Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Pomarine Skua heads an impressive early morning on the sea

Heysham Obs early morning

One of the Middleton Grasshopper Warblers this morning.  Thanks Janet.  Note it appears to be unringed and this is the norm here, despite e.g. 44 ringed last year, we have only ever had one known returning breeding bird.  Very odd, as we seem to ring a fair percentage of adults and young each year - maybe there are a lot more than we think there are!

Office area
Redstart - male - also gave two bursts of subdued song before moving on (0615ish)
Tree Pipit - 1 NE
Meadow Pipit - 5 NE (one ringed)
Linnet - c25 NE
Lesser Redpoll - 1 ringed, no others recorded
Robin - orange/grey bird ringed - notably dark-legged
Chiffchaff - one ringed with a lot of forehead pollen
Willow Warbler - one ringed
Migrants of this species have been very thin on the ground so far this spring, unlike, for example, Goldcrest.  Thanks Janet

Song Thrush - olivey probable migrant ringed
Bullfinch - unringed 2CY female caught

Sea intermittently 0630-0850
Pomarine Skua - first of the year - a light morph ad in at 0814hrs, started climbing then someone stood right in front of car window and I lost it!
Arctic Tern - flock of 55 'in' 0805hrs were the only ones seen - didn't gain height up the channel and may have landed further in the bay
Gannet - 17 in (all 0630-0655)
Common Scoter - flock of 9 u-turned 0640hrs
Arctic Skua - blogging dark morph, last seen heading in and seeming to gain height c0635hrs
Sandwich Tern - 63 'out', then a sweep revealed circa 165, many sitting on sandbanks, most had moved out of the bay by 0850hrs.  Perhaps up to 100 additional birds, presumed to be this species, in channels further towards the Cumbrian side
Little Gull - flock of 5 adults spiralled up and headed inland to NE as soon as they reached the sandbanks 0650hrs
...............plus an extremely unconvincing attempt at a white-winged gull miles out - a larger than Herring Gull  thing - possibly the recent G x H hybrid or similar from Preston?  Just too far for details.  Flew even further away towards Walney.  Couldn't find it amongst subsequent gull checks

Moths included Shoulder Stripe and Early Thorn
First damselflies of the year - 2 Large Red at the dog walk pond:
Thanks Janet

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