Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Migration seems to take a day off

Heysham Obs
A bit of a lie-in seemed to justify itself as a short vis mig session degenerated into counting a wasp flight-line in the absence of anything numerically avian.   Whether this is going to set the tone for October, time will tell - certainly a repeat of the September ringing effort will surely not be possible.

This is not a site where ringing is an extensive effort -usually a single or two-person activity in a relatively small geographical area whilst e.g. also trying to keep an accurate handle on the vis mig.  Therefore individual species ringing totals are rarely high with an annual effort usually about 2,000.

To put September into context, over 1,500 were ringed with the Chiffchaff ringing total of 105 in excess of any annual grand total during the period of the Obs (since 1980).  The annual ringing total so far for Chiffchaff is 207 and, as implied, no previous annual total has exceeded 100!   Other very high totals for September included 113 Robin (out of a total of 199 so far) and this represented a steady trickle through the mist netting areas, not a result of a single big fall.   Blackcap numbers were also very high, especially in the early part of the month, with Middleton, not usually prime Blackcap habitat, producing the majority of the 102 ringed during the month (out of a total of 207 for the year so far, equalling Chiffchaff, and far in excess of any previous annual total).   The ringing effort also produced a total of 132 Grey Wagtail (out of a grand total of 157 - the rest at the end of August), as with Robin, this was a steady trickle in morning after morning of suitable migration/ringing weather and personnel availability, rather than any major individual day total.

The star of the show was Cetti's Warbler which saw three individuals, including (surprisingly at this central location and previous history) the only bird during the month bearing a ring from elsewhere (D765... anyone?)

Vis mig 0830-0900 by office
Chaffinch - 13
Meadow Pipit - 1
alba Wagtail - 3
Greenfinch - 4
Green Woodpecker calling
Wasp - 81 SW

Yet another unusual 2nd brood in the form of Small Fan-footed Wave.  Large Wainscot the best of the rest plus two Silver Y and a very late Square Spot Rustic.