Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Desperately seeking Swallows

Heysham Obs
An unexpectedly productive morning started with two "shapes" flying about along Moneyclose Lane in the dark at about 0615hrs.  They didn't look quite right for bats and a quick reverse and full beam revealed two Swallows hawking backwards and forwards (as at least two have been doing in this area for the last few days, so they 'know the area').  Is this evolution in action or just a desperate shortage of food to get into condition for migration?

Robin - at least 8 ticking birds within audible range by the office and others (10+) on a circuit of the reserve
Chiffchaff - 3 by the office first thing and two in the NE corner
Garden Warbler - one NE corner
Reed Warbler - juv NE corner
Sedge Warbler - juv NE corner (with the above for a short time)
Song Thrush - at least 5, 3 flew inland
Goldcrest - at least 4
Treecreeper - one alder woodland
Water Rail - one calling from reeds in NE corner

Vis mig 0630-0900
Quietish, but a trickle of most of the usual stuff, including 3 Grey Wagtail.   Didnt really have time for ringing, but kept an eye on trainee John whilst he operated a couple of nets.  A smattering of finches and two more Dunnocks taking this unobtrusive species on its way to a record annual ringing total, but it was too windy to catch Grey Wagtail which need completely still nets. 

Inshore stuff
Med Gull - 2 adults
Kittiwake - 1CY wooden jetty area
Commic Tern - 4-5, including 2 adult Arctic and one juv Arctic
Wheatear - one
Turnstone - c200 wooden jetty

Half Moon Bay (evening)
Wheatear - 1

Whilst aimlessly checking out links, I came across Michael Foley's blogsite with a pic of (an additional) close Leach's Petrel on 14th Sept. Fortunate indeed, as the wind had dropped down by then - the closest I managed to see one was about 1/2 mile! I've added a link to this site.  Michaeil site has  additional Gannet and Sabine's Gull shots from Heysham and some nice photography from elsewhere.