Tuesday, 22 March 2011

A big thank you & farewell to Sean

Heysham Obs

A really nice migration morning would normally have seen me on site from first light with the mist nets up and covering the overhead Meadow Pipits and grounded Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests. Unfortunately in the middle of an equally productive redpoll study and couldn't be in two places at once, with no other ringers/vis miggers available today

Then Sean rang...............his last vigil on the south harbour wall rescued the vis mig monitoring from oblivion. Sean has been fantastic company this last two years as he has been conscientiously recording the flight paths of intertidal birds (and counting Meadow Pipits and offshore divers etc!) in relation to the proposed turbines. Thanks for your company, Sean, and hopefully we will see you again in the near future

So I was able to concentrate on the redpoll ringing without worrying about what was being missed overhead..............and the grounded stuff could be mopped up in the afternoon

South harbour wall
Guillemot - one floated in - at last it opens its 2011 account!
Turnstone - 198 - obviouskly the start of the spring passage
Purple Sandpiper - just the one
Meadow Pipit - minimum of 81 north (noise from boats hampering vis)
alba Wagtail - min of 10 north
Linnet - 2 north - first vis mig of spring
Rock Pipit - the wintering bird still in residence
Twite - 17
Pink-footed Goose - 110 north

Goldcrest - at least 8, 7 more than in the whole of last spring!
Chiffchaff - absolute minimum of 6 birds in reserve area
Wheatear - 2 OE foreshore first thing
Goldfinch - 4 ringed at the feeder in the afternoon

Heysham Head
Rock Pipit
male Wheatear

Brimstone - one by office
Queen wasp spp - as above
Moths excelled themselves with a different Pale Pinion to yesterday and the long awaited first (for me & I dont think there have been any others, but havn't got the full MapMate database to hand) Twin-spot Quaker for the reserve. Common orthosias numbered 21.

Mealy Redpoll ringed Thrushgill, but no sign (predictably, given the 'through put' of birds) of Sunday afternoon's Coues Arctic Redpoll