Wednesday 30 November 2011

Peewit invasion

Heysham Obs
Ocean Edge/Red Nab low tide
Med Gull - adult behind departing ferry
Lapwing - very high count for here of 675, comprising 390 on Red Nab and 285 on the mudflats by Ocean Edge saltmarsh

North harbour wall
Twite - 17
Goldfinch - 3

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Bits and pieces in unpleasant weather

Heysham Obs
Southerly gales and pretty useless sort of weather for birding

Ocean Edge and area
Little Gull - adult outfalls incoming tide, then disappeared offshore

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adult
Twite - max of 8-10
Rock Pipit - one
Meadow Pipit - at least 2
Cormorant - now down to 40 on the wooden jetty at high tide
Ringed Plover - 25

Mottled Beauty in the trap

Monday 28 November 2011

Normal service resumed with the usual suspects

This Purple sandpiper allowed a very close approach on the north harbour wall. Thanks Janet
Heysham Obs
North harbour wall area
Med Gull - two adults, one Czech-ringed
Purple Sandpiper - 1
Twite - c20
Goldfinch - 1
Rock Pipit - 1
Meadow Pipit - 3

Red Nab/Ocean Edge at high tide
Linnet - c26
Twite - c18

Sunday 27 November 2011


Heysham Obs
The first ever Sunday since this site was started without any known coverage.  Sorry.

Saturday 26 November 2011

A couple of quick breaks from work

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Twite - 17 (4 unringed)
Linnet - 2
Meadow Pipit - 2
Med Gull - adult
Little Gull - adult offshore in very brief scan

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Linnet - a flock of small finches on OE saltmarsh saw all 26 visible birds surprisingly this species

Friday 25 November 2011

Sporadic seawatch mode

1CY Little Gull north harbour wall this afternoon.  Thanks Janet

Heysham Obs
Very sporadic - work to do!

IOM ferry lunchtime
Kittiwake - minimum of 27 following

Little Gull - wide-ranging adult

North harbour wall
Twite - ONE buffeted around on the seed (unringed)
Med Gull - one adult
Purple Sandpiper - 2 along the north wall dodging the waves
Little Gull - 1CY mid-afternoon

Wind back in the west Mottled Umber!

Thursday 24 November 2011

A lone Meadow Pipit checks the weather charts

Heysham Obs
A bit of a time warp as I arrived at Heysham Nature  reserve with a squeak from up above and a "typical vis mig mode flying at an angle to the wind and the right height and right direction" Meadow Pipit heading south-east.  There have been some late birds on the north harbour wall but this was the first in 'vis' mode for a bit

North wall area
It only took a handful of thoughtless (off-lead) dog walkers heading along the ex-heliport seawall at or just after high tide, to displace almost 6,000 Oystercatchers from their roost.  One of them was spoken to and amazingly "had not noticed the birds"!  I think the end of this roost is nigh; already the more skittish Knot seem to have given up the ghost.  A shame as it was a very good site for excellent close views, with the birds tolerating any amount of parked vehicles along the road and the usual industrial activities.   Time to address the whole issue of dogs and intertidal protocol, I guess - maybe in the Visitor  column

Purple Sandpiper - 2 at the far end of the seawall, presumably one of these photographed on its own near the red gate later on
Pink-footed Goose - 72(ish) high to NW - the flock may/appeared to also contain two Whitefronts but they couldnt be clinched
Cormorant - 109 on wooden jetty
Meadow Pipit - 4 mound
Twite - 12 mound
Linnet - 2 mound
Dunnock - one mound & one on Twite seed
Med Gull - adult in harbour

Thanks to Pete and Janet respectively, presumably two, not three birds (see above)

Ocean Edge saltmarsh was surprisingly 'dead' with no small passerines noted
Wigeon - 102
Outfalls/Red Nab

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Local Twite Flock?

Heysham Obs
**Some photos added for the last few days

N Harbour Wall
Purple Sandpiper - 2 on harbour wall slope
Twite - 15, of which two only unringed.  This seems to be the local "resident" flock at present to the north of the harbour.
Goldfinch - 4 with twite.
Meadow Pipit - just a few around the mound area.

Hitching a ride or prey?  Thanks Janet

Ocean Edge area
Very brief visit and Red Nab not thoroughly searched
Med Gull - adult
Little Egret - one OE saltmarsh creek
Twinnet - 30+ - distant flight only over saltmarsh

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Late Chiffchaff headlines the bits and pieces

Heysham Obs
Careful searches of the reserve over the last week or two have established the absence of Chiffchaff.  This morning a collybita-type was calling next to the office and headed towards the cream store.

Heysham Nature reserve
Chiffchaff - 1
Blackcap - ringed female by office
Treecreeper - two caught, one unringed
Redwing - 2 in tank farm

Red Nab etc
Dark-bellied Brent Goose - adult Red Nab
Wigeon - at least 72 Red Nab
Twite - c20

North harbour wall
Med Gull - adult on railings, later a second bird with an almost complete black head appeared (not the usual 'second bird')
Twite - 15
No obvious sign of any Meadow Pipit or Purple Sandpiper

Regular disturbance of the heliport roost by dog walkers

A circuit of the reserve included a Red Admiral, cat, female type Roe Deer, Water Rail and (along the dog track) Tawny Owl but no sign of the eared owl in the blackthorn thicket.  No moths in the trap (surprising?)

Monday 21 November 2011

Blasts from the last century and a half

1960's pics from Pete Cook/Keith Hague with a very young, now well-known and respected rock-climber and birder behind the Kittiwake!  The top bird is an Iceland Gull present 27-28/5/60 - a late spring record but by no means unprecedented.  Thanks Pete

Sunday 20 November 2011

Foggy thrush trickle and a long-winged owl

Heysham Obs
A trickle of migration did not seem to include anything better than a couple of  Blackcaps with the numeracy highlight being an influx (from zero the last few days) of at least 22 Redwing.

Heysham NR
Eared owl spp - flushed from blackthorn scrub on the east side of the marsh during a Woodcock(less) search but didnt allow a clear view (including where it went) other than ruling out Tawny
Blackbird - slight increase from a very low ebb to about 20 individuals
Redwing - c22, mostly in one gang in the tank farm early morning
Fieldfare - 2 Red Nab bushes
Chaffinch - a few flying over which may have been 'vis' (c10)
Blackcap - 1 male and 1 female ringed
No Goldcrest heard on a circuit of the reserve in calm conditions!  Only one retrapped bird caught during the morning session.

A trickle of 'new' birds, mostly Blackbird and Green/Gold/Chaffinches,
North harbour wall
Twite - 15, all ringed except two
Goldfinch - 5 (4 trapped)
Purple Sandpiper - 2

Saturday 19 November 2011


Heysham Obs
After emptying a moth trap near home at Millhouses containing 216 moths and an assortment of midges/'mossies', caddis and dung flies, including a late migrant Dark Sword Grass and an early Pale Brindled Beauty, a few sorties from Heysham NR office also indicated many insects still on the prowl.  Two Red Admiral, at least three drone flies, many "bluebottle type things", three worker social wasps heading in the same direction (nest still extant?) and innumerable 'gnat-type things'.  Must do better with aerial insect id.

Indeed, it was rather odd seeing all these insects and so few birds as, for them, the migration season appears to be over, with even Blackbird down to the 'usual winter numbers'.

North harbour wall 
Purple Sandpiper 'targeters', please try not to flush the obviously "not needed" Twite by slamming car doors/boots!  Thanks.
Twite - 15 , mostly ringed, 3 briefly thereafter.
Goldfinch - 3
Purple Sandpiper - no sign early morning with fishing tackle scavengers on the skeers
Meadow Pipit - 9-10 - all unringed (9 ringed a few days ago, shows there is still turnover)
Rock Pipit - one at the harbour mouth
Med Gull - adult following boat

South of harbour
Twite - 56
Linnet - 7
Med Gull - 1CY on the mudflats

See above
Red Admiral - two together by the office at lunchtime
Moths - None - still too much east in the wind for the hut trap - shame, but its had a good year with the  otherwise predominance of westerly winds!

Friday 18 November 2011

Unobtrusively doubled

Two Purple Sandpipers along the north wall. Thanks Pete

Heysham Obs
Bits and bobs today included a heaving great mass of waders to the south of Ocean Edge totalling about 27,000, mainly Knot but significant numbers of Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Grey Plover.  If you are a Leighton Moss Starling roost fan, you'll like this little lot.

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Med Gull - two adults and a probable 1CY distantly behind the departing Ben My Chree
Dark-bellied Brent Goose - adult Red Nab

North harbour wall
Purple Sandpiper - now TWO - both seen early this morning on a skeer
Twite - 14 early morning

A geriatric worker social wasp was a surprise at the Near Naze

Thursday 17 November 2011

Return of the unassuming interesting twite sighting

Heysham Obs
It took two visiting birders to point us in the right direction this morning with a species we had inexcusably "forgotten about" in the quest for further late migrants.  No check made of the Ocean Edge/Red Nab area today (c/f e.g. Brent Goose)

North harbour wall
Purple Sandpiper - first sighting of the autumn on skeer alongside north wall
Meadow Pipit - up to 11 with no obviously ringed birds
Twite - flock of 7 early morning flew off high to the south
Med Gull - 1CY and two adults behind the departing Clipper, feeding over the 'whirlpool' as it turned the corner past the wooden jetty
Pink-footed Goose - c45 south late morning

Heysham NR
Dead with no obvious vis mig or new grounded birds but:
Greenfinch - a singleton provided a long overdue bird ringed elsewhere (TS something)
Blue Tit - unringed bird caught
Woodcock - one by dipping pond

Late news for yesterday
Reeve's Pheasant - male along Moneyclose Lane by the entrance gate (new release??) 

Twite ringing recoveries
We have just heard of a bird ringed at Heysham this spring being sighted at Musselburgh, just east of Edinburgh on 14/11/11.  This is the first Heysham bird seen on the east coast to the north of here, as opposed to one or two birds from within the normal wintering range of Pennine birds.  This also correlates with two Machrihanish-ringed birds along with one from Clachtoll, near Lochinver being seen in the same flock on the Northumberland coast (see Beadnell Birder in the Links)

So far this autumn we have caught two 2011 Machrihanish-ringed birds and one 2010 Machrihanish bird

Also, not for the first time, a Heysham capture from earlier this autumn decided it had "overshot" and was caught at Askam in Furness on the Duddon the other day

Yet another Red Admiral by the office.  Forgot to check the moth trap!!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Comings and goings

Heysham Obs
Bit more evidence of movement this morning, both departures and arrivals

North harbour wall
Bit of an exodus with no Black Redstart (but I would check the west quay area before saying it has gone as it has more suitable feeding areas in the calmer conditions) and Meadow Pipit down to 5
Med Gull - 2 adult

Heysham NR (early morning action missed - 0830 onwards)
Blackbird - increase with about 35 around
Song Thrush - 3
Redwing - 7
Blackcap - male ringed
Robin - 2 ringed, one quite an 'orange-breasted' bird
Dunnock - unexpected new unringed bird
Chaffinch - at least 27 SW
Greenfinch - 18 SW plus 5 unringed birds caught
Bullfinch - yet another unringed bird caught
Long-tailed Tit - hyperactive flock of 15 headed south (about 20m above the mist nets!)
Goldcrest - at least 3

Red Nab/Ocean Edge
No Twite/Linnet seen in very brief check, but the tide did not flood the saltmarsh
Dark-bellied Brent Goose - Red Nab at high tide

A single Winter Moth was in the trap

Red Admiral - one flew south by the office at 1330hrs

Tuesday 15 November 2011

The delights of the north harbour wall and an unseasonal pug

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Black Redstart - still on the banks of the mound
Meadow Pipit - 12+ (9 ringed)
Rock Pipit - 1-2 (one ringed)
Twite - just 14 seen but 7/10 caught were new unringed birds
Pink-footed Goose - c400 north (all presumed to be this spp)
Med Gull - adult

Red Nab/Ocean Edge
Intensive scrutiny, once again, of the beaches and coastal perches revealed a much reduced number of Twite at high tide (c28) [note Sunderland numbers yesterday late pm]
Dark-bellied Brent Goose - adult still Red Nab at high tide
Wigeon - 76

Pheasant - female seen along entrance road ('new in'!!)

Wormwood Pug was on the wall in the kitchen - has this emerged from a pupa near a heater?

1st W (e.g. median covert pattern/moult contrast in gcs) Rock Pipit of indeterminate form, but possibly a dispersing petrosus.  Many of the  saltmarsh-dwelling 'likely' littoralis have e.g. more prominent supercilia, less smudged underpart streaking and whiter outer tail feather.  Thanks Alan

Monday 14 November 2011

Intertidal day

Heysham Obs
A quick trawl round the mound early morning failed to locate the Black Redstart but it "flew in" about 30 minutes later for another observer!  The Dark-bellied Brent appeared around Red Nab on the incoming tide.  "Huge" numbers of waders on the mudflats (accurate counts do exist!) were again flushed en masse by the "lady in red" (with a blue rucsac and medium-sized brown and black dogs) doing a long incoming tide tideline walk   This behaviour prevented up to 28,000 waders feeding where they wanted to for about 45 minutes.  Mr Woodburn would have enjoyed this.

Heysham NR - vis 0715-0745, pre-dusk walk round reserve
Chaffinch - 38 SW, all fairly high, therefore presumed movement, not ex-roost (or both!)
Siskin - heard x 1 early morning
Greenfinch - 2 SW
Goldfinch - 5 SW
'Crest spp - 6 heard, including 4 in the NE corner, no reason to suggest they were not all Goldcrest
Blackbird - as John discovered three mornings ago, they have all gone.  No more than 5 seen on late afternoon reserve circuit
Treecreeper - one NE corner

North harbour wall
Black Redstart - 1st W still north wall early-mid morning
Meadow Pipit - increase to 15-17
Rock Pipit - one
Med Gull - adult
Dunnock - one
Twite - 9

Ocean Edge/outfalls area
Twite - 125
Linnet - 20
Rock Pipit - 1
Dark-bellied Brent - adult Red Nab

 Thanks Pete

Sunday 13 November 2011

Pleasant day with Barnacle Goose flock the local highlight

Heysham Obs
North wall area
Black Redstart - 1st W showing very well until at least 1215hrs frequenting the sandworks compound at the end of the north harbour wall
Med Gull - two adults, one Czech-ringed
Rock Pipit - one
Meadow Pipit - c10
Red-throated Diver - one flying out of the bay very distantly
Dark-bellied Brent Goose - the adult flew past from the Heysham Head direction late morning
Twite - 28 caught; 10 new, one 2010 Machrihanish-ringed bird, 17 Heysham retraps

Ocean Edge/outfalls/IOM ferry
Med Gull - additional adult behind the ferry, then flew out
Little Gull - adult behind the ferry but then sat on the sea 'miles out'!
Twinnet - c150, mainly Twite
Meadow Pipit - c6
Snipe - 1
Dark-bellied Brent Goose - adult on Red Nab during the high tide period

Barnacle Goose - Nine over Heysham Head at lunchtime
Red Admiral - one Ocean Edge, plus at least two NH Wall area.
Wasp spp - worker social wasp Ocean Edge

Saturday 12 November 2011

Game on for all you local coastal/bush searchers!

Todays north wall 1st winter Black Redstart before and after a bath.  Thanks Rosie and Mario

Heysham Obs
Impressive day with all sorts of odds and ends, ironically on the first day for some while without any evidence of early morning thrush arrival.  Re-the heading, note that two Snow Bunting are at the tip of Sunderland Point today

Firecrest - (probably but not certainly a male (very rusty shoulders but crown not seen properly)) Heysham NR car park with tits 0730ish, then headed for the top path trees with the tits.  Not intensively searched for subsequently due to other things to do
Black Redstart - north harbour wall on the old control room roof (only building there) in the former sandworks compound  0945ish & in the same general area to lunchtime at least but then seemed to be flushed by walkers and may have flown over to the other side of the harbour
Dark-bellied Brent Goose - Adult appeared around Red Nab just after high tide with returning Wigeon & was still there at 1320hrs

Vis mig by the office 0730-0900, rather intermittent
Jackdaw - flock of 21 south
Chaffinch - at least 45 SW, possibly double this
Brambling - 5+2 SW early on
Siskin - 2 SE
Skylark - heard once
Greenfinch - conspicuous by its absence with just 6 SW and no grounded birds
Goldfinch - c10 SW, two unringed birds caught
alba Wagtail - 2 SE

Grounded/off-passage birds
Goldcrest - one unringed bird and at least one ringed bird
Blackbird - c25, mainly tank farm
Song Thrush - 2 tank farm
Woodcock - one flushed from 'usual spot'
Twite - 105 Ocean Edge foreshore
Linnet - 15 Ocean Edge foreshore
Reed Bunting - 2 OE
Snipe - one OE
Meadow Pipit - 10 north wall mound/sandworks
Treecreeper - one retrap

Pink-footed Goose - c54 & c35 south
Med Gull - ad north wall

One Red Admiral flew south past the office.  The element of east in the wind is no good for the moth trap, despite high night temperatures

Friday 11 November 2011

Short on quality sightings, high on biomass

Heysham Obs
Once again, despite the best efforts of a 'lady in red' with a dobermann and another large brown dog creating a 360 degree, 400m avian exclusion zone on the dropping tide, today's intertidal count produced loads of birds, not quite as many as on the neap tides due to the displacement of high-tide roosting birds towards Middleton saltmarsh/Sunderland.  Given the time in the field/in the car watching things in the field, the fare was rather disappointing with the only real interest being:

Shoveler - pair Red Nab, the colourful half snapped by Janet
Med Gull - adult harbour area
Twite - maximum count of 63 on Ocean Edge at high tide with a few small flocks subsequently going backwards and forwards between there and the north wall.  2011 Machrihanish bird(s)  seen at both Ocean Edge and the north wall
Linnet - 11 Ocean Edge
Meadow Pipit - 2-3 on north wall mound
Rock Pipit - one Ocean Edge
Dunnock - one in the mound gorse on north wall

Rotting wood and rusty railings have their uses.  We used to birdwatch from the end of this in the 90's!  Thanks Janet

   Anonymous biomass

No insects seen today

11 hour presence and not a scrap of birding!

Heysham Obs
Today was deadline day and the only break was to top-up the feeders:

Goldcrest - 2 next to office

Fortunately Janet was out and about and photographed the above 1CY Med Gull which was also seen by a birder en route to Ireland..............along with an adult, as usual, following the boat and also a single Rock Pipit

Angle Shades in the moth trap and 2 Red Admirals whilst topping up the feeder alongh with a single worker social wasp

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Late flurry of migrant Meadow Pipit

Heysham Obs
Just the mound/north wall covered this morning, then the Potts Corner-Heysham stretch was (rather disappointing apart from Ringed Plover) covered late afternoon:

Meadow Pipit - 11, including a group of 5 in-off joining the ones already there
Rock Pipit - one
Med Gull - Czech-ringed ad
Song Thrush - one mound
Twite - 56 early morning.  35 of these examined and there were 13 unringed plus one with autumn 2011 Machrihanish Seabird Observatory combination and one with autumn 2010 Machrihanish combination.  No chance to sort through the Heysham-ringed birds as the flock was flushed by a noisy Mistle Thrush.  Later a short ringing session confirmed the influx of new birds with a catch of 13 containing 9 unringed and a single 'new' Machrihanish-ringed bird.  By this time there were 24 Twite also on Ocean Edge, perhaps some of the morning flock of 56.

Ringed Plover - c60 close inshore along the southern edge of the recording area was a surprise and a perhaps further indication that we are missing birds on the WeBS counts between Potts Corner and Ocean Edge when the tide height is less than a full 'spring' - there is plenty of beach on which Ringed Plover can be very hard to locate - previous estimates for this stretch during the winter months have never exceeded 30.  The other alternative is that the elusive Sunderland Point birds joined forces with the Potts Corner-Ocean Edge birds today

Red Admiral - two 'in-off' during the twite-ringing session on the north harbour wall at lunchtime

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Still some thrush movement

Heysham Obs
Earlyish arrival was greeted by c40 Redwing in and around the office and more unusually, 5 Fieldfare lifted from the bushes by the car park and headed inland.  Grounded Fieldfare are surprisngly scarce here

Heysham NR
See above re-early morning thrushes

Pheasant - male seen along entrance road today and yesterday (remnant of a release of "40" on the golf course, most of which were welcomed by the foxes).  Reeve's Pheasant seen along the PS entrance road 'last week'

An afternoon circuit was fairly unproductive with just 25 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 1+ Water Rail and a Treecreeper of note

No time to do any morning vis mig but there just seemed to be the odd Chaffinch heading over

"Gate 38"/south wall/outfalls/Ocean Edge
Rock Pipit - one by wooden jetty, one Red Nab
Kingfisher - one Red Nab
Med Gull - adult Red Nab
Twite - 21 or so Ocean Edge (different from north wall birds)

North harbour wall
At least one Dunnock still in residence in the mound area
Song Thrush - one migrant
Twite - 36, including one ringed in autumn 2008
No sign Guillemot

5 Roe Deer reported by a dog walker along the dog track woodland strip - two have been regular in the NE corner of the reserve recently

A quiet day

Nothing out of the ordinary today. 

North Harbour Wall
No Guillemots
33 Twite whizzing about between the gasholder, the seed area, the sandplant and the mound.  Only 3 appeared to be unringed.  Managed to note the colour combinations of 15 of them:
2 were ringed 3 yrs ago,
3 were ringed 2 yrs ago,
1 was ringed 1.5yrs ago,
3 were ringed 1 yr ago,
2 were ringed at the start of this year
4 had been ringed since October this year
What is interesting is that only 23% of the birds noted had been ringed between Jan-March of any particular year and 77% were birds ringed in the October-December periods. 
Also in the area:
1 Linnet, 1 Robin, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Dunnock, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit.
1 adult Mediterranean Gull

Heysham Nature Reserve
Water Rail - 1 very noisy individual somewhere behind the dipping pond
Blackbird - 25
Song Thrush - 3
Robin - 9
Goldcrest - 2
Treecreeper - 1
plus Great Tit 4, Blue Tit 2, Greenfinch 1, Goldfinch 4, Long-tailed Tit 16 (in 3 flocks), Wren 8, Dunnock 2, Moorhen 2, Bullfinch 1, Chaffinch 1, Great-spotted Woodpecker 1

Ocean Edge saltmarsh
A further 25 or so Twite.  These alternate between snacking on the saltmarsh plants and going for a quick drink in a puddle on the grass above the marsh.

Monday 7 November 2011

Early thrush flurry and SEO

Heysham Obs
Back into early-morning mode for perhaps the last time this autumn.  It was certainly the coldest morning of the year and the crystal dawn clarity did not seem to offer much.  Then Fieldfares were heard, then Redwings and the first half hour of 'proper' daylight was quite entertaining, culminating in a Short-eared Owl.  Downhill thereafter.

Vis mig dawn to 0845
Fieldfare - 98
Redwing - 51
Song Thrush - 3
Short-eared Owl - one low inland, mobbed by crows at 0745hrs
Brambling - at least one (heard)
Chaffinch - 39
Goldfinch - 17
Starling - on flock of 72 SW
Greenfinch - 24

Reserve circuit 0845-0915
Woodcock - one flushed from eastern woodland
Water Rail - 2+
Reed Bunting - one in marsh
Siskin - one grounded
Goldcrest - 5
Redwing - 27 still grounded - flew inland.  c200 grounded on Middleton
Blackbird - c30 grounded

North harbour wall
Guillemot - one far offshore, one close inshore
Twite - 33
Med Gull - 1 ad
Big shoal of medium-sized fish which kept jumping out of the water

A few bits:  New birds: 6 Redwing, 4 Blackbird, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Bullfinch, 2 Wren, 2 Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Reed Bunting, male Sparrowhawk, Robin, Greenfinch

One Feathered Thorn

One Red Admiral

Sunday 6 November 2011

A Blackcap finds it own way to the scope!

Heysham Obs
Jean Roberts had a really strange experience today whilst standing motionless surveying waders.  A Blackcap (not exactly a predictable record in any context in a coastal caravan site in November!) landed on the dangling tripod strap for about 30 or so seconds before jumping into a bush.  Alas no camera (although it would probably take a tabloid newspaper about 10 seconds to "construct" the shot)

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/recording area southern coastline/outfalls
Blackcap - male as above
Little Egret - 2 different birds briefly visited Red Nab
Snow Bunting - vocal apparent male flew low to the south over Ocean Edge shoreline at c1110hrs
Med Gull - 2 adults outfalls/Red Nab/following boats
Knot - 22,500
Rock Pipit - 2
Twite - 31 at the southern end of the recording area with just 6 ringed birds in the flock.  17-19 flew backwards and forwards on two occasions during the morning over Ocean Edge seemingly heading to/from the north harbour wall
Linnet - 5 Ocean Edge saltmarsh (probably more)
Pink-footed Goose - 68+75 south
Regular scans of the outfalls/incoming & outgaoing boats failed to reveal either the Arctic Tern or Little Gull but there were a lot of small gulls flying around offshore in the calm conditions

Middleton Industrial Est
Teal - 17
Snipe - 2
Quite a few bluebottle-type things flying about.  One Red Admiral seen.  Epirrata spp, Brick and Silver Y in the moth trap

Friday 4th November record
Black Redstart - fem/imm type on the perimeter fence of the old touring park along the eastern edge of Ocean Edge saltmarsh 'late morning'.  Described as a "black Robin with a red tail"!

Saturday 5 November 2011

Diverse array of late migrants and odds and ends

Heysham Obs
This was undoubtedly one of the best single-day November species lists I can remember from here without anything particularly 'special'.  The wader flocks on the tideline between Ocean Edge and Potts Corner are spectacular with 3,500 or so Dunlin, 380 or so Grey Plover and up to 2,000 Barwit to add to the 17,000 Knot on this morning's neap high tide

North harbour wall
Twite - 17
Rock Pipit - 1
Meadow Pipit - 7
Dunnock - 2, including one in the mound gorse
Song Thrush - one descended into the gorse
Guillemot - one in the harbour
Med Gull - 2 adults (one Czech-ringed)
Sparrowhawk - 1CY male being a nuisance

Heysham nature reserve plus vis mig
Common Buzzard - one south (mobbed by Raven and Carrion Crow)
Whooper Swan - 5+ singleton (!) south
Mute Swan - 2 east
Pintail - flock of 22 south, then u-turned and headed north (seen from reserve)
Meadow Pipit - 11 SE
Chaffinch - 38 SW
Brambling - 1 SW
Reed Bunting - 4 S
Mistle Thrush - 1 SW
Skylark - 2 SW
Goldfinch - 20 SW
Greenfinch - 15 SW
Pink-footed Goose - 127 N, 116 S

Chiffchaff - 1 (collybita)
Goldcrest - c6
Blackbird - 40-45
Redwing - 20, most flew high inland
Song Thrush - 2
Water Rail - 1+
Long-tailed Tit - flock of 6 unringed birds trapped

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls
Wheatear - rather small juv Northern with injured left leg
Jack Snipe - one flushed from saltmarsh
Twite - c29 saltmarsh, some flew towards harbour
Linnet - 18
Skylark - one grounded on saltmarsh
Reed Bunting - 2 in saltmarsh spartina
Rock Pipit - one
Little Gull - adult outfalls
Arctic Tern - juv outfalls (amazing it has stayed in this calm weather!)
Knot - 17,000

Despite the lower temperatures, the wind direction was better for the moth trap: 3 Mottled Umber, 3 Feathered Thorn and 2 Silver Y.  Two worker social wasps seen and a single Red Admiral

Friday 4 November 2011

Arctic Tern continues to enjoy the balmy weather

Heysham Obs
Sporadic coverage today involved a yomp round the periphery of the reserve (falling into a deep hole!) and a quick check of Ocean Edge.  Completely forgot to check the Twite in the rush to do a late afternoon check of the mudflats off Sunderland!

Heysham NR
Goldcrest - 4-5
Blackbird - c25
Treecreeper - 1
Woodcock - one eastern woodland again
Water Rail - absolute minimum of 6 squabbling (2 by dipping pond, rest in main marsh)

Ocean Edge/outfalls
Rock Pipit - one
Little Gull - adult stage one outfall
Arctic Tern - juv stage one outfall
Med Gull - two adults around

The solitary occupant, Scarce Umber, is a good record for here

Thursday 3 November 2011

There is only one minutus

Heysham Obs
Brief visit produced:

Twite - 21 (of which, only 4 unringed birds seen).  Unfortunately, at least 3 Feral Pigeons have at last found the food, which could become expensive(!) and unsettle the Twite.
Little Gull - adult outfalls (but no sign Arctic Tern)
Med Gull - ad Red Nab
Lapwing - 151 Ocean Edge saltmarsh area

..........and no moths

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Arctic Tern reappears at high tide

Heysham Obs
Just the southern coastal areas covered today in a rather intensive work-related manner!

Pink-footed Goose - flock of 220 south
Rock Pipit - 2
Arctic Tern - juvenile Heysham outfalls at high tide
Little Gull - adult seaward end of Heysham one outfall at low tide
Med Gull - 2 x 1CY briefly on the end of Heysham one outfall, also an adult there for a longer period
Kingfisher - one flew down OE saltmarsh channel
Twite - 23 OE saltmarsh, possibly more
Linnet - at least 15 OE saltmarsh

Red Admiral - 2 south along the tideline & another south whilst waiting at Moneyclose Lane traffic lights!  Feathered Thorn and Chestnut (the latter scarce here) in the moth trap

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Decent coverage

Heysham Obs
Reasonably extensive coverage today with a few bits and pieces:

North harbour wall
Twite - 43 on feeder (& see below) in the morning; just 7 during a short ringing session in the afternoon.  These included a Machrihanish-ringed bird with the following details:

Ringed:  Machrihanish Seabird Observatory  3M  20/9/11
Recaptured: Heysham     28/10/11 & 1/11/11 (& probably seen mid-Oct)

Vis mig by the office 0730-0900
alba Wagtail - 1
Chaffinch - 55
Starling - 81+37
Redwing - 8
Siskin (H+)
Goldfinch - 13
Greenfinch - 3
Collared Dove - 1
Woodpigeon - 1
Mistle Thrush - 1

Power walk around the coastal circuit
Guillemot - one in the harbour by the intake
Twite - 15 'in-off' from the Walney direction, then flew across the harbour towards the mound
Little Gull - adult Heysham one outfall
Yet again we may have been denied a November Arctic Tern as there was no sign at low tide
Med Gull - two adults
Blackcap - male Nature Park but no other evidence of migrants on the dog track/nature park
Extra vis mig recorded during this walk (0915-1015) comprised 27 Chaffinch and 2 Meadow Pipit

Heysham NR late afternoon
Woodcock - one flushed eastern woodland
Blackbird - more than yesterday with c25 on circuit
Goldcrest - one NE corner along with another crest spp. nearby which refused to show itself in the gorse and might be worth a follow-up
Song Thrush - 3

Middleton NR (thanks Malcolm)
Water Rail - 2
Snipe - 2
Tufted Duck - 2
Teal - 5
Blackbird - 40+
Redwing - 7

Red-line Quaker in moth trap.  Rusty Dot Pearl disturbed from the Nature Park. Red Admiral dog track.  Single Common Darter, 2 Red Admiral and single Comma Middleton NR