Monday, 31 March 2008

Firecrest etc

Heysham Obs
Just to reiterate the comment in the info. on the right hand side of this page. We really are short of a ringing assistant prepared to help with net setting or even coming along later to help with logistics such as taking nets down and writing down ringing details. This does not mean you will be forced in any way to become a (time-consuming) ringing trainee, but if that is what you do want, valuable experience can be had here. This is all done outside the office, so can double up as a check for migrants in nearby bushes or listen/look for vis migs. Anyone interested, please contact Alan Draper [see right hand columns]

In many ways a frustrating morning with the available ringer aware of Twite attendance at the feeder and understandably going for a final late winter (unsuccessful) whoosh netting session as the Twite unfortunately took advantage of the weather to depart. Just two seen early on and an unringed flock of 6, presumably migrants, which passed through without 'recognising' the food

Unfortunately, from a ringing decision point of view, there were also quite a few grounded migrants around, based on just one hour to spare this morning. There was no way that anyone setting a whoosh net at dawn could have anticipated this, as it appeared to be too clear for a sizeable drop of night migrants. The arrivals included 10 minutes on & off viewing of a Firecrest, probably but not absolutely certainly a female, in the hedge line by the office, then in the ivy-based willows around the Obs Tower pond, then over the back of the Obs Tower pond, whence lost from view. First picked up on call which is 'obvious' when you hear a genuine one a few times!

As singing Chiffchaff postings on the LDBWS site have indicated, quite an arrival this morning but the main, if not the most obvious, species was Goldcrest e.g. 200+ Calf of Man at the same migratory latitude.

The most unusual feature this morning, however, in a Heysham context was a flock of 27 Jackdaw [and 9 Carrion Crow] heading north - unprecedented in spring and related to the Nordic influx???

Grounded by the office
Firecrest for 10 minutes at least around the office & Obs Tower pond 0815 [& 6+ Goldcrest, 4+ Chiffchaff].

Vis 0800-0850 office all north(ish)
Meadow Pipit - 72
Woodpigeon - 5
alba Wagtail - 2
Mute Swan - 1
Redpoll spp - 1 (IOY)
Goldfinch - 6
Jackdaw 27 & Carrion Crow 9 [together] - unprecedented in spring

North harbour wall
Twite 2+6 passing through
Greylag - 4

Dominated by common migrants and the desire of anyone with any spare time to get to Marton Mere! Ross's Goose Aldcliffe Marsh, two LRP Freeman's Pool and one LRP Conder Pool. A Red Kite was reported at Littledale.