Wednesday, 25 August 2010

First full wing formula of the year!

Heysham Obs
Grounded migrants
............the 'usual' wing formula at places which don't catch many rarities, a check on an 'out of habitat' migrant Reed Warbler in the HNR office nets.  Even if it was in the reedbed at Middleton, should really check all of them at this time of year

A handful of migrant phylloscs around the NR office (at least four Chiffchaff and two Willow Warbler) but the only presumed newly-arrived sylvia was a single Whitethroat, with two off-passage birds also caught (one with fat score of 4) and there were very few 'tacks' and 'churrs' in the brambles compared to last week

One of the things about an excellent month for ringing, reflecting good productivity, has been the unprecedented late summer/early autumn total of 65 Greenfinch, with very few retraps.  Most of these have been young birds, with quite a variation in the stage of moult from juvenile to first winter body feathers, reflecting first, second or even perhaps third broods.  This species has been at a very low ebb in recent times due to the virus (see e.g. BTO website)

Non-existent early on, other than a trickle of House Martin and Swallow amounting to no more than 6 & 15 respectively, all casually noted moving south late morning

Coastal stuff (thanks to Derek Gifford)
Little Gull - moulting adult outfalls
Med Gull - either 2nd summer moulting to adult winter or first summer moulting to second winter (stage of primary moult not clearly seen)
Sandwich Tern - one off outfalls
Kittiwake - 7 of yesterdays juveniles were still hanging about off the north harbour wall/outfalls
Cormorant - 52
Dunlin - 2 Red Nab
Knot - one Red Nab
Swallow - 20 or so blogging

Butterfly census around the reserve
Highlighted by three Wall Brown with possibly another seen casually near the office.  Also confirmation that many late summer butterflies had been trashed by the recent weather with just two Gatekeeper seen, although Meadow Brown comprised 36 worn individuals.  Three each of Brimstone and Small Copper were also seen