Saturday, 3 May 2008

Trickle of migrants

Heysham Obs
A 'nearly' morning with a wind which did not have quite enough east in it, clouds which did not produce the requisite short sharp shower or two and visibility which was a little too clear. Nevertheless a steady trickle of migrants. This is the sort of morning where Stage One outfall is missed - there is no warm water coming out at the moment & therefore no cooked invertebrates to produce a large gathering of gulls/passage terns at the seaward end. These can usually provide 'entertainment' if the sea passage is slow

An arrival of Common Whitethroat as judged by singing males with at least 15 scattered around the recording area, following just 2-3 (more on Middleton) on previous days. The mist nets were operated for CES which meant no Willow warbler or Redpoll tapes and the result was a sprinkling of migrants including the first Garden Warbler of the year. Wheatears were fairly prominent with at least 18 counted, including at least one by the office. A Willow Warbler was on the rocks at Red Nab but, as indicated by the biometrics of trapped birds, this was 'female time' and they are very elusive and unobtrusive, as well as moving rapidly inland, once the now leafy vegetation has been reached. Therefore impossible to put a figure on Willow warbler this morning.

Sea/vis, mainly from the north harbour wall
Common Tern - the 'highlight'! - 2 birds close inshore, one of which ended up on the outfalls
Arctic Skua - LM in
Sandwich Tern - c8
Arctic Tern - flock of 7 in & 3
Gannet - 4
Manx Shearwater - 1
Pink-footed Goose - flock of 60 N
Swallow 15NE
House Martin - 2 NE
Linnet - 13 NE
Lesser Redpoll - 8NE
Goldfinch - 5 NE
Meadow Pipit - 5 very late birds NE
Tree Pipit - 1 NE

Common Sandpiper - 1
Black Guillemot - around & on the wooden jetty
Purple Sandpiper - one still on wooden jetty
Mute Swan - pair on the sea by Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Guillemot - one on sea
Common Gull - 82 off OE/Red Nab
Black-headed Gull - 16 of OE/Red Nab

Following a conversation with another of the observers, the Pomarine Skua seen two days ago has been 'firmed up'. This additional information on this bird was not available at the time of the posting

Belated mega JUST outside the area: DARK-EYED JUNCO in an garden at Newby, near Ingleton 13th April, the first Nearctic passerine anywhere near the LDBWS recording area! Predictably no sign of pratincole spp.. Three Black Tern arrived at Leighton Moss c0930 and left high to the NE at 2010; 2 were on Borwick Waters "this morning", but not there at 1500hrs.