Friday, 5 November 2010

Lapland Bunting - a lesson in proper coverage

Heysham Obs
Two thirds of the way through the WeBS count, I realised that there was a heady combination of no anglers and a lot of Twite at the feeder........and the rain was holding off in the outer bay.  So a quick change of plan.  This involved setting a 'whoosh' net and one of us walking round the back of the mound and sandworks........BUT it didnt involve checking the southern edge of the weedy bank next to the Twite feeder!!

A single catch was possible before the rain and these were being ringed when the remainder of the flock appeared, was slightly spooked by a released bird and 'pulled' another bird off the abovementioned south slope which flew north on its own towards the heliport giving diagnostic dry rattles.  It must have got up from no far away than 30 metres, but there is no way of viewing this bank from the usual parking area.  I think we had better check this bank in future!  The bird had unfortunately not pitched in on the heliport grass.

North wall/mound area
Lapland Bunting - one grounded (all morning?) on the southern slope of the south bank at the sand compound but was only noticed when spooked by Twite and flying north, calling, at about 1115hrs (John Mason, Pete Marsh)
Twite - c35 (16 caught, 12 of these unringed)
Jack Snipe - one heliport
Meadow Pipit - one heliport
Goldfinch - just the one mound area
Med Gull - single adult and 1CY (surely this will winter now?)
Kittiwake - adult behind the IOM ferry
Guillemot - one half-moon bay at HT (thanks Pete)
Shag - presumed 1CY on the wooden jetty but only the head visible behind a structure!

South side
Little Gull - adult outfalls

Heysham N Reserve
Phyllosc spp - on very briefly in the office buddleia