Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Arctic Tern still hanging in

Heysham Obs
Alerted by Rob Thorpe's info that an Arctic Tern was still around on 17th (thanks Rob), todays search for flocks of Snow Buntings both grounded and overhead was abandoned as a birdless shivering zero in favour of ducks, waders, gulls and outfall checks.  Not very credible at a so-called migration site in October but better than expected!

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls on incoming tide
Twite - 5 by saltmarsh the ONLY grounded shoreline passerines other than a Robin!!!
House Sparrow - 2 in the Red Nab bushes may have been wanderers from the single family group by Ocean Edge reception
Arctic Tern - juvenile stage 2 outfall
Little Gull - adult Stage 2 outfall
Med Gull - yesterdays 2CY & 1CY & Ad
Wigeon - sharp increase to 64
Black-tailed Godwit - 2 - first (noticed!) for a bit
Bar-tailed Godwit - 7

North wall area
Twite - 13
Goldfinch - c8
Linnet - c14
Meadow Pipit - 2

HNR Office
10 minutes vis mig 0815-0825 revealed:
Chaffinch - 8 SW
Goldcrest in the bushes and a count of c5 in the bushes at lunchtime. 
Blackbird - much reduced numbers from yesterday - c15
Song Thrush - c5

Unfortunately the wind direction (NNW) is the worst for any ringing at Heysham and it was felt to be marginally unethical with the possibility of occasional gusts blowing birds around, so no nets were set, seemingly unlike everywhere else!  Even more unfortunately, the short-term forecast looks awful = not really good enough for seabirds (winds have to be VERY strong & consistently WSW/W in late October) but far too windy for any ringing/passerine movements