Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Migrants fall off the back of the front

Heysham Obs
A rather 'casual' report of a (presumed) Common Buzzard soaring over Middleton in the afternoon was by far the most unexpected sighting today - they are much scarcer than passage Marsh Harrier and Osprey, despite fairly regular sightings just a few km. to the east

"Night" migrants
Wheatear are the most obvious indicator of arrival and, following just TWO birds in the early morning murk, 16 arrived on Ocean Edge foreshore just as the last remnants of cloud were heading NE. These were an instructive mixture of large Iceland/Greenland-bound males (8) and smaller 'British' females and 1st summer males.

This period also saw an arrival of four additional Lesser Whitethroat and two Common Whitethroat to join the wide-ranging LW present earlier on.
Other night migrants appeared during (or before) the front and included a male Redstart by the office, one Lesser Whitethroat and several Willow Warbler, including two on the north harbour wall

Vis mig
Visible migration was very intermittent during the frontal period with a 'gap' 0910-0915 producing a fair proportion of the following, including the Tree Pipit: Tree Pipit, 7 Siskin, 33 Meadow Pipit, 25 Swallow, 1 White Wagtail

Seawatch observations - mostly after the front from 1100hrs
Flock 19 Teal 'in'
4 Arctic Tern blogging around the outfalls
c6 Sandwich Tern

Black Guillemot in residence.
TWO Purple Sandpiper on the wooden jetty with 285 Turnstone
Whimbrel Red Nab

Middleton IE
Singing male Grasshopper Warbler this evening
3 Common Sandpiper in the morning
Swallow and Sand Martin reported both morning and afternoon, but not known whether vis or off-passage
Presumably Common Buzzard soaring over the site this afternoon - rare here
Two Sedge Warbler this evening

Stoat ran into Heysham NR office porch, then out again fairly quickly!

There has been some pretty unfavourable weather i.e. no clear conditions at dusk with a westerly airflow for departing easterly-bound birds this last few weeks and this presumably accounts for a gull-calling Bittern at Leighton Moss climbing to 1000+ feet before heading east this evening. 2 pairs of Shoveler off Stone Jetty this morning (c/f yesterdays Heysham observation). Grasshopper Warbler & female Redstart Aldcliffe area. 30 Avocet at the EM complex, 28 of these on the 'flood'