Saturday, 31 May 2008

More Arctic Skuas, good Gannet count & unseasonal Siskin

Heysham Obs
Outside the office
Siskin SW at 1030hrs - unseasonal!

North harbour wall 0600-1100ish
Arctic Skua - light & dark morphs out together at 0730, light morph in at 1018
Gannet - 40, mostly early on
Common Scoter - c40
just one Black Guillemot - sat on wooden jetty - this does suggest the other bird has moved on. One paper recently read suggested that they do not breed until the fourth year but this has been apparently been contradicted by close observation of isolated 'harbour hole' pairs!
Guillemot - 4-5
Sandwich Tern - c10

Red Nab
2 Mute Swan & single Common Tern

Middleton IE
Grasshopper Warbler singing early am

Small Heath (2) & what sounds like a female Emperor Middleton

FOUR Spoonbill at the EM Pools, one of which is ringed [details obtained]. 27 Common Crossbill [5+ Siskin, including display flight] Thrushgill plantation - the ones seen comprised 6 males, 7 females and 7 streaky juvs with very pointed tail feathers. These were present for c50 minutes late afternoon, then 19 of them flew further into the plantation, the rest remained whilst I left. Plenty of 'coned spruce' along the access track near the log piles. Note, this area is operational on weekdays, therefore strictly no access. Tree Pipit display-flight west bank of the the Hindburn opposite Lowgill School, the first one I have found in Hindburndale & I did check this area previously, so status uncertain. Chough seen at Warton Crag quarry (time?). Probably just one juvenile Long-eared Owl calling from the western end of Thrushgill plantation just before 2300hrs [ad & juv Tawny Owls by entrance gate at same time].