Wednesday, 31 July 2013

More Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull still present late morning at least

Moths comprised 290 individuals  58 species!  5 Dingy Shears notable - commonest moth as usual at this time of year (but virtually absent in the rest of NW England) = Straw Underwing with 56

An actinic set in the central marsh at Middleton NR produced Bordered Beauty and 2 Bulrush Wainscot as well as 4 Eudonia pallid

Middleton Nature reserve mid morning.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Bonapartes and Little Gulls still present but cannot access the main text

 Tuesday 30th July.
  A great day for butterflies,
moths, Hawkers and Sparrow hawks.
On the Heysham Nature reserve.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Bonaparte's Gull performs well

Heysham Obs
The Bonaparte's Gull was on the seaward end of Heysham one outfall, as viewed from the north harbour wall at 0915hrs and at 1050hrs reported on the pager as 'being on the outfalls'

Afternoon update:  Bonaparte's, at least 20 Meds and ad Little Gull Heysham 2 outfall on incoming tide

Just about managed to keep the actinic upright out of the wind on the north harbour wall sandworks with one or two new species for the square including Eupoecilia angustana and a nice comparison with two Cochylis atricapitana.  Three Silver Y and a Diamond Back were the migrant interest

Dog walking area, Painted Lady Butterfly

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Little Gull back

Heysham Obs
Mark visited this morning with the intention of ring-reading Med Gulls.  However this proved difficult due to the wind but Mark presented me with nine he read on 21/7, including three 'new' metal-ring reads.  Excellent and that makes 13 ringed birds read this year.  No sign, as yet, though of the Czech-ringed veteran this 'autumn'.  Mark did not have time to search for the Bonaparte's Gull but the/an adult Little Gull was present and the Bonaparte's Gull materialised nearer high tide

Camille made contact this morning and R13E:

Ringed: Oye Plage, Pas de Calais, France, 50 59N 2 03E     nestling                15/6/09
Seen: Le Portal, Pas de Calais                                                                          20/9/09
Seen: Piriac sur mer, Loire Atlantique, 47 23N 2 33W                               7/2-18/2/10
Seen: Polder de Sebastopol, Vendee 46 56N 2 09W                                  21-27/4/11            
Seen: Heysham outfalls                                                                                       3/8/11
Seen Heysham outfalls                                                                                      22/7/13

.....................and metal-ringed E929362:
Ringed: Total,  Antwerp, Belgium, 51 15N 4 19E                                               17/5/11
Seen: Heysham outfalls                                                                                  21-22/7/13 

Thanks for these, Gavin, Mark, Pete and others

Med Gull - 7 ad, 2 2nd CY, 3 3rd CY, two juv
Little Gull - adult summer early morning at least
Bonaparte's Gull - adult outfalls at least just after lunch

The north wall actinic survived the rain and latterly wind to produce a good catch with the following new for the 10k square: Tawny Shears, Silver Y (!), Cochylis dubitana, Agapeta zoegana, Antler, Rosy Minor, Bright-line Brown eye.  White Line Darts only reached 56!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

New Lancashire moth subject to further expert scrutiny

Heysham Obs
Whilst clearing out the 'moth toilet' at Heysham NR last night, a large well-marked pug was located on the wall - there are a lot of lurking places which can be missed during the routine morning check.  It did not look right for a variation of Wormwood Pug and far closer to Pimpinel Pug which does occur very sparingly in south Cumbria.  There is also some Burnet Saxifrage here...  Examination revealed it to be a female
Size = 23mm ruling out a lot of other pugs! Thanks John

Whilst trying to pot an Agonopterix in the actinic on the north harbour wall as part of the intensive SD36 moth survey, at least one, probably at least two Crossbills flew over, heading ESE - the Agonopterix escaped and was probably a new 10k square record!

Bonaparte's Gull showing early afternoon at least on and around Heysham 2 outfall along with at least 8 Med Gulls Red Nab/outfalls including a juv

See above

New for SD36 were Drinker, Dingy Footman, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, Water Veneer (everywhere at the moment), Pediasia aridella

The office moth trap held Bordered Beauty and Grass Emerald of note, also 3 Barred Rivulet, Pediasia aridella

There is a whale and dolphin search on the north harbour wall this afternoon starting at 1330.  Noting the parking 'arrangements', please park alongside the wide bit of road and leave plenty of room for anglers who should be in situ by then anyway. Best of luck with the mammals - a Grey Seal is a possibility.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Bonaparte's return

Heysham Obs
Less floaters and glaze in the haemorrhaged eye the last two days prompted a scope and tripod "lunchtime (and a half)" long the north harbour wall with Andrew Cornall and the long-range sight seemed fine although I cannot be trusted with reading ring numbers!

Sitting by Heysham 2 outfall, a small gull on the seaward end of Heysham One seemed worth following up as it flew further out and landed in the boat channel.  However the heat haze impaired definition.  Then it flew towards us and was confirmed as the recently 'lost' Bonaparte's Gull.  It then gave the full range of long-range instructive right down to close flight views plus a spell of landing both on the railings and on the sea.  Maybe it is just my odd perception but the original attention was obviously caught by size/underwing glimpses of what appeared to be an adult, but also a rather Kittiwake-like slightly stiff-winged direct (as opposed to feeding) flight with the wings not dropping below the horizontal.  Still showing about 1330hrs

The summer plumaged head pattern is still fully intact apart from perhaps a rather 'fuzzy' edge to the central rear crown where it may have lost the odd feather i

Gatekeepers reached a new milestone with the transect (as opposed to total count) reaching 120! and there appeared to be an influx of Silver Y (12 seen)

Med Gull - at least 8
Bonaparte's Gull -  see above
Little Gull - surprisingly no obvious sign (not a two bird theory - seen well and photographed yesterday!)

Too many! 10 Dingy Footman, 18 Straw Underwing, 2 Blackneck, and perhaps the best for here was Epiblema roborana.  A nearby actinic produced 50 Shaded Broad Bar and 30 Straw Underwing!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Little Gull new in

Heysham Obs
A late stage of the incoming tide watch from Ocean Edge saw:

Bonaparte's Gull - no sign but there was a seemingly smallish adult gull facing into the wind (so no underwing seen) in the melee in Heysham 2 outfall (as viewed from Ocean Edge) about 1240hrs - seen only very briefly with an eye I'm still having problems with.  However a birder on a bike (good move here) was in a far better position to see anything, so no news = presumably a runt BH Gull.  Unfortunately I had to return to the office.
Little Gull - stunning adult summer on Red Nab
Med Gull - 6 x 2CY (at least one green-ringed bird), 4 x adult (at least 2 of them unringed), one x metal-ringed 3CY, 1 x juv
Kittiwake - 1 x 2CY
Dunlin - 2
Redshank - c45

CES ringing
Very little evidence of anything moving apart from a few Sedge Warbler on Middleton

Rather a lot with the best been a doubling of recent VC60 records of Agonopterix angellicella with 3 in the actinic at Middleton and one in the office toilet.  170 moths in the Middleton actinic including Silky Wainscot and a few Eudonia pallida.  75 species in the toilet trap!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Med Gulls

Heysham Obs
Thanks to Mark Breaks, Jean Roberts, Pete Woodruff, Mike Watson, Chris Batty and especially Gav Thomas for going through the Meds and coming up with an excellent series of colour ring sightings, including three ringed on the same day at a German colony.  Special thanks to Ian Walker for finding the Bonaparte's Gull and catalysing visits from birders as the three main local observers were all unfortunately incapacitated for most of this month.  Hope you recover from your op soon, Pete (Cook).

German-ringed birds
AKZH, AKUR, AKRS were all ringed as nestlings at Pionierinsel, Luhe, Niedersachsen 53 35N 9 36E on 16/6/12

Polish-ringed bird
PNE7 was ringed as a nestling at Otmuchow, Opolskie  50 27N 17 14E on 10/6/11 (1420km)

An as yet unknown adult is pictured below along with one of the German-ringed birds:

   Thanks Gav for these

No sign of the Bonaparte's Gull today but about 13 Meds on the incoming tide but many birds had already anticipated the high tide and had headed off to the south.  So the Bonaparte's could quite easily be still here if people searched intensively at low tide 

The new bulb did well with four species of Footman and 56 species in total

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Red Nab and dog walking area, afternoon.

Blackheaded Gulls at different stages

Secretive Whitethroat

Common Hawker Dragonfly

Ringed Greenfinch

White-line dart-fest but no Bonaparte's Gull

Heysham Obs
A pretty careful search by four observers, three with previous experience of the bird, on the incoming tide drew a blank.  Now is the time to start searching other nearby gull flocks as it is absolutely typical for the higher tides to cause minor displacement of outfalls gulls (c/f in wing moult)

Outfalls/Red Nab later stages of incoming tide
Kittiwake - 2ns CY
Sandwich Tern - one end of Heysham one at low tide
Med Gull - at least 14, 7 of which were 2CY, one 3CY and two juvenile. All these at Red Nab end or seaward end of Heysham one outfall as viewed from north harbour wall this early morning.  No check made of the usual loafing area between stage one and the wooden jetty at low tide
Bonaparte's Gull - no sign

Office area
Tree Sparrow - at least one around feeder mid-am

North harbour wall
An actinic trap produced by far the largest ever single trap catch of White-line Dart (222) in Lancashire.  Lots more new 10km square records for SD36, the best being Archer's Dart and a worn Broad-barred White.  A Dot Moth was a little out of its usual suburban middle class habitat.  A single migrant Diamond-back Moth also of note

Monday, 22 July 2013

Bonaparte's Gull again but Red-vein in vain

Heysham Obs
Bonaparte's Gull around the outfalls during the early-mid morning but no other news from there
Thanks to Janet for the pics below

Middleton Nature reserve
The model boating pond, 3 Common Sandpipers, Common Darter and a Leech!...................but no sign Red-veined Darter in systematic search in perfect conditions....but also perfect for dispersing onwards