Friday 28 February 2014

Frosty Start

Heysham Obs

North Harbour Wall
45 mixed Finches early on Twite Linnet and Goldfinch
Not quite to plan just 7 birds caught 6 Twite and a Goldfinch.

Adult Med Gull (Czech ringed)
Kittiwake -1

Kittiwakes - 8 2CY x 1

Thanks to Malcolm for the extensive Middleton report below.
Had a good walk around Middleton NR today, didn't see any grey wagtails, looks like the green ringed anomaly was in passage. Most resident birds now singing/calling including greenfinch, chaffinch, reed bunting (2), song thrush (2), robin, dunnock and wren.
There were a lot of birds on the boating pond when I first got there (9:00). I have put the numbers for the boating pond in () next to the totals
4 adult mute (6) juvenile
(1) scaup
17 (11) tufted
9 (5) gadwall
(2) pochard (male)
6 (2) mallard
10 (4) coot
3 (1) heron (frogging season!)
(2) little egret
(1) cormorant
(1) lapwing (on peninsular)
7 teal - looks like most of these have moved on
6 moorhen
1 little grebe (western scrape)
1 water rail (dyke north edge of central marsh)
2 stock dove
1 skylark (silent)
36 pinkfoot north 11:25
2 snipe OE
85 wigeon (RN)


Thursday 27 February 2014

Great photo day

Todays birds at Red Nab, the outfalls and the Harbour. In total 5 little gull (2 x 2cy), 12 kittiwake, 5 guillemot, 2cy male scaup - the latter on Middleton

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Czech Med's last few days of the winter

Heysham Obs
Spring is in full flow with the Great Tit examining last year's nest site in the gate post today and the Czech Med coming into full summer plumage and pawing the ground ready for its usual departure in 3-4 days time.  Will it return after an innings of ten years?

Med Gull - Czech bird around anglers and another ad on Fishers roof
Guillemot - 3 in harbour
Kittiwake - 12 in harbour (one 2CY)
Little Gull - 2 x 2CY outfalls at highish tide
Twite - 42
Linnet - 11

Middleton mb pond
Pochard - 4 x male 1 x female
Scaup - 2CY male

The wind has unfortunately been too southerly for the moth trap in the last few days

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Patch check

Heysham Obs
Little Gull - 3 adult and 4 x 2CY
North Harbour Wall
Twite - 30
Linnet - 5
Goldfinch - 3
Dunnock - 1
Kittiwake - 14 (1 x 2CY)
Middleton Nature Reserve
Model Boat Pond
Scaup - 1 (the usual male)
Tufted Duck - 2 pairs
Pochard - 4 (3M, 1F)
Oystercatcher - 3
Lapwing - 1
Mallard - 1 pr
Grey Heron - 1
Coot - 1 pr
Mute Swan - 6 juvs
No Swimming Pond
Tufted Duck - 10M, 4F
Gadwall - 2 prs
Teal - 1pr
Coot - 4
Mute Swan - 1pr
Tim Butler Pond
Mute Swan - 1 pr
Moorhen - 3
Teal - 12
Mallard - 1 pr
Fence Pond
Coot - 1pr
Gadwall - 1pr
Other areas of Middleton
Little Grebe - 1 heard
Ringed Plover -1 heard
Linnet - 25
Pheasant - 3F
Song Thrush - 1 singing
Selection of feeders at the Twite station, this dinner time.

Monday 24 February 2014

Little Grebes return

Heysham Obs
Another mild day and another sign of spring with trilling Little Grebes now on three of the Middleton ponds.  Good coverage of Middleton but rather patchy elsewhere.

Eider - 81
Kittiwake - flock of 32 'in'

Kittiwake - 19 harbour
Guillemot - 3 harbour
Twite - c60

Middleton NR
Scaup - 2CY male
Tufted Duck - 19
Gadwall - 2
Little Grebe - 3
Teal - 50
Pochard - 4
Coot - 10
Linnet - 17
Stock Dove - 2
Grey Wagtail - one colour ringed bird definitely older than last autumn
Reed Bunting - 1
Little Egret - 2

Sunday 23 February 2014

More of the same

Heysham obs
Bit windier today and more seagulls around but no new species

Little gull - min 16 outfalls
Med gull - 3 ads
Kittiwake - 19 (2 2cy)
Guillemot - 4
Scaup - 2cy male Middleton MB pond
Pochard - 5 with above
Twite - at least 45, prob many more as birds no identified in sea buckthorn

Saturday 22 February 2014

Fewer of the same

 Heysham obs

Little gull - 4 (2 ad)
Kittiwake - 18 harbour, one offshore, one outfalls
Eider - 72
Guillemot - 2
Twite - c55
Scaup - 2cy male Middleton
Wigeon - 74

Drowned dotted border Middleton

Friday 21 February 2014

Lesser Black-backs pile in

Heysham Obs
Lesser Black-backs piled in today with up to 120 at any one time.
Little Gull 28
Kittiwake 23
Guillemot 4
Pintail 1 out
Med Gull 2 adults
Twite 35 plus

Middleton Nature Reserve
Scaup 2CY male
Pochard 5
Gadwall 9

Done from memory - notes left in office ! Will update tomorrow.
Thanks to Ian ands Malcolm.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Doing the rounds but little change

Heysham Obs

Middleton NR model boat pond
Scaup - 2CY male
Pochard - 4 males, I female
Tufted Duck - 11
Snipe - 1

Offshore low tide
Eider - 78
Red-throated Diver - 1

Harbour area
Shag - 1, prob 3CY briefly then flew out
Kittiwake - c15
Guillemot - 1 (& 1 inshore)
Twite - at least 60 (one green/white Machrihanish bird plus the old Heysham bird caught two days ago)

Little Gull - 2 x 2CY, 1 x Ad
Kittiwake - 2 Ad

Selection of Gulls in the harbour.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

New moths, similar birds

3 x 1W Little Gulls

North Harbour Wall
adult Mediterranean Gull
72 Twite
14 Linnet

Heysham Nature Reserve
Common Quaker - first of the year
Dotted Border - 2
Med Gull at North wall

Ringed Gull at North Wall

Black Headed Gulls at different stages.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Harbour Wall Finch Catch at Last

North Harbour Wall

After the recent strong winds and rain, this morning was an opportunity to try for a whoosh net catch.
One early fire caught 21 birds:
Linnet - 4
Goldfinch - 1
Twite - 16  including one retrap from oct-dec 2010 and two recent retraps.

Thereafter, the birds in the vicinity were mainly Linnets that were very unsettled and feeding in a spread-out manner mostly off the designated catching spot.

Waders at the heliport.

Monday 17 February 2014

North-bound Whoopers the only surprise

Heysham Obs
A good number of gulls around this am before the 0925 rain watershed......but couldn't find anything of real interest

Thanks to Craig Bell for these pics taken yesterday

Twite - 55, including a green/white Machrihanish bird
Linnet - 14
Med Gull - 2 ads in harbour
Kittiwake - 19 in harbour, one outfalls
Little Gull - only three seen on/around outfalls (1 Ad)
Guillemot - 2 in harbour, one offshore
Whooper Swan - 26 north at about 0910hrs
Scaup - 2CY male Middleton mb pond
Pochard - 3 males and female Middleton mb pond

Sunday 16 February 2014

Good coverage, Shag new in and Twite increase

Heysham Obs
Shag - 3CY or older harbour, then flew out (thanks Margaret and Mark)

Kittiwake - 19 harbour, 1 outfalls
Little Gull - up to 8 outfalls
Guillemot - 3
Twite - 74 on seed
Linnet - 14 on seed
Red-throated Diver - 2

Saturday 15 February 2014

Nothing new

Heysham Obs
An unpleasant day at high tide kept the handful of inconsiderate dog walkers off the heliport and there was a nice roost of 3,600 Knot.  No obvious sea passage despite promising conditions but maybe didn't leave it long enough!

Med Gull - 2 adults
Kittiwake - 13 harbour, 3 outfalls
Little Gull - max of 31 outfalls (15 2CY)
Guillemot - 6 harbour
Twite - at least 46
Linnet - at least 16
Scaup - 2CY male Middleton model boat pond
Wigeon 127

Also on Middleton:
Skylark - 2
Meadow Pipit - 2
Jack Snipe - 1
Common Snipe - 2 (& 4 OE saltmarsh)
Teal - 54
Mallard - 8
Gadwall - 7
Pochard - 3
Coot - 9
Moorhen - 9
Mute Swan - 5 ad 7 juv
Tufted Duck - only 7

Thanks for a lot of this, Malcolm

Friday 14 February 2014

Harbour Wall Visit Only

Heysham North Harbour Wall

Mixed finch flock this morning numbered 80 birds.  Very unsettled and feeding spread out amongst rubble beyond feeding area in spite of much fresh seed put down.  Flock being spooked by every passing gull.

Twite - c55, large proportion ringed
Linnet - c15
Goldfinch - c10

Great Crested Grebe - 2 offshore
Red Throated Diver - 1 offshore


Thursday 13 February 2014

Black Guillemot surprise

Heysham Obs

A Black Guillemot was reported indirectly as being seen off Morecambe a few days ago and I wonder if this mornings sighting was indeed that report coming to fruition.  It flew past the end of the outfalls and disappeared either into the troughs or re-landing on the sea.  A quirky feature of this morning was that the only other auk seen was a dead Razorbill on the sea off the harbour mouth

I suggest this might be a good week to check tidelines for ringed seabird corpses. 

One lengthy seawatch is still in the observer's notebook so hopefully more later

Black Guillemot - one 'out'
Kittiwake  72 'in' including flock of 47 (more to add).  At least 15 inshore with 11 in harbour
Little Gull - At least 17 'out', some having previously been on the outfalls.  In addition, 28 still on outfalls after seawatching finished
Common Scoter - male floating in on sea
Red-throated Diver - one out
Med Gull - adult
Razorbill - dead one on sea off harbour mouth

North Harbour Wall
Twite - 35
Linnet - 8
Goldfinch - 2

Middleton NR
Scaup - 2CY male still

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Wild and wilder

Heysham obs

Little gull - c30 at once late pm with a 'running total' on outfalls - max of 12 2cy and 21 ad seen during day. 'Ad' includes a few 3cy.
Med gull - ads north wall and midd boat pond
Scaup - 2cy male midd mbp
Barn owl - one midd early am
Pochard - 5 (1 f)
Razorbill - one offshore
Guillemot - 3 harbour, 2 offshore
Kittiwake - 10 inner harbour plus about 5 others inshore
Twite - c40 nhw
Linnet - 13 nhw
Red t diver - one out am

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Routine day

Heysham Obs
A bit windier today, so the Little Gulls were back, but the IOM ferry was a disappointment.  Otherwise as you were apart from the first moth of the month in the trap - no good off southerly/south-easterly winds

Guillemot - two visible in harbour
Little Gull - max of 5 x 2CY, 2 x ad outfalls (in am)
Med Gull - adult
Kittiwake - 11 (3 x 2CY) harbour, 3 adult behind ferry
Scaup - 2CY male Middleton model boat pond
Pochard - 4 males and female as above
Tufted Duck - 13 as above
Little Egret - one as above
Twite - at least 33 with at least 8 unringed, possibly many more north wall
Linnet - 15 north wall
Goldfinch - 6 north wall  

Dotted Border

Monday 10 February 2014

More Finches

Heysham Obs
North Harbour Wall
Increased number of Finches to c60 although very flighty including
Twite 30+ and very vocal
Med Gulls - 2 Adults

Harbour Area
Kittiwakes 4 Adults & 2 2CY, c10 later

Outfalls / Red Nab
Little Egret
Rock Pipit
2cy little gull main channel off hey 2 outfall

Middleton model boat pond/nr
Scaup 2CY
Pochard 4
Water rail 2 heard mid pm
Jack snipe 1 flushed mid pm
Barn owl 1 late pm

Sunday 9 February 2014

Roller coaster

Heysham obs
Morning sightings included

Little gull - five adults out, 20 plus harbour mouth or outfalls
Kittiwake - c10 harbour
Guillemot - 3 hArbour
Scaup - 2cy male Middleton

North Harbour Wall
Finches about 35 including
20+ Twite, with 18 Linnets and 5 Goldfinch

Can someone please check the outfalls tomorrow am if the Ross's gull does not reappear at Leighton. The low tide should enable the area to be an obvious feeding magnet. Ok a long shot but......

Some complaints today about the local grapevine . I usually text people when things like this materialise but was in transit between Catterick and home via the dales and mobile free zones. A couple of short stops and a bad line at least enabled RBA to receive the details which had unfortunately been deemed in the 'reportedly' category on another bird info service and not altered!!

Managed to miss it by seconds - shades of the Plymouth first winter many years ago!

Saturday 8 February 2014

Some signs of spring!

Heysham Obs
Skylark increasing to two at Middleton, Coot starting to return and pair up, the Mute Swan adults continue trying to kick the young out, otherwise it was the usual howling gale and pulses of rain

Middleton NR (thanks Malcolm)
Mute 2 pair + 7 cygnet
21 tufted duck
4 pochard (2 male)
10 mallard
1 2CY male Scaup
42 teal
3 gadwall
7 coot
2 moorhen
2 skylark (together on plateau were linnet used to feed)
1 meadow pipit (with above)
2 stock dove
10 wood pigeon

Coastal sightings
Kittiwake - 2 ad & 2 2CY harbour
Little Gull - 4 x 2CY, 1 Ad outfalls, later 3 ads outfall and another ad off harbour mouth and increasing to 16 on outfalls by 1600hrs
Guillemot - two in  harbour
Med Gull - two adults harbour area
Grey Wagtail - one harbour wall 
No food and no finches north wall - quite at bit put out at 1200hrs
Nothing apparently happening offshore in rough-ish seas

Late news for yesterday - flock of 12 Kittiwakes flew 'in'

Friday 7 February 2014

Nothing new

Heysham Obs

Kittiwake - ad & 2CY harbour
Little Gull - 2 x 2CY outfalls
Scaup - 2CY Middleton model boat pond
Pochard - 4 males and female Middleton NR
Eider - 71 offshore
Red-throated Diver - 2 offshore
North wall finches - c60 first thing then disappeared

Thursday 6 February 2014

Hazy thing in Cumbria

Heysham Obs
Visibility just not good enough to sort out a gull flying into the bay way over on the north side about "level" with Bardsea area - just about ruled out imm Mute Swan!!!  Wingbeats suggested imm Glaucous but absolutely no detail seen other than it 'didn't have a long neck' and looked uniformly pale coffee coloured with 'white outer primaries'.   It appeared to land or flew too low to see. Could someone alert Fizzer et al on the Cumbrian side, please - I've left a message with Lou?

Inshore/offshore coverage
Little Gull - 4 x 2CY outfalls
Med Gull - 3CY outfalls, ad harbour area
Kittiwake - just one adult seen in harbour
Guillemot - 3 'brown' ones as per yesterday in harbour
Finches - 61 straight into the sun on the feeder - majority of calls were Twite
Eider - 56 offshore

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Pre-rain check

Heysham Obs
This was a low tide check and a whole lot more productive than the high tide walk yesterday

Middleton NR
Teal - c30
Grey wagtail - 1
Little Grebe -1 on the flooded central marsh, the rest of the stuff on model boat pond
Scaup - 2CY male
Pochard - 4 males and female
Tufted  Duck - 12
The Mute Swans adults are really hammering the young, especially two of them.  Best to stop feeding and allow them to disperse naturally

North harbour wall
Med Gull - 2 adult
Eider - c25
Red-breasted Merganser - 8
Twite - c30
Other finches - at least 15

Little Gull - 3 x 2CY, 1 x 3CY, 1 x Ad outfalls (poss 4 2CY)
Kittiwake - 2 ad & 2 2CY harbour
Guillemot - 3 "small brown ones" harbour
Med Gull - 3CY seaward end stage one

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Green Woodpecker added to year list

Heysham Obs
Scaup 2CY male - Middleton Nature Reserve
Ringed Plover 29 - Heliport
Mediterranean Gull 3 adults - harbour area
Kittiwake 2 x 2CY and 2 adults - harbour
Twite c30 - North Harbour Wall
HIGHLIGHT - Green Woodpecker - Tank Farm then flew to golf course

4-5 Goldcrests at Northern end of Heysham Nature Reserve

Monday 3 February 2014

Some of the same

Heysham Obs

Scaup - 2CY Middleton model boat pond
Little Gull - 2CY outfalls pm
Kittiwake - 2CYharbour
Twite - 32
Med Gull - 2 adults
Guillemot - two in harbour - one larger and darker than the other
Cormorant - 44

Sunday 2 February 2014

Black Redstart reappears

Heysham Obs

Morning observations included:

Black Redstart - female type Red Nab area. chased by Robin
Med Gull - 3CY outfalls, 3 adults north wall area
Little Gull - 2CY outfalls
Kittiwake - 3 adults in harbour
Guillemot - 3 in harbour - one showing chars of nominate form - larger and blacker
Twite - c15, mainly ringed
Linnet - c10
Goldfinch - c8
Ringed Plover - 28 heliport

Photos Janet Packham

Saturday 1 February 2014

A day for the sea defences

A high tide (10.5m) and high winds meant the waves were crashing over the sea wall in places, especially along the 'promenade' below the power station. 

Little Gull 3 x 2CY
Mediterranean Gull 1 x 3CY

Ocean Edge
Ringed Plover 25
Little Egret 1
Pink-footed Goose 1

North Harbour Wall
Mediterranean Gull 2 adults
No Twite (no food) but 3 Linnets later on.

Ringed Plover 37

Middleton NR
Scaup 1
Jack Snipe 1
Mute Swan  4 adults, 7 juvs
Teal 21
Tufted Duck 20
Mallard 4
Pochard 6
Gadwall 9
Meadow Pipit 1
Pheasant 1

Nature Park
Common Shrew

Grey Seal