Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Interesting migrant morning, especially Coal Tit

Heysham Obs
Grounded/low-level vis mig
Coal Tit - 14 ringed including a bird showing characters of the nominate continental form, seen in the hand by two observers & giving direct comparison with britannicus. However, a decision has been taken not to claim this in the absence of photographs and the lack of an immediately obvious blue tone to the grey mantle, despite contrast with the olive-grey on accompanying britannicus. The bib distribution was spot-on, however. A minimum of 9 additional birds were recorded heading north, including a noisy flock of six. This is an unprecedented spring migrant day for this species, but can be logically 'justified', as can the presence of a possible continental bird, by events last autumn and 'what goes down must come back'.
Goldcrest - 8 ringed
Robin - 4 ringed
Blue Tit - 4 ringed
Great Tit - 2 ringed
Chiffchaff - 2 ringed (first of year)
Greenfinch - just 2 ringed, reflecting the low numbers at present
Wheatear - male OE foreshore (first of year)
(no evidence of any 'winter' thrush species on return passage - too clear?)

Overhead vis
Grey Wagtail - one north
Meadow Pipit - 6 north in half an hour of concentrated vis (0815-0845) and nothing among the subsequent dribs and drabs to suggest any increasing rate of passage (12 casually noted). Fewer than expected in the clear conditions
Siskin - 2+1 north-east

North harbour wall/jetty
Twite - 11 seen at 0830 - one Askam-in Furness-ringed bird with the last three numbers corresponding to the one seen on/off all winter & 10 Heysham-ringed birds
Linnet - 2
Purple Sandpiper - at least two under the wooden jetty
Red-throated Diver - two far offshore in the morning

1+ Waxwing Leighton Drive, Lancaster both ends of the day & 14 Avocet EM Pools. Wheatears scattered along the north Fylde coast