Monday 21 May 2012

Poms slip under the radar and a missing parrot

Heysham Obs
First the excuse (other than having a lot of work to do).  It is really difficult to know what seabirds, if any, move in the kind of weather we had this morning - it is often quite promising, but have you really got two hours to spare watching paint dry for the sake of a single skua sighting?  This is where Jenny Brown's Point comes in as it is decision-time for skuas and they can hang about wondering what to do, instead of being a one minute easy-to-miss wonder entering the Bay as seen from Heysham

Missed on the sea, but picked up at JBP
Pomarine Skua - At around midday, a flock of four light-morph watched approaching JBP from the outer bay (i.e. off here!) and headed up the Kent channel, then returned a few minutes later before landing distantly on the sea off the Keer mouth.  They were then joined by two other skuas of similar size, but they were too far away to be identified either to species or morph (thanks to Tom Wheeler for info)
Arctic Tern - flock of 9 off JBP

Heysham NR
Willow Warbler - two ringed, probably migrants

Middleton NR
Reed Warbler - four singing males
African Grey Parrot - thanks to Brian Russell for informing us of the presence of one of these 'last week' around the gun club building/model boat pond (assuming there is no other wirehopper which is 'pigeon-sized, grey with a bright red tail' - Brian did not see the head/bill properly?)

There were a few!  The moth trap held a White Ermine and Common Carpet.  Middleton NR produced teneral Four-spotted Chaser, teneral Common Blue Damsel and about 30 Large Red Damsel (central marsh only checked).  Heysham NR butterfly transect saw 30 Large Red Damsel, 13 Common Blue butterfly and single Orange Tip, Small White and Peacock (no Speckled Wood!)