Monday, 30 August 2010

The early morning air of unpredictability

Heysham Obs
On site at Middleton by 0545hrs, almost as conscientious as the Fylde ringers.  A crystal clear sky, half a moon and a niggling northerly wind did not look good.  Surely only a few Grey Wagtail and perhaps local Goldfinch could be hoped for.   Just two nets were set due to the wind and the first of these caught Grasshopper Warbler and Whitethroat in the pre-dawn gloom!

Assessment of migrants present on the site early morning as follows:
Willow Warbler - c15 (2 ringed)
Chiffchaff - c10 (2 ringed)
Whitethroat - c10 (4 ringed)
Grasshopper Warbler - 1 (ringed)
Garden Warbler - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 5 (one ringed)
Robin - 6

What do I know about night migrants and 'falls'!   All these were behaving like new arrivals and quite obviously moving from the seaward end inland. Not many birds were caught in the wind and sun and the session also featured up to 8 net-avoiding/bouncing Grey Wagtails and the nets were down by 0900hrs.  Probably the first time there have been so many on the move without ringing any of them.  Vis as follows (to 0900hrs):

Grey Wagtail - 8 SE
Meadow Pipit - 19 SE
Tree Pipit - 2 SE
Reed Bunting - 3 SE
Swallow - 25 SE
House Martin - 4 SE

Heysham Nature reserve moths
Humming-bird Hawk-moth - one in the mist net ride next to the office at 1040hrs
Red Underwing was the highlight of the trap with minor interest (literally) provided by Small Wainscot