Sunday 19 August 2012

Paragliders seriously disrupt roosting waders

Heysham Obs
Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Half way through the wader check on the incoming tide, two paragliders appeared over Potts Corner and the effect on Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Dunlin and Knot was quite immediate and dramatic.  Despite being over 500m (horizontal distance) from the paragliders, all the above species towered up into the air and headed in the direction of Pilling/Knott End, high in the sky.  This was the most dramatic and far-reaching disturbance I have seen on this section of coast and it is to be hoped this does not become a regular event 'within range' of this major roost which will soon build up to internationally important numbers.  I am not sure how these people became airborne but they definitely landed on the shore by Potts Corner

Fast estimates of waders:
Grey Plover - 230
Bar-tailed Godwit - 190
Knot - 130
Dunlin - 65
Med Gull - just 4 juvs seen

Middleton CES
Slow with clear skies/very high cloud in the morning not conducive to major arrival!  Nevertheless a small number of Willow Warblers filtered through (9 ringed) and 4 juvenile Sedge Warbler, two juvenile Reed Warbler, three juvenile Whitethroat were ringed.  The only other warbler in the nets was a Blackcap.  No Grasshopper Warblers were seen/heard
Tree Pipit - one south
Pheasant - male in the western marsh
Swallow - c30 south

Heysham NR office ringing
A small arrival of Willow Warbler from about 0700hrs onwards (14 ringed), the first multiple capture of presumed migrant Robin (4), three Whitethroat and a few feeder-related odds and ends

Swallow roost Middleton NR
CES nets 2 and 3 were set and 64 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin and a few odds and ends including Linnet and Sedge Warbler were ringed prior to 2030hrs when the nets were taken down to avoid a heap of Swallows in fading light.  About 300 seemed to be roosting with 'quite a few' Sand Martin judging by calls, but too busy to really study the swirling birds

A much better catch with the highlights being the overdue first Bordered Beauty of the year, Currant Pug, a late Dingy Footman, Flame Carpet (rare here) and Cochylis atricapitana