Sunday, 27 September 2009

Vision impossible

Heysham Obs
A solitary session of vis mig & ringing. It would not have been possible to combine these if the site had offered tutored 'vis' on this, the first of the national vis mig mornings......and this aspect was taken care of at nearby Caton Moor. In the circumstances, it was a good job there were no punters to see me lose all vestige of any 'cred' left in the locker. The screw holding a lens for my variefocals decided to fall out at about 0635 & I couldnt find it. I grabbed a couple of ancient pairs and made sure my computer glasses were brought. Vis mig was carried out by a) using the variefocals minus lens for anything above pylon height b) closing the right eye for anything at or just below pylon height c) switching to the computer glasses for anything within about 8 metres. The problem was a medium range elongation problem and a flock of double-headed Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits looking like flying garter snakes was the result. The pairs of old glasses were useless.

Then the hunger factor. The 'vis' was supposed to be 0700-1100 and it was preceded by cold coffee and Weetabix dust, as the last piece had disintegrated, at 0630hrs. Whilst going to the loo is acceptable robust science, making beans on toast during a vis mig survey is completely out of order......especially as I was really struggling for birds & didnt want to miss the key 'event'!

Interesting: 6 Grey Wagtail were caught and one of these was ringed at Middleton IE (c1.5km SE) on 14th September 2009! Clearly a bird intent on wintering around here and, as such, was initially on the small pond next to the classroom, then called two migrants down, then all three eventually entered the net together. On release, two headed high to the SE (as usual), whilst the third (presumably ringed bird) headed low to the NE. Wren, Chaffinch, Great Tit & Blue Tit completed the catch.

Vis by the office 0700(ish)-1100
Meadow Pipit - 10 SE (honestly!)
Grey wagtail - 9 SE (5 migrants & one off-passage bird ringed)
alba Wagtail - 28 SE
Dunnock - 3 separate 'fidgety' birds eventually flew south
Chaffinch - 30, mainly SW
Mistle Thrush - 1 SW
Swallow - 14 SE
Siskin - 4 SE
Greenfinch - 3 SW (conspicuous by their absence this morning)
Song Thrush - one in high from north, landed, then headed high to east
Jay - one purposefully high to the south
Linnet - 3 S
Coal Tit - 2 on their own S
Starling - 40+27+13 SW
Pink-footed Goose - c110 S right on the nail at 1100hrs
Goldfinch - 10 SW
Reed Bunting - 2 S

Single Chiffchaff and Blackcap by the office

Middleton IE
The belated first Teal (3) of the autumn, plus perhaps 10 of the Swallows recorded during the vis survey

Could the couple who covered the coastal areas early afternoon please post anything of interest as a comment. Thanks.

Great White Egret in to roost at the Island Mere (after spending at least part of the day out of the area at Humphrey Head - definitely same bird??). Sadly very little evidence of any vis mig counts in this area, other than the advertised event at Caton Moor (see LDBWS posting) & presumably also at Silverdale