Monday, 23 September 2013

Night migrant-free murk

Heysham Obs
Late evening update
Middleton was investigated for Swallows this evening and after talking to two dog walkers a net was erected.  At first there was nothing around until a very tightly-packed high-flying gang appeared about 1900hrs.  These were targeted by a falcon spp, probably Merlin, over the golf course.  After a late (for here) Reed Warbler on the initial check, I was just about to take down when 38 Swallows entered the net.  As seems to be regular at this stage of the season, 9/38 were adults.  The total roost was estimated at 120 birds

Also seen were four Gadwall and a flighty flock of 3 Shoveler which appeared to head off east.  A Barn Owl has been seen recently and at least one sighting of a Little Owl (per late evening dog walkers)

The opposite of what might have been expected this morning.  Lowish cloud and murk produced a reasonable 'cross-bay' vis of Meadow Pipit and a few other odds and ends, all flying as high as they could without being out of sight in the cloud and also showing a considerable degree of urgency on a NW to SE heading.  In contrast, there was very little of the usual Chaffinch-dominated low-level vis from the direction of Heysham Head along the coast.  The other feature was a complete absence of night migrants - the AA rings are in danger of going rusty apart from the odd Wren - other than a very early calling Chiffchaff and a small gang of Song Thrush

Thanks to Bryan for help with the vis mig

Vis mig dawn to 1030ish
Skylark - 1
Meadow Pipit - 245
Swallow - 12
Chaffinch - 15
Grey Wagtail - 9 (unusually at least 3 birds seemed not to hear the tape)
alba Wagtail - 9
Reed Bunting - 1
Goldfinch - just 3 high-flyers

Chiffchaff - 1
Song Thrush - flock of 3 headed inland

Red Nab/outfalls
Quick check produced 4 Sandwich Tern plus about 9 Meds

5 Grey Wagtail was a bit below par given the perfect mist-netting conditions (see above), the rest of the 50-ish catch consisted of finches, couple of Dunnock, one Blue Tit and a few Meadow Pipit

A good catch e.g. double-figures of Pink-barred Sallow but the only surprise was a second brood Acleris forsskaleana