Thursday, 31 December 2009

Today's stuff

Heysham Obs
North wall
Twite – c12
Pink-footed Goose – flock of c500 NNW over the bay this morning

Northern boundary of recording area
Stonechat – female on the rocks just north of Heysham Head

Elsewhere
“Masses” of duck on Pine Lake. 5 adult Whooper Swan Melling including ringed bird also present last winter. 4 Snow Geese, 3 Barnacle Geese and Dark-bellied Brent Aldcliffe as viewed from south end of Golden Ball Road. Also c500 Pink-footed Geese, but very hard to count with many hidden from view. Chiffchaff (collybita) High Bentham Sewage works. Blackcap Hornby – very rare in winter east of the M6.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Same minor displacement

Heysham Obs
The impression that yesterdays vigils gave a relatively poor return for coastal/inshore/offshore stuff was born out by the usual 20 minutes or so north harbour wall circuit this morning

North wall/wooden jetty/harbour/offshore
Nothing offshore, no small waders on the wooden jetty (certain as can be), no Meds hanging around the anglers, nothing in the harbour, nothing on the mound

Med Gull - ad sat on Fisher's roof
Twite - just 7 on the seed, flew off before could check for rings

Middleton IE
Woodcock 1, Snipe 1, Fieldfare 11

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Stonechat - still along the foreshore by the saltmarsh
Rock Pipit - still by the saltmarsh
Wigeon - 146 Red Nab
Bar-tailed Godwit - 67
Shelduck - 165

Elsewhere
4 Snow Geese still Aldcliffe

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Two vigils and a happy wanderer

Heysham Obs
Excellent coverage today of the coastal areas with two separate work-related sessions either side of the harbour and a 'man & terrier' linking the two and walking the rest of the coast!

Heysham Nature reserve & area
Chiffchaff - heard calling along the top path
Redwing - 2 by dipping pond
Bullfinch - male dog walk track

Ocean Edge saltmarsh & mudflats
Dunlin - 153 - a high count for midwinter (86 of these roosting at high tide on Red Nab - unusual in winter)
Stonechat - male along the tideline
Rock Pipit - one at high tide

Pink-footed Geese
22 + 47 SE

Red Nab vigil on dropping tide
Med Gull - large adult which flew off towards the Lune Estuary
Wigeon - increase to 148
Golden Plover - singleton roosting on the rocks
Black-tailed Godwit - two flew in from the south on dropping tide - previously very rare/absent in winter
Skylark - 5 'in-off' at 1103 hrs heading NW to SE. Since the disappearance of the small wintering flock on Ocean Edge two winters ago, very rare here other than on early spring and mid-autumn 'vis mig' & 2-3 breeding pairs hanging in at Middleton IE
Knot - just 470 in roost

North harbour wall/heliport/Half-moon Bay
Med Gull - 2 usual adults attending the post-angler 'clean-up', one the Czech-ringed bird
Whooper Swan - 4 south at c1100hrs
Golden Plover - flock of 35 north (very unusual for here)
Knot - maximum of 3,000 heliport
Red-breasted Merganser - one IN harbour
Twite - none and no food left when I arrived mid-afternoon (rabbits). 4 in transit at Half-moon bay, headed towards the mound area early afternoon
Black Redstart - no sign in 6 hours of foreshore coverage

Elsewhere
Nothing new Pine Lake. 6 adult Whooper Melling including one with yellow darvic on left leg, also 200 (exactly) Greylag, 18 Pink-footed Geese and 161 Canada Geese. Aldcliffe geese included a Dark-bellied Brent Goose plus the 4 Snow Geese but no mention of any Barnacle Geese

Monday, 28 December 2009

More minor displacement

Heysham Obs
Heysham Nature reserve
As a well-meaning volunteer, salted the dog-walk path entrance and received a muttered "about time" to follow the berating for not doing anything about it two days ago! [Comment deleted - there are too many dog/walker rants on birding sites and many of the dog walkers are great people]. Reserve very quiet with no obvious sign of Chiffchaff.

Middleton IE
This is going through a good cold-weather spell for Malcolm with:
Pink-footed Goose - 70+180 south, 90 north (probably offshoots of the 3000+ flying about over the Lune Estuary at this time ( see Aldcliffe blog)
Woodcock - 1 (flushed)
Pheasant - 1
Snipe - 7
Fieldfare - 19
Redwing - 15
Mute Swan - 2

North harbour wall mid afternoon
Dead with just the one adult Med Gull seen

Elsewhere
See Aldcliffe site - extra Barnacle Goose with the PFGs. 1-2 Cetti's Warbler Leighton causeway by grit trays

Sunday, 27 December 2009

More Woodcock and now a pair of Stonechat

Heysham Obs
Middleton IE
12 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 3 Woodcock seen in flight (not flushed), 6 Moorhen, one Coot, 2 Mute Swan, 3 Snipe & pair of Stonechat

North harbour wall very brief visit late afternoon
Med Gull - ad
Twite - 12 (7 ringed autumn 2009 & 5 with 2008/9 rings; one with split dark blue/white over the site ring, two with site ring over yellow/pale blue and two with the site ring over white/dark blue)

Elsewhere
4 Snow Geese & 3 Barnacle Geese Aldcliffe, but only c6 Pink-footed Geese. One of the Greylag with very white band just above the bill. No sign of any Whooper Swan Melling (all Mutes) - significant number of grey geese, mainly if not all Greylag, at Melling - out of identification range in late afternoon light (& Canadas)

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Chiffchaff still surviving & pheasants reappear at Middleton

Heysham Obs
Following a berating from a dog-walker, watching a labrador doing the splits and two cars having great difficulty getting up the hill, the reserve gate will definitely be locked again tomorrow and reviewed at the end of the day. The problem is the compacting which is always worse than the initial snowfall

Reserve office area
Chiffchaff - collybita by the Obs Tower pond midday

North harbour wall
Twite - at least 5 heard and seen very briefly
Med Gull - one adult

Middleton IE
Pheasant - 2 - mega, 3 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, Woodcock, 6 Moorhen, 2 Mute swan

Elsewhere
Aldcliffe was viewed from the southern end of the Golden Ball road and revealed the four Snow Geese, three Barnacle Geese and and sizeable mix of Greylag, Canada and Pink-footed Goose with c115 of the latter visible, but quite a bit of coming & going from the (out of sight) riverbed. Another mass of geese visible from the raised layby just south of Melling in the Lune valley and also included at least 20 Pink-footed Geese & 5 Whooper Swan (the family party of Whoopers had moved the Claughton in the morning). Nothing new on Pine Lake.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Very quick visit

Happy Christmas. A quick visit at the end of the day after being thwarted (yet again) with work which had to be done at Stainmore/Barras by fog!! At least managed to get two hours done and what brilliant scenery on the fog-free journey to & from. The usually maggot-ridden, gully-eroded Howgills were transformed. Thanks to Malcolm for some early stuff

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adults
Purple Sandpiper - one on the lower tier of the outer section of the jetty
Song Thrush - one on the NHW mound!
Twite - too late in the day?

Half-moon Bay area
Single Redwing & Fieldfare

Elsewhere
Four Snow Geese flew out of the river and on to Aldcliffe Marsh about 1430hrs. 3 Scaup in channel north Morecambe

Thursday, 24 December 2009

No obvious response to the cold weather here

Heysham Obs
.............other than the disappearance of the huge flocks of Knot from Ocean Edge foreshore/Red Nab, soon after a monitoring programme was set in motion!

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adults
Twite - 21, including one ringed at Askam-in-Furness (Duddon Estuary) in autumn 2008 (probably the regular bird), one with just a metal ring, 3 unringed and about 50:50 birds ringed in autumn/winter 2008/9 and birds ringed this autumn. This means that the recent reduction in numbers has almost exclusively involved 1CY birds.

Ocean Edge foreshore/Red Nab
Med Gull - large adult - invariably on this side of the harbour on an intermittent basis
Wigeon - 109
No Knot on incoming (neap) tide

Elsewhere
Fieldfare - c200, mainly a trickle, but including a loose flock of 55, all heading east during early/mid morning at High Tatham - the only obvious evidence of CWM, although there were about 25 conspicuous Blackbirds in the surrounding hedges! No Redwing or Song Thrush seen this morning

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Sean vigil

Heysham Obs
Thanks to Sean for these records:

North harbour wall and environs
Med Gull - adult seaward end of Stage one outfall, 2 adults later on the north harbour wall - this is quite likely to involve three individuals on previous form
Grey Plover - one 1CY - rare NHW
Twite - 25-30 on the seed on an intermittent basis
Knot - only 40 at the Heliport roost!
Pink-footed Goose - 6 south
No sign of any Purple Sandpipers on the wooden jetty in careful check (just FOUR Turnstone - where are they?)

Elsewhere
at least 57 and probably c73 Great-crested Grebe off the Stone jetty on the turning tide - one sweep. At least one male and 2 female Scaup still north of the Stone Jetty/Teal Bay

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Heysham Twite given star billing

Heysham Obs
No reports from today

Late news for 25th November
Managed to narrow this bird down to "almost certainly today, rather than tomorrow (26th)". This involved a Leach's Petrel making its way slowly out of the bay, being harrassed by gulls in 'mid afternoon'. One flew into the bay in the morning (plus one flying over the A6 at Yealand!), so perhaps the first bird making its way out (per visiting angler)

Heysham ringing recoveries in the very select annual list
Ringing and Migration arrived this morning and two Heysham recoveries stood out. One was a Knot in Spain. The other was a Twite ringed at Walberswick on 23/12/06 as a 1CY female and then captured twice by Alan during the winter period 2008/9 - November 2008 and February (I think) 2009. This indicates that, as an adult, it was part of the wandering wintering metapopulation along coastal north Lancashire, including intermittent use of the Heysham feeder (as suggested by the retrap data - see NLRG site posting from earlier this year for a fuller explanantion)

If it was a Pennine bird which decided to go the "wrong way" in winter 2008/9 and joined the almost exclusively western Scottish birds on the coast, why did it do this as an "experienced adult" after it had correctly wintered in Suffolk as an "inexperienced youngster"?

I suspect that it is either a Scottish bird which was disorientated during its first autumn of migration or it is perhaps less likely a bird from a small fragmented unknown, perhaps north Pennine, population without any defined migration pattern

Elsewhere
The Scaup flock is still off north Morecambe/Scalestones (ad male & 2 females)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Escape from Bowland

Heysham Obs
An hour of graft with a spade and salt enabled an escape from Ashley's Farm to check out the Red Nab roost

Red Nab area late afternoon high tide
Knot - 3,220
Oystercatcher - 870
Redshank - 13
Turnstone - 3

North wall very quick visit
Too late in the day for Twite - 25 seen earlier by Tom
Med Gull - 2 adults on the railings
No Knot in the heliport area and similarly also at 1330hrs (per Tom)

Elsewhere
4 x Snow Geese still feeding very close together amongst the Greylags on Aldcliffe Marsh. 20 Meadow Pipit on saltmarsh by Golden Ball/Overton road junction

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Message from the snowfields of north Bowland

Helipad pm - Snow? What snow?

Heysham Observatory
Serious travel problems today (e.g. a cancelled christmas meal as close to home as Wray Bridge House tea rooms) with Malcolm flying the flag by braving the elements to complete an icy Middleton WeBS (Pete). Not sure who posted the afternoon stuff but it must have cleared amazingly well, no sign of any thaw at Tatham

Middleton early am by text
"Ice and snow. 2 Mute, 1 Moorhen, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Snipe, one disorientated toad"

NHW - pm
Twite 29 - minimum 10 colour ringed with Heysham rings from 2008/9
Linnet 1 - metal ring
Med Gull adult

Helipad
Knot 5000
Oystercatcher 3000

Harbour
Med Gull - 2 adult (prob. one from NHW) both had well defined masks.
Starlings flying to WJ roost - not counted.

(Whilst viewing twite from the car, a car with four smoking immature youths with immature behaviour decided to pip their horn and block my view by parking alongside. Being in relaxed mode watching birds, I could only smile at them, which had the desired effect and they moved on.
They must have been seriously bored).

Elsewhere
Pied Wagtail a significant midwinter record at High Tatham, also 5 Meadow Pipit in the paddock and 12 shivering Mandarins on the pond. Four Lapwing south unusual in midwinter & presumably a CWM - little other evidence at High Tatham this morning with 20 Fieldfare west along with 24+33 Starling in 3 hours of intermittent watching

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Space invaders

Heysham Observatory
Careful counting either side of the harbour saw at least 63,000 Knot today enlivened by a Peregrine attack. The RSPB have diversified several hundredfold since the early 1970s Leighton Moss shop selling "only things strictly relevant to birds" (which unfortunately did not include any food or drink) - have they tried computer games with Peregrines chasing Knot or a combination of raptors chasing Starlings at a roost?

The other 'space invasion' today was more subtle. There were a lot (for this site) of Lapwings on Red Nab during a prolonged morning survey. It was assumed that these were displaced from nearby frozen fields, but a discrete group of 44 suddenly (not prompted by the tide) did a presentable imitation of a jump jet and headed upwards almost vertically and were tiny westbound dots high in the sky just half a mile from Red Nab. Surely this group involved a cold-weather movement having a 'breather'? This was in sharp contrast to almost all the other 250 or so Lapwing which headed for Ocean Edge saltmarsh in dribs and drabs as displaced by the tide


WeBS etc
Purple Sandpiper - one (at least) on the wooden jetty
Twite - very brief check of the feeder saw c30 plus another 21 south over Ocean Edge earlier on
Rock Pipit - one on Red Nab
Med Gull - large adult on Red Nab for 2 hours, Czech-ringed adult on the north harbour wall railings
Knot - at least 50,000 & perhaps 60,000 estimated on or around the heliport/near naze (see below), 13,000 on Red Nab definitely different
Mute Swan - pair & one juv south
Wigeon - 106 Red Nab
Shelduck - 217 Red Nab

Middleton IE
One small ice-free area held 6 Mute Swan, 5 Coot, 6 Moorhen, one Little Grebe, one Pink-footed Goose
Black-tailed Godwit - one sat on the ice with gulls!

Ring-reading of Knot on the near naze
Despite problems, unfortunately including birders getting out of cars and flushing them, the following were read by Richard. Thanks for these:


SEVEN were ringed on the Dutch Waddensee with two of these having previous history as follows:

25-7-2001 Ringed: De Richel, Holland 53.16.97 N, 5.08.23 E
25-5-2004 Indre Billefjord, Porsangerfjord, Norway 70.21.02 N, 25.03.15 E
21-3-2008 Heysham, Lancashire, England 54.02.00 N, 02.55.00 W
11-12-2008 Heysham, Lancashire, England 54.02.00 N, 02.55.00

5-9-2005 Ringed: Simonszand, Holland 53.29.48 N, 6.24.17 E
19-3-2008 Heysham, Lancashire, England 54.02.00 N, 02.55.00 W
ONE was ringed in Norway as follows:
Ringed: 26.05.2007 Oldefjord, Norway 70 29 28N 25 03 57E

Friday, 18 December 2009

Celeb culture

Heysham Obs
A visit to Ocean Edge revealed that "David Platt" had visited the site earlier in the year and asked about the local birding. The last time I watched Corrie was in the days of hairnets, as a captive audience rug-rat during grandmother visits, but apparently his screen role is some kind of bad lad. In real life, a 'Salford-based twitcher' according to OE staff.

Ocean Edge
Wigeon - 106
Shelduck - 216
Med Gull - adult
Grey Plover - 2
Twite - heard only

Thursday, 17 December 2009

One Scottie, 10,000 waders

Please keep an eye open for any colour-ringed (Greenland) Knot now there are good numbers on the easier side of the harbour to observe them in the heliport area. They can be individually traced (providing you see both legs) - this one was photographed by Richard du Feu in January 09 and was ringed in Holland in September 08 (where they moult before moving WNW to this area)
Heysham Obs
Heliport area
This is now a 'desire line' for dog walkers and this produced Scottie-driven flight-views of fleeing Knot and Oystercatchers

Knot - Circa 6,000 but couldnt find any 'flagged' or colour-ringed birds

No sign of the Black Redstart, even after scoping the whole tideline of Half-Moon Bay

North harbour wall
Twite - c55 but disturbed
Med Gull - just the Czech-ringed bird seen

Elsewhere
Nothing as yet

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

No obvious sign of Black Redstart

Heysham Obs
Stuck at an upland site with persistent low cloud for most of the day with nothing to do other than think up phrases such as 'mid month mass maggot movement' for the only activity which seemed to be taking place. Thanks to Gavin, Jean et al for records as part of a RSPB fact-finding mission.

North harbour wall
No obvious sign of Black Redstart or Purple Sandpipers
Reed Bunting - 3 on heliport a surprise, even allowing for the longer vegetation at present
Med Gull - 2 adults
Twite - 56 - only one appeared to be unringed
Linnet - 3
Goldfinch - 1
Knot - 5,400 on heliport (lots more on the other (Ocean Edge) side)
Kittiwake - 1CY behind the IOM ferry

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Dog chorus

Heysham Obs
Most of this morning's time-slot was spent checking the 1/2 moon bay area for Black Redstart - no joy, but a significant breed and sound of dog list. Better luck late afternoon

North wall
Black Redstart - alongside heliport (eastern end) on shore at c1500hrs
Twite - c50
Med Gull - Czech-ringed Ad on railings
Knot - 4,500 on heliport
Redshank - 133 on heliport
Meadow Pipit - 2 on heliport

Heysham NR
Chiffchaff - one top path (heard calling only)
Goldfinch - 12 in alder copse

Ocean Edge
Wigeon - 67
Knot - 20,000 near high tide
Black-tailed Godwit - 3

Elsewhere
Nothing yet

Monday, 14 December 2009

The numbers game

Heysham Obs
Note yesterdays late entry for Black Redstart along the shore at Half-moon bay - didnt have time to look today

Ocean Edge foreshore
This is the best 'spectacle' birding in the area at the moment with thousands of waders finding the newly-configured channel and wet mud to their liking.
Knot - carefully counted 35,500
Dunlin - 250
Black-tailed Godwit - 3
Bar-tailed Godwit - 6
Oystercatcher - 2,700
Shelduck - 102
Redshank - 242
Grey Plover - 16
Curlew - 121
& a few Turnstone & Ringed Plover

Harbour area
Med Gull - 2 adults
Purple Sandpiper - 1 at least on wooden jetty

Middleton IE
Chiffchaff - 1 collybita-type
Stonechat - male
Tufted Duck - 4
Little Grebe - 1

Moths
Winter Moth along the road towards the traffic lights - SD46A. Several in both 10km squares between reserve entrance and traffic lights on 7/12

Elsewhere
Snow Bunting still at Crook farm

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Geese on the rampage and well 'ard Linnets

Heysham Obs
Black Redstart - late news - presumably the wide-ranging wintering female/imm was along the shoreline at half-moon bay for an hour late afternoon

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 3 adults, including recent arrival with lots of black on rear crown plus the Czech-ringed regular
Twite - 57
Linnet - 3 These could be easily identified by the refusal to be intimidated by rabbits, unlike the wimpish Twite which shot off as soon as the beasties entered the nyger arena. Indeed, one Linnet kept lunging aggressively at a rabbit!
Goldfinch - at least one

Overhead
Greylag - 12 south
Pink-footed Goose - 60+71N, 250+32+90S
Whooper Swan - single bird south

Heysham Nature reserve
Chiffchaff still by HN reserve office 0950hrs

Ocean Edge area
Jack Snipe - 1

Middleton IE
Little Grebe - 3
Mallard - 9
Teal - 2

Elsewhere
Mouthwatering menagerie including 3 Barnacle and 4 white Lesser Snow Geese Heaton Marsh late afternoon. The Lune valley Whooper Swans were visible from the layby just south of Melling garage and comprised 9 adult and 4 young (& 4 Mute). Couldnt see any darvics, but distant and legs often obscured. Presumed abietinus Chiffchaff Stodday sewage works. Male Snow Bunting on the tideline near Crook Farm this afternoon [not sure which side - note no vehicle access north of lighthouse cottage]

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Highlighted by Jack Snipe & winter Stonechat

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Twite - c60, forming two groups with very few of the 30 seen well ringed
Rock Pipit - one (perhaps the same below)

Heysham N Res
Chiffchaff - at least one, quite possibly two

Middleton IE
Tufted Duck (4), Snipe (7), Jay (1) and female Stonechat

South harbour wall
Rock Pipit - same as above?

Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Jack Snipe - 2

Elsewhere
Chiffchaff - one collybita Bentham sewage works in hedge just to north. Cant get on to LDBWS site to check (1755hrs)

Friday, 11 December 2009

Routine sightings

Heysham Obs
Nice weather again, so two of us are upland bird surveying tomorrow (Saturday), so any routine coverage of the usual suspects (Meds, Twite etc) gratefully received. Thanks. Please text or e-mail me (see right hand column)

Some good seawatching coming up with wind speeds for Heysham on Metcheck for e.g. 18th December between 280 and 325mph westerlyish!!

South harbour/wooden jetty area (thanks Tom)
Purple Sandpiper - 2 at midday
Med Gull - one ad following IOM ferry

Middleton IE (thanks Malcolm)
A Teal-less afternoon visit saw: 4 Mute Swan, 6 Coot, 8 Moorhen, 10 Tufted Duck, one Pochard, 2 Mallard, 3 Grey Heron, 3 Snipe in what might be the last wildfowl-fest for some time if the long-range forecast is correct

North harbour wall (thanks Alan)
A slightly disappointing Twite-ringing session with just c30 birds visiting this morning produced 7 unringed birds and 12 retraps - but the Bay view was lovely! The single Goldfinch-in -residence was also ringed!

Elsewhere
Further late afternoon confirmation that the Slavonian Grebe is not hiding in a corner of Pine Lake. This site could really come into its own over the next few weeks. No reports of any Great White Egret in the last few days.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Very quick visit

Heysham Obs
Office area
Chiffchaff calling

North harbour wall
Twite - 67, but being disturbed by angler's spaniel and wouldnt settle
Med Gull - ad
No sign of the Black Red on the mound or in old sandworks

Elsewhere
Nothing yet

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Black Redstart & Chiffchaff again

Heysham Obs
A Chiffchaff was around the Heysham NR office again this morning - again not seen very well but sounded like collybita

A Black Redstart on the north harbour wall mound at lunchtime (thanks Alan)

An abortive search in conditions which were too windy for any sign of Cetti's Warbler on Middleton. Predictably, given decent weather, two of us are away this next two days doing surveys so any basic daily reaffirmation of the usual culprits (Meds, Twite etc) gratefully received

North harbour wall
Twite - c60 (23 trapped, 11 new 12 retraps, two from 2008/9, the rest this autumn)
Med Gull - adult
Purple Sandpiper - one below wooden jetty
Goldfinch - 1
Rock Pipit - 1

Outfalls
Little Gull - 1CY

Elsewhere
52 Little Egrets out of the Leighton roost this am but no mention of any GWEs. Cetti's Warbler in three different locations at Leighton this last two days with an absolute minimum of two birds

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

If only it was a birdrace!

Heysham Obs
A thirty second scan of the outfalls from Ocean Edge:
Twite - flock of 8 flew past
Med Gull - adult seaward end of Heysham 1
Little Gull - 1CY seaward end of Heysham 1

North Harbour Wall
Med Gull - 1 Unringed Adult
Twite - 48 around feeding area (of these, 7-8 unringed)
Goldfinch - 1 with Twite

Monday, 7 December 2009

Awful miserable southerlies

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Med Gull - two adults following in the IOM ferry - the usual birds
Twite - 12ish
Guillemot - one in harbour
Goldfinch - a good Atlas RR on the mound

Outfalls
Little Gull - 1CY

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Early morning Med-fest & interesting wader recoveries

Heysham Obs
A Dutch ringer toured Morecambe Bay in mid-November looking for colour-ringed waders and he came up with this rather good one in the Red Nab/Ocean Edge area. Thanks to Richard for informing me today about this:

Knot USA ring 1313-59880 & CRs
Ringed: Alert, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada 82 30N 62 20W on 9/6/07 as ad male
Seen: Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore (SD45) on 12/11/09

Ringed Plover NW23526 & CRs
Ringed: Snettisham, Norfolk TF6433 on 16/7/04
Seen: Nesting female at Snettisham 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Seen: Cockersands, near Glasson, Lancs 30/9/07
Seen: Ocean Edge area winter 2008/9
Seen: Ocean Edge area 6/12/09 (first time this winter)
Not recorded nesting at Snettisham in 2009 as far as we know.

Nature reserve
Water Rail calling in marsh

Outfalls
Little Gull - 1CY

North wall area
Med Gull - 3 adults & one 2nd winter early morning. The adults comprised yesterdays birds, including the Czech-ringed individual. The very elusive (and usually elsewhere) 2nd winter MAY be ringed, but not possible to see the legs this morning. Please report the ringed or otherwise status if you do see it on the deck. Thanks.
Twite - 19 around harbour
Auk spp - one 'out'

Middleton IE
27 Teal, 10 Tufted Duck, 3 Mallard. one Pink-footed Goose, 5 Snipe

Elsewhere
Four Snow Geese still being added to people's fence-hopper lists on Aldcliffe. Unringed 2nd winter Med gull on the river between the rail and Greyhound bridge, central Lancaster. The(?) Bonxie JBP at high tide - flew up Kent Estuary. Great White Egret Bolton-le-Sands was the longish-lost colour-ringed bird which was regularly documented until a few weeks ago but off the radar since then

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Gripping communication

Heysham Obs
Who got the better deal? Ian Gardner being alerted to a very distant Bonxie/southern hemisphere skua agg. and as a result of 'looking in that direction' picking up a very close Little Auk heading out of the bay at Rossall. A big welcome to the RSPB/LDBWS group who managed to see quite a bit, even the tricky closest Purple Sandpiper

North wall 1045-1130ish
Bonxie/Great Skua - one 'out' low over the water very distantly at 1112hrs, almost certainly observed in Cumbria. See above caveat at this range.
Purple Sandpiper - two separately on the wooden jetty
Guillemot - one in harbour
Med Gull - 3 adults: an adult with a lot of black on the rear crown was on the corrugated ex-Fisher's roof at high tide and the usual two appeared to feed on anglers scraps from mid-afternoon
Twite - 25 or so but elusive due to angler presence

On the down side, there was absolutely nothing floating in on the sea in the diver/grebe/seaduck categories in 45 minutes of fast-moving tide

Outfalls/Ocean Edge
Little Gull - 1CY stage 2 outfall
Kingfisher - 1
Twite - 3
Linnet - 2
Reed Bunting - 3
Little Egret - 1

Elsewhere
3 Great White Egrets apparently seen at Leighton Moss yesterday but not seen coming out of the roost this morning (51 Little Egret). 2 Cetti's Warblers Leighton Moss this morning - by the 'spring' (on lower hide to causeway path, about half way) and along the causeway itself

Friday, 4 December 2009

Last minute bird

Heysham Obs
A Woodcock on the reserve entrance road at dusk saved us from a blank day
Elsewhere
The recent Sunderland 1CY male Long-tailed Duck. Thanks Alan.
Slavonian Grebe still at Pine Lake

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Early morning bits but missed the ferry!

Heysham Obs
A quick early morning check, but the ferry had arrived by the time a quick visit to check the 'followers' was scheduled - its often a bit early when the wind is westerly - the reason not being rocket science! The internet is a wonderful thing - just found out that the 'weather whirlpool' headline on here a week or so ago has been linked to a washing machine website!!

North harbour wall
Twite - just four seen & plenty of seed left from yesterday
Med Gull - adult soaring above the anglers
Guillemot - one visible in the harbour
Purple Sandpiper - one visible on the outer section of the wooden jetty
15 minutes seawatching produced a surprising male Common Scoter 'in' and an unsurprising four Shelduck 'out'

Ocean Edge south beach - high tide
Ringed plover - 31 - no colour-ringed birds
Turnstone - 5
Grey Plover - 1
Dunlin - 2
Knot - 2
Redshank - 224

Outfalls
Little Gull - adult & 1CY in the morning but both dispersed on the incoming tide & not seen lunchtime

Elsewhere
Three Scaup (one ad drake) off Scalestones Point (North Morecambe promenade). Black Redstart just outside the area at Dunsop Bridge Bowland AONB offices - just to the south of the LDBWS area SD65 boundary on the Whitewell road.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A few twosomes

Heysham Obs
Wooden jetty
Purple Sandpiper - 2

Harbour
Guillemot - 2

North wall & area
Med Gull - 2 adults
Twite - 4+

Elsewhere
37-40 Little Egret Ashton Hall roost

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

December Chiffchaff

Heysham Obs
Heysham Nature reserve
A collybita-type Chiffchaff toured the bushes around the office from at least 0905-1045hrs. Pre-wind ringing comprised one each of Coal Tit, Dunnock, Greenfinch & Chaffinch!
Pink-footed Goose - 64 headed south at 1515hrs

Coastal sites
A quick look round recorded the following:
Med Gull - 2 adults (including Czech-ringed bird) around anglers on the north harbour wall plus another adult by Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Twite - c30 reported by angler on the seed (obviously not excluding Linnet)

No obvious sign of any Purple Sandpiper (plenty of hidden bits) or Guillemot (ditto) or Little Gull

Elsewhere
Dramatic late news of a Grey Phalarope at Greta Foot on the Lune today, presumably been around since the SW gales but on an obscure flood/oxbow. Unfortunately flushed by Canada Geese but surely still in the area. Up to 9 ad and 4 juv Whooper Swans Lune Valley Melling area (7 ads seen today, 9 two days ago). One Great White Egret still at Leighton Moss & area

Monday, 30 November 2009

Then there were two

Heysham Obs
Quick coastal check

Outfalls
Little Gull - 1 1CY

North harbour wall
No Twite (3 rabbits) - 24 there at 09.30, all ringed except one.
Purple Sandpiper - two together on the outer section of the wooden jetty
Med Gull - ad in harbour

Elsewhere
Long-tailed Duck, probably 1CY male, on a private pond at Sunderland 15th-26th November. 4 Snow Geese and 3 Whooper Swans Aldcliffe (& 11 Grey Partridge). Slavonian Grebe Pine lake and the Great Grey Shrike elusively at Dalton Crag

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Easterly and rain......but too late

Heysham Obs
Moneyclose Lane saw an influx of Blackbirds with 15 in one loose flock plus a single Redwing, the first for a bit. Otherwise:

Outfalls
Little Gull - long-range scope views saw at least 2 1CY
Med Gull - adult on Red Nab
Guillemot - two in harbour

North harbour wall
Twite 27; 6 unringed, 2-3 uncertain, 18 or so ringed

Middleton IE
Little Grebe (1), Tufted Duck (5) Mallard (25 - high for here!!), Teal (27), Snipe (5), Pink-footed Goose (1) & Green Woodpecker

Elsewhere
Nothing by midday; even less by 1430 in driving rain

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Calm weather pluses and minuses

Heysham Obs
The minuses were the lack of any sign of the Cetti's Warbler at Middleton IE and that there just appears to be one Purple Sandpiper around. The pluses were some Twite ringing conditions at last & lingering Little Gulls & Guillemot. Thanks to Malcolm, Jean, John, Mike & Alan for all records as moorland survey work in the first calm weather for ages beckoned

The other main point of interest today was, to quote Mike Watson on his excellent site (see Links): "I had a chat with the guys fishing at the outfalls and one of them said he had seen a white heron, the size of a Grey Heron and much bigger than the Little Egrets he sees 'regularly', at Ocean Edge on a week day sometime between 16-20 November - Great White Egret surely?"

Coastal areas
Red-throated Diver - one out
Little Gull - maximum of 4 1CY on the outfalls
Med Gull - adult around
Purple Sandpiper - one on the edge of Heysham One outfall on the dropping tide
Guillemot - one in harbour (the other in the underground reservoir?) - two in the afternoon
Twite - 37 caught, 20 were unringed and one was ringed at Askam-in-Furness in late October 2008 and previously caught at Heysham in early November 2008. The rest were ringed at Heysham in either 2008 or 2009. 7 were also on Ocean Edge saltmarsh but no lingering Linnet reported anywhere today for the first time this autumn. This is the usual pattern at this time of year.
Rock Pipit - 2
Skylark - one over Ocean Edge

Middleton
No Cetti's but the single Pink-footed Goose still there

Elsewhere
Quick visit to Pine Lake returning from work saw the Slavonian Grebe still present plus a 1CY Little Gull feeding on 'groundbait' next to some anglers! Location of the Slav assisted by corralling of the wildfowl by a speedboat into the NE corner (its been conspicuously AWOL during the rough weather, despite several careful searches)

Friday, 27 November 2009

windy leftovers & a new Med

Heysham Obs
The ferry checking season is in full flow. In the next two months, the recommended time to visit this site should include observation of the incoming IOM passenger ferry which entails being in position on the north or south harbour walls by about 1140hrs. Now the SW winds are finally abating, the fare behind these ferries includes just about the only chance of Kittiwake & Little Gull (once the current lingerers gradually depart from the outfalls in the forecasted offshore winds) and usually the best chance to connect with a Med or two and, if you are very lucky, a skua. Freight ferries are a bit more of a timing lottery and usually preceded by an 'outgoer' which takes a big chunk of the birds off with it before they are close enough to identify!

Quick visits by three people produced the following (thanks Peter & Alan)
0830-0900 stage 2 outfall/NHW
Little Gull - 6 1CY & 1 Ad
Med Gull - NEW 2nd winter behind freight ferry
Gannet - ill-looking adult-type sat in the harbour entrance
Twite - up to 18

Lunchtime Stage 1 outfall, harbour area
Med Gull - adult Stage one outfall
Little Gull - 3 x 1CY Stage one outfall (presumably 'of the 6 earlier')
Guillemot - one in harbour

Elsewhere
Great White Egret - 3 in Leighton area at least Wednesday but only one has been roosting on the island in recent days. Four of the Snow Geese with the Aldcliffe Greylags this morning

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Bad cloud morning

Heysham Obs
Clouds are important features of birding. Good clouds cover up the sun when its in your face, drop masses of Black Terns on inland waters and lead to otherwise stratospheric rare birds hitting the deck in front of your eyes. A few years ago, when the observatory ringing effort was concentrated in a few straggling bushes which now form the lorry park, three fruitless net rounds in crystal clear conditions were followed by the appearance of big black cloud, two drops of rain and a Wryneck (& Chiffchaff) in the nets. This morning was the turn of unhelpful clouds. These form orange expanses in the sky, in completely the opposite direction to the sun, and lead to dreadful light for observing seabirds. Hence this morning, even though the viewing direction was a sun-behind north-west, the sea area north of Barrow was hopeless, exacerbated by the rough sea and 'broken' background. A straggling flock of c40 Kittiwake was invisible in this sector and only seen when it appeared heading out to the south.

Previous comment on Leach's Petrel deleted - there was a little cluster in the NW with 3 off Blackpool 26th and one off Walney 27th plus a possible or two

North wall offshore passage 0900-0930
Kittiwake - c40 out in one straggling flock, 50% 1CY & one in during very brief mid pm seawatch
Red-throated Diver - one out

Behind freight ferry (would have been more but some birds joined outgoing ferry whilst still out of identifiable range)
Med Gull - 2 ads
Kittiwake - 7
Little Gull - 3 adult, 1 1CY

Behind IOM ferry (thanks to visiting birders)
Gannet - one adult - very scarce at this time of year
Kittiwake - c20
Little Gull - single figures, probably some of those already recorded

Outfalls area
Little Gull - c6 adult, c6 1CY, a majority of these on the inner 2/3 of Heysham 2 outfall [about 16 Little Gull in total for today]

Miscellany
Twite - 26 north harbour wall
Guillemot - two inner harbour, the only 'inshore' seabird

Elsewhere
Swallow Leighton Moss (one Levens Moss yesterday)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A bit of attritional seawatching

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall and area 0930-1105/coastal areas mid-pm
Leach's Petrel - one in, then turning round, then in again x 2 just beyond the yellow buoys at 1058hrs - looked like a juv with well-marked GC bar & no obvious moult but difficult to retain in the scope! Disappeared into the bay.
Bonxie - one in at a vast rate of knots at 1003hrs
Little Gull - absolute minimum of 21 close inshore - observations suggested adults were gradually moving through - 9 x 1CY, 2 x 2CY, 10+ x adult, 6 of the 1CYs on outfalls mid-pm along with c6 ad/2CY. This is a typical difference in behaviour by a majority of ads & 1CYs
Kittiwake - ad stage 2 outfall pm, 12 behind the IOM ferry all flew into bay
Guillemot - one in harbour pm
Twite - c50 early on but clearly not impressed by the conditions & many of them disappeared

Elsewhere
Leach's Petrel flew over M6 near Yealand

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Offshore Little Gulls

Heysham Obs
A couple of whistle-stop visits to the coast at lunchtime and mid-afternoon, involving single scans of the sea area off the north wall, revealed no seabirds with the only additional registration worth mentioning being (?one of the earlier) Ad Little Gull on Heysham 2 outfall as the tide came in

North harbour wall - sea 0930-1000hrs
Little Gull - 3 adults and 1st W blogging off the seaward end of Heysham One outfall mid morning, then disappeared as tide started rising
Twite - 51
Med Gull - ad in harbour & different large adult on Red Nab mid-afternoon

Elsewhere
Great White Egret - singleton appearing out of Leighton roost, then west

Monday, 23 November 2009

Leach's!!

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Leach's Petrel flew out along the north harbour wall, in view for 10 minutes, at c1430-1440. Thanks Sean!
Med Gull - 2 ads around
Twite - up to 82
Linnet - up to 15
No sign of any Shag or Purple Sandpiper in lengthy coverage

Ocean Edge/outfalls
No known coverage

Insects
Rather dozy worker wasp around the reserve litter bin - this is getting very late

Elsewhere
Single Great White Egret in the Leighton roost (pm)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

More useless southerlies

Heysham Obs
Rather too long was spent searching the coastal areas this morning with very little reward

North harbour wall & area
Twite - c60 but very mobile
Med Gull - Czech adult around
Shag - single juvenile appeared from the inner bay 1145hrs & appeared to enter harbour (thanks Colin)
No sign of the Purple Sand or the Black Redstart.

Ocean Edge & area
Med Gull - large adult on mudflats near Stage 2 outfall

Middleton IE
Atrocious conditions for checking a windswept Middleton IE for Cetti's and no reports

Elsewhere
No news on anything much this weekend - have the Great White Egrets gone? At least one Cetti's (singing) still at Leighton causeway today.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

First Cetti's confirmed

Heysham Obs
An early start and the red clouds backed by darker stuff to the west postponed the moth trap check and leisurely start in favour of pre-rain Heysham. Not too bad, although offshore scans before the tide started moving were completely fruitless. A 'probable' Cetti's Warbler on Middleton IE (two calls in 10 days in poor weather) was firmed up this morning by a single burst of song

North harbour wall
Shag - two juveniles in the harbour mouth, one of which sat on the harbour wall and revealed that it was unringed
Purple Sandpiper - one on the outermost bit of skeer under the wooden jetty (took some finding!)
Med Gull - one adult loafing around in the harbour
Twite - none at all until about 1015 when a flock of 66 & one Linnet materialised from the south. Two opportunities to check them on the seed revealed: two Askam-in Furness birds ringed autumn/winter 2008/9, 7 ringed here earlier this autumn, 8 ringed here autumn/winter 2008/9. This leaves a rather unexpected 49 unringed birds.
Starling - flock of 270 'in-off' then SE!
Rock Pipit - one heard, but no Meadow Pipit seem to be left

Ocean Edge foreshore
Lapwing - 160 - continuing the upward trend started last late autumn

Middleton IE
Woodpigeon - 26SE
Cetti's Warbler - Presumably the bird which was inconclusively heard calling twice in the last 10 days (location hampered by dreadful weather) gave a single burst of song (& a couple of calls) this morning alongside the 'no swimming pond' - the one immediately to the west of the model boat pond

Elsewhere
Nothing yet

Friday, 20 November 2009

Whistle-stops

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall 0945-0955
Twite - 19
Med Gull - ad
Red-throated Diver - one out

Ocean Edge saltmarsh high tide
Too low to kick out any Jack Snipe
Snipe - 6
Twite - perhaps the same 19 as on the north harbour wall

Elsewhere
Nothing yet

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wet birds

Heysham Obs
Three well-spaced short checks of the sea/outfalls saw the wind far too far to the south for most of the day

North harbour wall
Twite - 9, 4+ unringed
Linnet - 4

Seawatches totalling 25 minutes
Pintail - flock of 5 out (never seen this species at rest in this area; invariably a product of (usually useless) wet & windy late autumn/winter seawatches)
Shelduck - 21+14 out

Elsewhere
Adult winter Spotted Redshank on the Regent road groyne (surely the 'usual' bird from north of the jetty displaced by rough seas and covered groynes?)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

In the tranquil zone.........just

Heysham Obs
Flat calm seas and a gentle breeze but what a lot of rain! Decent thrush fall with one or two other bits and bobs but no obvious sign of yesterdays Black Redstart

Heysham NR/Landscape strip
Blackbird - obvious influx with at least 80 birds
Song Thrush - 9 seen
Blackcap - female in the NR car park bramble
Chiffchaff - collybita-type along the NR top path

Coastal areas
Almost a complete blank with no obvious sign of any Twite or remaining food and just:
Med Gull - ad following dredger
..........worthy of note

Ringing returns
A Twite ringed on one of the two Heysham north harbour wall sessions this autumn was seen at Askam in Furness on 16th November - a north-westerly movement usually associated with the return passage (of western Scottish birds) in spring! Wonder if it was a Pennine bird doing a 180 degree migratory 'error'? Eddie Maguire at Machrihanish Bird Observatory on the Mull of Kintyre has also sent details of two of our birds which obviously bred in the vicinity with a few repeat sightings during summer/early autumn 2009.

Elsewhere
Nothing yet

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Unexpected surprise given the weather

Heysham Obs
A check to see what might have been blown in to the intake area of the harbour was halted half way to watch a Black Redstart being chased by a Robin by the old Fishers building (the derelictish blue one on the SE side of the harbour). Nothing storm blown appeared to be in the nooks and crannies or offshore.

Harbour area/north wall
Black Redstart - female/immature as above by trailer TL512 at 1215hrs - last seen disappearing into Fishers building
Med Gull - adult in flight
Twite - c10
Linnet - c5

Ocean Edge/Red Nab early morning
Rock Pipit - 2
Snipe - 4
Raven - 2 over SW

Late afternoon outfalls check
Little Gull - adult seaward end of stage one outfall
Med Gull - 2 adults, presumably including the above, seaward end S1O.

Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe still Pine Lake

Monday, 16 November 2009

North harbour wall battering

Heysham
North Harbour Wall
Mediterranean Gull - 1 adult
Linnet - 5 on seed
Twite - 9 on seed. 2/3 unringed.
No others in area - very strong wind/heavy rain.
(ajd)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Woodpigeons at last!

Heysham
We have recently lost a key vis migger and how we have suffered during this late autumn as (upland survey) work prioritised for the remainder of us on the dwindling number of suitable mornings. Fortunately Brian Yorke has nicely dovetailed with the unavailability at Caton Moor and Heysham and provided a good daily baseline of excellent counts from Hutton Roof to add to the partial-coverage 'cameos' from the rest of the sites. Fortunately Malcolm was out and about this morning and at last allowed us to make a contribution to the Woodpigeon conundrum e.g. why do our movements largely take place AFTER the main departure over Portland etc. of birds obviously migrating to the continent? Look at the thread on the LDBWS site and the various national vis mig sites (see Links, then they will give other Links!)

Middleton IE
Pink footed Goose - between 08.45 & 09.10 - 84(N), 33(S), 148(N), 160, 280, 320 (all N).
Wood Pigeon - 11, 8, 76, 6, 59 & 36 (all S)
Snipe - 1 plus 11 landed, 16 S.
Mute Swan - 2 plus 3 east
Coot - 4
Moorhen - 2
Little Grebe - 8
Tufted Duck - 1
Pochard - 1 M
Goldeneye - 1 M
Teal - 17
Mallard - 7

Ocean Edge
Jack Snipe - 1

Red Nab
Wigeon - 61

(thanks to Malcolm for the above)

Elsewhere
3 Great White Egret Leighton Moss. Slavonian Grebe Pine Lake. Black Redstart Cockersands

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Twittering

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Twite - A nice build up of Twite this morning after a week of erratic low numbers. The maximum count involved 14 unringed birds on the seed and a more mobile mixed 'Twinnet' flock of c20
Med Gull - one adult in harbour

Ocean Edge etc
Little Gull - a 1CY was resting on the sea with Black-headed Gulls off Red Nab

Elsewhere
Great White Egret - 2 left the Leighton Moss roost and headed past JBP towards Humphrey Head. Slavonian Grebe still Pine Lake having avoided being WeBS counted yesterday!

Friday, 13 November 2009

No obvious sign of Snow Bunting

Heysham Obs
No sign of the Snow Bunting during reasonably thorough search. No sign at all of any Purple Sandpiper despite careful search of the outer skeer along the base of the wooden jetty (location during last winter's habitual behaviour at this stage of the tide). The depression track of the one hitting us this evening is pretty useless - it looks too far to the south for any decent prolonged seabird winds....but only needs a little shift

North harbour wall
Rock Pipit - 1
Twite - 8 in situ early am and 12 psychic individuals which flew high to the north over Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls undoubtedly 'hearing' that the food had just been put out (1215hrs). More seriously, the Twite are very mobile at the moment and these birds came from the south of Ocean Edge saltmarsh (which didnt appear to hold any Twite today), probably from the Lune Estuary. 13 Twite on the seed late afternoon
Linnet - 4
Med Gull - 1 ad
Pink-footed Goose - 140 + 130 NE 0730-0800
Meadow Pipit - 2

HNR Office 0905
Canada Goose - 1 SE!!

Elsewhere
Black Redstart just OOA at Cocker's Dyke (but visible from area boundary ramp?!) & Black Redstart still at Cockersands abbey farm. Great Grey Shrike near 'trig point' at Dalton Crag at least 1000hrs & 1130hrs. 3 Great White Egret into roost at Leighton Moss this evening (& one still Ribble/Southport area). Cetti's Warblers seen/heard along causeway & lower hide area (2 birds). No obvious sign of Slav Grebe on Pine Lake during WeBS count

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Snow Bunting




Pics taken today by Lou Cross along the north harbour wall. Thanks Lou

Heysham Obs
The only sighting known about today was a Snow Bunting along the north harbour wall found by Lou Cross on a lunchtime walk. Pics imminent

Elsewhere
Black Redstart still Cockersands Abbey area. At least one Great White Egret Leighton Moss area. The third Cetti's Warbler of the autumn (heard yesterday) was trapped and ringed at Leighton Moss

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Blackcaps still around/moving through

Heysham
Ringing. New birds ringed as follows: Blackbird 2, Robin 2, Goldcrest 2 (where are all the others?), Greenfinch 2, Blackcap 2, Song Thrush 1, chaffinch 1, Long tailed Tit 8.

North Harbour Wall
Great Crested Grebe - 1, not so numerous here lately
Twite/Linnet - 5 only. At least 2 Twite, one ringed, the other unringed.
Pink-footed Goose: flocks of 60+60+70+250 north
Whooper Swan - 3 north
Merlin - female 'in-off', then SE
Snipe - 2 on half-moon bay

Middleton IE
Mute Swan - 2
Little Grebe - 2
Goldeneye - 1
Tufted Duck - 5

Insects
Red Admiral - 2 flying along NHWall to SW

(all ajd)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Sheepdog trial

Heysham Obs
A manic mutt in the 'collie type thing' category spent 10 minutes trying to round up an Oystercatcher flock off Ocean Edge. It must have run about 5 miles before returning to land. Seen in flight were:

Bar-tailed Godwit - 2
Little Egret - 2

North wall late afternoon
Czech-ringed adult Med Gull

Elsewhere
Black Redstart still at Cockersands

Monday, 9 November 2009

Heysham
Green Woodpecker - 1 still around in the obs tower/tank farm area
Raven - 1 calling from transmission tower

North Harbour Wall
Peregrine Falcon - 1 troubling Knot below north wall
Linnet - 5 trapped and ringed
Twite - 5 retrapped and 19 new birds ringed (by 14.30!), after day-long struggle with equipment and unwanted but probably well-meaning visitors.
(all ajd)

Elsewhere
Black Redstart - f/imm between Cockersands CP and Bank End

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Heysham
North Harbour Wall
Twite - 7 in one flock, c18 in another possibly mixed Linnet/Twite flock. None trapped owing to continual visits to area from humans and dog.

Inshore
Little Egret - 2 Red Nab
Kingfisher - one outfalls
Guillemot - 2 still in harbour - when they went AWOL previously=when they were a regular winter fixture, they were in the underground reservoir by the intake from which they can get in and out on high tides but are 'trapped' on neap tides. We ringed 6 (including one of the nominate northern form - blacker back, longer bill etc) during 'rescue' operations with a landing net, which fell foul of about 20 pages of prohibitive risk assessment and the discovery they could get out on the high tides

Middleton
Pink footed Goose - 1 on "no swimming" pond
Mute Swan - 4
Teal - 14
Tufted Duck - 4
Mallard - 5
No Snipe present

Elsewhere
Great Grey Shrike back at Dalton Crags but absent from the usual area in the afternoon. The colour-ringed Great White Egret seems to have moved south to the Ribble, leaving 'just' two in the Leighton roost

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Ornithological SAD

Heysham Obs
'Nothing moving' was the chorus this morning and, in the case of Twite and Guillemot, nothing seen.

North harbour wall
A 30 minute seawatch produced a few beer cans and c6 assorted common seagulls
Cormorant - 43 on wooden jetty
No sign of any small waders on the wooden jetty
Med Gull - one adult

South of the harbour
Kingfisher - TWO on outfalls
Little Egret - one OE saltmarsh
Jack Snipe - one OE saltmarsh

Elsewhere
Nothing yet on LDBWS site

Friday, 6 November 2009

The Rain Finally came about 1o'clock

Heysham
Snipe - 2 flushed from the far marsh.

Norht Harbour Wall
Linnet - 1 on freshly replenished niger was the only passerine seen in the wet & windy conditions!

Herring Gull - 1 unfortunate individual flying with one leg virtually severed above the tarsal joint.
(ajd)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

A dinosaur looks at birds...eventually

Heysham Obs
Belated appearance (anyone around first thing?), following a 'meaning of life' session adding scart, freeview and digital to the vocabulary. Preceded by a bit of home-based vis, so no early morning coverage here in surprisingly calm conditions

North wall
Med Gull - one adult
Guillemot - 2 in harbour
Twite - just 5 seen

Ocean Edge
Rock Pipit - 1
Bar-tailed Godwit - 4 at high tide
Kingfisher - 1

Elsewhere
Early morning vis included 16 Bramblings west over High Tatham and 9 over Hutton Roof

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A quieter day

Heysham Obs
North wall 0915-0950
Little Gull - 1CY out distantly
Razorbill - 2 out
Birds - a swirling mass of about 50 near the windfarm were probably Kittiwake
Twite - 35

Ocean Edge 0950-1000
Rock Pipit - 1

Quick afternoon check
Pink-footed Goose - 23 N
Little Gull - 1CY on outfalls (yesterdays bird)
Med Gull - 2 adult north wall/harbourmouth
Guillemot - at least one harbour

Elsewhere
3 Great White Egret EM Pools. Pine lake Slavonian Grebe not seen during check in very poor end of day light.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Good seabird variety

Thanks Dan for this pic of the two long-staying Guillemots in the SW corner of the harbour

Heysham Obs
Rather atypical at this time of year, as opposed to late winter/spring passage, was a significant number of Kittiwake, plus a few half-decent bits and bobs

North wall 0900-0945, 1015-1130
Great Northern Diver - one out c1050hrs
Kittiwake - flock of 63 lifted off the sea, swirled around, landed on sea & floated into the bay. 215 'out' during the morning. Flock of 18 'in' during pm, then 55 'in' behind a freight ferry. Just like the old days!
Arctic/Pomarine Skua - very dark juvenile at 1030 which was chasing Kittiwakes and appeared on size & jizz to be more likely an Arctic but too distant to be sure (Jean & Dan). Landed on the sea/disappeared low behind troughs. Definitely not the Bonxie.
Razorbill - 5 out
Pintail - flocks of 10+18 out
Red-throated Diver - 1 out & one sp, prob this, out
Shelduck - 29 out (4 flocks)
Med Gull - two adults around, one Czech-ringed
Guillemot - two in harbour, one out
Bonxie - one very distant, but definitely this species of skua, 'in' at 0920hrs
Twite - 26 with 16 unringed
Wooden jetty: Definitely no Shag & no sign of any Purple Sandpiper or indeed Turnstone!

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls
Kittiwake - one ad
Little Gull - ad & 1CY
Twite - c5
Elsewhere
Fence-hopping Snow Geese still on EM Pool but no reports of any Great White Egret today or the Pine Lake Slavonian Grebe. Small westerly movement of thrushes between showers at High Tatham with 230 Redwing and 145 Fieldfare 0745-0815hrs

Monday, 2 November 2009

A 'first of the autumn' morning

Heysham Obs
Just a quick run round the coastal sites with 30 minutes seawatching from the north wall 0845-0915 & an even quicker look at lunchtime

North wall
Med Gull - ad in flight
Purple Sandpiper - one on the seawall by the gate, flew towards wooden jetty
Goldeneye - female/imm flew 'in'
Shelduck - 85 (6 flocks) 'out', first movement of the autumn
Pintail - 16 + 31 'out' (as above)
Twite - c13
Linnet - 2+

Ocean Edge/outfalls
Little Gull - 2CY early on, 2 x 1CY lunchtime
Wigeon - 45
Twite - c25 on saltmarsh
Linnet - c20 on saltmarsh

Elsewhere
3 Great White Egret coming out of the Leighton Moss roost this am, Cetti's singing by the LM causeway grit trays, flock of c60 Kittiwake off JBP

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Weather whirlpool

Heysham Obs
A quick race round in terrible weather was actually worth it! Juvenile Shag are not the major twitch/photo (or indeed video) fest they are on the Fylde, but they have been thin on the ground here this autumn.

Ocean Edge foreshore
Wheatear - One still on Ocean Edge foreshore - now on the winter atlas!
Shag - one juvenile on the sea off the SW corner of Ocean Edge - most unusual - usually around the harbour
Twite/Linnet - flock of c20 with at least 3 of each

North wall
Med Gull - one adult in flight
Twite - at least 20
Linnet - at least 10
Ringed Plover - 8 on the old heliport

Outfalls etc after the switch to WSW7-8 at c1230
Little Gull - 2CY & 1CY on stage 2 outfall, adult flying out of bay - quick response to the weather!
Kittiwake - 2 x 1CY off the north harbour wall
The IOM ferry may have assisted in producing these birds so quickly

Middleton IE
Jack Snipe - 1


Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe Pine Lake, 3 Great White Egret Leighton area & also in roost

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Enjoyable morning by the office

Heysham Obs
The weather suggested the final vis mig morning would be a chore as I set of from High Tatham rather later than I should have been and inevitably ended up caught in traffic. Two birders were already in the car park on arrival and immediately a flock of Redwing flew over. I should have asked if I had missed anything. The next hour or so was as good as anything this autumn!

Vis by HNR office 0715-1115
These were all heading in a generally southerly direction at a height/purposeful manner suggesting they were migrating. Plenty, for e.g. of other 'blogging' gulls. All Woodcock seen included

Woodcock - two possibly flushed by the birders (first seen flying south behind them at 0735hrs, landed in the screening planting along Moneyclose Lane), one flew south out of the top path scrub (and landed along Moneyclose Lane) at 0800hrs, one flew out of the mist net ride behind the office at 0807hrs (landed in the tank farm)
Redwing - 148 & another flock heard but not seen
Fieldfare - just 11 very first thing
Greenfinch - 61
Chaffinch - 136
Starling - 275
Goldfinch - 25
Meadow Pipit - 2
Herring Gull - 24
Blackbird - 32
Mistle Thrush - 7
Brambling - 2
Song Thrush - 10
Siskin - 5
Reed Bunting - 1
Black-headed Gull - 9
Grey Wagtail - 2 together south- definietly late migrants
Whooper Swan - flock of 12 south VERY high
alba Wagtail - just 6
Collared Dove - 1
Jay - 2
Rock Pipit - 1
Snipe - 1
Linnet - 6
Common Gull - 2
Great Black-backed Gull - 3
Bullfinch - 2

Red Admiral - 4
Painted Lady - 1

Grounded
Chiffchaff - three by the office:
a) collybita-type giving collybita-type calls
b) brown one giving monosyllabic 'peep' call
c) greyish/buff one giving rather faint disyllabic call
Blackcap - 1CY male trapped with fat score of just 2
Green Woodpecker - one in the tank farm briefly
Wheatear - one Ocean Edge saltmarsh shoreline
...plus the Woodcock

Miscellany
Knot - 50,000 off Ocean Edge
Kingfisher - one Ocean Edge
Teal - 46 Middleton IE
Tufted Duck - 3 IE
Little Grebe - 1 IE
Snipe - 5 IE
Bar-tailed Godwit - 42 off OE

North wall
Med Gull - 2 adults
Twite - only 4 ringed birds seen - 2 from 'winter' 2008/9, two from earlier this week, indicating that many of the birds ringed this week have moved on and been replaced by new arrivals
Guillemot - 2 harbour

Insects
Single Peacock butterfly by the office. Also 2 geriatric Speckled Wood and a single Migrant hawker. An estimated 350 wasps flew SW past the office from a nest in the NE corner of the car park during the vis mig 4 hours. None returned via this route. No macros in the moth trap but 3 Silver Y seen in the course of the morning

Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe Pine Lake. Avocet & 4 fence-hopping Snow Geese viewable from JB Point. 3 Great White Egret Leighton area, but only 2 definitely entered the roost. One Cetti's Warbler heard on the causeway

Friday, 30 October 2009

Highlighted by late insect movement

Does anyone know why the 'update link' where this site is being followed on other people's blogs is remaining at 2 weeks ago? Thanks.

Heysham Obs
No avian vis mig to speak of today but 3 Skylark casually recorded. Note the final national vis mig day of the trilogy can either be tomorrow (infinitely better for passerines) or Sunday (absolutely horrendous for passerine vis mig &, on the latest forecast, useless for any seabirds, indeed a classic 'lie in'/brownie-point retrieval morning). Supposed to be 0700-1100ish which looks pretty decent for Saturday

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Linnet - c25
Twite - low single figures
Wigeon - 41
Kingfisher - probably 2
Med Gull - probably two adults but mobile
Black-tailed Godwit - 2
no sign of Black Redstart but plenty of suitable habitat

North Harbour Wall
Twite/Linnet - very mobile flocks in strong wind, probably up to 60 in total. A sample of 38 Twite on the seed revealed 17 unringed, two ringed last winter and 19 ringed two days ago.
Guillemot - 2 in harbour
Rock Pipit - 1
Meadow Pipit - c6
Kingfisher - 1
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3

Reserve
Record autumn count of FOUR Goldcrest! otherwise just 15-20 Blackbird and 2 Song Thrush on the migrant front. This has become a 'no-go' area for Fieldfare/Redwing in the last few days - odd.

Insects
Numbers of butterflies coming across harbour and flying northwards over the bay - Painted Lady 2, Red Admiral 3, Small Tortoiseshell 1, plus 2 others not identified. Also one Migrant Hawker! At least 6 Silver Y around the nature reserve car park and two Comma still flying on the reserve itself, but no dragonflies seen there.

Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe still Pine Lake, showing little concern for power boat activities. 230+ social wasps in a moth trap at Wennington!! [what date is this?] . Migrant moths in this area have included single Vestal, Diamond-back & Rusty Dot Pearl, several Rush Veneer & Dark Sword Grass and plenty of diurnal & nocturnal Silver Y

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Black Redstart day

Heysham Obs
Vis mig 0900-1000
Chaffinch - 21
Goldfinch - 4
Greenfinch - 7
Woodpigeon - 4
Reed Bunting - 1
Pink-footed Goose - 25
i.e. not a lot with no thrush passage over here

Ocean Edge/Red Nab etc
Black Redstart - female/imm found by a three lady birders who kindly informed us of the news on returning to the car park. Thanks very much! Still present about 1300hrs along the seawall between Red Nab and the outfalls
Knot - 10,000+
Wigeon - 36

North harbour wall
'Twinnet' - c45, c30 of which were Twite.

Grounded migrants
Chiffchaff - one, the first for a few days
a few (5-6) Blackbirds
see above for Black Redstart
Dunnock - two unringed birds trapped, one was released unringed as it had serious 'foot growths', a not uncommon problem with this species
Greenfinch - 5 unringed birds trapped

Elsewhere
The second male Cetti's Warbler at Leighton Moss was ringed today. NNEW on Great White Egrets or Slavonian Grebe. 3 unknown origin Snow Geese with feral Greylags at Leighton this evening! Vestal moth trapped at Millhouses & several Rush veneer, Silver Y & Dark Sword Grass in local traps. Two more nights of good moth trapping conditions!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Twite ringing

Heysham Obs
North Harbour Wall
Twite - 37 trapped (of these, 32 new birds ringed, 4 retraps and 1 control, ringed on the Ribble estuary)
Linnet - 6 caught and ringed
Meadow Pipit - approx 6 around
Rock Pipit - 1
Pied Wagtail - resident pair

Hut Moth Trap - southerly wind overnight just blowing into window so catch probably reduced:

Singles of Large Wainscot, Feathered Thorn and Silver Y plus 2 Red line Quaker

Elsewhere
Cetti's Warbler - 1+ Leighton causeway. Great White Egret - 3 around. Slavonian Grebe - still Pine Lake. Curlew Sandpiper Cockersands
AJD

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Short and sweet

Heysham Obs
A quick visit turned out to be very quick with the only worthwhile sighting being two Silver Y's nectaring from the still-flowering orange buddliea next to the car park (thanks originally to Jon Stagg for this)

Elsewhere
Surely a British record 3 Great White Egret roosting at Leighton with 55+ Little Egret. Two singing male Cetti's Warbler next to the Leighton main causeway. Slavonian Grebe still Pine Lake

Monday, 26 October 2009

Green Woodpecker visits the reserve area

Heysham NR area
Green Woodpecker - 1 in tank farm area - presumably one of the two seen on Middleton IE in recent times.

North Harbour Wall
Twite/Linnet - A number of fragmented small mixed flocks (with one Goldfinch) around the mound and feeding area, perhaps 30 -35 in all. 26 Linnets on feeding site.

Harbour
Guillemot - 2

Red Nab
Kingfisher - 1

Sunday, 25 October 2009

A Mammal and a Half....

Heysham Obs

North Harbour Wall
Med Gull - 1 adult
Twite/Linnet - flock of 32 at feeding station certainly included 4 Twite and 10 Linnet, with the remainder not firmly identified.

Grey Seal - 1

Ocean Edge
Rock Pipit - 1
Whooper Swan - 2 SE at 1035hrs
Wheatear - 1 Red Nab

Harbour Porpoise - the front half of an animal seen between Red Nab and power station outfalls. This unfortunate individual was freshly severed just behind the dorsal fin - perhaps the result of an encounter with a ship's propeller?

Elsewhere
Quite probably two singing male Cetti's Warbler Leighton Moss causeway. Slavonian Grebe Pine Lake. Two Great White Egret at least in the evening roost Leighton area. Juv Curlew Sandpiper Cockersands area & it looks like a Common Sandpiper (is it an adult??) is set to winter at Conder Pool again

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Clarity at dawn and high vis

Heysham Obs
Its all about timing when you are going for possible pre-frontal falls off an ESE wind. Far too clear until about 1000hrs and the battle for the 'highlight' was a wrestling match between the almost annual autumn Yellowhammer flyover and a (seriously) mind-boggling count of 9 Mallard on the Obs Tower fire pond. Some predictable finchy vis from dawn (see Punkbirder site for a noble effort this morning at my old 1977/8 stamping ground at East Hills (I never made it pre-dawn!))

Heysham Obs office & reserve area 0745-0945
Song Thrush - 13 SE (plus another 30-35 unearthed on a 'thrash' - quite a good count for here)
Redwing - 60, mainly S/SW
Blackbird - 15 SE, plus c25 in the abovementioned thrash; all appeared to be males
Chaffinch - 72 SW, mostly high & some could have been missed
Greenfinch - 49 SW (as above)
Goldfinch - 15 SW
Reed Bunting - 2 (together) SW
Yellowhammer - f/imm SSE at 0820hrs
alba Wagtail - 13 SE
Meadow Pipit - 1 SE
Siskin - 3 SE & 8 grounded which then flew SE
Fieldfare - just 5 S
Redpoll spp (& sounded like a non-Lesser) - 1 SE
Linnet - 5 SE
Skylark - 1 SE
Jay - 2 possible vis mig birds south, low
Mistle Thrush - 1 SE
Grey Wagtail - 1 apparently on a wide-ranging blog & this was confirmed by sighting of colour-ringed bird caught on 27/9/09
Bullfinch - 1 possible migrant low to south
Goldcrest - 2, possibly 3!
Mallard - unprecedented 9 on Obs Tower fire pond - rare here outside breeding season

Ocean Edge
Wheatear - 1
Pink-footed Goose - 75 SE
Rock Pipit - 1

Middleton IE
Jack Snipe - 1

North wall
'Twinnet' - mixed flock of c40
Med Gull - one adult
Meadow Pipit - 6 grounded

Insects (it was warm!)
Red Admiral & Migrant Hawker Middleton IE

Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe Pine Lake, 2 x Great White Egret Eric Morecambe Pool

Friday, 23 October 2009

Good finchy vis until the pager was belatedly checked

Heysham Obs
Perhaps the most telling thing about today was 2 x Yellow-browed Warbler & 1 x Eastern Crowned Warbler in some very inviting east coast bushes and not a single Goldcrest. So it is not just Heysham, Walney etc which is experiencing this quite extraordinary absence following a spring passage which suggested the species was unaffected by the winter

Vis mig by the office 0845-1000 (rain stopped the movement at about 0957hrs)
Chaffinch - 101 SW
Greenfinch - 58 SW
Goldfinch - 38 SW
Pink-footed Goose - flock of 54 S (& see below)
Linnet - 5 S
Reed Bunting - 1 SW
Brambling - 4+1 SW
alba Wagtail - 2 SE
Meadow Pipit - 5 SE
Twite - 6 (flock) S (rare on 'pure' vis)
Siskin - 5 SE
also:
Redwing - 5 lifting out of bushes & high inland
Song Thrush - 7 as above
Blackbird - 4 as above

No audible crests or phylloscs in the region of the office

Red Nab
Rock Pipit - 1
Wheatear - 1
Kingfisher - TWO

Middleton IE
Green Woodpecker - 1
Snipe - 9
Pink-footed Goose - 102 S

Insects
Migrant Hawker & Common Darter Middleton IE

Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe Pine Lake, 2 Great White Egret Leighton area, 2+ Hawfinch Sizergh

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Heysham
Vis 0745-0845 (generally south unless stated) :
Meadow Pipit 26
Chaffinch 32
Goldfinch 2
alba Wagtail 3
Linnet 1
Starling 30>NE
Greenfinch 1
Redwing 2

Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe still at Pine Lake, 2 Great White Egrets at Leighton Moss

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

More bits and bobs

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Rock Pipit - one
Meadow Pipit - 12 'in-off'
Twite - 25
Linnet - 3
Guillemot - 2 in harbour
Med Gull - one adult
Bar-tailed Godwit - 5

Ocean Edge
Rock Pipit - 1

Insects
Small Tortoiseshell north harbour wall. Red Admiral south.

Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe still Pine Lake. Long-billed Dowitcher in high tide roost Bank End area

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

A very wintry minimum

Heysham Obs
This posting could have been written anytime between mid November and the end of February but in October is just a waste of a potential migration day

Ocean Edge etc
No passerines along the shore
Bar-tailed Godwit - 32
Black-tailed Godwit - 1
Knot - 3,200
no dowitchers with 230 Redshank

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adults (one Czech-ringed)
Twite - 26 (no opportunity to see ring status, presumed same lot as yesterday)
Linnet - 3
Robin - 1

Elsewhere
2 x Great White Egret in the overnight roost at Leighton, Slavonian Grebe still Pine Lake

Monday, 19 October 2009

A small corridor of vis

Heysham Obs
After a good thrush count at High Tatham, a visit to Heysham hit some unexpected rain which then appeared to retreat westwards. Between 0900 and 0930, a perhaps surprising number of birds were heading S/SW along the edge of this rain before it tracked east again

Vis mig by the office 0900-0930
Redwing - 62 SW
Chaffinch - 36 SW
Brambling - 2 SW
Goldfinch - 11 SW
Greenfinch - 28 SW
Siskin - heard S/SW
alba Wagtail - 1 SE

North harbour wall up to gate
Twite - 27 (just 6 ringed - all during autumn/winter/spring 2008/9)
Linnet - 3
Rock Pipit - 2
Meadow Pipit - 4 grounded

Elsewhere
High Tatham vis mig 0720-0820: Redwing - 630 east, 400 west, Fieldfare - 36 east, Chaffinch - 12 south, Black-headed Gull - 16 south, Blackbird - 5 west, Starling - 360 west, Redpoll 2 south, Goldfinch - 5 south. Slavonian Grebe still at the north end of Pine lake. 1-2 Great White Egret Silverdale/Arnside area. Long-billed Dowitcher still Cockersands in the morning at least

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Saved by a few Chaffinches

Heysham Obs
Ian Botham and mother in law stuff this morning for the second of the two 'vis mig' days. Cloud spilled in from the west hitting an increasing low-level south-easterly leading to rain by 1100hrs. Actually better than expected due to a low-level finch passage

Heysham NR office 0715ish-1115ish
Pink-footed Goose - 26N & 55S
Cormorant - one high to south
Siskin - 1 south
Skylark - 2 SE
Chaffinch - 111 S/SW
Redwing - 6
Blackbird - 2
Goldfinch - 14 S
Greenfinch - 15 SW
Woodpigeon - 11 S
Starling - 20N, 9S, 17N, 18S
Grey Wagtail - 3SE (one ringed at Middleton)
Meadow Pipit - 6S
alba Wagtail - 8SE

Grounded - Chiffchaff one by office

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Kingfisher - 1

Highlights whilst trawling around doing WeBS
Pink-footed Goose - c85 & c65 S
Twite - 26-28
Linnet - c10
Med Gull - just the one adult north wall
Guillemot - one in harbour, one along north wall at HT

Elsewhere
Slavonian Grebe Pine Lake (thanks Steve). Long-billed Dowitcher Cockersands in am only, late Sanderling there pm

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Heysham Obs
Today's pin-up: Lesser Redpoll at Middleton
Ocean Edge/Red Nab (MD)
Kingfisher - 1(+?)
Wheatear - 1
Bar-tailed Godwit - 47
Wigeon - 34
Snipe - 4
Ringing
Ringing was undertaken both on the Reserve and Middleton this morning. New birds ringed were as follows:
Grey Wagtail 1 (Middleton), Dunnock 3, Chaffinch 19 (mainly Heysham), Robin 1, Blue tit 5, Coal Tit 1, Wren 1, Reed Bunting 6 (all Middleton), Lesser Redpoll 1, Goldcrest 1, Song Thrush 1, Blackbird 1, Long tailed Tit 1, Great Tit 1. (AJD & JR)
Elsewhere
Bittern ring number 02 seen at Leighton (see LDBWS posting). Long-billed Dowitcher early & late at Cockersands, but not 'middle'. Two Great White Egret still Leighton area (& third just outside our area at Humphrey Head). 6 Whoopers back in the Lune valley (Wenning Foot)
Redwing and Fieldfare piling through the Aire/Wenning gap this morning with 11,000+ Redwing & 8,000+ Fieldfare west past the vis mig watchpoint at Hutton Roof in about 7 hours, then heading NW. Note the change in wind direction to a light SW tomorrow and maybe this will bring Heysham & Caton Moor ('dead' for the first two hours this morning) into play for tomorrow's national vis mig day.

Friday, 16 October 2009

A bit of vis and that

Heysham obs

Vis by the office:
Apart from an initial rush of Redwing lifting off the Tank Farm there was little movement in the skies until 10am. Many birds headed north into the wind, whilst sensible species like Chaffinches headed south to warmer climes:
Skylark 15 (6>s, 9>N)
Meadow Pipit 4 (S)
Rock Pipit 1
Grey Wagtail 1 (SW)
alba Wagtail 12 (S)
Blackbird 1 (S)
Fieldfare 29 (28 SW,1 N)
Song Thrush 2
Redwing 204 (39>S, 165>N)
Jackdaw 70 (17>S, 53>N)
Larger corvids 25
Starling 85 ((37>N, rest S or SW)
Chaffinch 16 (S)
Greenfinch 8 (3>S, 5>N)
Goldfinch 5 (S)
Siskin 5 (S)
Redpoll sp 2 (S)
Great Spotted Woodpecker flew south but might have been going to Middleton.

On the reserve: Tawny Owl on the cream store pre-dawn. Greenfinch were notable by their absence, Robins notable by their presence - at least 14 Robins 'ticking'. 11 Blackbirds, 3 Song Thrush and then the usual Dunnocks, Wrens etc

Ringing: the grand sum of 2 birds, one of which was a retrapped adult Great Tit (first ringed in March this year) and a new Grey Wagtail which now sports yellow and white colour rings.

Elsewhere
Cetti's Warbler male retrapped at Leighton Moss (11 days). Long-billed Dowitcher still Cockersands but missing for some time around midday. 2(+?) Brambling with Chaffinches in the beech copse 2/3 of the way up the Caton Moor cul-de-sac