Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The summer migrants appear to be leaving earlier than usual

Heysham Obs
Arrival for the Middleton and Heysham CES's was greeted by 'hooet' calls from Willow warblers on the move, rather like a calm morning in early August, not mid-July.  Unfortunately the north-north-easterly then freshened (very mixed bag of forecasts as to how strong it was going to be this far north and west) and combined with the unrelenting sun to impair both ringing sessions

Middleton & Heysham CES
The most notable features at Middleton, apart from the Willow Warblers tricking through, was an obvious exodus of Common Whitethroat where the only one caught was a surprise - ringed as an adult on 4th September 2007 - and a marked reduction in the number of Sedge and Reed Warblers.  Indeed, the latter species does not appear to have done well, despite a record number of singing males, with not a single juvenile to date.  In contrast, Grasshopper Warblers are having a perhaps surprisingly good year, giving the hammering from the weather their nest sites must have had.  Four more were caught this morning and last year's record ringing total almost reached (24 ringed so far & one returning male from last year).  The Heysham NR CES also revealed a small passage of Willow Warbler

Red Nab high tide
Oystercatcher 557, Redshank a surprising 128, Curlew down to 31, Black-headed Gull 240 and Med Gull 2 adults

Heysham Link Road
Barn Owl - 1 seen  05.00 to east of road approx opposite radio mast.

White Satin the best of a small catch.  First Udea lutealis of the year seen in the field and a hairy caterpillar agg. which, so far, is not proving easy to identify.  Thanks for todays and yesterdays pics Janet: