Thursday, 13 October 2011

Lingering fronts suppress the vis mig flood

Heysham Obs
Considering this was 'the' big chance for birds to be on the move after a spell of inclement wind/low cloud, the early part of the morning was a major disappointment with heavy cloud to the west, north and east seemingly blocking a lot of potential vis mig and also not producing much in terms of grounded birds.  Late morning, the cloud lifted and the birds really piled through between 1030 and at least midday when coverage ceased

Vis mig first light-1200; rather intermittent and disjointed coverage for about an hour mid-morning 
Lesser Redpoll - 2
Greenfinch - at least 49, but difficult to separate from grounded birds
Chaffinch - 336, but grossly underrecorded during the early morning
Grey Wagtail - 2
alba Wagtail - 87
Goldfinch - 17
Reed Bunting - 4 (14 ringed at Middleton)
Skylark - 19 & one 'lot' heard
Meadow Pipit - 106, mostly in the last 1.5hrs
Siskin - 11 and three flocks heard but not seen
Crossbill - 5 (flock)
Bullfinch - 2
Carrion Crow - 3
Fieldfare - 8 at 1050hrs, 27 at 1155hrs (NO Redwing!)
Dove - one very high to south.  In retrospect, not happy with the original posting as Collared and the rather tapered appearance of the tail brings the possibility of Turtle Dove into the equation (very high silhouette was the only view available)
Linnet - just 2!
Brambling - a flock of 6 "with" the second lot of Fieldfare contained at least two (& probably all) Brambling
Swallow - 1

Grounded (no activity at HNR other than around the office/obs tower area)
Goldcrest - 6 ringed at Middleton, 4 ringed at HNR - many fewer than expected
Chiffchaff - one 'brownish' individual ringed which was giving the strident 'swee' call, at least two others giving normal collybita calls.  One ringed Middleton
Treecreeper - one ringed
Blackcap - one ringed
unstreaked Acro - dont get too excited - this was almost certainly a juv Reed Warbler - it was seen to fly into a mist net, then promptly escape giving 'Reed Warbler calls' and exhibiting a noticeable gingery hue to the plumage.  Flew into the 'tank farm'.
SongThrush - at least 5

Middleton & Heysham NR ringing
In addition to the Goldcrests and Chiffchaff mentioned above, the following were also ringed at Middleton: Reed Bunting - 14,  Long-tailed Tit - 10,  Wren - 2, Robin - 1, Great Tit - 3, Blue Tit - 3.   Heysham NR ringing produced 50ish new birds with most of them after 0930hrs with Chaffinch (18) and Greenfinch (19) making up the majority.  Other birds included Dunnock (1), Blackcap (1), Chiffchaff (2), Goldcrest (4), Goldfinch (2), Song Thrush (1) with the rest being Blue and Great Tits

Adult Little Gull (thanks Jeff)

Rusty Dot Pearl and an Epirrata highlighted a small catch