Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Decent wader numbers on accreting saltmarsh

Heysham Obs
I have just been perusing the latest Birdwatching magazine and it encourages people to go out and attend ringing sessions at observatories etc. now the autumn migration is under way. Unfortunately it does not make clear that in order for the welfare of the bird to be absolutely paramount, it is very difficult for a lone ringer to be suddenly faced with people hoping for a lengthy instruction/demonstration. Obviously, at a public site like Heysham NR, we have many people stopping to have a look at one/two birds being ringed before moving on, and this is not a problem. Unexpected lengthy stays, however, can lead to perhaps small delays in mist nets rounds etc. etc. as people are shown the fine detail of a majority of the birds caught and questions are being asked & answered. We have many single-ringer-operation sessions at Heysham. So PLEASE let us know if you are likely to be visiting and wanting to observe ringing for the duration of the session. This is so we can try and arrange for a second (or third) person to "do the explaining" and allow the timing of the mist net rounds etc. to remain "a tight ship" as regards the bird's welfare. Thanks. See contacts on the right of this page.

One hour of coverage improved with time as a 'watching paint dry' seawatch was followed by a reasonable collection on the outfalls/Red Nab and then a nice mixed bunch of small waders on the embryonic saltmarsh beginning to form on the 'seaward' side of the main OE saltmarsh channel. It is still largely in the 'wet mud'/enteromorpha stage, with a scattering of glasswort and spartina, which small waders seem to like.

North harbour wall 0910-0940
Gannet - one distant
Fulmar - 2 out fairly close
a procession of juv LBB Gull out
Shag - one juv on wooden jetty
again a complete lack of Med Gulls

Outfalls/Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore
Common Tern - ad & 2 juvs
Arctic Tern - juv
Kittiwake - 1st summer->2nd winter
Little Gull - the usual three
Med Gull - same adult as yeterday
Ringed Plover - 113 in the area described above
Dunlin - 44 as above
Turnstone - 4 as above
Little Egret - one flushed from OE saltmarsh by dog - flew south
Wheatear - 6

The first Red Underwing of the year in the moth trap and a high count of 5 Holly Blue in the mist netting area by the office

Juvenile Little Tern by the Morecambe Stone jetty lunchtime at least (to at least 1245hrs), also 5 Med Gulls north Morecambe foreshore/playing field. Freckleton (Ribble) "responded" to the '48 Little Egret at Leighton' LDBWS site posting with a total of 81!