Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Large thrush fall

Heysham Obs
Change of plan (c/f yesterdays notice) and a decision to cover the early morning - this was 'scientific' and nothing to do with leaving my computer glasses in the office yesterday!  Well worth it - you just never know what to expect in wet conditions at this time of year, irrespective of wind direction - it often depends whether the birds are kick-started earlier in the night by favourable overnight migration conditions at their previous landing.  The rain must have 'dropped' large numbers of thrushes at Heysham this morning and I think I just about got there in time to witness most of the 'heading high inland' phase.  This was assisted by an unknown disturbance 'clearing out' the tank farm.  Good morning to possess a Heligoland trap!

Coverage of Heysham NR only - mainly round office, incl vis from 0710 onwards to 0825
Blackbird - 160-180 scattered around - "in every bush"
Redwing - 67 flew inland, 20-30 still grounded
Continental Song Thrush - a lot - at least 27 flew inland and at least another 20-25 grounded
Meadow Pipit - still moving - 3 SE
Siskin - heard once
Greenfinch - a lot on the move - perhaps 35 straight over high to SW with others dropping in to feeders which were inundated with finches (30-40 Greenfinch, 20-30 Goldfinch........and no food left!)

Quick walk around the reserve at 0930hrs
Amazing - hardly any sign that there was a major thrush arrival, confirming that even the usually more sedate Blackbirds were restless and wanting to head inland.  c15 Goldcrest, c25 Blackbird, 14 Redwing, 8 Song Thrush were logged with the onlt 'notable' being a Water Rail calling near the dipping pond

North harbour wall
43 Goldfinch (17 ringed), 4 Linnet (1 ringed), 7 Twite, with the 5 unringed ones soon flying off towards the harbour mouth.  Dog-walker on the heliport flushing Oystercatchers

Red-line Quaker