Monday, 28 February 2011

What a Beauty!

A total of 5 Dotted Border and an Oak Beauty in the Heysham trap this morning.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Nothing yet

Should be a short post tomorrow

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Dowdy ducks top the bill

Middleton NR
Gadwall - pair
Teal - 9
Tufted Duck - 14
Goldeneye - 1
Fieldfare - 6
plus single/low double-figures of Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe setting up territories
North Harbour Wall
Twite food replenished. No birds seen on brief visit.

Dotted Border - 4
Hebrew Character - 1

Friday, 25 February 2011

From oak woodland to toilet trap

The nine Twite (thanks Janet)
Heysham Obs
Last night was a good moth night, but not quite if you operate a toilet trap where the window was just a little bit too parallel to the wind direction.  This was a shame - hopefully tonight might be better

Heysham hut trap - east-facing window & 160w blended
Dotted Border - 1

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adults, one in fsp, the Czech bird in half sp
Twite - just 9
too murky offshore

Ocean Edge area
Lots of seagulls with significant increase in LBBG (45-50)
5 Woodpigeon feeding on OE football pitch rather unexpected

Lots more seagulls round the sewage works
Tufted Duck (5), Little Grebe (4), Teal (2 on model boat pond)

Elsewhere moth trapping
Millhouses, nr Wray 125 MV trap - sheltered oak-laden valley
Tortricodes alternella (117), Ypsophola ustella (2), Small Brindled Beauty (10), Dotted Border (21), March Moth (32), Satellite (4), Chestnut (31), Yellow Horned (2), Hebrew Character (1), Clouded Drab (2), Spring Usher (9), Pale Brindled Beauty (8), Oak Beauty (2)

Ashley's farm, High Tatham 125 MV trap - exposed, but with old scattered oaks
Dark Chestnut (very late) (1), Small Brindled Beauty (1), March Moth (13), Spring Usher (2), Dotted Border (8), Hebrew Character (1), Oak Beauty (1), Pale Brindled Beauty (3), Chestnut (3)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Empty seas

Heysham Obs
Apart from the one-offs, its been pretty desperate out there on the sea this winter with even Red-throats like rocking horse dung.........and still no records of any auks.  This morning was particularly poor as there is usually the odd great-crest or Eider when the sandbanks are still showing - not a thing in two sweeps.

North harbour wall
Twite - 33, 3 unringed, all the rest Heysham ringed   
Red-breasted Merganser - long-staying female still in harbour

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

That morning after feeling

Heysham Obs
That reminder of a former life - the maritime stage of the Little Blue Heron twitch - the Clipper Point was making large waves as it departed the harbour just as I was making my way down the north wall.  The harbour then also revealed a survey type boat swanning around.  No Slav Grebe was a predictable result.

North harbour wall
Twite - 51
Linnet - 1

Office area
Definite small increase in thrushes in the murky weather with 3 SongThrush together being notable and a loose 'gang' of 5 Blackbird

None due to wind being a bit too SE/S overnight - should be one or two tomorrow morning with high night temps plus south-westerly

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Slavonian Grebe & even more enthusiastic Sean

Heysham Obs
North & south Harbour Walls
Slavonian Grebe emerged from the harbour area at about 9am.  It disappeared after a boat came out.  Excellent views included the red iris! (thanks Sean)
Purple Sandpiper - 3 seen at high tide with 105 Turnstone
Med Gull - 2 adults, one with full black hood.
c40 Twite on the gasholder.
Song Thrush on the mound
Cormorant 42
Great Crested Grebe 5
Pink-footed Goose 100 (S to N) and 15 (N to S)
Wigeon 86
Eider 2
RB Merganser 6 (2 male and 4 females)
Peregrine 1 (bombed some Knot just when I was leaving - nice parting gift)
Bar-tailed Godwit 2,000
Knot 10-15,000+
Linnet - 2

Grey Seal seen on the incoming tide.

Office area
Hut feeders filled on a late quick visit - Great Tit (4)  and Blackbirds (2) only seen.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Usual odds and ends

The Czech-ringed Med Gull along the north harbour wall today (thanks Janet)

Also 8 Twite around the feeder

No Purple Sands visible on wooden jetty in brief visit

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Dunlin pitfall

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall area
A decent number of waders on the wooden jetty which will initiate a bit of tinkering with Friday's WeBS, as today is when you are supposed to do it!  Three longish bills were assumed to be Purple Sandpiper, although only two could be clearly seen.  No - out walked a Dunlin - an unusual record on here:
Turnstone - 122 & possibly 5-10 hidden
Purple Sandpiper - 2 visible
Dunlin - 1
Med Gull - adult in flight
No Twite: no food, but some put down

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Miniscule Baywatch

Heysham Obs
Interesting to see that Morecambe Bay and the conservation of wildlife therein seems to be in safe hands, given the stunning revelation that our MP is a mate of David Hasselhoff.   He was invited to Morecambe and seemed to be very impressed with the teeming muddy expanse.  Pamela Anderson in panto this Christmas?

North harbour wall
As the title
 implies, a very short visit revealed zero on the sea but
Med Gull - Czech-ringed adult on the railings
Twite - 11 at a disturbed feeder

Middleton NR (thanks Malcolm)
Coot (12), Mute Swan (4), Moorhen (7), Teal (3), Tufted Duck (17), Mallard (8), Goldeneye (1), Little Grebe (2)

Peripheral goosewatch
More tricky this morning and spread on to fields which could not be seen from the recycling centre road (too dangerous to stop on the bypass).  About the same number as yesterday with nothing other than unringed/uncollared PFG in the 1,900 or so gone through.  A lot of flights at turbine blade height all through the area between the Overton road and the recycling road - all on the south/east side of the A683 bypass 

Friday, 18 February 2011

Pinkfoot monoculture

Heysham Obs
Very careful perusal of the flocks this morning revealed 4,650 as viewed from the new road to the recycling centre.  Ther were definitely others 'over the top' of the drumlin, but perhaps no more than 200-400.  Not even a neck-collared bird located with them & definitely no sign of yesterdays Barnacles

As already posted, a visit trying/failing to locate Little Owls at 1805hrs last night revealed that at least "a lot" of these geese remained in the fields after dark and the 'level' of the after-dark calls was very similar to that experienced this morning, suggesting similar numbers! (c/f implications with respect to adding a supplement to the turbine EIAs on both sides of the bypass - this is the first indication that geese have remained in situ after dark in this area, although it has been recorded several times around Pilling)

WeBS count
Nothing unexpected with the highlights
Jack Snipe - one flushed off OE saltmarsh
Med Gull - 2 ads roosting on Fisher's roof
Purple Sandpiper - (eventually) two showed on the wooden jetty

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Barnacles on the edge and Tawny twosome

Heysham Obs
The Pink-footed Geese were in the fields along the edge of the recording area this afternoon.  Perhaps more significantly, a "large number" were heard to still be in the fields way after dusk at 1805hrs:

Pink-footed Goose - c2,500
Barnacle Goose -  2

All these easily visible from the new road to recycling centre (thanks Pete)

HNR Office & area
Greenfinch - a late afternoon visit saw an absolute minimum of 28 around the feeder - the usual mid-February influx/passage at last
Tawny Owl - immediately responded to brief tape by the entrance gate and a decision to give a quick burst of female call (when leaving at just beofer dusk) produced BOTH male and female responses!

Dotted Border in the moth trap

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Feeding station top ups

Heysham Obs
Just a short visit this pm with the north harbour wall producing:
Twite - 20+ in distant flight
Med Gull - Czech-ringed adult in partial summer plumage

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Enthusiastic Sean

Sean on the wall
Heysham Obs
North wall vigil
Pink-footed Goose - c20 SE
Purple Sandpiper - at least one
Med Gull - one adult, now in full summer plumage
Fulmar - first of year
Red-throated Diver - one offshore
Twite - 38 with c6 unringed (one probably killed by Sparrowhawk - it was certainly carrying a 'bird')

Monday, 14 February 2011

Low-level apathy

Heysham Obs
Not a good day today, it rained heavily every time a walk around was considered and an early morning ringing session was aborted with just a single Blue Tit troubling the scorers (only three other birds were caught as retraps, although one, a Blue Tit, had been first caught and ringed at Leighton Moss last November). A single Goldeneye was, as usual, on Middleton model boat pond.

So despite, five (potential) observers on site, nothing worth writing about!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Post-freeze Water Rail

Heysham Obs
Heysham NR walk
Water Rail - one by the dipping pond
Siskin - just single figure dribs and drabs, the big flock not encountered, but spends most of time down the dog track!

North harbour wall
"Dead" apart from:
 Twite - c45 seen in flight 

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Mothy morning

Heysham Obs
Two Dotted Border in the Heysham trap
Siskin flock now up to 80-85 (flight only)
Skylark - one flew north over HNR at about 1330hrs

North Harbour Wall
Twite - 47 including only about 3 unringed birds.

Middleton NR
2 Little Grebe (one fence, one no swimming ponds), 4 Mute Swan, 25 Tufted Duck, 17 Teal, 18 Mallard, 1 Goldeneye, 9 Coot, 2 Moorhen
Roe Deer - 1 roadkill on verge of Heysham link road just east of Trumacar roundabout.

The first Small Brindled Beauty of the year at Millhouses along with the first March Moths

Friday, 11 February 2011

Peripheral Pinkfeet

Heysham Obs
At least 600 Pinkfeet this morning on the edge of the recording area along the first section of the bypass.  Here they are as seen from Middleton yesterday if you want to count them! (thanks Janet)

Heysham NR
Siskin - the flock commuting between the dog walk conifers and HNR alders is now 38 with at least one ringed bird (not from here, havnt ringed any for three years)
Goldfinch - 12 as above, staying separate
Raven - two over

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The owl and the bumble bee

Heysham Obs
Heysham NR
Mist net ride maintenance by the dipping pond revealed:
Tawny Owl - one called twice from dense tree/scrub just to the south of the entrance gate
Siskin - flock of at least 12 in the alders

North harbour wall
Twite - c50
Med Gull - ad

Bombus terrestris by the dipping pond is really early!  Dotted Border in the moth trap.  A few 'flies' and winter gnats by the dipping pond

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

There's only one Twite

Heysham Obs
A very quick trawl both sides of the harbour revealed:

Twite - one came down to a fresh lot of seed late afternoon - the previous lot had either been eaten or washed away
Med Gull - ad harbour mouth
Ringed Plover - 14 Ocean Edge foreshore (two metal-ringed, including the usual aggressive male)

Heysham NR
Siskin - 2 north
Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Robin singing

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Gales and high tides churn up wader distribution

Heysham Obs
The post-gale/flood tide 'dust-settling' coincided with Sean's day-long vigil and there were some surprises

Purple Sandpiper - THREE roosting on the wooden jetty
Bar-tailed Godwit - c2,000 on the low tideline
Knot - c20,000
Twite - c50
Med Gull - the usual two adults, one with quite advanced summer head plumage

More later

Monday, 7 February 2011

There is stuff out there..................

Heysham Obs
Really wild and woolly this morning, but without the rain.  The sea was covered for about half an hour after an instant result with a flock of Kittiwake

North wall 1000-1030ish, then 1300-1330hrs
Twite - 35-37
Kittiwake - flock of 42-44 in, then landed on sea and 'invisible', 11+17 out mid-afternoon
Little Gull - perhaps the same adult seen from OE side and later in harbour mouth briefly, then later presumably the same feeding in the surf by Half-moon Bay

Another good catch in the sheltered Millhouses trap included the first Ypsolopha ustella and Tortricodes alternella of the year.  Nothing in the obs trap!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Mega moth

Heysham Obs
After I risked life and limb emptying the moth trap at Millhouses in driving rain & with twigs and small branches flying overhead (86 moths of 4 species, but not Small Brindled Beauty as yet!), Alan checked the warm sheltered Heysham toilet trap with a very surprising result (the only moth!):

Grey Shoulder Knot - first for SD45 and at least 12km south of the cluster around Silverdale/Warton/Dalton.  The only other area where it ocurs (in small numbers) is around the lower Hindburn/Roeburn oakwoods, but e.g. only 3 records from the abovementioned well-recorded superb site at Millhouses

Woodcock - 1 to rear of reedbed
Twite - 37 on the seed early morning
Little Gull adult outfalls late pm
Kittiwake - 1CY 'out' north wall late morning

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Decent coverage reveals Middleton wildfowl influx

Heysham Obs
Horrible wet useless weather this morning, not strong enough winds (as yet) to e.g. 'keep' the Little Gull on the outfalls & offshore visibility poor.  Wonder if we will get the Fylde Ring-necked??

North wall
Twite - 27
Purple Sandpiper - one wooden jetty, then flew to north harbour wall

Middleton NR
Tufted Duck - 24, Pochard - 10. Mallard - 10, Goldeneye - 1
Teal - 2, Moorhen - 11, Coot - 5, Mute Swan - 4

Ocean Edge
Lapwing 257
Wigeon - 89

Friday, 4 February 2011

Stormy bits and pieces

Heysham Obs
Assembling the 2010 report today - wish I'd done this as we went along as it ain't easy extracting loads of records from the blog in perhaps the best recorded year ever (except June)!

A few birds were seen:
Little Gull - adult offshore in the morning, presumed same on the outfalls from mid-pm
Pintail - flock of 33 out
Wigeon - flock of 4 out
Common Scoter - male in, landed, then out
Twite - 41 on the seed in the morning

The first Kittiwake flock of the 'spring' was off JBP at about 1300hrs (c80) - in these conditions, they often pass the Heysham sea area sitting on the water and very hard to see

Thanks to Tom & Jean

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Depressing small moth

Heysham Obs
A depressaria in the form of the wildly exciting Agonopterix heracliana graced the moth trap this morning, the first life form therein for a week or so

Ocean Edge shingle beach, incoming tide
Med Gull - adult
Knot - 650
Dunlin - 230
Bar-tailed Godwit - 18
Grey Plover - 11

Middleton NR
Pochard (6 male, 2 female), female Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, 2 overflying Raven and these Teal (thanks Janet):

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Pre-frontal check

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Twite - c17

Ocean Edge
Jack Snipe - 1
Wigeon - 117
Med Gull - adult

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Simple sums

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Twite - exactly 50 on the seed
Med Gull - Czech-ringed adult patrolling the wall

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Grey Plover - exactly 10
Wigeon - exactly 60
Mallard - pair
Teal - 3
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2
Black-tailed Godwit - 1
Med Gull - adult on Ocean Edge shingle beach

Heysham N Reserve
singing Chaffinch (first noted singing at Millhouses yesterday)