edge
Little Gull - 1st winter Stage 2 (where else!)
Wigeon - 104 Red Nab

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Kittiwake flock on early incoming tide

Heysham Obs
NHW 1000-1015, 1115-1215 and c1420-1430
Kittiwake - Flock of 65 adults in then sat on sea floating in with tide & a singleton, then 10 'in', at lunchtime. Just one behind the IOM passenger ferry
Med Gull - usual 2nd W approaching 2nd S, but no sign of any Ads

Outfall check
Quick checks at 1020 and 1435 just produced the usual 1st W Little Gull

Ocean Edge
3 adult Little Gull offshore mid-afternoon and 12 Twite on the south field; 5 unringed and 7 with Heysham rings on from 2008

came in to roost around 1630hrs. Ad Med Gull Bank End but no sign of the huge number of Rossall Little Gulls off the coast in our area.

Monday, 25 February 2008

First Woodcock, grounded Skylark & more late afternoon Little Gulls

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall/IOM passenger ferry
Ad Med behind ferry and two ad Kittiwake which peeled off very early [wind too far to south for a decent entourage].
2nd W Med patrolling the north wall. Turnstone roost not clearly visible enough on top of wooden jetty to sort any Purps out.

Heysham Nature Reserve
The first Woodcock of the year flushed from the scrub below the observation tower

Ocean Edge/outfalls
Little Gull - 1st W Stage 2 as usual - a check just before dusk saw 3 adults joining the 1st winter
Shelduck - 38 - significant reduction on recent weeks
Skylark - one grounded Ocean Edge - first of the year in obs recording area
Wigeon - 97
Mute Swan - 2 close inshore along the seawall heading north, one south from nature reserve marsh
Lesser Black-backed Gull - influx with 41 along Red Nab

Vis mig
Pink-footed Goose - 70 north & 18 east & 5 'grey' geese east in the morning. Right at dusk, c1000 flew south over Half-Moon Bay

Middleton IE
Two Stonechat

Chough emerged from the Warton Crag quarry roost at 0730hrs and flew WSW towards the EM pools. It returned to the roost at 1600hrs. [Flight shots on LDBWS site]. 18 Twite on the slagtips (2 ringed on Duddon estuary). Pale-bellied Brent Goose sunny slopes groyne at HT [& record 442 Redshank, 15 Ringed Plover]

Sunday, 24 February 2008

As you were.........

Heysham Obs
Migration: we have already had two days of minor Stonechat movement - Portland had their first major passage of this species today (see Links)

Purple Sandpiper - at least one in wooden jetty high tide roost
Med Gull - Ad & 2nd W patrolling the NHW - the latter seems to have got rid of the fishing line & is coming into summer head plumage.
Knot - another colour-ringed bird read on the heliport today - the fourth this week
Little Gull - 1st W Heysham 2 outfall - the only bird on it at high tide!
Twite - 6 Red Nab area

The Chough left the Warton Crag roost at 0733, perched nearby and flew silently SSW at 0758. Note the droppings indicate that this roost site has been used for several nights. Site = NE side of the quarry face about half-way up at the top of a crevice. Returned at 1703 hrs (later arrival than yesterday in a much more 'open' late afternoon) and gave good views on the rock face before returning to the crevice after 3-4 minutes.
Pale-bellied Brent Goose Sunny Slopes groyne at high tide. Water Pipit reported at Conder Pool (& at least 2 Scaup). 6 Crossbill Dunsop Valley

Saturday, 23 February 2008

More Stonechat passage

Heysham Obs
First of all, no incoming ferries of any kind in daylight this w/e. Note entry on Mike Watson's site for this area for today (see Links)

North harbour wall/wooden jetty
Red-throated Diver - one distantly floating in
Med. Gull - Ad in harbour, 2nd winter mobile along the seawall
Purple Sandpiper - Downgrade the original posting to ONE definite - flew from the Near Naze area to join what appeared to be another in the shadows with Turnstone on the wooden jetty base
Kittiwake - 2+1 adults in during a short mid-afternoon seawatch [flock of 23 JBP]

Red Nab/Stage 2 outfall
Little Gull - 1st W Stage 2 outfall
Wigeon - 124

Middleton IE
Stonechat - 2 males & one female
Goldeneye (5), Tufted Duck (6), Pochard(1), Teal (1), Little Grebe (1), Coot (16), Moorhen (5), Snipe (2)

Chough seen again from 1615 and flew into hole east side of Warton Crag Quarry at 1625hrs and was visible at the top of a crack on the north-east section of the face for at least one hour (e.g. easily twitchable from Heysham). Pale-bellied Brent Goose Sunny Slopes groyne at high tide. Chiffchaff in garden on Chatsworth road, Morecambe.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Did the same Pom Skua follow the ferry in?

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall 1150-1205
Missed the incoming ferry again due to phone call, but a short seawatch produced an outgoing juv Pomarine Skua at 'yellow buoy' range [1203hrs] along with four Ad Kittiwake sitting on the sea. The Pom was identical to and surely the same bird as the January record which was also just after the IOM passenger ferry entered port.
Med Gull - 2nd W in the harbour & no obvious sign of distress and no sign of any fishing line during fairly close views in flight late afternoon (c/f photo with fishing line two days ago)
Red-throated Diver - 2 distantly on the sea early am

Outfalls/Red Nab/Ocean Edge
1st W Little Gull Stage 2 outfall
Wigeon - 105
Med Gull - large adult Ocean Edge on sea

No reports of Warton Crag quarry Chough, negative on Great White Egret reported yesterday (including a check of the Ashton Hall roost which just produced 7 Little Egret). Pale-bellied Brent Goose Sunny Slopes groyne. Ad Spotted Redshank Bubbles (SJ) Groyne but no lunchtime sign of Purp Sand. Single Avocet on the Allen Pool [& Greenshank]. 3 Scaup Conder Pool & at least one Spotted Redshank & Greenshank in same area

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Plagued by phone calls!

Heysham Obs
Missed the lunchtime IOM ferry check, missed a late check of the north harbour area as darkness intervened, all due to an overactive mobile!

High tide check off Ocean Edge
Usual large Ad Med cruising the shoreline, then sitting on sea above Ocean Edge saltmarsh (covered)
1st W Little Gull Stage 2 outfall

Lunchtimish brief check along the north wall
2nd W Med Gull but only seen distantly c/f fishing line - certainly showing no obvious signs of distress as yet

Very frustrating day for most people. Another Birdguides "reported" concerned a Great White Egret off Glasson at 1410hrs, but no sign after an exhaustive check by Fylde and other birders [this is the commonest species not on any Fylde birders local area lists]. There were also birders in the area an hour previously. The Chough was again available flying above and very briefly landing on Warton Crag quarry from c1525-1535 but no indication of where it came from, or the direction flown in as everyone was watching from inside the quarry, with very limited lateral vision. It is now "pretty certain" that the bird is not ringed. Single Avocet on the 'flood' (eastern end of EM Pool, visible from the crag). There have been 17 Egrets in the Ashton Hall roost recently, all presumed to be Little (per Helen Pye)

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Bad news

The only news received today was a picture of the regular 2nd W Med Gull with a cut fishing line dangling out of its mouth and therefore presumably a swallowed hook involved. We'll try and catch it and take it to a vets, but easier said than done.

Thanks to all for updating the site this week.

Buff-bellied Pipit, juv American Herring Gull (convincing e.g.), 23 or so Iceland Gull, 3 'Kumlien's' Gull, 9 Ring-billed Gull (including an in recent years near-'mythical' 1st W bird!), 4-5 Glaucous Gull, Forsters Tern & Cattle Egret on a 4-day Irish trip [I missed the last two!]

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

More Red-throated Divers

Heysham Obs

North Harbour Wall
At least 2 Twite on the mound.
3 Red-throated Divers flew out of the Bay at 0830.

Red Nab
125 Shelduck, 1000 Knot, 13 Ringed Plover, 600 Oystercatcher, 1 Grey Plover, 6 Redshank, 3 Turnstone, 8 Curlew and 75 Wigeon.

1st winter Little Gull

Middleton Industrial Estate
female Stonechat

Warton Crag:Chough - present most of the afternoon.
Morecambe: The Pale-bellied Brent was still at Sunnyslopes Groyne. A Chiffchaff was in John Girdley's garden. A Red-throated Diver was seen from the Stone Jetty, also 50 Eider. 62 Black-tailed Godwits fed near Bubbles.
Conder: Scaup on the pool and 2 Bewick's Swans at the Lune/Conder estuary
Leighton Moss: Avocet

Monday, 18 February 2008

Knot a problem!

North Harbour Wall
Mediterranean Gull adult & 2nd W

Near Naze rocks
Purple Sandpiper
Grey Plover
Knot - another ringed/flagged. Both today's and yesterday's Knot were ringed on the Waddenzee in the northern Netherlands and have moved west to Heysham. Yesterday's bird was ringed in October 2005 whilst today's bird was ringed in September 2003.

LB Brent Goose Sunny Slopes groyne
Avocet reported at Leighton Moss
4 Red-throated Divers off the Stone Jetty

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Colour ringed/flagged Knot

Heysham NHW

Red-throated Diver 10 distantly offshore actively feeding at high tide (8am)
Knot - colour combination passed on for details.
Mediterranean Gull adult and 2nd W
Twite 4 by the Sand Plant gate plus 10 on the mound early am

Red Nab

Shelduck 147
Wigeon 114

Middleton Industrial Estate

16 Coot, 4 Moorhen, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Mallard, 2 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, male Pochard, 1 Snipe

Great White Egret at Lane Ends, Pilling mid afternoon till 1530

Saturday, 16 February 2008

The news in brief

Heysham Obs

North Harbour Wall
8 Red-throated Divers early morning feeding in the channel just beyond the buoys.
6 more Twite ringed and 11 retrapped.

Red Nab
32 Twite - probably the same birds as those at the sandplant at 0930hrs .
Little Egret.

Middleton Industral Estate
2 Mute Swan, 14 Coot, 7 Teal, 7 Mallard, 5 Tufted Duck, 1 Pochard, 2 Goldeneye (pr), 1 Little Grebe.

Mediterranean Gull at Holmere, 2 Whooper Swans Aldcliffe Marsh, Green Sandpiper Borrow Pools, Aldcliffe.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Little Egret and Red-throated Divers

I will not be updating the site tomorrow to next Wednesday inclusive. Please contact Jean Roberts (details in RH column) if you have any sightings to add......or please update yourself if you know the access details. Thanks very much

Heysham Obs
Taking the Walney lead, a short early morning RTD watch was made from the north harbour wall on the dropping tide.

North harbour wall
Red-throated Diver - one 'in' and a further 3 sat distantly on the water during a brief long-range scoping session off the NHW in the early morning
Twite - 5 at the sandworks

Red Nab/Stage 2 outfall
Little Egret - one in the channel along the seaward edge of Red Nab - visible from seawall but not OE foreshore. Rarer than Yellow-browed Warbler here!
Little Gull - 1st W seaward end of Stage 2 outfall at low tide
Twite - 25 feeding in tidal debris at Red Nab, at least 8 unringed birds and several ringed birds from the other day.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

unusual nest

Heysham Obs
This nest composed solely of wire was found near the top of a pine tree which had to be felled. Presumed Magpie initially, but could it be Woodpigeon?

North harbour wall
2nd W Med Gull
c10 small finches reported by angler on feeding station early pm, 2 Twite at 1530hrs.

Wooden jetty
One Purple Sandpiper creeping about with Turnstone on lower tier middle section

Red Nab/Heysham Stage 2 outfall
1st W Little Gull

3 Scaup Conder pool. THREE Spotted Redshank Conder creek.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Bumble bees!

I will not be updating the site next Saturday to Wednesday inclusive. Please contact Jean Roberts (details in RH column) if you have any sightings to add......or please update yourself if you know the access details. Thanks very much

Heysham Obs
Two bumble bees were reported today, the earliest I can remember them. One at least sounded like B. terrestris

Stage 2 outfall
1st W Little Gull

Red Nab area
5 Twite, at least 4 bearing yesterdays rings

Ringing by the office
Unremarkable: Greenfinch (4), Long-tailed Tit (1), Blue Tit (2), Dunnock (1), Great Tit (2), Blackbird (1) plus retraps: Blue Tit (6), Great Tit (2), Robin (1), Dunnock (3), Long-tailed Tit (3), Chaffinch (1).

Moth trap
One Dotted Border

3 Scaup Conder pool. Bittern attempting to boom at Leighton Moss, described as a 'grunt'. More Bumble Bees!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Twite flock ringed

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Twite - All 24 present were caught for ringing/ring examination purposes just after dawn of which 22 were unringed young from 2007 (one possibly an adult) and a male and female with consecutive ring numbers put on in autumn 2005
Collared Dove - two on the mound is a new species for the SD36V Atlas
Med Gull - 2nd W north harbour wall early morning

Stage 2 outfall/Red Nab
Little Gull - 1st W still on outfall at HT
Wigeon - 116

Wooden jetty
Two Purple Sandpiper and c115 Turnstone

Ocean Edge
Pr Ringed Plover displaying

Purple Sandpiper still Morecambe Stone Jetty.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Minimalistic coverage!

Hey Obs
Ad & 2nd W Med Gull north harbour wall late afternoon (& Wren!)

Morecambe prom north section (SJ to Teal Bay) WeBs
Female Scaup of Scalestones Point
Spotted Redshank (one adult) on groyne on the bend
Purple Sandpiper Bubbles groyne (well hidden!)
Belgian-ringed Ad Med Gull Strathmore groyne
Two Brambling in private garden near Thrushgill. Ringtail Hen Harrier L Moss but no Avocet reports. 3 Scaup Conder Pool & 4 Bewick's Swan (& 215 Mute - highest count this winter) on the nearby Lune estuary. [OOA but of interest migration-wise....28 Skylark & 4 Meadow Pipit north over Plenmeller Common, Northumberland 1100-1300hrs and 15 male Black Grouse in the usual favoured walled roadside field alongside the A686 1/3 mile north of the Garrigill turn and c2 miles south of Alston.]

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Springtime at Middleton IE!

Heysham Obs
Middleton IE
Loads of territorial disputes ranging in size from Wren to Coot! Returning trilling Little Grebe and singing Skylark & Reed Bunting added to the perhaps premature spring scenario. The coverage was a little too early in the morning for butterflies:
The most unexpected record was TWO pairs of Raven in territorial dispute over the site - this represents a record daily count of Raven for the Obs recording area!

Female Pochard, 3 Snipe, 15 Teal, 7 Tufted Duck, 13 Coot, 3 Little Grebe, 2 Goldeneye, 4 Mallard

North harbour wall & sandworks
Med Gull - Czech-ringed adult plus 2nd W
Twite - 11

No early morning sign of the 1st W Little Gull & no check made of the wooden jetty for Purple Sandpiper

Small Tortoiseshell on bank next to NR car park - first report this year & perhaps the earliest ever record (at Heysham) of one flying about outside

Polish-ringed Med Gull again on Lancaster City football ground. A winter record count of 9 Little Egret on the Conder & upstream section of the Lune Estuary. 51 Twite near Waterloo Cottage, Lune Estuary. THREE Scaup and two Spotted Redshank Conder area with TWO Spotted Redshank reported off Morecambe seafront. A further Small Tortoiseshell at Bank End along with 'tidal' Water Rail

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Skylark and Stonechat on the move

Heysham Obs
Stonechat - male by the Nature Park S end of BE properties and another seen at the same time on the Nature reserve [not the same bird moving as previously posted]. No wintering birds in this area this year, therefore these are early migrants (by about a month)
Skylark - 5 overhead to the south/west

Purple Sandpiper - TWO wooden jetty
Little Gull - 1st W still Heysham 2 outfall
male Eider by Red Nab (BTO Business challenge tick)
94 Wigeon Red Nab
Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls along the north harbour wall but no sign of any small finches there

March Moth in the moth trap and Peacock butterfly by the car park before heading into the non-operational land

No sign any Crossbill Thrushgill early morning. Details not yet known on Pilling Lap. Bunt. [phoned in to BNW without any further details but implication that it was on saltmarsh, not fields]. Pale-bellied Brent Goose Sunny Slopes area but elusive behind the groyne (reported as being there - not actually seen on WeBS at HT). Ad Med Gull on the sea just N of Battery groyne - same as the other day.

Friday, 8 February 2008

An old Twite still survives

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Czech-ringed adult and 2nd W Med Gull sat on the railings, not moving despite driving within a metre or so!

Red Nab/Ocean Edge
Twite - 34 feeding on tideline included one ringed blue over yellow [ringed 2002/3 winter]. They arrived from the north and after a few minutes continued towards Ocean Edge. A further 6 shortly afterwards at Sand Plant gate - no Linnet.
c450 Black-headed Gull
16 Snipe OE saltmarsh.
6 Mistle Thrush

Stage 2 outfall
1st W Little Gull and adult Kittiwake

Moth trap
Just a single Clouded Drab but this is the first one I have heard of in Lancs this year

Lapland Bunting Pilling Marsh (no further details at present). Pale-bellied Brent Goose still in the Sunny Slopes area. 3 Scaup Conder Pool. Crossbill heard at Thrushgill near entrance gate (2+ birds) but no sign of any Nordic Jackdaw in the significant numbers of corvids along the Wray to Thrushgill via Smeer Hall & White Moss route.

Plenty of moths last night individually highlighted by Small Brindled Beauty at High Tatham. 78 moths of 15 species were in a MV trap at Millhouses, nr Wray, including a very early Brindled Pug, early multiple-emergence of Hebrew Character (5) & March Moth (2), Oak Beauty, Spring Usher, Early Moth and no less than 40 of the hibernating species, Chestnut [Full details LDBWS Insect section].

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Tree Sparrow 'under the belt'

Heysham Obs
This is a BTO Business Challenge year where British Energy enters the Power Station properties in the national competition. Therefore a single noisy Tree Sparrow on the bramble bush by the office at 1615hrs before flying off south was a very welcome record of an unpredictable visitor

North harbour wall/sandworks/mound
Twite - increase to 27 with intensive feeding programme. Please note that ringing, as part of the national Twite project [relating to the Biodiversity Action Plan status of this species], using an "all or nothing" whoosh net, will be taking place just after this weekend and any careless approach by visiting birders which flushes the flock can completely waste everyones time. Bearing in mind that many people have benefited from the close views afforded by the feeding station, is it too much to ask that, if your visit coincides with a ringing session, you dont approach but return on a future date or later in the same day? Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation. For information, there appears to be just the one remaining ringed bird from the November 2005 catch and this was followed by two winters of really low numbers (just 2-3 birds), therefore it would be really valuable to try and catch the whole flock at once during a period when the north harbour wall is free from disturbance. In this respect, the site should be angler-free during the morning next week.
Linnet - 5 with above
Med Gull - Czech-ringed ad & 2nd W on the railings at lunchtime

IOM passenger ferry
Loads of gulls behind it (including large ones) but today's problem was heat haze! At least 45 Kittiwake with 35 of these remaining with the ferry as it turned into the harbour, but as has been the recent trend, all then left and flew out along the shipping lane. One adult Little Gull glimpsed before flying out but no Med Gulls seen.

Single 1st W Little Gull

Pale-bellied Brent Goose Sunny Slopes groyne. Ringtail Hen Harrier Carnforth Marsh

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

At least one Purple Sandpiper still present

Heysham Obs
Waders on the old wooden jetty are difficult to observe in contrast to the 1980s when you could walk along it and count the Purple Sandpipers! Thanks to John and John for information/earlier update.

Wooden Jetty
One Purple Sandpiper

IOM passenger ferry following
c10 Kittiwake
1st W Little Gull
Med Gull - probably the usual south of the harbour adult which flew off back out along the shipping lane with all the above

North harbour wall/sandworks/mound
Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls patrolling
18 Twite & 4 Linnet (& Wren)

Stage 2 outfall/Red Nab
90 Wigeon
1st W Little Gull

Pale-bellied Brent Goose Sunny Slopes groyne. Two Spotted Redshanks still Conder Estuary and 2 male Scaup on Glasson marina. Stonechat on the summit of Ward's Stone! Peacock butterfly at Cockersands near 'leaning' barn.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Highest Ben My Chree Kittiwake count this year

Heysham Obs
Outfalls/Red Nab
Little Gull - at least three (one of each age) Stage 2 outfall
Wigeon - 70 Red Nab

Lunchtime ferries
Kittiwake - c70 followed the IOM passenger ferry in with c30 still behind as it turned into the harbour, the rest mostly followed an outgoing freight ferry as they crossed
Little Gull - one adult which turned round & flew out before reaching the wooden jetty
Med Gull - presumably the usual south of the harbour bird followed the ferry in before flying out along the shipping lane

Mound area
Twite/Linnet - 18 & 7 respectively sandworks entrance

North harbour wall/harbour
Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls

Pale-bellied Brent Goose Heysham Sunny Slopes groyne. Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone jetty.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Highlighted by 1st W Med Gull

One of five Little Gulls on Stage 2 outfall today. Thanks very much Mark. Further image of adult on the LDBWS site
Heysham Obs
Coverage gratefully received Wednesday & Thursday this week as the two of us are working away from the office. Please send e-mailed sightings to NOT Pete Marsh or Jean Roberts. The other alternatives are to text Pete Marsh or put sightings on LDBWS site. Thanks very much.

Stage 2 outfall
5 x Little Gull (2 1st W - the age which normally lingers, 2 x 2nd W, 2 x Ad - most of which usually clear off fairly quickly once the wind has dropped)
1st W Med Gull late afternoon on the tideline [Lune bird from the other day??]
Ad Med Gull at lunchtime, presumably the usual unringed south of the harbour bird

Red Nab
71 Wigeon and a packet of peat compost but no sign of the more politically correct crisps or McVities biscuits adorning Blackpool beach [Riverdance cargo escaping]

North harbour wall
Czech-ringed Ad Med Gull (first sighting for a bit) and 2nd W Med at lunchtime

Mound area
7 Linnet and c18 Twite (possibly including some more Linnet)

Pale-bellied Brent Goose and unringed Ad Med Gull Sunny Slopes area. Purple Sandpiper Stone Jetty. Ad Med Gull Regent Road groyne = 36W after its trip to Lancaster City football ground! 4 Bewicks Swan and Barnacle Goose of unknown origin Aldcliffe [& unread neck-collared Pink Footed Goose/191 birds]

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Little Gulls remain & returning Lesser Black-backed Gulls join the small winter population

A poor picture of a distant adult Common Gull off Red Nab with mantle/upperwing coverts approaching an average graellsii Lesser BB in tone. Unfortunately could not persuade it to sit next to a significant number of adult Common Gulls for comparison. The light was completely 'flat' and gull-tone friendly.

Heysham Obs
Half-moon Bay foreshore
The adult Yellow-legged Gull was present briefly early morning and again mid-morning

Stage 2 outfall
6 adult and one 2nd W + 2 1st W Little Gull & at least 2 further adults offshore feeding with other gulls

Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore
1000hrs: Quite a lot of gulls including what was presumably the usual regular large adult Med Gull and a noticeably dark-mantled Common Gull. Lunchtime visit produced even more gulls with 2 adult Meds, probably including the morning bird, 350 Black-headed Gull, 45 Common Gull, 35 Lesser Black-backed Gull (many in pristine summer plumage), 15 Great Black-backed Gull (mostly juveniles) and 45 Herring Gull.

Ferry followers
Three Kittiwake (2 1st W) behind a morning freight ferry

Mound area
17 Twite & 6 Linnet north harbour wall by sand entrance the maximum count of small finches today (some of presumably the same birds also seen south harbour wall)

Vis Mig from the north harbour wall
Pintail 4 'out'
Golden Plover 14 'out' - this is a quite exceptional record for here!

'Obvious' Nordic Jackdaw in a field near Wray (perhaps the Farleton bird?). 2 Red Kite reported Abbeystead yesterday. Pale-bellied Brent Goose Sunny Slopes Groyne. Single Purple Sandpiper Stone Jetty/Wooden Slipway. Belgian ringed Med Gull 36W on Lancaster City football ground whilst the usual incumbent P96 was on Lancaster cricket pitch. This is the first known occasion 36W has been seen during the winter months away from Morecambe seafront. To add to the odd situation, an adult Med Gull was also present in the Broadway area of Morecambe at the same time (36W's usual haunts)! Another unringed adult Med Gull between Carlisle railway bridge and the Millenium footbridge. Ross's Goose not seen in the LDBWS recording area today but still present as per yesterday. Brambling in a flock of Chaffinch near Star Bank (SD55).

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Yellow-legged Gull surprise and more Little Gulls

This Little Gull was ringed and successfully released this morning

Rubbish digijam of the somewhat mobile Yellow-legged Gull

Heysham Obs
An adult Yellow-legged Gull was briefly at rest on Half Moon Bay before flying along the north harbour wall and over the wooden jetty. The adult Little Gull was ringed and successfully released this morning off the end of the north wall (see yesterdays posting).

Heysham 2 outfall
Little Gull 8 adult + 1 2nd winter, just 2 left late pm

Harbour entrance
Little Gull 1 adult morning

NHW/Near Naze
Yellow-legged Gull adult at c1200hrs - on the beach then flew south along the seawall
Little Gull 2 2nd + 1 1st winter - 'treading water'; just one 2nd winter left at lunchtime, none late afternoon.
Mediterranean Gull 2nd winter

Twite 15-16 at Sand Plant Gate
Linnet 2-3 at above location

Middleton IE
Male and female Pochard, 1 Little Grebe, 28 Teal, 12 Coot, 8 Mallard, 3 Moorhen, 4 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldeneye

4 Bewick's Swan
Aldcliffe Marsh 'flood'. No evidence of any cold weather movement past High Tatham. Ross's Goose just outside the area in north Fylde with Pinkfeet (roosting within off Lane Ends??). Purple Sandpiper off the Stone jetty at Morecambe. Pale-bellied Brent Goose off Sunny Slopes

Friday, 1 February 2008

More Little Gulls & one sent to 'rehab'

Rough Sea & Herring Gull & either Little Gulls or Little Gulls & Kittiwake over the water (or perhaps nothing at all) :

Answer: one Kittiwake and one Little Gull

Heysham Obs
Fortunately all the people on the Riverdance were successfully rescued. This is the trouble with polar-air gales, as opposed to warm-sector south-westerlies; very nasty squalls can locally alter the sea conditions for the worse.

A Little Gull became trapped in the strong winds between the perimeter fence and the steep slope along the seaward side of the mound. Fortunately managed to retrieve it and discovered how good plastic A4 wallets were for settling down Little Gulls, allowing you to drive legally. It should be ok to release tomorrow.

North harbour wall 1130-1600hrs
Some excellent views of Little Gulls with up to 8 below the seawall in the surf and a further c17 further out/sat on the sea during late morning. One was actually in the harbour. All Ads except for one 2nd and one 1st W. In the afternoon, there were at least 12 Little Gulls and 9 Kittiwakes inshore along the base of the north harbour wall
Med Gull - the usual 2nd W patrolling

Stage 2 outfall
8-9 adult Little Gull at 1225hrs, similarly 1430hrs

4 adult Little Gulls in fields near Jeremy Lane along with large numbers of other gull species early afternoon. Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone Jetty. 13 Whooper Swans visible from the A683 between Hornby and Melling. Nothing on Pine Lake. Nordic Jackdaws at Farleton (nr Claughton) & between Scarthwaite and the M6 along A683 - the forner particularly 'obvious'.