Friday 31 January 2014

Before the deluge

A quick trawl round while it was dry revealed the following:

Little Gull 1 x 2cY

Guillemot 2
Kittiwake 1 adult

North Harbour Wall
65 finches - a mixture of Twite, Linnet and Goldfinch.  Got halfway through counting Twite when the flock flew off so a minimum of 34 Twite

Ocean Edge
Snipe 21

Middleton NR - Model Boat Pond
Scaup 1 x 2CY
Pochard 4 male and 1 female

Then it poured down for the rest of the day.

Observers - PeteMarsh, Malcolm Downham

Thursday 30 January 2014

Meds and Twite

Heysham Obs

North Harbour Wall
All three adult Med Gulls showing well on the railings early afternoon.
50+ Finches around feeding area including
Twite 25+
Linnet 15+
Goldfinch 10+

Middleton model boat pond
Scaup 2CY male
Tufted Duck x 5
Pochard male

Wigeon at the old jetty near the outfalls

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Siskin surprise

Heysham obs
A flock of c30 Siskin were alongside the wetland area on Heysham nr before flying towards ocean edge.

Middleton Nr
Scaup - 2cy
Pochard - 4
Gadwall - 4
Teal - c30
Grey wagtail
Skylark again - hope it is a local bird

North wall
A mixed catch of linnet and twite were mainly unringed birds with the twite catch including two machrihanish- ringed birds, one from autumn 2013

Tuesday 28 January 2014

North wall linnet invasion

Heysham obs

North harbour wall
Linnet - flock of 25 plus at least 3 others
Twite - flock of 26

Model boat pond
Scaup - 2cy

Monday 27 January 2014

Same again

Heysham Obs
Middleton NR
Scaup - 2CY male
Gadwall - 10
Tufted Duck - 11
Pochard - 3
Teal - 30
Mallard - 4
Reed Bunting - 1
Little Egret - 1
Oystercatcher - 7

North wall
Twite - 29-31 including metal ringed bird not ours and machrihanish green/white bird
Linnet - 15
Goldfinch - 3
Chaffinch - male (ringed)

Kittiwake - 5 (4 adults)
Guillemot - 1

Little Gull - at least adult and 1 x 2CY

 Middleton flooded due to a faulty pump
Kittiwake in the harbour

Sunday 26 January 2014

Young little gulls hit the outfalls

Heysham obs
Little gull - ad and 6 x 2cy

North wall am
Twite - c30
Linnet - 13
Goldfinch - 10

Saturday 25 January 2014

Sporadic Saturday

Initial records only, from a walk down north harbour wall at lunchtime. Mainly to see if any black redstart in this area. Answer – None seen

No finches on feeding station, just 4 feral pigeon and a pied wagtail.
However, flock of 28 linnet/twite huddled (from wind and rain) in stunted tree at corner of compound. All facing away. No rings noted.

Flock c2,000 Knot in

Herring, LB Backed, Common, (1) Kittiwake but no Mediterranean.

2 little gull on seaward side of outflows.



0900hrs - Middleton Model Boat Pond
Drake Scaup still present
1 No Little Egret
6 Pochard including 4 Drakes
Song Trush singing!
1100hrs - No.1 Outfall
Adult and 2 x 1st Winter Little Gulls
4 No. RB Mergansers including 2 Drakes
1200hrs - Harbour
3 Adult and 1 2CY Kittiwake
1300hrs - North Harbour Wall
Adult Med
5 No. Twite sheltering from torrential rain!
After a bright start the weather deteriorated, had a look for the Black Redstarts but never saw either unsurprisingly.
Thanks to Malcolm and Ian for todays records.

Friday 24 January 2014

Nice selection

Heysham Obs

Ocean Edge foreshore/Red Nab
Black Redstart - female type seen at least 1200-1230 but not earlier
Meadow Pipit - 1

Little Gull - ad & 2 x 2CY
Wigeon - 141

North harbour wall
Twite - 27, including green/white Machrihanish bird
Linnet - 13
Med Gull - 2 adults

Kittiwake - adult

Middleton model boat pond & others
Scaup - 2CY male
Pochard - 2 males and female
Tufted Duck - 17
Little Egret - 1
Mallard - 14
Teal - 66
Redwing - 36
Meadow Pipit - 5
Goldfinch - 30
Linnet - 28 & another c28 Ocean Edge saltmarsh

Thursday 23 January 2014

Interesting Greenfinch recoveries

Heysham Obs
Two Greenfinch caught during a late autumn passage in early November were ringed at Eskmeals, Ravenglass, Cumbria about a month previously (all other long-distance from the north have been from the north-east of here) and even more surprisingly, the other was ringed at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset as a 2CY female in January 2013.  Bearing in mind it was almost certainly on north to south passage when caught at Heysham as an adult female, where has it come from and is it intending to winter so far south again?  A Whitethroat ringed late August at Middleton was re-caught at Portishead, Somerset about a month later............and therefore rather slow to leave for Africa

Routine sightings today, mainly Middleton: Scaup 2CY male, 18 Tufted Duck, 54 Teal, 7 Gadwall, female Pochard. 11 Mallard, 3 Little Egret, 48 Linnet, one Reed Bunting and best of all, a Skylark

Dark Chestnut in moth trap

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Pigeon Pie?

Heysham Obs
Fem type black red seen lunchtime red nab area

North Harbour Wall
Two brief visits both during heavy showers produced on first visit only
Goldfinch 2
Linnet 3
Med Gull 1 adult

Second visit saw the feeding area filled with enough Pigeons to make a very big pie with, but no Finches seen.

Kittiwakes 4 - 3Adults & 2CY

Middleton Model Boat Pond
Scaup 2CY Male
Little Egret
Tufted Duck 6
Pochard 2Male & 1Fem


Tuesday 21 January 2014

Brief glimpses

Heysham obs
The f/imm black redstart showed v briefly at red nab before flying into power station grounds mid pm.

23 ringed plover Oe beach

15 twite, 6 linnet and 3 goldfinch plus male chaffinch nhw

Monday 20 January 2014

Female Black Redstart reappears or just appears

Heysham Obs

Ocean Edge
Female Black Redstart along Ocean Edge foreshore just south of Red Nab mid afternoon (thanks Malcolm).  Suggest you walk the whole length of the foreshore round to the saltmarsh but please do not access on foot via the main gate - use the usual path through the nature park & park by the anemometer.  Ocean Edge is on annual closure at the moment and all traffic beyond the reception area is site maintenance work.  The main office is open however if you want to buy a caravan

North Harbour Wall
Finches increased during morning up to about 40 early afternoon including
Twite 15+
Goldfinch 12+
Linnet  8+
Chaffinch 1
also Robin and Dunnock
Med Gulls 3 Adults
Rock Pipit - 1

Kittiwake 2 Adults & 2CY

No sign of any Guillemot

Heliport area
Ringed Plover 27, Dunlin 31, Knot 790, Turnstone 27, Oystercatcher 3,270, Redshank 310, Curlew 1

Middleton Model Boat Pond
Scaup 2CY Male
Little Egret
Pochard female

Sunday 19 January 2014

Leftovers and residents in calm weather

Heysham Obs
Anyone wondering where Yellow-browed Warblers might be successfully wintering note 11 in Lazerote in the latest and final Birding World and we have just returned from Fuerteventura where we found 9 (and there are apparently others).  Four of these were in the relatively heavily vegetated Pajara and two in nearby Betancuria.  Wintering birds seem very vocal c/p autumn migrants and defending individuals trees against marauding Chiffchaff.  Search time of suitable habitat gave a ratio of about one discovery per two hours as we were obviously doing other more deserty things during the week.

Meanwhile - half a webs count today included..........

Kittiwake - 2 ad, 2 2CY harbour
Wigeon - 77
Little Gull - 2CY
Med Gull - 3 adult

Middleton not checked

Saturday 18 January 2014

Early check

Heysham Obs

Just a quick check of regulars

Middleton Nature Reserve
2 pair mute swan + 7 cygnet
21 tufted
1 scaup
8 mallard
5 gadwall
C90 teal
1 woodcock
+ 3 pheasant!
0 pochard this morning

Ocean Edge
Checked just as tide reached salt marsh
22 Bar Tailed Godwit
21 Shelduck
17 ringed plover
6 snipe
C30 linnet

Red Nab
78 wigeon
4 red breasted merganser


Kittiwakes 2 Adults & 2x 2CY

North Harbour Wall
A lot of activity with diggers near the feeding station but still
Twite 15+


Friday 17 January 2014

Lunchtime sightings

A wet walk around at high tide.

Ocean Edge salt marsh
2 Jack snipe
1 common snipe
17 ringed plover

2 adult 1 2CY Kittiwake
1 guillemot

Thursday 16 January 2014

Middleton Photos

Heysham Obs
Repair work on the North Harbour Wall more extensive today and more disruptive
with only 12 Finches seen.
Goldfinch 5
Twite 7
Med Gull Adult
Guillemot 2
Kittiwake 2 Adults & 2CY
Scaup 2CY Male
Selection of birds at the Middleton site today.
Lots of Linnet
and I missed the shot of the Jack Snipe.
A ringed Black Headed Gull below

Photos Janet Packham

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Wednesday 15th January

Heysham Obs

No reports so far today

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Same Again

Heysham Obs

North Harbour Wall
Work has now started on repairing and resurfacing some of the areas damaged by the storm.
Which means that parking will be even more restricted for a period
Twite 15+
Goldfinch 20+
Linnets 5+
Med Gulls 2 Adults

Little Gull 2CY

Guillemot 2
Kittiwake 2 Adults & 2x2CY

Quick check only
Scaup juv male
Pochard 4 male
Tufted 17


Monday 13 January 2014

Photo Day

Heysham Obs

Thank to Janet Packham for todays photos.

North Harbour Wall
Med Gulls 3 Adults

Guillemots 4
Kittiwakes Ad & 2CY

Little Gulls 2x2CY

Middleton Nature Reserve
4 pochard (all male)
1 Scaup juv male
16 tufted
9 gadwall
89 teal
10 mallard
1 Little Egret
41 common snipe
1 jack snipe
1 woodcock
1 each, peregrine, sparrowhawk, kestrel
3 stock dove

                Middleton Model Boat Pond



North Harbour Wall

Sunday 12 January 2014

Rock Pipits and Guillemots

Heysham Obs
North Harbour Wall
Twite 17
Goldfinch 20
Linnets 5
Med Gull adult

Guillemots 4
Kittiwake 3 (2Ad & 2CY)

Middleton Model Boat Pond
Scaup juv male
Pochard 4 male
Tufted Duck 6
Disturbance due to people feeding bread to the Swans

Red Nab to Wooden Jetty
Little Gull juv
Med Gull ad
Peregrines 2
Rock Pipit 2

Red Nab this morning, Rock Pipit
 Photos Janet Packham

Rock Pipit at the old wooden jetty

 One of 4 Guillemots in the harbour

Saturday 11 January 2014

Brief Visit

Heysham Obs
Just a very brief visit not including Red Nab or Outfalls

Scaup - juv male
Pochard - 3 males
Gadwall - 3
Tufted Duck - 10+

Guillemot - 4
Kittiwake - 2 adults & 2CY

North Harbour Wall
Finches 40+
Twite  15+ (10ringed)
Med Gull Ad

Also Red Nab / Outfalls
Wigeon  111
Little Gull 2CY

Friday 10 January 2014

Good coverage and a mystery

Heysham Obs
Keep an eye on the sea, something interesting of the small grebe ilk could have been seen today in flight and landing on the sea, but very distant and couldn't be found after it dived

Woodpigeon - unexpected movement with 106 + 19 S
Pink-footed Goose - 32 N, 65 S
Tufted Duck - 17
Scaup - juv male
Pochard - 3 males
Teal - 50+
Gadwall - 3
Mallard - 8
Little Egret - 1 (& one Ocean Edge)

Little Gull - Ad & 2 2CY
Kittiwake - ad & 2CY

Guillemot - 3
Kittiwake - ad & 2CY

Thursday 9 January 2014

Ducks hit the heights

Heysham obs
Good numbers of ducks on Middleton but sadly disturbed and scattered by late pm dog walkers notably the mutts accompanying someone with an overworked and ineffectiveI whistle

Pochard- 3 males
Tufted duck - 14
Scaup - juv male
Teal - 60 plus being scattered
Mute swan- one young had gone

Little gull - 2 2cy

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Full house of the same

Heysham obs

North wall pm
Twite - 31
Linnet - 5
Goldfinch - 20 plus

Little gull - 3 2cy am. Two later
Kittiwake - ad

Iom ferry
Kittiwake - 11 following

Guillemot - 5 above and 5 in underground res at same time 
Kittiwake ad

Tufted d - 12
Scaup - juv m
Pochard - 2 m
Linnet - c50
Pheasant - 1

Red nab
None adult male black redstart reported

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Quick whizz round

Heysham Obs
Didn't have time to do the north harbour wall otherwise:

South harbour area
Guillemot - 3, later 7
Kittiwake - ad & 2CY in harbour, later (after ferry) 7 adults outfalls

Offshore low tide
Eider - 13
Med Gull - ad
Pink-footed Goose - 23 south

Little Gull - 2 x 2CY early morning, later (after ferry) adult and 5 2CY
Med Gull - adult

Middleton model boat pond
Scaup - 2CY male
Tufted Duck - 12
Pochard - 2 males
Little Egret - 2
Mute Swan - in the process of kicking the young out with one especially targeted, including by the rest of the young, adopting raised wing, lowered head aggression posture

Winter Moth

Monday 6 January 2014

Need some ferries!

Heysham obs
Had a good moan about watercraft yesterday but the bigger versions are very effective at bringing extra birds in during 'not quite right' wind directions where nothing much comes in of its own accord
Just realised all the 1 cy need to be 2 cy after 1/1!
Coastal stuff
Little gull - two 2cy, one adult outfalls
Kittiwake - 3 ad, one 2cy
Guillemot - 5 in harbour

Scaup - 2cy male
Tufted duck - 12
Pochard -2 males
Little egret -  2

Sunday 5 January 2014

'Me me me' and xxx everyone/everything else

Heysham Obs!474&parid=6F00E71027F95045!109&type=5&authkey=!AGSnf5mGH_nub6E&Bsrc=Photomail&Bpub=SDX.Photos

Don't know whether anyone can make head or tail of the above link, but this reveals more details on this bunch of xxxxs who saw fit to prevent up to 11,000 waders roosting today.  It can be viewed on the above link under the heading 'Human Pollution"

According to Lancaster City Council, the windsurfers/kitesurfers do have a designated area and its called the Battery Car park.  Unfortunately they appear to have both a designated area and any other area where they can be 'allowed' to perform by the owner of any access to the foreshore.  As has been said before, informative notices have or are supposed to have been put in place in this area which include foreshore best practice.  The trouble is that, unlike the excellent efforts at nearby Ocean Edge, the situation at Potts Corner is seemingly all "lip service" with no attempt by the owner of the access to do anything about serious disturbance (also including pony and trap, horses indulging in synchronised swimming etc.).  Have you any intention of doing anything? - if so now might be a good time to support the efforts at Ocean Edge and Shorefields instead of just talking the talk, yet letting all sorts of inappropriate people use the access

Birds today
Guillemot - at least 4 in harbour area
Kittiwake - 3 ad, 1 1CY harbour
Scaup - 1CY male model boat pond
Thanks to Pete Cook

Pochard - 2 male model boat pond
Little Gull - 2 1CY and ad Heysham 2 outfall    
Scaup at Middleton.Photo. Janet Packham

Little Egret at Middleton boating pond

Saturday 4 January 2014

Black redstart sneaks out of power station

Heysham obs
Black redstart - male on red nab rocks for short time around lunchtime
Little gull - up to 3 1cy and ad first thing, just two later
Med gull - 2
Guillemot - 4
Eider - 2
Kittiwake - ad
Twite - 18 with just 3 ringed
Linnet - 5
Goldfinch - 26
Red breasted merganser - 8

Scaup - 1cy male
Tufted duck- 12
Teal - 87
Pochard - male
Gadwall - 3

Thanks Graham and Malcolm

Friday 3 January 2014

Same decent selection

Heysham Obs

Coastal coverage on and off plus Middleton NR
Red-throated Diver - one out
Little Gull - 11 outfalls (5 adults), one 'out'
Kittiwake - 5 harbour/outfalls, 18 'out' in dribs and drabs
Guillemot - 8 in harbour, none seen offshore
Scaup - 1CY male model boat pond pm but no diving duck on there in am
Gadwall - 7 Middleton
Little Egret - 2 Middleton
Tufted Duck - 9 Middleton
Ringed Plover - 9 heliport
Med Gull - ad heliport, at least one ad Fishers roof

Thursday 2 January 2014

Brief visit mainly spent seawatching

Heysham Obs
Sea from Ocean Edge 1030-1100
Kittiwake - flock of 14-15 'out'
Red-throated Diver - 3 out
Great-crested Grebe - 8 out
Eider - pair out very distantly
Little Gull - adult out

Kittiwake - adult
Little Gull - 3 1CY

Middleton model boat pond
Scaup - 1CY male
Tufted Duck - 9

Amazingly a different Dark Chestnut (yesterdays had damaged forewing) and a Parsnip Moth (38 in Millhouses trap, mainly Mottled Umber)
Heysham Harbour this afternoon

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Year tick for 2013!!

Heysham Obs
Happy new year!  A nice little pre-rain window today

The star of the show was a Heysham year tick for last year - a Dark Chestnut in the moth trap - todays moths are always logged as the night before!

SD35 & 36 10 km square survey
Kittiwake - ad harbour, ad & 1CY outfalls
Guillemot - at least 8 in harbour
Twite - 10
Linnet - 13
Red-throated Diver - one 'out'
Med Gull - 2 ads fishers roof and area
Song Thrush - 1 mound
Little Gull - up to 9 stage 2 outfall
Red-breasted Merganser - 3

Snipe - at least 4 Ocean Edge foreshore
Ringed Plover - 11 Ocean Edge grass

Model boat pond
Scaup - 1cy drake
Little egret - 2
Pochard - drake