Sunday, 31 July 2011

More Greenfinch pile through

Heysham Obs
The unexpected phenomenon last back end of July - the significant Greenfinch influx/passage - is happening again.  A few sunflower heart feeders were put up at the office net site about a week ago and 85 Greenfinch have been caught in two sessions in the last three days.  This morning was also not without its new warbler arrivals although my arrival after emptying loaded moth traps elsewhere (0930) was hardly "standard obs coverage" for migrant passerines

Office area
In addition to the Greenfinch, the following new birds were caught in a short session: 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, one Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, one Robin, one Goldfinch & one Dunnock
Swift - 4 south together

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Tide far too high and there were several teenage girls on the remains of Red Nab - they seemed to be texting or tweeting the fleeing Oystercatchers
Med Gull - adult sat on the sea

So endeth a July which was perhaps the best ever for warbler passage/ringing - a fair proportion of the 600 or so birds ringed during the month were warblers with Grasshopper Warbler and Whitethroat notably productive but, as posted on other ringers blogs, a fair proportion of the Willow warblers were moulting adults with juveniles relatively scarce.  So far, therefore, mixed messages re-the breeding season for 'open' nests, with the Grasshopper Warbler success perhaps rather surprising for those of us experiencing the rain and windswept habitat during late May/June

Quite a lot, but no 'show-stoppers' to rival the SD66 mega, Athrips mouffetella, gracing my home trap!   Writing this post after one of the worst (and truncated) sheet and light nights I've had in "promising weather".  It was very hard to find anything amongst 150 Antler, 200 Large Y Underwing and c100 'grass moths'.................and several hundred midges.  Plenty of Catoptria margaritella around at the moment and seemingly spreading to lowland sites, as the moorland stuff often does in years of abundance and winds which are vaguely easterly

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