Thursday, 31 December 2009

Today's stuff

Heysham Obs
North wall
Twite – c12
Pink-footed Goose – flock of c500 NNW over the bay this morning

Northern boundary of recording area
Stonechat – female on the rocks just north of Heysham Head

“Masses” of duck on Pine Lake. 5 adult Whooper Swan Melling including ringed bird also present last winter. 4 Snow Geese, 3 Barnacle Geese and Dark-bellied Brent Aldcliffe as viewed from south end of Golden Ball Road. Also c500 Pink-footed Geese, but very hard to count with many hidden from view. Chiffchaff (collybita) High Bentham Sewage works. Blackcap Hornby – very rare in winter east of the M6.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Same minor displacement

Heysham Obs
The impression that yesterdays vigils gave a relatively poor return for coastal/inshore/offshore stuff was born out by the usual 20 minutes or so north harbour wall circuit this morning

North wall/wooden jetty/harbour/offshore
Nothing offshore, no small waders on the wooden jetty (certain as can be), no Meds hanging around the anglers, nothing in the harbour, nothing on the mound

Med Gull - ad sat on Fisher's roof
Twite - just 7 on the seed, flew off before could check for rings

Middleton IE
Woodcock 1, Snipe 1, Fieldfare 11

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Stonechat - still along the foreshore by the saltmarsh
Rock Pipit - still by the saltmarsh
Wigeon - 146 Red Nab
Bar-tailed Godwit - 67
Shelduck - 165

4 Snow Geese still Aldcliffe

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Two vigils and a happy wanderer

Heysham Obs
Excellent coverage today of the coastal areas with two separate work-related sessions either side of the harbour and a 'man & terrier' linking the two and walking the rest of the coast!

Heysham Nature reserve & area
Chiffchaff - heard calling along the top path
Redwing - 2 by dipping pond
Bullfinch - male dog walk track

Ocean Edge saltmarsh & mudflats
Dunlin - 153 - a high count for midwinter (86 of these roosting at high tide on Red Nab - unusual in winter)
Stonechat - male along the tideline
Rock Pipit - one at high tide

Pink-footed Geese
22 + 47 SE

Red Nab vigil on dropping tide
Med Gull - large adult which flew off towards the Lune Estuary
Wigeon - increase to 148
Golden Plover - singleton roosting on the rocks
Black-tailed Godwit - two flew in from the south on dropping tide - previously very rare/absent in winter
Skylark - 5 'in-off' at 1103 hrs heading NW to SE. Since the disappearance of the small wintering flock on Ocean Edge two winters ago, very rare here other than on early spring and mid-autumn 'vis mig' & 2-3 breeding pairs hanging in at Middleton IE
Knot - just 470 in roost

North harbour wall/heliport/Half-moon Bay
Med Gull - 2 usual adults attending the post-angler 'clean-up', one the Czech-ringed bird
Whooper Swan - 4 south at c1100hrs
Golden Plover - flock of 35 north (very unusual for here)
Knot - maximum of 3,000 heliport
Red-breasted Merganser - one IN harbour
Twite - none and no food left when I arrived mid-afternoon (rabbits). 4 in transit at Half-moon bay, headed towards the mound area early afternoon
Black Redstart - no sign in 6 hours of foreshore coverage

Nothing new Pine Lake. 6 adult Whooper Melling including one with yellow darvic on left leg, also 200 (exactly) Greylag, 18 Pink-footed Geese and 161 Canada Geese. Aldcliffe geese included a Dark-bellied Brent Goose plus the 4 Snow Geese but no mention of any Barnacle Geese

Monday, 28 December 2009

More minor displacement

Heysham Obs
Heysham Nature reserve
As a well-meaning volunteer, salted the dog-walk path entrance and received a muttered "about time" to follow the berating for not doing anything about it two days ago! [Comment deleted - there are too many dog/walker rants on birding sites and many of the dog walkers are great people]. Reserve very quiet with no obvious sign of Chiffchaff.

Middleton IE
This is going through a good cold-weather spell for Malcolm with:
Pink-footed Goose - 70+180 south, 90 north (probably offshoots of the 3000+ flying about over the Lune Estuary at this time ( see Aldcliffe blog)
Woodcock - 1 (flushed)
Pheasant - 1
Snipe - 7
Fieldfare - 19
Redwing - 15
Mute Swan - 2

North harbour wall mid afternoon
Dead with just the one adult Med Gull seen

See Aldcliffe site - extra Barnacle Goose with the PFGs. 1-2 Cetti's Warbler Leighton causeway by grit trays

Sunday, 27 December 2009

More Woodcock and now a pair of Stonechat

Heysham Obs
Middleton IE
12 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 3 Woodcock seen in flight (not flushed), 6 Moorhen, one Coot, 2 Mute Swan, 3 Snipe & pair of Stonechat

North harbour wall very brief visit late afternoon
Med Gull - ad
Twite - 12 (7 ringed autumn 2009 & 5 with 2008/9 rings; one with split dark blue/white over the site ring, two with site ring over yellow/pale blue and two with the site ring over white/dark blue)

4 Snow Geese & 3 Barnacle Geese Aldcliffe, but only c6 Pink-footed Geese. One of the Greylag with very white band just above the bill. No sign of any Whooper Swan Melling (all Mutes) - significant number of grey geese, mainly if not all Greylag, at Melling - out of identification range in late afternoon light (& Canadas)

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Chiffchaff still surviving & pheasants reappear at Middleton

Heysham Obs
Following a berating from a dog-walker, watching a labrador doing the splits and two cars having great difficulty getting up the hill, the reserve gate will definitely be locked again tomorrow and reviewed at the end of the day. The problem is the compacting which is always worse than the initial snowfall

Reserve office area
Chiffchaff - collybita by the Obs Tower pond midday

North harbour wall
Twite - at least 5 heard and seen very briefly
Med Gull - one adult

Middleton IE
Pheasant - 2 - mega, 3 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, Woodcock, 6 Moorhen, 2 Mute swan

Aldcliffe was viewed from the southern end of the Golden Ball road and revealed the four Snow Geese, three Barnacle Geese and and sizeable mix of Greylag, Canada and Pink-footed Goose with c115 of the latter visible, but quite a bit of coming & going from the (out of sight) riverbed. Another mass of geese visible from the raised layby just south of Melling in the Lune valley and also included at least 20 Pink-footed Geese & 5 Whooper Swan (the family party of Whoopers had moved the Claughton in the morning). Nothing new on Pine Lake.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Very quick visit

Happy Christmas. A quick visit at the end of the day after being thwarted (yet again) with work which had to be done at Stainmore/Barras by fog!! At least managed to get two hours done and what brilliant scenery on the fog-free journey to & from. The usually maggot-ridden, gully-eroded Howgills were transformed. Thanks to Malcolm for some early stuff

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adults
Purple Sandpiper - one on the lower tier of the outer section of the jetty
Song Thrush - one on the NHW mound!
Twite - too late in the day?

Half-moon Bay area
Single Redwing & Fieldfare

Four Snow Geese flew out of the river and on to Aldcliffe Marsh about 1430hrs. 3 Scaup in channel north Morecambe

Thursday, 24 December 2009

No obvious response to the cold weather here

Heysham Obs
.............other than the disappearance of the huge flocks of Knot from Ocean Edge foreshore/Red Nab, soon after a monitoring programme was set in motion!

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adults
Twite - 21, including one ringed at Askam-in-Furness (Duddon Estuary) in autumn 2008 (probably the regular bird), one with just a metal ring, 3 unringed and about 50:50 birds ringed in autumn/winter 2008/9 and birds ringed this autumn. This means that the recent reduction in numbers has almost exclusively involved 1CY birds.

Ocean Edge foreshore/Red Nab
Med Gull - large adult - invariably on this side of the harbour on an intermittent basis
Wigeon - 109
No Knot on incoming (neap) tide

Fieldfare - c200, mainly a trickle, but including a loose flock of 55, all heading east during early/mid morning at High Tatham - the only obvious evidence of CWM, although there were about 25 conspicuous Blackbirds in the surrounding hedges! No Redwing or Song Thrush seen this morning

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Sean vigil

Heysham Obs
Thanks to Sean for these records:

North harbour wall and environs
Med Gull - adult seaward end of Stage one outfall, 2 adults later on the north harbour wall - this is quite likely to involve three individuals on previous form
Grey Plover - one 1CY - rare NHW
Twite - 25-30 on the seed on an intermittent basis
Knot - only 40 at the Heliport roost!
Pink-footed Goose - 6 south
No sign of any Purple Sandpipers on the wooden jetty in careful check (just FOUR Turnstone - where are they?)

at least 57 and probably c73 Great-crested Grebe off the Stone jetty on the turning tide - one sweep. At least one male and 2 female Scaup still north of the Stone Jetty/Teal Bay

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Heysham Twite given star billing

Heysham Obs
No reports from today

Late news for 25th November
Managed to narrow this bird down to "almost certainly today, rather than tomorrow (26th)". This involved a Leach's Petrel making its way slowly out of the bay, being harrassed by gulls in 'mid afternoon'. One flew into the bay in the morning (plus one flying over the A6 at Yealand!), so perhaps the first bird making its way out (per visiting angler)

Heysham ringing recoveries in the very select annual list
Ringing and Migration arrived this morning and two Heysham recoveries stood out. One was a Knot in Spain. The other was a Twite ringed at Walberswick on 23/12/06 as a 1CY female and then captured twice by Alan during the winter period 2008/9 - November 2008 and February (I think) 2009. This indicates that, as an adult, it was part of the wandering wintering metapopulation along coastal north Lancashire, including intermittent use of the Heysham feeder (as suggested by the retrap data - see NLRG site posting from earlier this year for a fuller explanantion)

If it was a Pennine bird which decided to go the "wrong way" in winter 2008/9 and joined the almost exclusively western Scottish birds on the coast, why did it do this as an "experienced adult" after it had correctly wintered in Suffolk as an "inexperienced youngster"?

I suspect that it is either a Scottish bird which was disorientated during its first autumn of migration or it is perhaps less likely a bird from a small fragmented unknown, perhaps north Pennine, population without any defined migration pattern

The Scaup flock is still off north Morecambe/Scalestones (ad male & 2 females)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Escape from Bowland

Heysham Obs
An hour of graft with a spade and salt enabled an escape from Ashley's Farm to check out the Red Nab roost

Red Nab area late afternoon high tide
Knot - 3,220
Oystercatcher - 870
Redshank - 13
Turnstone - 3

North wall very quick visit
Too late in the day for Twite - 25 seen earlier by Tom
Med Gull - 2 adults on the railings
No Knot in the heliport area and similarly also at 1330hrs (per Tom)

4 x Snow Geese still feeding very close together amongst the Greylags on Aldcliffe Marsh. 20 Meadow Pipit on saltmarsh by Golden Ball/Overton road junction

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Message from the snowfields of north Bowland

Helipad pm - Snow? What snow?

Heysham Observatory
Serious travel problems today (e.g. a cancelled christmas meal as close to home as Wray Bridge House tea rooms) with Malcolm flying the flag by braving the elements to complete an icy Middleton WeBS (Pete). Not sure who posted the afternoon stuff but it must have cleared amazingly well, no sign of any thaw at Tatham

Middleton early am by text
"Ice and snow. 2 Mute, 1 Moorhen, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Snipe, one disorientated toad"

NHW - pm
Twite 29 - minimum 10 colour ringed with Heysham rings from 2008/9
Linnet 1 - metal ring
Med Gull adult

Knot 5000
Oystercatcher 3000

Med Gull - 2 adult (prob. one from NHW) both had well defined masks.
Starlings flying to WJ roost - not counted.

(Whilst viewing twite from the car, a car with four smoking immature youths with immature behaviour decided to pip their horn and block my view by parking alongside. Being in relaxed mode watching birds, I could only smile at them, which had the desired effect and they moved on.
They must have been seriously bored).

Pied Wagtail a significant midwinter record at High Tatham, also 5 Meadow Pipit in the paddock and 12 shivering Mandarins on the pond. Four Lapwing south unusual in midwinter & presumably a CWM - little other evidence at High Tatham this morning with 20 Fieldfare west along with 24+33 Starling in 3 hours of intermittent watching

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Space invaders

Heysham Observatory
Careful counting either side of the harbour saw at least 63,000 Knot today enlivened by a Peregrine attack. The RSPB have diversified several hundredfold since the early 1970s Leighton Moss shop selling "only things strictly relevant to birds" (which unfortunately did not include any food or drink) - have they tried computer games with Peregrines chasing Knot or a combination of raptors chasing Starlings at a roost?

The other 'space invasion' today was more subtle. There were a lot (for this site) of Lapwings on Red Nab during a prolonged morning survey. It was assumed that these were displaced from nearby frozen fields, but a discrete group of 44 suddenly (not prompted by the tide) did a presentable imitation of a jump jet and headed upwards almost vertically and were tiny westbound dots high in the sky just half a mile from Red Nab. Surely this group involved a cold-weather movement having a 'breather'? This was in sharp contrast to almost all the other 250 or so Lapwing which headed for Ocean Edge saltmarsh in dribs and drabs as displaced by the tide

WeBS etc
Purple Sandpiper - one (at least) on the wooden jetty
Twite - very brief check of the feeder saw c30 plus another 21 south over Ocean Edge earlier on
Rock Pipit - one on Red Nab
Med Gull - large adult on Red Nab for 2 hours, Czech-ringed adult on the north harbour wall railings
Knot - at least 50,000 & perhaps 60,000 estimated on or around the heliport/near naze (see below), 13,000 on Red Nab definitely different
Mute Swan - pair & one juv south
Wigeon - 106 Red Nab
Shelduck - 217 Red Nab

Middleton IE
One small ice-free area held 6 Mute Swan, 5 Coot, 6 Moorhen, one Little Grebe, one Pink-footed Goose
Black-tailed Godwit - one sat on the ice with gulls!

Ring-reading of Knot on the near naze
Despite problems, unfortunately including birders getting out of cars and flushing them, the following were read by Richard. Thanks for these:

SEVEN were ringed on the Dutch Waddensee with two of these having previous history as follows:

25-7-2001 Ringed: De Richel, Holland 53.16.97 N, 5.08.23 E
25-5-2004 Indre Billefjord, Porsangerfjord, Norway 70.21.02 N, 25.03.15 E
21-3-2008 Heysham, Lancashire, England 54.02.00 N, 02.55.00 W
11-12-2008 Heysham, Lancashire, England 54.02.00 N, 02.55.00

5-9-2005 Ringed: Simonszand, Holland 53.29.48 N, 6.24.17 E
19-3-2008 Heysham, Lancashire, England 54.02.00 N, 02.55.00 W
ONE was ringed in Norway as follows:
Ringed: 26.05.2007 Oldefjord, Norway 70 29 28N 25 03 57E

Friday, 18 December 2009

Celeb culture

Heysham Obs
A visit to Ocean Edge revealed that "David Platt" had visited the site earlier in the year and asked about the local birding. The last time I watched Corrie was in the days of hairnets, as a captive audience rug-rat during grandmother visits, but apparently his screen role is some kind of bad lad. In real life, a 'Salford-based twitcher' according to OE staff.

Ocean Edge
Wigeon - 106
Shelduck - 216
Med Gull - adult
Grey Plover - 2
Twite - heard only

Thursday, 17 December 2009

One Scottie, 10,000 waders

Please keep an eye open for any colour-ringed (Greenland) Knot now there are good numbers on the easier side of the harbour to observe them in the heliport area. They can be individually traced (providing you see both legs) - this one was photographed by Richard du Feu in January 09 and was ringed in Holland in September 08 (where they moult before moving WNW to this area)
Heysham Obs
Heliport area
This is now a 'desire line' for dog walkers and this produced Scottie-driven flight-views of fleeing Knot and Oystercatchers

Knot - Circa 6,000 but couldnt find any 'flagged' or colour-ringed birds

No sign of the Black Redstart, even after scoping the whole tideline of Half-Moon Bay

North harbour wall
Twite - c55 but disturbed
Med Gull - just the Czech-ringed bird seen

Nothing as yet

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

No obvious sign of Black Redstart

Heysham Obs
Stuck at an upland site with persistent low cloud for most of the day with nothing to do other than think up phrases such as 'mid month mass maggot movement' for the only activity which seemed to be taking place. Thanks to Gavin, Jean et al for records as part of a RSPB fact-finding mission.

North harbour wall
No obvious sign of Black Redstart or Purple Sandpipers
Reed Bunting - 3 on heliport a surprise, even allowing for the longer vegetation at present
Med Gull - 2 adults
Twite - 56 - only one appeared to be unringed
Linnet - 3
Goldfinch - 1
Knot - 5,400 on heliport (lots more on the other (Ocean Edge) side)
Kittiwake - 1CY behind the IOM ferry

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Dog chorus

Heysham Obs
Most of this morning's time-slot was spent checking the 1/2 moon bay area for Black Redstart - no joy, but a significant breed and sound of dog list. Better luck late afternoon

North wall
Black Redstart - alongside heliport (eastern end) on shore at c1500hrs
Twite - c50
Med Gull - Czech-ringed Ad on railings
Knot - 4,500 on heliport
Redshank - 133 on heliport
Meadow Pipit - 2 on heliport

Heysham NR
Chiffchaff - one top path (heard calling only)
Goldfinch - 12 in alder copse

Ocean Edge
Wigeon - 67
Knot - 20,000 near high tide
Black-tailed Godwit - 3

Nothing yet

Monday, 14 December 2009

The numbers game

Heysham Obs
Note yesterdays late entry for Black Redstart along the shore at Half-moon bay - didnt have time to look today

Ocean Edge foreshore
This is the best 'spectacle' birding in the area at the moment with thousands of waders finding the newly-configured channel and wet mud to their liking.
Knot - carefully counted 35,500
Dunlin - 250
Black-tailed Godwit - 3
Bar-tailed Godwit - 6
Oystercatcher - 2,700
Shelduck - 102
Redshank - 242
Grey Plover - 16
Curlew - 121
& a few Turnstone & Ringed Plover

Harbour area
Med Gull - 2 adults
Purple Sandpiper - 1 at least on wooden jetty

Middleton IE
Chiffchaff - 1 collybita-type
Stonechat - male
Tufted Duck - 4
Little Grebe - 1

Winter Moth along the road towards the traffic lights - SD46A. Several in both 10km squares between reserve entrance and traffic lights on 7/12

Snow Bunting still at Crook farm

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Geese on the rampage and well 'ard Linnets

Heysham Obs
Black Redstart - late news - presumably the wide-ranging wintering female/imm was along the shoreline at half-moon bay for an hour late afternoon

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 3 adults, including recent arrival with lots of black on rear crown plus the Czech-ringed regular
Twite - 57
Linnet - 3 These could be easily identified by the refusal to be intimidated by rabbits, unlike the wimpish Twite which shot off as soon as the beasties entered the nyger arena. Indeed, one Linnet kept lunging aggressively at a rabbit!
Goldfinch - at least one

Greylag - 12 south
Pink-footed Goose - 60+71N, 250+32+90S
Whooper Swan - single bird south

Heysham Nature reserve
Chiffchaff still by HN reserve office 0950hrs

Ocean Edge area
Jack Snipe - 1

Middleton IE
Little Grebe - 3
Mallard - 9
Teal - 2

Mouthwatering menagerie including 3 Barnacle and 4 white Lesser Snow Geese Heaton Marsh late afternoon. The Lune valley Whooper Swans were visible from the layby just south of Melling garage and comprised 9 adult and 4 young (& 4 Mute). Couldnt see any darvics, but distant and legs often obscured. Presumed abietinus Chiffchaff Stodday sewage works. Male Snow Bunting on the tideline near Crook Farm this afternoon [not sure which side - note no vehicle access north of lighthouse cottage]

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Highlighted by Jack Snipe & winter Stonechat

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Twite - c60, forming two groups with very few of the 30 seen well ringed
Rock Pipit - one (perhaps the same below)

Heysham N Res
Chiffchaff - at least one, quite possibly two

Middleton IE
Tufted Duck (4), Snipe (7), Jay (1) and female Stonechat

South harbour wall
Rock Pipit - same as above?

Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Jack Snipe - 2

Chiffchaff - one collybita Bentham sewage works in hedge just to north. Cant get on to LDBWS site to check (1755hrs)

Friday, 11 December 2009

Routine sightings

Heysham Obs
Nice weather again, so two of us are upland bird surveying tomorrow (Saturday), so any routine coverage of the usual suspects (Meds, Twite etc) gratefully received. Thanks. Please text or e-mail me (see right hand column)

Some good seawatching coming up with wind speeds for Heysham on Metcheck for e.g. 18th December between 280 and 325mph westerlyish!!

South harbour/wooden jetty area (thanks Tom)
Purple Sandpiper - 2 at midday
Med Gull - one ad following IOM ferry

Middleton IE (thanks Malcolm)
A Teal-less afternoon visit saw: 4 Mute Swan, 6 Coot, 8 Moorhen, 10 Tufted Duck, one Pochard, 2 Mallard, 3 Grey Heron, 3 Snipe in what might be the last wildfowl-fest for some time if the long-range forecast is correct

North harbour wall (thanks Alan)
A slightly disappointing Twite-ringing session with just c30 birds visiting this morning produced 7 unringed birds and 12 retraps - but the Bay view was lovely! The single Goldfinch-in -residence was also ringed!

Further late afternoon confirmation that the Slavonian Grebe is not hiding in a corner of Pine Lake. This site could really come into its own over the next few weeks. No reports of any Great White Egret in the last few days.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Very quick visit

Heysham Obs
Office area
Chiffchaff calling

North harbour wall
Twite - 67, but being disturbed by angler's spaniel and wouldnt settle
Med Gull - ad
No sign of the Black Red on the mound or in old sandworks

Nothing yet

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Black Redstart & Chiffchaff again

Heysham Obs
A Chiffchaff was around the Heysham NR office again this morning - again not seen very well but sounded like collybita

A Black Redstart on the north harbour wall mound at lunchtime (thanks Alan)

An abortive search in conditions which were too windy for any sign of Cetti's Warbler on Middleton. Predictably, given decent weather, two of us are away this next two days doing surveys so any basic daily reaffirmation of the usual culprits (Meds, Twite etc) gratefully received

North harbour wall
Twite - c60 (23 trapped, 11 new 12 retraps, two from 2008/9, the rest this autumn)
Med Gull - adult
Purple Sandpiper - one below wooden jetty
Goldfinch - 1
Rock Pipit - 1

Little Gull - 1CY

52 Little Egrets out of the Leighton roost this am but no mention of any GWEs. Cetti's Warbler in three different locations at Leighton this last two days with an absolute minimum of two birds

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

If only it was a birdrace!

Heysham Obs
A thirty second scan of the outfalls from Ocean Edge:
Twite - flock of 8 flew past
Med Gull - adult seaward end of Heysham 1
Little Gull - 1CY seaward end of Heysham 1

North Harbour Wall
Med Gull - 1 Unringed Adult
Twite - 48 around feeding area (of these, 7-8 unringed)
Goldfinch - 1 with Twite

Monday, 7 December 2009

Awful miserable southerlies

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Med Gull - two adults following in the IOM ferry - the usual birds
Twite - 12ish
Guillemot - one in harbour
Goldfinch - a good Atlas RR on the mound

Little Gull - 1CY

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Early morning Med-fest & interesting wader recoveries

Heysham Obs
A Dutch ringer toured Morecambe Bay in mid-November looking for colour-ringed waders and he came up with this rather good one in the Red Nab/Ocean Edge area. Thanks to Richard for informing me today about this:

Knot USA ring 1313-59880 & CRs
Ringed: Alert, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada 82 30N 62 20W on 9/6/07 as ad male
Seen: Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore (SD45) on 12/11/09

Ringed Plover NW23526 & CRs
Ringed: Snettisham, Norfolk TF6433 on 16/7/04
Seen: Nesting female at Snettisham 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Seen: Cockersands, near Glasson, Lancs 30/9/07
Seen: Ocean Edge area winter 2008/9
Seen: Ocean Edge area 6/12/09 (first time this winter)
Not recorded nesting at Snettisham in 2009 as far as we know.

Nature reserve
Water Rail calling in marsh

Little Gull - 1CY

North wall area
Med Gull - 3 adults & one 2nd winter early morning. The adults comprised yesterdays birds, including the Czech-ringed individual. The very elusive (and usually elsewhere) 2nd winter MAY be ringed, but not possible to see the legs this morning. Please report the ringed or otherwise status if you do see it on the deck. Thanks.
Twite - 19 around harbour
Auk spp - one 'out'

Middleton IE
27 Teal, 10 Tufted Duck, 3 Mallard. one Pink-footed Goose, 5 Snipe

Four Snow Geese still being added to people's fence-hopper lists on Aldcliffe. Unringed 2nd winter Med gull on the river between the rail and Greyhound bridge, central Lancaster. The(?) Bonxie JBP at high tide - flew up Kent Estuary. Great White Egret Bolton-le-Sands was the longish-lost colour-ringed bird which was regularly documented until a few weeks ago but off the radar since then

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Gripping communication

Heysham Obs
Who got the better deal? Ian Gardner being alerted to a very distant Bonxie/southern hemisphere skua agg. and as a result of 'looking in that direction' picking up a very close Little Auk heading out of the bay at Rossall. A big welcome to the RSPB/LDBWS group who managed to see quite a bit, even the tricky closest Purple Sandpiper

North wall 1045-1130ish
Bonxie/Great Skua - one 'out' low over the water very distantly at 1112hrs, almost certainly observed in Cumbria. See above caveat at this range.
Purple Sandpiper - two separately on the wooden jetty
Guillemot - one in harbour
Med Gull - 3 adults: an adult with a lot of black on the rear crown was on the corrugated ex-Fisher's roof at high tide and the usual two appeared to feed on anglers scraps from mid-afternoon
Twite - 25 or so but elusive due to angler presence

On the down side, there was absolutely nothing floating in on the sea in the diver/grebe/seaduck categories in 45 minutes of fast-moving tide

Outfalls/Ocean Edge
Little Gull - 1CY stage 2 outfall
Kingfisher - 1
Twite - 3
Linnet - 2
Reed Bunting - 3
Little Egret - 1

3 Great White Egrets apparently seen at Leighton Moss yesterday but not seen coming out of the roost this morning (51 Little Egret). 2 Cetti's Warblers Leighton Moss this morning - by the 'spring' (on lower hide to causeway path, about half way) and along the causeway itself

Friday, 4 December 2009

Last minute bird

Heysham Obs
A Woodcock on the reserve entrance road at dusk saved us from a blank day
The recent Sunderland 1CY male Long-tailed Duck. Thanks Alan.
Slavonian Grebe still at Pine Lake

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Early morning bits but missed the ferry!

Heysham Obs
A quick early morning check, but the ferry had arrived by the time a quick visit to check the 'followers' was scheduled - its often a bit early when the wind is westerly - the reason not being rocket science! The internet is a wonderful thing - just found out that the 'weather whirlpool' headline on here a week or so ago has been linked to a washing machine website!!

North harbour wall
Twite - just four seen & plenty of seed left from yesterday
Med Gull - adult soaring above the anglers
Guillemot - one visible in the harbour
Purple Sandpiper - one visible on the outer section of the wooden jetty
15 minutes seawatching produced a surprising male Common Scoter 'in' and an unsurprising four Shelduck 'out'

Ocean Edge south beach - high tide
Ringed plover - 31 - no colour-ringed birds
Turnstone - 5
Grey Plover - 1
Dunlin - 2
Knot - 2
Redshank - 224

Little Gull - adult & 1CY in the morning but both dispersed on the incoming tide & not seen lunchtime

Three Scaup (one ad drake) off Scalestones Point (North Morecambe promenade). Black Redstart just outside the area at Dunsop Bridge Bowland AONB offices - just to the south of the LDBWS area SD65 boundary on the Whitewell road.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A few twosomes

Heysham Obs
Wooden jetty
Purple Sandpiper - 2

Guillemot - 2

North wall & area
Med Gull - 2 adults
Twite - 4+

37-40 Little Egret Ashton Hall roost

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

December Chiffchaff

Heysham Obs
Heysham Nature reserve
A collybita-type Chiffchaff toured the bushes around the office from at least 0905-1045hrs. Pre-wind ringing comprised one each of Coal Tit, Dunnock, Greenfinch & Chaffinch!
Pink-footed Goose - 64 headed south at 1515hrs

Coastal sites
A quick look round recorded the following:
Med Gull - 2 adults (including Czech-ringed bird) around anglers on the north harbour wall plus another adult by Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Twite - c30 reported by angler on the seed (obviously not excluding Linnet)

No obvious sign of any Purple Sandpiper (plenty of hidden bits) or Guillemot (ditto) or Little Gull

Dramatic late news of a Grey Phalarope at Greta Foot on the Lune today, presumably been around since the SW gales but on an obscure flood/oxbow. Unfortunately flushed by Canada Geese but surely still in the area. Up to 9 ad and 4 juv Whooper Swans Lune Valley Melling area (7 ads seen today, 9 two days ago). One Great White Egret still at Leighton Moss & area