Thursday, 31 July 2008

Yellow Wagtail tops the bill

Heysham Obs
Ocean Edge foreshore
A routine check of the remainder of the birds on Red Nab/outfalls [a bit too late in relation to the tide height/inshore disturbance] was punctuated by the flight calls of a Yellow Wagtail (1030hrs) which flew south then doubled back and landed with Pied Wagtails = seen to be a male, before not being impressed with a kite in the shape of a colourful aeroplane....and headed inland towards the golf course
Little Gull - 2 x 1st summer moulting to 2nd W on sea
Redshank - c270

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 x 3rd winter, in the final stages of becoming winter adults (2-4 old "second year" primaries) on the railings but no sign of the Czech-ringed adult

HNR Office area
Arrival of Willow Warbler with at least 6 contact calling at 0930hrs, also Lesser Whitethroat calling but Whitethroat again conspicuous by their absence

Little Tern is a real possibility on the incoming tide (c/f 10 or so at Knott End today) - search the sea area off Ocean Edge caravan park or even the low tide shipping channel later in the day.

Female Scaup on Conder Pool, plus 11 Greenshank.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Decent variety during quick incoming tide check

Heysham Obs
Telescoping outfalls/Red Nab etc. from Ocean Edge foreshore on late incoming tide
Manx Shearwater - two out and across but very distant
Black Guillemot - flew alongside the wooden jetty south side then landed on the water near the red buoy
Arctic Tern - adult on outfalls, juvenile on Red Nab
Common Tern - adult on Red Nab
Sandwich Tern - 2 adults on Red Nab
Med. Gull - just the one moulting adult
Little Gull - 2nd S moulting to adult winter, two 1st S moulting to 2nd W
Whimbrel - at least 4
Turnstone - 6 s.p. adults on Red Nab

Marbled Beauty and Wormwood Pug surprisingly new for the year in a much reduced catch

Just an ad Med Gull on Morecambe HS playing fields [the metal ring needs reading on this bird!] so far

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Low tide check of outfalls

Heysham Obs
Swathes of moulting Black-headed Gulls do bring fleeting recollections of a Catherine Tate remark before common sense and scientific endeavour takes over and you 'go through them'

Red Nab/Ocean Edge
Black-headed Gull - c1,250
Med. Gull - the first juv of the autumn plus 2 adult
Little Gull - one 1st summer moulting to 2nd W
Sandwich tern - 2

HN Reserve
6 contact-calling Willow Warbler at about 0900 by the office

A rather late check of the hut trap produced the first second brood Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet and (I think) the first Carcina quercana of the year!

A huge moth trap catch at Millhouses, nr Wray included TWO (male and female) Four-spotted Footman. Nearby two Spotted Flycatcher around the High Tatham moth trap. It is looking increasingly like Med Gull 36W (a returning adult frequenting north Morecambe) has lost its darvic ring (Ad Med behaving in the same way with just a metal ring) - see MHS playing field area today

Monday, 28 July 2008

Bits and bobs

Heysham Obs
Middleton IE
A few migrant Sedge and Willow Warbler plus at least one Reed Warbler. Common Sandpiper heard. Plenty of Emperor dragonflies plus 2 Brown Hawker

Moth trap
Burnished Brass and Timothy Tortrix new for the year and the first autumn brood Shuttle-shaped Dart appeared (3). Local species comprised: Grass Emerald, Common White Wave (barely annual here), Slender Pug, Phyticodes binaevella and two more Dingy Footman. One migrant: a Silver Y.

Nothing yet

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Crossbill surprise & Willow Warblers trickle through

Heysham Obs
"Dog-walk" pond (half way along Heysham BE land 'landscape strip' running to OE from the reserve)
Ad male Common Crossbill drinking water mid-pm (thanks Paul)

Heysham NR
The CES ringing revealed a trickle of Willow Warblers but very little else around - the dearth of Whitethroats around the office was noticeable. We usually have trouble with this species in the moth trap at this time of year but not at all in 2008 - surely very poor productivity from what appeared to be an 'average' breeding population.

Middleton IE
Ringing saw a few Willow and Sedge Warblers with a couple of Whitethroat. Two singing male Grasshopper Warbler and c5 Meadow Pipit and under 20 Swift (anyone else had trouble using the 'less than' symbol, citing incomplete HTML?)

Outfalls area
Sandwich Tern - c6
Med Gull - Czech-ringed Ad & 2nd Summer
Little Gull - Ad & 1st S
Common Sandpiper - 2 by wooden jetty

Half-moon Bay
roosting Sandwich tern

Heysham Nature reserve: one 4-spotted Chaser, 1 Emperor, 1 Brown Hawker, 8 Common Darter the only dragonflies. Full butterfly survey comprised: 65 Meadow Brown, 19 Common Blue, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Small Copper, 10 Speckled Wood, 35 Small White, 15 Green-veined White, 1 Large White, 2 Peacock, 3 Holly Blue, 13 Gatekeeper, 1 Comma, 2 Small Heath. Painted Lady in nearby garden.
Middleton IE: 4 x 4-spotted Chaser, 14 Emperor, 4 Black-tailed Skimmer, one Brown Hawker, one Common Hawker and c30 Common Darter. Butterflies included one Red Admiral, one late Large Skipper, 12 Small Skipper
Moth trap: Fan-foot new for the year as was Small Phoenix!

Two Spotted Flycatcher searching around the moth trap as I type this (High Tatham). Spoonbill & 3 Little Egret Leighton, 3 Little Egret Aldcliffe

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Quick outfalls check & Middleton

Heysham Obs
Middleton IE
Kingfisher, Grasshopper Warbler and Reed Warbler were ringed but, once again, no Whitethroats, usually the mainstay of the ringing effort at this time. Another Reed Warbler was seen.

Sandwich tern - 2
Med Gull - ad
Anglers - 'hundreds'

Harbour mouth
Med Gull - ad
No Black Guillemot in careful search

2 Ad Med Gull in evening roost at Teal Bay - one bearing a metal ring (is this P96 or 36W having lost the darvic ring?).

A few Meds

Heysham Obs
Red Nab/outfalls etc mid afternoon
Med Gull - 2 adult and one 1st summer moulting to 2nd W
Little Egret - OE saltmarsh channel

Chough Warton Crag quarry late morning but not there late afternoon

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Little Egret pays a visit

Heysham Obs
Red Nab/outfalls etc mid afternoon lowish tide
Little Egret - adult in the channel next to Red Nab
Whimbrel - 2

Middleton IE
Greenshank heard flying over
Swallow - c50 early morning

c8 Gatekeeper (at least) on reserve = those on transect & those noticed just outside transect

Chough Warton Crag quarry mid afternoon

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Ants, Swifts and a strange Golden Plover

Heysham Obs
The ants "reached" us this afternoon c/f complaints on the national media.

Red Nab/outfalls/north harbour wall to the gate
Med Gull: Czech adult on the north harbour wall & one 2nd S. 1st summer moulting to 2nd W, 2nd summer and adult on Red Nab
Whimbrel - 2 Red Nab

Middleton IE am
Golden Plover - Juvenile landed on the road between the western and central marshes and proceeded to feed for about 15 minutes before walking through the gate and then flying off!!!! As well as the bizarre occurence, this is a rare bird at Heysham with 1-2 records per year if you ignore distant 'seen froms' looking south from OE.
Reed Warbler - they DID breed (male not heard to sing) - female ringed last year trapped with large brood patch. Also two juveniles and another unringed adult which may or may not have been local.
Swift - c220 south, possibly more
Meadow Pipit - 5 really early migrants high to the south-east
Grasshopper Warbler - one still singing and two juveniles trapped and ringed, one a retrap from earlier in the month

Middleton IE pm
13 Little Grebe, including 3 new young. Singing Grasshopper Warbler. 30+ Swallow & a few Swift. Water Rail heard

Middleton IE was trapped last night with sheet/light for 1.5 hours and turned up good numbers of Double Lobed and Pinion-streaked Snout as well as a few Southern Wainscot, two Ebulea crocealis and a local scarcity in the form of Dark Spinach. The Heysham hut trap was again 'full' and records included 2 Bordered Beauty, 2 Dingy Footman and the first (and probably the last) Common White Wave of the year! The prolific 2nd brood of Early Thorn continued (15) with Double-striped Pug (16) the 'top' moth.

Ad Yellow-legged Gull Lune Estuary

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Meds in winter mode

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall to gate only
Med Gull - Czech-ringed adult & 2 x 2nd S on the railings
Black Guillemot - not looked for

Red Nab etc
Sandwich tern - two roosting on Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Med Gull - ad & 2nd S on outfalls
Kittiwake - ad & 1st S on outfalls
Little Gull - at least one 1st S reported

Reasonable catch included 2 Southern Wainscot, Golden Rod Pug, the first (5) Single-dotted Wave for the year. Other year ticks were Barred Rivulet & Willow Beauty, with the top species (24) Straw Underwing

Monday, 21 July 2008

Black-headed 1st summer Little Gull

Heysham Obs
A 1st summer moulting to 2nd winter Little Gull with a completely black head was rather unusual

Red Nab/outfalls
Med Gull - adult and (new in) a 1st summer moulting to 2nd W
Little Gull - 1st summer (se above) - not one of the two present recently
Kittiwake - adult and 1st summer
Whimbrel - 2

North harbour wall/harbour entrance
Med Gull - adult and 2nd S
Black Guillemot - on the sea and then sitting on wooden jetty to midday at least

The first autumnal Comma (2) on the reserve. Poor catch in the moth trap with Straw Underwing the commonest species (9)

Osprey north over Fleece Inn at Dolphinholme at midday

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Useless north-westerlies

Heysham Obs
A phone call "requesting" Storm Petrel today just prior to posting these records was responded to by a 'no chance, head for the Mersey mouth'. North-westerlies are useless here, not the least for being too cold for insects.

Outfalls/south harbour area on incoming tide
Med Gull - 2 adults, including Czech-ringed bird & one 2nd S
Arctic Tern - one adult
Kittiwake - adult and 1st S
Little Gull - one 2nd S
No obvious sign Black Guillemot

Middleton IE
Common Sandpiper

Two windblown Gatekeeper on the reserve and a handful of the usual dragonflies in sheltered locations at Middleton

40 Sandwich Tern and 1st summer Little Gull on the mudflats at the Morecambe Battery pre-tide. Not there on the WeBS (kite surfers!). Adult Med Morecambe Broadway but not sure whether ringed. Ad Yellow-legged Gull still Lune estuary & three Spoonbill Leighton Moss in evening (hard to see, mainly in areas surrounded by reeds & no viewing point).

Saturday, 19 July 2008

A few seabirds

Heysham Obs
A few seabirds this morning but observations started rather later than they perhaps should have done and the wind went too far to the NW by about 1145hrs, but a vigil 1400-1600 still produced some dribs and drabs which must surely have been lingering in the bay from the early-mid morning westerly

North harbour wall 1020-at least 1300 but intermittent (nothing in last hour), then 1400-1600
Storm Petrel - 2 birds at about 1025 - one distant, one at 'yellow buoy' range, flying steadily out. One out between 1400 and 1600hrs - near the 'yellow buoys'
Arctic Skua - dark morph rather distantly seen chasing gulls before (re) landing on the sea on two occasions. Rare here in July
Fulmar - 3 out
Manx Shearwater - 3 out (all after 1400hrs)
Golden Plover - one 'in' at 1416hrs - rare here
Gannet - two out
Sandwich Tern - 8 out
Black Guillemot - sat on sea below wooden jetty at least 1045hrs, later sat on jetty itself
Med. Gull - Ad & 2nd S patrolling north wall

Stage 2 outfall/Red Nab (combined observations from 3 observers)
Med. Gull - 2nd S and Ad roosting on Red Nab (not known whether these were subsequent NHW birds)
Whimbrel - one
Little Gull - 2 x 1st summer and a second summer which was new in
Kittiwake - 3 adult and 2 1st summer

Ad Med Gull Morecambe HS playing field HT (sat down so not known whether ringed). 32 Sandwich Tern Teal Bay area, but predictably no 'proper' seabirds in the inner bay as the wind veered (other than single Common Scoter & Kittiwake from a lengthy JBP vigil). Juvenile Marsh Harrier mistnetted (and ringed) at Leighton Moss this morning during the Bearded Tit research programme!!!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Afternoon Storm Petrel and returning Med

Heysham Obs
15 minutes seawatching and a reasonably productive 10 minutes on Red Nab/Stage 2 outfall, then a Storm Petrel lingering in the shipping channel between the outfalls on the red buoy mid-afternoon, then definitive sightings of the Czech-ringed adult Med Gull following a boat into the harbour before lingering at the harbour mouth late afternoon

North harbour wall
Adult Med Gull in p.s.p. flew north along the seawall but then carried on towards Morecambe after telling an interested angler it was the returning Czech-ringed bird!! Late afternoon saw a f.s.p. adult Med with about 7 old primaries still to moult following a boat and this transpired to be the Czech-ringed wintering adult. It was accompanied by the usual NHW 2nd summer [which in itself was one of the two 2nd S on Red Nab in the am].
Sandwich Tern - one out was the sum total of offshore activity in the morning
Gannet - one out late afternoon

Stage 2 outfall/Red Nab in morning
Med Gull - 2 x 2nd summer
Little Gull - one x 1st summer moulting to 2nd W
Kittiwake - one adult
Whimbrel - at least one
Black-headed Gull - 732

Storm Petrel offshore mid afternoon between the outfalls and the red buoy for at least five minutes

Too many for the time available as this east-facing window-entrance trap comes into its own during cloudy, but fairly warm conditions with intermittent drizzle and westerly winds. New dross for the year comprised Snout and July Highflyer, also new for the year and scarce at this site was Double Square Spot and the quality year ticks comprised Toadflax Pug and Dingy Footman. The last species only colonised Heysham/VC60 in the last three years with the first record here, followed by at least one at Leighton Moss in 2007.


Ad Med Gull Morecambe Broadway (NOT 36W returning = unringed). Ad Yelllow-legged Gull at yesterdays location on the Lune Estuary late afternoon with 2 moulting adult Sanderling with the Dunlin (c250) on the Sunderland mudflats (& 3 Whimbrel)

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Bits and bobs on the sea

Heysham Obs
Seawatching during a weather front/trough giving moderate visibility pushed a few birds into the Bay.......but no Storm Petrel.

North harbour wall 0935-1020hrs
Manx Shearwater - 5 out together
Fulmar - one very distantly out
Kittiwake - 1st S on the sea
Med. Gull - 2nd S
Gannet - 3CY flew over the harbour in the morning, seemingly with fishing line around its head (per Lou)
No sign of Black Guillemot

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/Stage 2 outfall
Watching conditions difficult:
Med Gull - the other 2nd S on Red Nab - beware - this bird could be mistaken for adult at long range
Kittiwake - adult
Sandwich Tern - two adults roosting on Ocean Edge saltmarsh at high tide

Moth trap
The recurrent theme of low numbers of common species, but a reasonable species range including Dingy Shears, Dot Moth and True Lover's Knot (2) new for the year as was Paraswammerdamia lutarea.

Ad Yellow-legged Gull in Lune channel just downstream from Glasson this afternoon (Fylde side)

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Birding improves as the weather deteriorates

Heysham Obs
Red Nab/north harbour wall am
It took 45 minutes of intensive birding (i.e. not reading the paper whilst "seawatching") to register anything worth mentioning this morning and the sum total 0815-0905hrs was:

Whimbrel - one Red Nab
Med. Gull - 2nd S Red Nab

There was absolutely nothing on the sea, despite a mod/fresh wind and incoming tide and this is currently contrasting sharply with Walney (& presumably the Blackpool open sea coast?). Poor visibility/intermittent squalls needed to disorientate 'standard' seabirds into the Bay at this time of year, or, in the case of multiple Storm Petrel, Heysham One outfall being back in action!

North harbour wall early pm
Following a couple of squalls, a Storm Petrel was slowly making its way out of the bay, just beyond the yellow buoys at 1410hrs - unfortunately lost it in the fairly rough sea as had to move car. Also 2nd S Med Gull just offshore

North harbour wall/stage 2 outfall late afternoon
Storm Petrel - one appeared in the 'flat' foaming sea left by the Seacat turning round the end of the wooden jetty, then probably followed it out
Med Gull - 2 moulting 2nd S birds on the outfalls together
Arctic Tern - adult on the outfalls
Kittiwake - adult on the outfalls
Common Tern - adult flew out of the bay

Pristine Old Lady moth in home trap at High Tatham. Spoonbill still at Leighton Moss last night at least (elusive because it/they are frequenting pools surrounded by reeds), 3 Little Egret today on Allen/EM Pools. Adult and 2nd S Yellow-legged Gulls at Glasson

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Storm Petrel at last

Heysham Obs
Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls
Storm Petrel - feeding near red No 6 buoy off the outfalls for c10 minutes then lost behind an incoming boat 1020-1030ish
Gannet - 2 out, 1 in
Fulmar - 1 out
Med Gull - 2nd S on outfalls
Little Gull - 1st S Red Nab

A nice muggy warm sector night, with the trap window sheltered from the fresh wind, produced a good catch including: Southern Wainscot, Latticed Heath, 2 Silver Y, 5 Straw Underwing and the first Drinker, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Chinese Character and Yellowtail for the year. Micros included Paraswammerdamia albicapitella!

Osprey and Hobby seen again at Leighton Moss

Monday, 14 July 2008

Routine coastal coverage highlighted by Greenshank

Heysham Obs
The high tide roost at Red Nab & the north harbour wall area were covered with a 20 minute seawatch from the latter.

Ocean Edge foreshore/Red Nab/Stage 2 outfall
Med Gull - ad with fsp head still, 2nd S with 'speckled' head
Little Gull - 1st S
Whimbrel - 1
Greenshank - one adult - not common here!
Car - one in sea off Ocean Edge (occupants ok)

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2nd S moulting to adult winter - head moult more 'uniform' than Red Nab bird, 'fading' to greyish without the 'speckling'
No sign of Black Guillemot
Gannet - 2 out

Grass Emerald was new for the year in the moth trap

Spoonbill and three Little Egret Leighton Moss/EM Pools respectively. Adult Yellow-legged Gull by the Golden Ball with Herring and LBB Gulls c1830hrs.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

A few day-flying insects at last on a Sunday!

Heysham Obs
No reports from the coastal sites other than 2nd S Med Gull off the north harbour wall. Ringing efforts at Heysham (CES) and Middleton were stunningly unremarkable in the stronger-than-forecasted wind, other than the capture of three juvenile Bullfinch, an uncommon breeding species at the SW edge of its mid/north Lancs range (note Fylde status). The weather forecast for this (and the following week) is awful but there may be a chance to connect at last with Storm Petrel with westerly sector 15-20mph winds to the fore.

Middleton IE
In apparent 'vis mig' mode were three early Meadow Pipit and two early alba Wagtail. No perceptible hirundine passage but a Sand Martin at lunchtime was clearly not a local bird. Common Sandpiper and 2 Snipe also noted

Stock Dove
One flew over the model boat pond car park at lunchtime heading inland. This species is scarce in the Heysham area and the only chance to place it on the BTO/challenge list for British Energy properties is to record it along the strip of BE land running around the perimeter of the golf course and Middleton IE. See map in office. Could regulars please keep an eye open for this species which does not appear to be breeding on the IE this year. Thanks.

Plain Golden Y was new for the year in the moth trap. Single male Gatekeeper on the nature reserve. Dragonflies highlighted by Common Hawker on the nature reserve but Middleton IE was too windy - the fifth consecutive week the Sunday census has either been impossible or carried out in sub-optimal weather. I am pretty certain we wont see any more Red-veined Darter this year and suggest the colony has probably died out.

TWO Yellow-legged Gull (Ad & 3CY) on the Lune at Glasson. Chough Warton Crag quarry late morning. Osprey Leighton Moss lunchtime & Hobby also there, showing from the "Osprey tree" layby late afternoon. Ad Med Gull Hest Bank roost (unringed). Four Ringlets on Thrushgill plantation "access" track by gate (first records for here) but no sign of any White-letter Hairstreak at the known site at Stairend

Saturday, 12 July 2008

The regular adult Med returns?

Heysham Obs
......the above the knee Czech ring was not seen this morning (or on the probably the same late afternoon outfalls adult) but the behaviour along the north wall strongly suggested the 'usual' wintering bird.

Red Nab/Stage 2 outfall
Whimbrel 1
2nd S Med Gull seaward end of Stage 2 outfall (minimal black on primary tips, therefore not NHW bird) and again late afternoon
Ad Med Gull by the outfalls in the afternoon - again the upper right leg could not be seen c/f Czech metal ring
Little Gull - 1st S late afternoon

North harbour wall
Mediterranean Gull adult + 2nd S, 2nd S again present late afternoon
Gannet 4 blogging, 5 'out'
Sandwich Tern 8 'out/across' + 4 blogging

Middleton IE
Late Lapwing chick model boat pond
Snipe - first autumnal bird on the model boat pond
Common Sandpiper - one model boat pond
Kingfisher - first autumnal bird (juv) on the 'no swimming' pond
Grasshopper Warbler - singing male, despite windy weather

New for the year in the trap were Short-cloaked Moth and (surprisingly) Muslin Footman & something which looked like Celypha straminea ('must do better' with micros)

The profile of the Warton Crag quarry Chough continues to rise again after being 'lost' during the spring passage 'excitement' (and amongst the hordes of breeding Jackdaw) - on the pager again for 1110hrs at the quarry. Hobby on the pager for late mid-late afternoon in Lower Hide area.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Usual stuff

Heysham Obs
Red Nab/stage 2 outfall at low tide
Little Gull - 1st S
Med Gull - 2nd S

Moths (overnight trap)
Antler made its first appearance. Just one very worn Silver Y (c/f 3 yesterday). Green Pug and Cabbage Moth also new for the year - scarce here. A couple of Eucosma campoliliana represented the local ragwort appreciation society along with a late Cinnabar

Late record and compliment
Thanks to Oldham Birder for Black Guillemot info [published under the date in question] and 'Jen' for a nice comment about the site, notably Mark Break's introductory Med Gull photo.

1st S Hobby again at Griesdale hide Leighton Moss 1310 at least. Chough again Warton Crag quarry and showing well (and easy to find in the absence of Jackdaws) from about 1700-1720hrs feeding in the grassy stuff along the top of the quarry face. Osprey Leighton Moss late afternoon.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

A (very) few Silver Ys appear

Heysham Obs
Depressions approaching from the south-west always have possibilities for migrant insects and there was a little flurry of Silver Y in the trap (3 - one more than Portland!) with a further individual deep in the Hindburn valley. This species, and migrant insects in general, have been conspicuous by their absence so far this summer (although there was a late winter 'Saharan dust influx' to the south of Britain)

The only other sightings of note so far were a 2nd S Med Gull on the seaward end of Heysham 2 outfall this morning along with 2 very distant Manx Shearwater heading 'across and out' . 1st S Little Gull Red Nab roost on late afternoon tide.

Hobby perched Lower Hide area Leighton Moss afternoon

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

More Grasshopper Warblers

Heysham Obs
Coastal areas late afternoon
Rock bottom with the only semblance of a justifiable mention being an unpopular Grey Heron 'in-off' at Red Nab. NO gulls/terns/waders/Black Guillemot worthy of mention!

Middleton IE
Grasshopper Warbler - Two juveniles ringed in western marsh (& retrap adult female) & juvenile ringed in central marsh
Sedge Warbler - 6 new juveniles ringed
Whitethroat - just one juv ringed - where are they?
Grey Wagtail - one, possibly two, south [c/f one over Stone jetty]
Sand Martin - 1

Black-tailed Skimmer is definitely breeding in the central marsh at Middleton with 3 males and an ovipositing female. Also 4 at the usual model boat pond site but no darters in deteriorating weather. Hawker spp, probably Common on the Nature Park pond. Another Garden Tiger in the moth trap along with the increasingly local Double Dart (3) and the first Straw Underwing (2) & Common Rustic (1) of the year. White Satin and Grass Rivulet were also notable - they are not annual.

Red Kite over High Bentham c1450hrs. Hobby sat in dead tree lower end of Leighton Moss this morning

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Black Guillemot still there

Heysham Obs
Stage 2 outfall
Just a 2nd S Med Gull at low tide

North wall incoming tide
Black Guillemot for 15 minutes, then flew offshore at 1400hrs
Med Gull - TWO 2nd summer, probably including the above bird
Gannet - 1st S sat on the sea by the Near Naze

Cloaked Minor rather early, Yellow Shell first of the year in the trap

Drake Common Scoter Haweswater & Spoonbill Leighton Moss

Monday, 7 July 2008

Welcome Garden Tiger

Heysham Obs
Woolly bears are apparently not a feature of quality garden time for children any more and the moth has seriously declined at Heysham as elsewhere. One in the trap this morning was a welcome sight.

Red Nab/outfalls
2nd summer Med Gull and Whimbrel was the disappointing fare at the 'optimum' time of c2 hours before high tide

Middleton IE
Adult and juvenile Grasshopper Warbler ringed

A good catch included the abovementioned Garden Tiger and other late summer delights making their 2008 debut such as Smoky Wainscot, Straw Dot, Uncertain, Scalloped Oak, Small Fan-foted Wave, Common Footman, Dotted Clay and Shaded Broad Bar. An Eyed Hawk-moth was late.

2 Spoonbill Leighton Moss

Sunday, 6 July 2008

First Whimbrel of the 'autumn'

Heysham Obs
Red Nab/Stage 2 outfall
Med Gull - one 2nd summer
Little Gull - 2 1st summer
Whimbrel - 1 (first of autumn)
Black-headed Gull - leucistic bird

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2nd S -usual wintering bird, different from above
No obvious sign Black Guillemot

Middleton IE
A short window for dragonflies between the downpours saw double-figures of Common Darter, the first Brown Hawker of the year and low single figures of Emperor and Black-tailed Skimmer. A few Small Skipper were on the wing.

Ad Hobby again at Aldcliffe this lunchtime. Chough again in Warton Crag quarry at 1140hrs. Spoonbill Leighton Moss Public Mere area [& 2 otter island mere]

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Mistimed 'spring' tide checks of outfalls area

Heysham Obs
Stage 2 outfall/Red Nab/Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Arctic Tern - 2 adults on outfalls
Common Sandpiper - one Red Nab, three Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Black-headed Gull - leucistic bird
Med Gull - 2nd S on Red Nab late afternoon - did not have time to plough through the anglers to check the north harbour wall

Middleton IE
Grasshopper Warbler - one juvenile seen
Sand Martin - 2 (unusual here in mid summer)

Harbour mouth
Black Guillemot seen (thanks Oldham birder)

No sign of the returning ad Yellow-legged Gull as yet on the outer Lune Estuary during a pretty thorough search from the Sunderland tidal road (no heat haze). Humming-bird Hawk Moth seen along the canal between Torrisholme and Newton yesterday (4th)

Friday, 4 July 2008

Adult Little & Meds new in but no Red-veined Darters

Heysham Obs
North Harbour Wall 0920-1020 hrs
Wheatear juv at end of mound.
Mediterranean Gull 2nd S harbour entrance
Black Guillemot outside harbour entrance, then sat on wooden jetty
Sandwich Tern 1 'out'
Shelduck 6 'out'
Mute Swan 2 'across' from direction of Walney

Red Nab
Mediterranean Gull adult at roost with BHG's
Little Gull - adult sat on the sea next to Red Nab at high tide [no sign of 1st S birds]
Kittiwake - 1st S harbour wall/stage 2 outfall

Middleton IE
Two singing Grasshopper Warbler and one young bird ringed [also 7 juvenile Sedge Warbler ringed, but again a bit windy]

NO Red-veined Darter seen during a lengthy search by an experienced observer on the model boat pond in conditions which should have produced them. The only caveat is that it was slightly later in the day than optimum & a fraction windy. It looks, however, as thought the male seen the other day was an isolated occurrence of an insect which has moved on. 8-10 Black-tailed Skimmer were seen. Perhaps relevant has been the daily presence of Pied Wagtail and Jackdaw feeding on teneral dragonflies etc. along the favoured waters edge.

Hobby L. Moss 2nd July, chasing Sand Martin. No Crossbill seen/heard in Thrushgill plantation but Quail in "Hindburndale" this afternoon, providing the first Lancashire sighting in 55 years for one observer! This mobile bird was not present in the evening. 2-3 Short=eared Owls around Botton Head/Silly Lane this evening

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Quick high tide check

Heysham Obs
.......absolutely not through intention - just the only time possible - the worst time of the tide cycle to check= when it is a high spring tide covering Red Nab

Stage 2 outfall high tide
Kittiwake - one first summer on the outfall
Little Gull - 2 1st summer sat on the sea

Flock of 16 Crossbill Thrushgill plantation late afternoon, plus sub-adult male Hen Harrier passing through and a family party of very young, still being fed, Siskin, obviously of local provenance. Doesnt seem to be any forestry activity at present.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Definitely two 1st S Little Gulls

Heysham Obs
Swift 3 East
Bar-tailed Godwit 2 'out' one in summer plumage (with 4 Curlew)

Red Nab
Mediterranean Gull two 2nd S none appeared to be ringed but upper leg not easy to see.
Common Tern 3 - 2 adult and one presumed winter plumage - dark cap, white forehead and black bill.
Collared Dove 1
Black-headed Gull - about 400 were on the mudflats/outfalls around Stage 2 outfall or between there & Red Nab at low tide.

Stage 2 Outfall
Sandwich Tern then flew towards Red Nab but seemed to continue past.
Little Gull - 1st S on Red Nab roost early morning, TWO 1st S together at high tide and also late afternoon.
Kittiwake 1st S

Middleton IE
A short ringing session in rather windy conditions included adult and juvenile Grasshopper Warbler, 7 juvenile and three adult Sedge Warbler, including a French-ringed bird

Crossbill - 4 north over High Tatham this morning. Juvenile Marsh Harrier on the wing at Leighton Moss but no obvious sign of yesterdays adult Little Stint on the Allen/EM Pools (but 2 Spotted Redshank & 3 Greenshank, including c.r. bird)

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


Heysham Obs

Red Nab/Heysham 2 outfall
Checks during the morning and late afternoon produced the following on at least one occasion
2nd summer Mediterranean Gull
1st summer Little Gull [just possibly 2 late afternoon]
2 x 1st summer Kittiwake
Ad Sandwich Tern
2 Ad Arctic Tern
Ad Common Tern
adult and 2 x 1st summer Common Gull
300+ Black-headed Gull of various ages

Middleton IE
Singing Grasshopper Warbler

Middleton IE
Male Red-veined Darter patrolling the open water for about one minute (Model boat pond)
Black-tailed Skimmer - 6 on model boat pond (2 ovipositing), two males in central marsh
Emperor - 2 males and female model boat pond, 2 central marsh, 1+ fence pond
female Hawker spp. seen very poorly by another observer
4-spotted Chaser - quite a few but not counted

Moth trap
Double-lobed new for the year

Conder Green: 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwit. Reed Warbler singing.
Aldcliffe: Green Sandpiper [new in] & 3 LRP
Allen/EM Pools: Ad Little Stint [new in] afternoon & evening, Spotted Redshank & colour-ringed Green shank still present