Saturday 31 March 2012

Sandwich tern invasion

Heysham Obs
A light localised north-easterly prompted a routine visit and seawatching (& Pete C) saw 22 Sandwich tern, a mixture of inshore birds on the yellow buoy and ones and twos patrolling offshore

Two mist nets next to the office produced their first 'new unringed bird' for about three hours (none yesterday) in the form of.........a Blue Tit [in contrast, 600 ringed at Portland BO so far today (1830ish)!].  Definite block on grounded migrants and, bearing in mind the female/2CY content of the later birds, has the Lesser Redpoll passage finished!!  It wasn't many years ago when this was a consistent feature of late April/early May, then it shifted to mid-April, then last year to around 9/10 April, then this year the fourth week of March!  Is it just the first available warm anticyclonic weather of the spring which prompts the movement?

Sea 0735-0905
Sandwich Tern - 22 (c7 on yellow buoy) [first of year]
Red-throated Diver - 4 floating out on sea
Red-breasted Merganser - 3 'in' (2+1)
Eider - 80+
Great-crested Grebe - 2 'in'
Just 3 Linnet around the mound area

Office area
Meadow Pipit - 7 NE
Blue Tit - unringed 2CY caught
No evidence of any other movement c/f south-coast 'falls' of last two mornings

A late Chestnut was the only surprise