Monday, 24 April 2017

Mixed bag after a late start

Interested to see what tomorrow mornings seawatching will be like in the northerly - in the past it has produced some terns etc.  Today we were too late for a proper seawatch and certainly missed the decent number of early morning Red-throated Diver seen heading in from Rossall (thanks for info Ian)

Sea 0900-0940
Red-throated Diver - 2!
Great Skua - see by two of us but distant brief views as it headed in (thanks for the alert Ian)
Dunlin - 35 N
Knot - 700 south

Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Scandinavian Rock Pipit - one in summer plumage (usually gone from round here before they gain s.p.) (Malcolm)
Wheatear - 1-2

Sunday, 23 April 2017

At last a bit of action by our standards!

Unfortunately the Pom Skua was at best an unidentifiable blob high above Walney lighthouse (seen off Rossall and communicated straight away), otherwise a nice mix of stuff today.  Would have been even better without a heat haze from early doors knocking a couple of additional species on the head!

Offshore 0630 to 1020ish (Pete Crooks and Pete Marsh)
Med Gull - the major surprise was a pair of adults heading up the Bay (very late for this age class to still be on the move).  Also new in was a 2CY with the Common Gulls on the tideline by Ocean Edge
Gannet - 3
Arctic Tern - 3+10+5 in (IOY)
Red-throated Diver - at least 14 either 'in' or 'on' but floating in, singletons or twos
Common Scoter - 21
Sandwich Tern - 3
Guillemot - 8 - 'on' floating in - all singletons
Whimbrel - 6 in, 2 on shore Red Nab
Knot - flock of c4800 south
Meadow Pipit - late flock of 5 in
Swallow - c40 in (mostly after 0925)
House Martin - 2 in
Sand Martin - 7 in together 0945
Goose spp - c130 NW very distantly
No ducks other than the odd Eider (very poor spring for RBM in particular)

Harbour Porpoise - three well-separated individuals
Grey Seal - 2 (one close inshore)

Middleton NR (Malcolm)
Cetti's Warbler - two singing males but the main territory of the wintering male silent (hopefully paired and nesting)
Lesser Whitethroat - 2 singing males
Grasshopper Warbler - two additional territories/passage birds today (singing males - one near Solrec/Tradebe)
Sedge Warbler - 5 singing male
Reed Warbler - one singing male
Swallow (3) and Sand Martin (1) casually noted
Pheasant - 2
Mute Swan - 3 pairs, two sitting
Coot - 2
Moorhen - 7
Gadwall - 5 (4 males)
Mallard - 3 males
Tufted Duck - 3 (2 males)
Little Grebe - 2 on model boat pond - one trilling

No ringing this am or coverage of landbirds away from Middleton

Saturday, 22 April 2017

More additions to the Cumbrian year list

Quite a bit of stuff in the clear skies has been in Cumbria as scoped from the north wall and it is a good job todays high flying Marsh harrier was showing well-defined 'headlights' otherwise it might have been a bit of a struggle.  Unfortunately  no-one covered the early morning incoming tide

Offshore 9ish onwards on early dropping tide
Marsh Harrier - distant high flying bird purposefully in (any new ones at Leighton today - f/imm with pronounced 'headlights'?)
Common Scoter - c15 u-turned in line with turbines
Red-throated Diver - 6 on, including three together
Swallow - 5 NE in about 45 mins

Small influx of Sedge Warbler (three ringed)
Reed Warbler - singing male (IOY)
Grasshopper and Cetti's Warbler - at least two singing males of each

Wheatear - 2 Ocean Edge
Grey Plover - 16 in fsp visible along tideline
Common Gull - 37 outfalls/tideline

No other sign of life migrant-wise although no observers were there early am

Friday, 21 April 2017

Wanted and unwanted ducks

Wanted ducks
Shoveler - three 'in' (one male)
Wigeon - flock of 5 'in' (long after the wintering birds have departed) a potential tricky year tick but just too far away to be certain

Plus other things on the sea:
Sandwich tern - one in distantly
Red-throated Diver - two in sp in
Gannet - 2 out very distantly

Unwanted ducks
Other newly arrived grounded migrants
Hirundines or any other landbird vis during the seawatch

Mediocre miscellany
Little Egret - 3

Thursday :excellent coverage but...

Possibly the least productive coastal search ever at migration time in what looked like reasonable conditions
Wheatear - one OE saltmarsh
Whimbrel - one Red Nab
Gannet - one far offshore out

This might be the Grasshopper Warbler caught in the morning but may not even be a British ring??? (thanks Janet)

Ringing took place at both Middleton and Heysham.
Although the numbers caught were low, only twelve birds at each site, the highlights were the first Grasshopper Warbler ringed this and first Whitethroats of this spring at Middleton and Heysham.
Willow Warblers - 10
Chiffchaff - 4
Blackcap - 2
Grasshopper Warbler - 1
Whitethroat - 1 (& one seen Heysham)
Reed Bunting - 1
Goldfinch - 1 plus 1 retrap
Dunnock - 1 retrap
Chaffinch - 1 retrap
Blackbird - 1 retrap

Also at Middleton, at least three Grasshopper Warblers, the Lesser Whitethroat of the last few days and two Cetti's singing/calling early morning.

An additional Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the edge of the field next to the bypass roundabout on the south side of the road

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Low Key Morning

Heysham Obs

Offshore 1000-1020
Speedboat presumably involved in scientific work managed to clear the whole of the wildfowl from the low tide channels prior to my arrival!
Sandwich Tern - 2 in
Swallow - 35 N
Sand |Martin - 4 N
Odd that there were none over HNR over a much longer time period

A ringing session this morning produced fewer captures than expected from five nets set from dawn. It was a case of quality rather than quantity.
Although plenty of local pairs of birds were flitting around there appeared to be few newly arrived birds.
Sedge Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 2 retraps
Willow Warbler - 4 plus 2 retraps
Blackcap - 1
Goldfinch - 2 plus 2 retraps
Dunnock - 1 retrap

None in the hut trap.  The overnight wind although broadly southerly, did have a little east in it  which may have deterred moths from entering the window.

Not fit for purpose in my opinion.  Lost three micros escaping through the beehive slats the other morning and this must be happening all night. Don't forget this trap has been unchecked for three nights as no one had access.  Design modifications needed (ie the original design implemented!!) otherwise it is a waste of time.  Are the nearby security lights still on all night? (Pete Marsh - county moth recorder) 


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Female Scaup tops the bill

Counting rather than just skimming through the Eider saw a female Scaup trying its best to blend in but it soon became clear it had its own agenda and floated out on its own whilst the Eider maintained position, feeding.  A very distant Osprey was only picked up under a cloud of gulls after it was well north of Ulverston and it was soon lost against the background - probably turning and flying towards land judging by the gull response.  Migrant or wandering associate with/component of the breeding birds?

Sea early morning low tide
Osprey - see above - 0900ish
Scaup - female see above
Black-headed Gull - flock of 17 purposefully in
Eider - 187
Red-breasted Merganser - 2 pairs
Sand Martin - 6 north
Swallow - 11 north

Malcolms notes from Middleton plus additions from John/Doreen/Pete
One Lesser Whitethroat between gun club and steps.
A couple of Redpoll blogging.
Slow trickle of swallows - 8 in total, one group of 3 the rest singles.
1 male pheasant.
Sand Martin - 3 north
Cetti's Warbler - at least two singing males
Sedge Warbler - two singing early on only, one ringed
5 Tufted
2 Gadwall
1 Little Grebe ( no swimming pond)
1 Lapwing on model boat pond peninsula

Lots of male orange tip. 

Thanks for the following pics from Middleton, Janet

Monday, 17 April 2017

Coverage around low tide

Ducks were the order of the day although it was great that Malcolm fully confirmed three Cetti's warbler territories as all were singing at the same time this am

Garganey - a pair flew from across the bay and then swung and flew up the bay over heysham skeer and lost heading for the stone jetty
Goldeneye - two females were a very welcome sighting as they headed up the bay
Common scoter - drake flew on and u-turned out
Red throated diver  - one on
Great crested grebe - one on
Eider - 197
Red breasted merganser - NONE!!
Whimbrel - 2 in
Swallow - 40 in including gang of 32
Sandwich tern - just the one in
Redpoll - flock of 5 north
Meadow pipit - c15 n
Linnet -c20 n
White wagtail - 2n

Gadwall - 6
Tufted duck - 3
Cetti's warbler - 3 singing male
Common buzzard - one high to north
Sedge warbler - one singing briefly

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Perseverance on the sea

Sea for about 1.5 hours
Little gull - two ads in
Common scoter - three distantly out
Kittiwake - flock of 55 on then in
Eider -c135
Knot - 2700 on skeers
Grey seal 1-2

Lesser whitethroat still singing
Cetti's warbler - at least one
Gadwall - 2
Teal - 2
Tufted duck - 2

Friday, 14 April 2017

Warm sector scraps

Nowt yesterday other than 130 Eider in low tide channel

Spent about 30 minutes this morning in absolutely superb haze free visibility trying to see Brent Geese at Rampside!!   Just too far away, but there was nothing to look at in between Heysham and the Furness coast - absolutely dead bar one Eider flying out, despite a strong incoming tidal flow

Grasshopper Warbler - singleton giving a few bursts of song
Lesser Whitethroat - ditto
Cetti's Warbler - two possibly three singing males
Teal - two pairs still

Heysham NR
Sedge warbler singing by office for a short time

Absolutely zero hirundine passage contra elsewhere eg over the sea

Zero yet again on Wheatear which have been incredibly scarce after an early flurry

Brown House Moth in the moth trap along with Early Grey and Early Thorn

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Fulmar on the year list

Probably about an hour in total watching the sea during the early stages of the incoming tide but about a third was during poor visibility

Gannet - one in, 14 out
Fulmar - one out

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

One Gannet

One distant Gannet in 30 minutes

Middleton NR (Malcolm)
Cetti's warbler(s) singing:
Fence pond/central marsh - 1 burst
NE corner of central marsh - 3 bursts
NW corner of "no swimming" pond - 1 burst.
Unfortunately, I never heard two at the same time, but I suspect more than one bird was involved.
2 Tufted
6 Gadwall
2 Teal

Monday, 10 April 2017

Gannet duo

A couple of adult gannet and a single red throated diver from about an hours incoming tide seawatching this am.

Six little egret best of the rest!

OSPREY ne across the se corner of the recording area about 1208 yesterday

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Migration still low key

Heysham NR
Vis 06:15 - 10:00
Meadow Pipit 26
Alba Wagtail 3
Lesser Redpoll 12
Carrion Crow 3

Seen from the North Harbour Wall
Knot 1000  flew from the skears towards Middleton
Turnstone - at least 150 on the wooden jetty
Dunlin 160
Common Gull 39
Bar-tailed Godwit 5
Little Egret 5

Middleton NR
Little change here. Willow,Warblers and Chiffchaffs singing, a single Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler in NE  corner of central marsh. No other types of warbler yet.
Tufted Duck 2
Teal 2
Mute Swan 3 pairs
Little Grebe 1
Buzzard soaring to east.


Saturday, 8 April 2017


Early WeBs count saw two distant Sandwich Tern and a Swallow heading north.  Records elsewhere suggest a significant coastal (but not up the Lune) Lesser Redpoll passage from first light and about 10 were caught later on in the morning Heysham/Middleton

Other than the redpoll, vis mig was very slow or high with occasional pulses of Meadow Pipit including a flock of 16 mid morning

6 Little Egret Red Nab!

Friday, 7 April 2017

The door remains closed

This comment certainly seems to apply to migrant birds at the moment but it is also embarrassing when, on a whistle stop visit to see if anyone was in (so could check the moth trap), you have to refuse a regular visitor access to the toilet.......because the door to the new office remained firmly locked all day and you do not possess a key.  They have only been issued to paid staff.  

Red Nab
Little Egret - 5
Meadow Pipit - 4 NE
alba Wagtail - 8 grounded (all Pied)

A survey vessel plonked in the outer Kent channel area appeared to have two birders aloft - hope we get the seawatching data!
Red-throated Diver - 1 out

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Very quiet

Heysham NR
Apart from a couple of early morning Willow Warblers there was not much in the way of grounded or visible migrants.
Just 3 Meadow Pipits and 2 Pied Wagtails over in 3 hours.

No moths in the super new mothroom.

Hoping for a big improvement on Saturday when the winds are southerly.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Tuesday: one decent bird but a repeat for the year!

Iceland Gull - Middayish: 2CY flew from the WSW (but didn't see how far away it came on that line) and joined a gang on they seaward end of Heysham Two outfalls for 10 minutes or so before flying purposefully north west-ish in the direction of Roa Island causeway

Meadow Pipit - 5 north in 30 minutes
Little Egret - 3 Red Nab/outfalls area  

Monday, 3 April 2017

The early bird .....

Middleton NR

The early bird (Malcolm) caught the worms today with a fall of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff. By 08:10 when I arrived there were only two Willow Warblers and two Chiffchaffs  singing.

Model Boat Pond
Mute Swan - 1pr
Teal - 1pr
Gadwall - 2prs

No Swimming Pond

Tim Butler Pond
Mute Swan - 1

Cetti's Warbler - 2 singing, one in central marsh, other north of NS Pond (NB 2 birds heard on 1 April).

Sparrowhawk hunting over the rough ground in the north.

2 Meadow Pipits and a Lesser Redpoll over.

2 April - Fox in the new scrapes area.

Hoping to catch up with the Willow Warblers, I went round Heysham NR
Willow Warbler - 1 called from the willows on the northern edge of the reedbed
Chiffchaff - 3 singing and 1 calling.


Sunday, 2 April 2017

No vis mig coverage

Shame it wasn't possible to watch the low tide channels and fare overhead in the early morning.  Not a morning for grounded migrant enthusiasts!

Pink footed Goose 35 S mid am

Single Goldcrest and Chiffchaff ringed by office

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Low spring tide channel fare

Quite a bit but failed with a white winged gull target but light often poor

Light bellied Brent goose - two on furthest skeer
Wigeon - migrant flocks of 45, 2 on water by heysham skeer
Large gulls - c350 on or around skeers
Eider - c105
Sand Martin - 5 n
Meadow pipit - 40 n
Alba wagtail - 5 n
Pink footed goose - flock of c360 north
Red breasted merganser - 5
Knot - c4000 on skeer plus murmuration - first ones seen in numbers north of wooden jetty this year

Singing Cetti's warbler central marsh as usual

Friday, 31 March 2017

Late jack snipe

Two together ocean edge tide line

Wheatear - 9

Red throated diver - 1

Thursday, 30 March 2017


Coverage minimal today as office not accessible and no base to mix and match coverage with eg writing up the 2016 Obs report - it wont be long before it is finished - honest!

Chris Batty saved the day with an observation of two dm Arctic Skua heading towards Heysham wooden jetty mid afternoon from his north Fylde window - can only recall one previous migrant March record 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

More migrants

29 March 2016 

Middleton NR 
Osprey over at c10am
First Willow Warbler of the year

Heysham NR
Singing Blackcap along Moneyclose Lane

Ocean Edge
4 Wheatear

4 Wheatear


28 March 2016

Middleton NR 0705 - 1030
6C, ENE F2, Clear but misty

Thanks Janet

Hardly any migration was detected at Middleton, just 8 Meadow Pipits (1 trapped and ringed)  and 1 Pied Wagtail (trapped and ringed) flew over!

Cetti's Warbler still singing in the central marsh
Water Rail still calling from the western reedbed
A pair of Gadwall was on the Fence pond along with a pair of Mallard and a spare male
male Teal
Chiffchaff singing.
Blackbird with food seen

Ocean Edge
4 male Wheatear grounded
2 Linnet (local)
c40 Meadow Pipit grounded

No Snipe on high tideline

Monday, 27 March 2017

Black and white bentbill

An Avocet was a very welcome surprise on Ocean Edge saltmarsh with the Oystercatchers but it was just about to be flushed by the tide and ended up flying towards Middleton saltmarsh.  Hopefully one of the Lune Estuary pair returning

Some kind of courtship feeding?  Nice pic Janet

North harbour wall
Meadow Pipit - 78 N
alba Wagtail - 2 N
Goldfinch - 4 N
Siskin - 2 N
Red-throated Diver - flock of 5 on
Chiffchaff - one grounded on mound

Middleton NR
Meadow Pipit - 129 N
Sand Martin - 4 N
Sparrowhawk - 1 N
Chaffinch - 2 NE
Goldfinch - 9 NE
Cetti's singing central marsh
Water Rail - 1
Tufted Duck - 2 males and female model boat pond

Middleton pm - some raptor movement/local thermalling
Quite a lot of common raptor movement.
1 (presumably common) Buzzard very high, got even higher before heading north 14:50. This one looked like genuine movement.
2 common buzzard together 15:45 heading west - think these were local.
2 kestrel together, male displaying.
2 separate sparrow hawk, one high to north, other just high and disappeared.
Still lots of Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest.
4 Teal, I'm hoping these are going to breed!
Little grebe calling on Tim Butler pond

Ocean Edge pm
Wheatear - 3

Early Thorn (2), Common Quaker, Hebrew Character,  Diurnea fagella 

Grey Seal

Dead still sunday

A fairly dismal fare today in flat calm weather

The sea produced a Red-throated Diver in 4 minutes of seawatching!

Middleton saw a trickle of vis mig:  Sparrowhawk (1), Meadowe Pipit (13), Siskin (3), Lesser Redpoll (1), Reed Bunting (7 including flock of 6), Pied Wagtail (1)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Just a trickle

Clear overnight and clear day means a lot of birds have cleared off.
Middleton NR 07:00 - 11:00
Meadow Pipit 25 over
Alba Wagtail 3
That was it for vis.

Cetti's Warbler singing
Chiffchaff singing by the gate first thing.
Common Buzzard - 2 circling but not moving off anywhere. One was displaying for a time so probably local birds.
Jay - 1 flew SE
Lapwing - 3 circled over the Model Boat Pond then flew off.

Near half moon bay
Stonechat - male on gorse by fenced off gravel

Ringing (new birds)
Chiffchaff. - 1
Pied Wagtail - 2
Meadow Pipit - 5
Goldcrest - 3
Dunnock - 1
At Heysham there were even fewer birds!
Chiffchaff - 1
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 1
Meadow Pipit - 1

At sea
Red-throated Diver - 3
Grey Seal - 1

Friday, 24 March 2017

And they're off....

Lots of birds on the move now we're past the equinox and the weather is more favourable.

North Harbour Wall from 07:15hrs - 0930

Meadow Pipits 195
Alba Wagtail 38
Linnet 6
Carrion Crow 2
Greenfinch 1
Goldfinch 2
Little Gull 1 adult into Bay
Common Gull 31 into Bay
Black-headed Gull 22 into Bay
Red-throated Diver 18 (1 in at 0719, 1 on then N at 0726, 2 in at 0805, a further 5 in singly, 7 close together on water, a further 2 on the water)
Guillemot 1 on the water
Osprey seen distantly to south at about 0815 heading north then turned and headed in over the Lune channel.
Buzzard 1 north at 1100hrs

Middleton NR
Greylag 3 NE
Chiffchaff 11
Cetti's singing from Femce Pond

Middleton NR - Comma feeding on coltsfoot
Heysham NR - Brimstone


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Meadow Pipit push begins

Negative: no sign Iceland Gull

As the weather starts to improve, the Meadow Pipit passage is getting underway. Should have got to Heysham for first light though as other areas e.g. Rossall had hundreds of Mipits by 08:00

Ocean Edge 08:00
44 Meadow Pipits grounded
Wheatear - 2 males early afternoon

Visible migration
North Harbour Wall 08:15 - 09:35 
All birds heading NE into the wind. 
Meadow Pipit 152 plus 71 different over Middleton, plus 40 later 
Alba Wagtail 17
Goldfinch 2
Greenfinch 1
Linnet 2
Common Gull - 7 . All immatures. NB 25 Common Gulls on the beach in the afternoon. Mixed ages.
Black-headed Gull - 5
Red-throated Diver 4 into the Bay
Auk sp. probably Guillemot 1 into the Bay
Whooper Swan - flock of 70-75 north mid afternoon
Swallow - two north over Heysham village pm (IOY)
Peregrine 2 high. May be local.

Heysham NR 
Stonechat - female still present

Chiffchaff - at least 5 including one showing pollen from the Med!

Total of 71 Meadow pipits over to NE. Mainly groups of 3 to 5 birds. Largest group 11. Didn't see any after 10:30, this coincides with arrival of clear weather front.
Thought I was going to be swamped with Chiffchaff, 4 around model boat pond (2 singing), but only heard one other bird singing in the rest of the circuit.
Cetti's Warbler singing loudly from middle of central marsh.
1 drake Gadwall
2 Tufted
4 Teal
1 Water rail
6 Moorhen



Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Migrants struggle through

Two Sand Martin north this morning (IOY)

17 grounded Meadow Pipit Red Nab and three north this am

Male Wheatear Red Nab the only one despite good coastal coverage

Iceland Gull at waterfall after the tide - the grey is really coming through on the mantle now


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Stonechat performs well

A female Stonechat gave Janet some nice pic opportunities when it appeared on Heysham NR late afternoon:

Iceland Gull - 3CY on Fishers roof and later on the south quay - almost a long enough stay to be given a name
Gannet - adult
Kittiwake - adult
Both the last two appeared as the IOM passenger ferry was coming in and may have been dragged in then headed north as the boat slowed down

Monday, 20 March 2017

Brief visit

Iceland gull 3CY on the south quay

Flock of 6 Kittiwake in then on in 30 min seawatch

Two chiffchaff singing by office

Middleton (MD)
2 Tufted
2 Mallard
2 Teal
1 Little grebe on Fence pond (first I've seen here this year)
No sightings of Goldcrest or Chiffchaff. But did hear 2 Chiffchaff singing.
Contact calls only from Cetti's in western scrape

March Moth and Common Quaker in trap

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Nothing happening

The 3CY Iceland Gull was asleep on Fishers roof from at least 0805hrs to 1330hrs and nothing else stirred despite quite a bit of migrant activity elsewhere

The sea was particularly awful with a couple of hours producing some seagulls and an Eider!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Thwarted Kittiwakes

Two gangs of Kittiwake clearly did not fancy an overland crossing in todays weather and ended up flying out and across the bay

Kittiwake: flocks of 20 and c135 out/on then out
Iceland Gull: 3CY south quayside then later on Fishers roof

Friday, 17 March 2017

Gannet in the gloom

The visibility wasn't too clever today otherwise more surely on the sea?  As it was only had 30 minutes to spare and this immediately produced an outbound adult Gannet but nothing else other than a flock of 5 small gulls in the gloom which lifted off the water briefly before landing again out of sight (Common Gull or Kittiwake)

The 3CY Iceland Gull was south quayside mid afternoon just below the old Fisher's warehouse

Moths:  2 x Hebrew Character, single of Clouded Drab and Common Quaker

Thursday, 16 March 2017


Iceland Gull on Fisher's roof again.

1 Goldcrest in the bushes at the corner of the South Harbour Wall.

Meadow Pipit 2
Alba Wagtail 1
Siskin 4
Grey Wagtail 1

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Spring migrant trickle

Low double figures of Goldcrest and 4-5 Chiffchaff around this am with low double figures of Meadow Pipit and alba Wagtail overhead. 1 Grey Wagtail over and headed to sewage works.

Jay- 2 by Pagoda on Reserve.

Two Raven at the heliport area welcome - scarce recently

3CY Iceland Gull at the waterfall early am

106 Eider in the low tide channel

Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler on territory Middleton

Mammals:  Roe Deer - 2 crossed Heysham NR plateau at 10.30 from marshy area below old classroom.

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly - 1 seen in Reserve car park am

Four singletons of four species in the moth trap:  Diurnea fagella, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, March Moth

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Iceland Gull still in residence

Must like it here as quite a bit of the recent weather could be labelled 'departure conditions'

Completely dead, having said that, overhead today

Just 14 Snipe but no Jack Snipe OE saltmarsh

Male Wheatear (still?) in this area

60 Cormorants on the wooden jetty and 24 Turnstone on the lower deck

Common Quaker in the new moth trap

Monday, 13 March 2017

Spring trundles along and Iceland Gull lingers

Some good coverage by Janet and Malcolm today but unfortunately still struggling with logistics at Heysham NR and (eg as the visiting birder yesterday found) the office is still closed most of the time as there is only one key at present and regular migrant ringing and vis mig coverage has yet to get started

Ocean Edge afternoon

Just the one Wheatear seen today

Middleton am
22 Meadow pipits were grounded on/around field to east of Tim Butler. Drifted off north in three groups (8, 8 & 6).
1 burst of song from Cetti's in western scrape.
1 Buzzard
7 jackdaw (5 & 2) high to north
1 Gadwall
3 Tufted
2 Teal

3CY Iceland Gull giving close views at last as it fed around the waterfall in the SW corner of the harbour this am.  This can actually be viewed with a telescope from the end of the 'Twite corridor', to save the long walk round, but best to check Fishers roof first

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Decent mix

Iceland gull 3cy at waterfall early am then flew towards wooden jetty

Jack snipe - 3 oe foreshore

Chiffchaff - 2 middleton, one singing

Wheatear - male oe foreshore

Saturday, 11 March 2017


Male Wheatear in the old sandworks

14 Snipe and single Jack Snipe Ocean Edge

No sign of Iceland Gull but gulls very unsettled

At least 7 Goldcrest HNR - definite migration

No evidence of overhead eg pipit passage in murky weather

Friday 10th March

Iceland Gull still present early am

8 Whooper Swan over Middleton and a further singleton seen from ferry (Malcolm & Stephen)

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Iceland Gull and more Stonechat

The Iceland Gull was back asleep on Fishers roof this am (per Jean)

Three Stonechat were on Middleton western marsh this morning (one male) (per Malcolm)

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Stonechat top the bill

Stonechat - male and female along recycling centre road
Iceland Gull - negative on two brief am checks
Cettis Warbler - singing central marsh
Thanks for the pics Janet:

tuesday : Iceland gull persists

Plenty of nice weather for it to call it a day but the Iceland gull was still asleep on fishers roof late morning

Singing male Cetti's warbler middleton fence pond

Other stuff not sent to me yet

Monday, 6 March 2017

Stonechat highlight

The Stonechat passage is getting going with some decent counts already south of here and today's is our second so far - another female, but this time on Heysham barrows

Iceland Gull - 3CY still Fisher's Roof
Red-throated Diver - one in wp quite close in feeding in a low tide riffle
Eider - c90
Stonechat - female Heysham barrows by old go kart track

Malcolm's email from Middleton (thanks)
Cetti's singing from western scrape this morning. I was really pleased! No other Cetti's singing from other areas, so perhaps this one has been having a reconnoiter and decided to return to its old haunt.
4 Reed Bunting, including one singing male.
Buzzard being mobbed by crows.
The pair of mute that claimed the "no swimming" pond, decided to oust the pair from the model boat pond last week. That leaves us with only two pairs and a vacated "no swimming" pond. I have gone down to the reed mace there a couple of times, but no sign of bittern.

Mute 2 pair
Coot 2
Moorhen 5
Little Grebe 1 ("no swimming" pond)
Gadwall 5
Tufted 3
Mallard 7
Teal 4
Water Rail 3
Common Snipe 6
Cetti's Warbler 1
Common Buzzard 1

Sunday sightings

Other than an invasion by Arctic mutts (husky club) at the excellent Half Moon Bay Café and a Cetti's warbler singing from possibly a new area/new bird at Middleton, routine stuff today

Iceland Gull - seen several times, roof area in the morning and flying about later in the afternoon

Siskin - flock of 5 by the office feeders

Eider - perfect viewing conditions offshore but a complete seaduck monoculture - just 104 Eider and no RBM at low tide

Meadow Pipit - 2 grounded north harbour wall

Cetti's Warbler - singing male by pumping station (but none in the usual area for a few days now)

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Signs of migration

Middleton NR
Female Stonechat near Tim Butler Pond.
2 Skylark over.
Cetti's Warbler singing near the bridge over the dyke.

On the Model Boat Pond:
1pr Mute Swans
1pr Teal
3prs Gadwall
1pr Mallard
1pr Tufted Duck

Tim Butler Pond
1pr Mute Swan
1pr Teal
1pr Moorhen
1 Coot

Fence Pond
Water Rail - 2

Water Rail - 1 at least. Has been using the new pools as well.

Heysham Harbour
Iceland Gull still there

Low tide channel
56 Eider (36 males, 20 females)
1 Red-breasted Merganser

Heysham Head
3 Siskin over
3 Meadow Pipits over

Friday, 3 March 2017

Distant scaup and Iceland gull remains

The first sweep of the distant channels by heysham alerts as the tide turned saw a frenzy of feeding activity by oystercatcher on rarely exposed skeers.  The channels held seaduck, mainly Eider but also a flock of welcome Scaup and something which appeared to be a female goldeneye but not certain at the range.   Oddly no Rb mergansers seen

Iceland gull - another mid to late afternoon success with bread after abortive attempts earlier in the day.

Scaup - two adult drake and three female

Gadwall - 6 model boat pond

Eider - 121

Thursday, 2 March 2017


A short seawatch this morning produced:
Red-throated Diver 2 - wp/2cy plus adult moulting into sp
Kittiwake - flock of 17 ad and 1 2CY in then on
Eider - building up - 104 in channel just south of Heysham skeer

Iceland Gull - 3CY on Fisher's roof early am, then disappeared only to reappear there midday!  Two loaves of white bread wasted on it - no response

6 Gadwall model boat pond

Nice pic of a male Bullfinch HNR from Janet:

1st March Iceland

Today it was patrolling the north wall -Med-style at one stage for Jim Clift and Len Knowles - thanks for the pics.  Most of us have had to put up with views from a different 10km square!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A little bit of bread...........

This bird looked too far away to be tempted off a distant roof, but it didn't need the takeover of a bakery to produce these shots of the 3CY Iceland Gull.  Nice one Janet

Also a new 3CY Med coming to bread by Half moon bay café

The 3CY Med: