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

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