Wednesday 17 October 2012

Yellow-browed Warbler at last!

Heysham Obs
Arrival at Heysham NR saw a cessation of the driving rain, a few Redwing calls, a note of the east of south wind and a search of the sheltered areas below the observation tower, some of which are within the licensed nuclear zone and cannot be advertised as public access.  The Yellow-browed Warbler was at the base of a path which has had to be closed due to an unsafe boardwalk and imminent removal of the old Observation Tower.  Apologies for having to use the "no general access" phrase on the pager, but there is no way round it for this area until the observation tower is taken down and the access track down to the Power Station made safe.  YBW found during about the 101st hour of searching during the potential arrival period so far this autumn!

Yellow-browed Warbler - a bright individual seen for about 15 seconds at c0830hrs with a small tit flock below the observation tower - it seemed to move towards the old quarry but may have crossed the road into a copse within the power station area as the flock could not be relocated after a quick dash back to the office.  No calls heard definitely ascertained to be this species but there were quite a few Coal Tit scattered around.  However the brightness of the plumage seemed to rule out Hume's.  No further sign by 1030hrs
Goldcrest - c10, including gang of 8
Redwing - perhaps 25 grounded
Blackbird - 25-30 around - definite arrival
Song Thrush - 5+ grounded
Chiffchaff - one NE corner

Heysham Head - St Peter's Churchyard and surrounding trees/scrub
Mega habitat - should be compulsory to check this area on east winds - like next week?  Totally sheltered
Crossbill - two south
Meadow Pipit - 3 south
Chaffinch - 13 south
Blackcap - male
Chiffchaff - ordinary-looking one
Goldcrest - 3
the lower three species with a LTT flock

Vis mig
Grey Wagtail - 1 but may have been off-passage
Lesser Redpoll - 1E
Reed Bunting - 1S
Brambling - at least one SW
Chaffinch - c30 SW
Meadow Pipit - 5 SE
alba Wagtail - 6 SE
Goldfinch - flock of 11 SW
plus grounded thrushes flying inland