Saturday, 16 April 2011

Splendidly isolated Mealy, unseasonal Little Stint, Black Guillemot head a great day for 'one-offs'

Heysham Obs
2CY, probably female, Mealy Redpoll

'Going through the motions' this morning in (initially) perfect ringing conditions, but lousy overall weather synopsis produced one bird in the nets prior to 0800hrs, a Mealy Redpoll!  Then four others in the 'quality' category were caught:  a Tree Pipit, adult male Whitethroat first ringed as a 2CY in May 2007, an unringed male Blackcap and an adult female Blackcap first ringed at Woolston Eyes and previously caught at Heysham in early August 2010.  The 'pulse' of 8 Lesser Redpoll coincided with increasing wind and billowing nets, leading to an early finish.  Then an attempt to do 1/3 of the WeBs count produced a small winter-plumaged wader, eventually identified as Little Stint, then a (the?) Black Guillemot made an appearance, then a flava Wagtail flew over.  A Dotted Border was a rather unexpected late individual.

Overhead a pulse of Meadow Pipits, small finch species and two Tree Pipits (one ringed) prior to the cloud from the weak front

Ocean Edge foreshore
Wheatear - 4 (one male of Faroese/Icelandic/Greenlandish proportions)
Little Stint - mainly winter plumage bird with migrant Dunlin & Ringed Plover took a little bit of precautionary sorting out with a 60x!  Record shots taken of sleeping bird
Record shot into the sun (thanks Pete)
Heysham office area
No hint of any phyllosc migration
Blackcap - unringed male caught, see above re-female
Whitethroat - the old ringed male detailed above was the only sighting
Lesser Whitethroat - singing male, almost certainly not a new arrival
Grasshopper Warbler - singing male on tank farm - time to revise yesterday's comment?
Meadow Pipit - 26 north
Goldfinch - c25 north
Linnet - c15 north
Lesser Redpoll - 3+5+1 north
alba Wagtail - 6 north
Tree Pipit - 2 north
Common (Mealy) Redpoll - 2CY ringed at 0720, defnitely migrating on its own
flava Wagtail - one heard, seemingly flying NW at 1115ish (& Mike Baron)

North harbour wall 0930-1100hrs (thanks Mike Baron) (some stuff from earlier still to be entered)
Black Guillemot - one in the harbour mouth mid-morning, then flushed offshore by ferry.  Adult summer & surely the "returning" bird, hopefully on more than last year's day-trip
Guillemot 1

Razorbill 1
Red-throated Diver 2+2
Gannet 4+5
Common Scoter 14+10
Eider 1+3+2
Red-breasted Merganser 3
Sandwich Tern 1+1
Turnstone on wooden jetty 215+
1 Wheatear on mound plus 4 Linnets, Mipit and 2 Pied Wags

Dotted Border was unexpectedly late, highest count was 7 Early Thorn, otherwise the usual quartet of orthosias