Sunday, 30 June 2013

Outfalls build up

Saturday 29th June
Outfalls post high tide
Absolutely not the best time but still:
Kittiwake - 2 x 2CY
Med Gull - ad & 2 x 2CY

I'm really struggling with eyesight problems - can someone else please grill these gulls as we could easily be missing something (incoming tide best).  Thanks.

Sunday 30th June
The moth trap catch including Buff Arches

Friday, 28 June 2013

Must do better!

Heysham Obs
We will refocus on daily coverage soon - honestly!  Message for the rest of the team: Please could you post routine stuff, not just the 'unexpected'.  Thanks.

Shaded Pug and Peach Blossom graced the moth trap

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A Tale of Two CES's

A fairly windless, although rather too sunny, morning allowed both Constant Effort ringing sites to operate their fifth visit of the season. At Middleton, 30 new and 16 retraps were caught, including the first numbers of migrant warbler young. In contrast, the Heysham site yielded 3 new birds and 5 retraps - not a good return on four hours' set time for 6 mist nets!

Heysham Nature Reserve

Whitethroat- family party of young around the hut area.
Linnet - pair at top of slope above hut.
Swallow - at least two pairs feeding around hut area.  Presumably local breeders
House Martin - also 1-2 pairs feeding as above.

Swift - 32 south
Grasshopper Warbler - at least 3 singing plus two (ad & juv) caught
Reed Warbler - 2 possibly three extra singing males in the central marsh since the last visit - not unusual for late migrants to be dribbling in with this species - one was trapped and was unringed
Lesser Black-backed Gull - at least 63 pairs on industrial estate roofs
Herring Gull - Just 5 or so pairs as above

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Manx Shearwaters

North Wall - 13.15 - 14.30hrs

Manx Shearwaters - 33 out (10, 6, 6, 5 and 4) - the group of 5 were very close in (less than a quarter of the distance to the buoys) and I did'nt have the camera to hand. Drat!!
Fulmar - 1 out

Middleton NR - model boat pond - 12.50 - 13.10hrs
 Middleton Skylark - a few days ago!

Mute Swan - 2 ad. + 7 cygnets
Little Ringed Plover still present

Plenty of Swifts, Swallows & House Martins over the water

Pete Cook

Outfalls need a real grilling at low tide!

Heysham Obs
Surely there is something amongst the clouds of immature gulls!

Saturday 22nd May
Kittiwake - 2 2CY outfalls at high tide

Sunday 23rd May
Outfalls incoming tide & 1 hr seawatching before wind went WNW
Manx Shearwater - 17 out, 9 of these in a loose group a long way out
Med Gull - 2 x 2CY Red Nab - legs on one not seen, the other unringed
Kittiwake - 2 x 2CY Red Nab/outfalls
masses of 2CY Common Gulls and smaller numbers of Black-headed Gulls

Included Cinnabar - a bit of a 'rare' in these ragwort-sensitive days (e.g. hay baling)

Friday, 21 June 2013

broody time

Heysham Obs
Long-tailed tit, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Blackcap family parties by the office as clearing out the mist net ride and setting the feeding station up again (first day of autumn?)

Decentish catch in the moth trap, notably a late Mottled Pug, Double Dart and Treble Bar

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Wednesday 19th June. Middleton Nature reserve. latest photos.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Little Ringed Plover but very slow slow on dragonflies

Middleton model boat pond
Mute Swan - & 7 cygnets
Little Ringed Plover - one adult along the edge of the spit

Black-tailed Skimmer - one teneral
Four-spotted Chaser - c8
No sign of Emperor on this pond, but not the best for this spp

Heysham NR
At least one Mother Shipton on plateau and 2+ Burnet Companion on south-facing slope along road

Monday, 17 June 2013

The early morning delights of Middleton NR

Middleton CES early on till about 0930hrs
Grasshopper Warbler - at least 4 singing males
Reed Warbler - a seemingly unpaired male roaming about singing in the central marsh - eventually caught.  Another unringed male caught in the western marsh
Lesser Redpoll - early morning song flight again - surely nesting this year
Jackdaw - as with the above - a relative novelty at Middleton - flock of 7 roaming about early morning
Skylark - the singing male still on the high part west of the western marsh
Gadwall - male flushed from the pond adjoining the CES site

Timothy Tortrix
At least 30 disturbed early on by walking the paths through the tall fen vegetation

Moth trap at HNR
Shaded Pug made a belated appearance

Heysham Nature reserve and a quick walk around this afternoon.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sunday 16th June.
Well finally the sun shone and the moths came out at Heysham Nature Reserve. A Burnet Companion feeding.
Also there were Mother Shipton Yellow Shell and Grass Rivulet and Scopria Pyralella

Scoparia pyralella
Janet Packham 
Saturday 15th June

North Wall 06.00-06.30hrs.
Gannet – 1 ad out at 06.18
Skua – 1 in very distant at 06.20 – Probably Arctic but could not be

Middleton NR 06.35 – 07.30hrs.
Mute Swan 9 (2 ad with 6 cygnets on MB pond / 1 ad on deep water pond
Gadwall 3 (1m/2f) on MB pond
Mallard 2 (pair) on MB pond
Grasshopper Warbler 4+ (4 reeling at each corner of central marsh + 1
seen briefly elsewhere)
no sight nor sound of Sedge or Reed Warblers
Whitethroat – only 2 males seen

Heysham NR 07.38hrs.
Buzzard – 1 over golf course opposite NR access road
Pete Cook

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Golden swift

Heysham Obs
Actinic traps run by Justine produced the goods today with quite a variety and also a revival of sorts in the hut trap.  This included a new species for the reserve in the form of Gold Swift (in the heathland area) along with quite a few routine year ticks including Broom Moth, Sallow Kitten and an unseasonal Angle Shades.  Some micros yet to be identified

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Fulmar trundles past

Heysham Obs
That most difficult of common seabirds to connect with, Fulmar, ambled past Red Nab whilst checking the gulls

Red Nab
Med Gull - 1 x 2CY
Kittiwake - 2 x 2CY
Common Gull - 210
Black-headed Gull - 56
Fulmar - one heading 'out'

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Buzzard being chased off by 3 crows from Heysham nature reserve.
Several Burnet Companions
2 Silver Y moths

Gull fest but no Marsh Warbler

Heysham Obs
Unfortunately an eastern kingbird type of starry sky sent the Marsh Warbler on its way at or soon after the last bit of song at 1122pm.  People were there overnight/from dawn at again at least 0530hrs.  Sorry your efforts were wasted

However, the gulls on the outfalls are a stray rarity waiting to happen.  There are more than I have ever seen at this time of year and it took ages to locate

Med Gull - 2 x 2CY, one at least new in (not the Dutch-ringed bird on head pattern)
Kittiwake - 1 x 2CY
Common Tern - 1 Ad

Could easily have missed something.  Worth allocating an hour or so's grilling over the low tide period or early incoming tide (not at high tide)

Moths last night at Middleton took a bit of a back seat but did allow the pleasure of year-ticking Heart and Dart after a long frustrating wait in this late year

MONDAY 10th June: Marsh Warbler located late in the day

At 1020pm arrived at Middleton NR for a moth trapping session with Justine Patton and there were three species of bird signing: 3-4 Grasshopper Warbler, 1-2 Reed Warbler and another warbler with a wide range of repetitious high-pitched trills, blackbird alarm-type, song thrush song, thrush nightingale like bits, sardinian warbler like rattling churr etc etc etc. I'm familiar with Blyths Reed Warbler and it did not contain the descending 'pee-poo' phrase I always associate with this species. Am not very familiar with Marsh Warbler and complete range of mimicry but this certainly seems by far the most likely explanation

It carried on singing until 1122pm with a few short breaks during the last 15 mins as though 'winding down'. Unfortunately there was a very clear sky and no further song prior to leaving at 1245hrs, despite a couple of Reed Warbler starting up for a bit. Hopefully it has not migrated.

At least one person is overnighting, so hopefully some early news. It's in the southern section of the central marsh and audible from the entrance gate to the sewage works. However, access may need to be the 'long way round' if the gate is locked in the morning

Unfortunately the starry conditions pre-todays weather front were irresistible and there was no sight nor sound after 1122hrs last night

Research and listening to tapes, as expected, confirmed the identification as Marsh Warbler with the likes of Blyth's Reed ruled out. There was not the remotest possibility that this was a Reed Warbler entering Britain's Got Talent - they can sometimes be a bit more adventurous than the usual chugging song but the basic rhythm is (invariably?) included within the structure of such birds. Nevertheless errors are made. Obviously |Sedge Warbler was quickly eliminated during the first 10 seconds!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Insect circuit locates the mega

Heysham Obs
A circuit of the plateau and the adjoining south slope next to the entrance road revealed:

Mother Shipton - 1
Burnet Companion - 8
Common Blue - 52 (3 females)
Small Heath - 2
Small/Green-veined White - 3 in transit

Then a short check of the acid grassland slope revealed the following on a buttercup:
Small Yellow Underwing - one seen well for about 35 seconds then appeared to fly on the the acid grassland bank to the north.  There was a record during the 1980s along the grassland bank alongsdide the entrance road but it was lost in terms of specific date and Mapmste

Thursday, 6 June 2013

5th June

Heysham Obs
I'm going to take a break from updating this site unless I happen to be in the office with info available.  I'm having increasing difficulties accessing it from my home computer (up to 20 minutes per stage!) and am doing a lot of fieldwork the next couple of weeks.  Over to the rest of you, please!

This also applies, please, to checking the moth trap.  Thanks

Back to normal, as far as I am concerned, from about 20th June unless there is either any Red-veined Darter weather or the opposite - Storm Petrel conditions.  Please keep paper log up to date with insects etc if you are not posting on here.  Thanks.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Mottled Pug leads the way

Heysham Obs
Scraping the barrel for a headline, you might think, but Mottled Pug is pretty scarce here with under 5, perhaps under 3 previous.

May ringing totals
A bit dire.  Most of the Willow warblers were on one day, but the Lesser Redpolls just dribbled on and on as at many other sites.  Unfortunately a promising further catch of a flock of twelve was thwarted by a rat trying to the access the nyger feeder and spooking them!  Blackcap numbers this spring have been particularly dire.  Note the very late Goldcrest and unexpected 5 unringed Dunnock & Bullfinch.  Birds ringed elsewhere comprised 3 Lesser Redpoll (plus a cagebird from Chelmsford), two Sedge Warbler, single Chaffinch and Reed Warbler

Lesser Redpoll (53), Willow Warbler (26), Sedge Warbler (22), Whitethroat (16), Bullfinch (5), Chiffchaff (5), Dunnock (5), Chaffinch (4), Reed Bunting (4), Blackbird (3), Song Thrush (3), Lesser Whitethroat (3), Wren (2), Reed Warbler (2), Blackcap (2), Grasshopper Warbler (2), Spotted Flycatcher (2), Robin (2), Goldfinch (2), Long-tailed Tit (1), Blue Tit (1), Great Tit (1), Goldcrest (1), Garden Warbler (1).

Mother Shipton (3+) and Burnet Companion (2) together on 'plateau' - probably many others

Mottled Pug and Common Pug the only content of  the trap

Monday, 3 June 2013

Quiet CES visits as most of the summer migrants are incubating

Heysham Obs

Middleton NR 0430-0830!!
Lesser Redpoll - for the second day, one in song flight most of the morning and two others which flew north much higher up
Grasshopper Warbler - one singing very first thing
Swallow - flock of 6 purposefully north
Sedge Warbler - The French-ringed and British-ringed bird from elsewhere were both re-trapped today, indicating that they are breeding on site
Greenfinch - a quite 'old' fledged young was ringed
A single 4-spotted Chaser was flying at 0700hrs - it was 2 degrees C first thing!

Heysham NR CES
A few retraps and a single unringed Robin

Clouded Bordered Brindle was new for the year

Heysham NR afternoon, Burnet Companion and Mother Shipton.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Stalling creepy-crawlies

Heysham Obs
Still very slow in the cool north-westerlies and low single figure night temperatures

Heysham NR
Burnet Companion - single still on south bank along entrance road
Common Blue - 15-20 same area

Middleton early pm
Reed Bunting - 6 singing males
Grasshopper Warbler - one singing centre of western marsh
Four-spotted Chaser - 8
Common Blue Damsel - 1!
Azure Damsel - 3+
Blue-tailed Damsel - 2
Large Red Damsel - c10
plus about 25 unidentified teneral damselflies

Outfalls am
Med Gull - 2CY
Kittiwake - 2CY

Moth trap
Rustic Shoulder-Knot new for the year

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Med Gull and Burnet Companion

Heysham Obs
More minimal coverage I'm afraid - maybe the 1000+ Spotted Fly at Portland today might encourage a bit of late coverage when the wind swings easterly in a day or so

Very quick check revealed the usual Med Gull 2CY on the beach

HN Reserve
At least one Burnet Companion (still) along the slope alongside the entrance road