Saturday, 25 September 2010

Stratospheric vis

** Just heard that a Heysham-ringed Twite has recently been caught (in heavy moult still) at Clachtoll just north of Lochinver/Achmelvich (and just south of Stoer) - the furthest north by quite some distance and a presumed local breeding bird.  More details later.

Heysham Obs
An early start was not early enough as it was an open morning with quite a bit happening prior to sunrise.  Downhill after that, unless you are into Wren, Robin and Dunnock migration, the subtleties of which are only discernable at a local patch covered on a daily basis, with ringing being helpful

Vis mig by the office
Pretty dire with many birds very high and a lot undoubtedly missed.  Third hour very bad, then livened up as wind swung NW, then back NE just after 1000hrs.  Impossible to work out Greenfinch (vis from bloggers), but all the birds caught (6) were unringed and an estimate of birds passing through 0700-1100 would be in the region of 30-35

0645-0700:  Redpoll agg (2), Meadow Pipit (34), Grey wagtail (3)
0700-0800: Grey wagtail (1), Chaffinch (45), alba Wagtail (28), Meadow Pipit (39), Reed Bunting (1), Collared Dove (3+2+4+3 - unexpected), Black-headed Gull (2), Jackdaw (11+14), Siskin (1), Coal Tit (2), Goldfinch (24), Linnet (2)
0800-0900: Grey Wagtail (1), Chaffinch (46), alba Wagtail (22), Meadow Pipit (53), Reed Bunting (2), Siskin (5), Goldfinch (27), Linnet (5), Starling (5), House Sparrow (2), Dunnock (2), Black-headed Gull (1), Song Thrush (1 from east then grounded), Sparrowhawk (one high to the south)
0900-1000: Siskin (2), Chaffinch (13), Meadow Pipit (32), alba Wagtail (2)
1000-1100: Meadow Pipit (30), Chaffinch (25), Swallow (5), alba Wagtail (26), Goldfinch (7), Skylark (1), House Martin (3), Peregrine (1), Coal Tit (flock of 5), Little Egret (one high to south), Linnet (3)

Pink-footed Goose - 53 south over Middleton at 0930 were missed at the reserve!

At a premium in the clear conditions
Robin - the most interesting sighting of the morning was one descending from a great height into the bushes by the office, only to be immediately chased off.  This was at 0855 hrs if this qualifies as 'vis'.  At least 5 other migrants seen (chasing & one ringed).
Chiffchaff - one ringed - a silent bird and the only one encountered
Goldcrest - one passed through
Lesser Whitethroat - one (ringed on left leg) still around in the brambles opposite the office door, which means that if it is ours, it must have either been ringed at Middleton around the turn of the month or pre-last week of August at Heysham NR
Dunnock - 3 "fidgety" birds in addition to the 2 on vis mig & two unringed birds caught
Wren - one unringed bird seen and another unringed bird caught
Green Woodpecker - first for a bit (& certainly second half of the year) by the office at midday

Little Gull - adult Red Nab at high tide
Shag - 1CY on wooden jetty at high tide
Med Gull - 2 x ad & 1CY on north harbour wall railings at high tide
No sign of any terns

5+ Crossbill Thrushgill, including adult pair feeding on ash keys!   Migrant Whinchat showing very well roadside at Lower Thrushgill