****Worth seawatching tomorrow morning if the forecast goes to plan this time!
The short-range forecast prompted both the Heysham & Middleton CES this morning in the supposed 'weather window'. Oh yeh! We were very lucky indeed to get away with it, with a constant watch on clouds which seemed to be changing direction all the time. Indeed, conditions were so localised that Middleton actually got away with just one small pulse of rain before the heavens opened just after the end of the CES time period (0630-0930) with all but one of the nets taken down. Heysham NR unfortunately suffered a slightly earlier downpour (nets temporarily furled) and then six wet (already closed) nets as the rain hammered down during 'take down'. At Middleton we decided to quickly take the nets down ahead of a Long-tailed Tit flock & entrails and this was the correct decision [you are allowed to carry on ringing after the CES time period, but the birds are not included in the CES statistics]
It was a very difficult morning to assess as there have not been any recent morning ringing visits to Middleton to know what might have been lingering. There was certainly a mass clear-out of Whitethroat/Lesser Whitethroat by Heysham office and this was reflected in the poor CES catch there (irrespective of the interruptions). At Middleton, on the other hand, there appeared to be a small fall of Whitethroat species!
Middleton IE CES/vis
Grey Wagtail - 2 SE
Swallow - 28 SE (& 12 ringed)
Tree Pipit - one appeared to land in the centre of the western marsh
Whinchat - fem/imm first thing in the western marsh
Whitethroat - 7 ringed
Lesser Whitethroat - 3 ringed
Sedge Warbler - just 2 ringed
Blackcap - one ringed
Willow Warbler - just one bird heard calling!
Chiffchaff - two birds seemed to drop out of the sky first thing & one was caught & ringed
North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adults (one Czech-ringed)