Friday, 15 August 2014

Bits and bobs of early autumnal migration

Heysham Obs

Middleton NR
Bird Fair or CES?  Had to be the CES as there isn't any more suitable weather during the 10 day period for the likes of Middleton on the horizon - no shelter from north-westerlies which are often spiced up over and above the forecasted strength as they come straight in off the sea.  Conditions were well-nigh perfect for mist-netting with no sun until after the CES period and no wind

Mainly due to being dragged around by tit flocks, a fair chunk of the warbler presence at Middleton seemed to end up in the mist nets.  This vast majority of the captures comprised three 'collections', including tits, in a single net on three separate occasions.  The nets were otherwise empty with virtually no resident warblers and implicitly very few 'acros'.  New-ringed birds at Middleton included the following:

Sedge Warbler - only two seen/heard/caught
Reed Warbler - conspicuous by absence - a juv ringed near the end of the session the only evidence
Garden Warbler - one ringed (do not breed here)
Blackcap - 7 ringed
Whitethroat - 6 ringed
Lesser Whitethroat - one ringed
Willow Warbler - 10 ringed
Chiffchaff - 4 ringed
Robin - one post-moult 1CY and one late brood speckled bird

Heysham NR
The Heysham Nature reserve CES produced the star bird of the morning - a Grasshopper Warbler in probably the driest habitat in the area and obviously a migrant

Also notable there was a newly fledged brood of Chiffchaff still in the '1J' stage and four presumed migrant post-juv-moult Robin

Outfalls/Red Nab
Wheatear - 4
Med Gull - 16, mainly 1CY
Little Gull - one adult

Vis mig
Meadow Pipit - one
Grey Wagtail - 3 very early on

Middleton actinic produced very little but included Brown China Mark and the Heysham NR trap saw a lot of Flounced Ructic and a couple of t.b.i.micros which night be of interest!

Gulls at high tide on the outfalls

Med Gull late afternoon on the outfalls