Monday 31 March 2014

The lord mayor's side-show with a bit of saharan dust

Heysham Obs
It wasn't entirely useless today, but a bit of a contrast to yesterday. 

Eider - 379

Heysham NR
Low single-figures of Chiffchaff (mainly males) and Goldcrest (mainly females) were ringed, two Lesser Redpoll were ringed and at least 8 Siskin flew over.  A Greenfinch ringed elsewhere was caught.

North wall morning vis mig
Details to follow

Sunday 30 March 2014

Meadow Pipit fest and Magpie migration

Heysham Obs
Sample counts were the order of the day today in what was a phenomenal movement:

Vis mig 'casually' to 0830, systematically from NHW 0830-1030, sample from HNR office 1030-1045, Tank farm and area 1145-1220
Meadow Pipit - c200, 1812 (906 per hour 0830-1030) , 58, 119 respectively, also 250 grounded Ocean Edge at 0845hrs.
All the rest of the counts 0830-1030 north harbour wall
alba Wagtail -  22
Linnet - 52
Siskin - min 18
Goldfinch - 8
Grey Wagtail - 1
Magpie - 1+1 in off the sea from SW then carrying on inland high!
Sand Martin - 7
Swallow - 1
Chaffinch - 1
Skylark - 1
Wheatear - all 9 recorded flew 'in-off' from the SW and carried on quickly moving through

Grounded north wall
Goldcrest - 2
Twite - at least 3, possibly more
Linnet - running total of 12
Grey Wagtail (not the vis bird) - definitely unringed

Heysham Head
Wheatear - 5
Chiffchaff - 2

Heysham NR grounded
Goldcrest - 20+
Chiffchaff - at least 6 migrants
Robin - at least 3 migrants

Ocean Edge
Wheatear - 7

Middleton NR
Scaup seen by visiting birders, thanks for this
Green Woodpecker - prob same bird on golf course, then Middleton later
Swallow - 5 late afternoon
Barn Owl - still

This included 17 Goldcrest and 9 Chiffchaff - all the latter appeared to be males

Saturday 29 March 2014

Nice low vis in strong easterly

Heysham Obs
A bit of coverage prior to work

Vis mig office & north wall 0715-0930
Meadow Pipit - 841 NE
Siskin - 14 NE
alba Wagtail - 39 NE
Reed Bunting - 5 NE
Linnet - 1 NE
Goldfinch - min 18 NE
Carrion Crow - flock of 9 NE
Redwing - one descended from height on to the reserve
Greenfinch - absolute min 2 NE

Twite - 8 on feeder
Linnet - at least 17 on feeder
Coal Tit - one passing through HNR
Stock Dove - one with three Woodpigeon HNR - flew towards golf course

Walked from OE to Harbour and back again 10:20 to 12:10 (Malcolm).
Steady Meadow pipit migration totalling 477 birds. Small low groups most between 3 & 7 with a couple up to 14.
Count peaked between 11 & 11:50 which accounted for 337 birds. However the peak might be attributed to location rather than time. This was the period between No 1 outflow, harbour & back. That said there were reasonable numbers coming over OE foreshore, but very few over the saltmash.
Also numbers must have been increasing 151 birds first leg, 326 on way back. 
11 wheatear - OE
2 guillemot - Harbour
2 adult kittiwake - Harbour

Afternoon at Middleton (Justine)
Highlighted by
Swallow - 1 (IOY)
Barn Owl - 1
Meadow Pipit by this stage mainly grounded, including parachuting birds

Friday 28 March 2014

Lots of migration

Heysham Obs
...............but little time to cover it.  Thanks to Malcolm and Justine for Middleton and other coverage

North wall early on plus office area until 1015hrs
Meadow Pipit - at least 467 north 0800-1000 with at least 10 minutes not covered at all and 30 minutes only 'casually'.
Siskin - 7 NE
Redpoll spp - 1 NE
Sand Martin - 2 N (IOY)
alba Wagtail - 45 N
Goldfinch - 8 N and one unringed bird
Greenfinch - 4 unringed birds caught in very short single mist-net session
Chaffinch - 6 north and one unringed bird
Twite - 4 north out to sea as seen from the north wall, 7 around feeder
Linnet - 4 grounded briefly by HNR office, at least 19 around seed on nhw
Tree Sparrow - flock of 3 north-east
Wheatear - 2 on mound

Ocean Edge and area
6 wheatear (2 each mature male, 2cy male and female)
2 linnet (pair) appeared to have just come in (these were the only linnet I saw in full walk)
1 mute
4 RB merganser
6 ringed plover
2 Chiffchaff heard (one in Red Nab copse and one in scrub on east side).
Middleton Nature reserve
Mute Swan - nesting pair on fence pond, 3 fighting on boating pond and pair on Tim Butler
2 Moorhen
8 coot
5 gadwall
1 mallard
16 tufted duck
1 scaup
4 teal (2 x 2)
1 little grebe (fence pond)
1 common snipe
2 oystercatcher
2 pheasants
12 meadow pipit (max 3 together) - including 1 parachuting
8 chiffchaff (all heard)
6 greenfinch
1 bullfinch (m)
1 sand martin.
Displaying pair of Kestrel

PS - an Osprey probably flew north along the coast at about 1200hrs but remains unconfirmed

Thursday 27 March 2014

Twa owls

Heysham Obs
The first Short-eared Owl headed north over the bay into the stratosphere at 0720 and there was 'no way' according to the observer it was a the bird flying low over Heysham NR two hours later

Quite a few male Chiffchaff passing through this morning with 6 ringed, at least 8 singing on Middleton and ones and twos in obscure locations in the area subject to survey work today

The other feature was a huge flock of waders off Middleton, including 10,500 Knot.

Short-eared Owl
One appeared from the south over the wooden jetty then spiralled up and headed north over the bay until lost from sight at 0720hrs.  At 0900hrs, one appeared in low-level flight by HNR office and went behind trees and may have landed

Middleton NR
Scaup - 2CY male
Tufted Duck - 14
Mute Swan - the 6 imms have disappeared but 5 adults, including breeding pair seen
Where, however, are the Little Grebes, they seem to have seriously crashed on here along with Coot
Gadwall - 7
Skylark - 1

Heysham NR
Meadow Pipit - in the region of 240 0700-1000 heading north
alba Wagtail - 10+ north
Goldcrest - three unringed birds

Singles of Ad Kittiwake and Guillemot

Linnet - 19
Twite - 8

Near miss
One male Ring Ouzel just east of the recording area between the telecom tower road and Heysham Moss mid morning

Wednesday 26 March 2014

White Stork highlight

Heysham Obs
At last I've seen a stork in the Lancaster & District BWS recording area (previous experiences very painful, especially Black - almost as bad as the Ross's Gull!), albeit rather distant views of one located by Jean Roberts coming in-off at the north harbour wall.  It did its best, behaviour-wise, to lessen the "unknown origin" caveat as it circled inland just south of Heysham Two power station (as seen from the NR office) and headed to the south-east over Middleton NR.  Quite a productive vis mig session for Jean on the north wall:

North harbour wall 0740-0930
White Stork - came in-off 0850, circled and flew 'behind' Heysham 2 power station where it was picked up distantly from the NR office area
Meadow Pipit - 157 north
Kittiwake - 10+20 in & ad still in harbour
alba Wagtail - 13 north
Siskin - 3
Reed Bunting - 2
Wheatear - one grounded
Common Gull - c35
Black-headed Gull - small movement into the bay with 49 'in'
Red-throated Diver - one in
Linnet - 23 on seed
Twite - 8 on seed

Heysham NR
Meadow Pipit - c100 N
Sparrowhawk - one north, chased by local male

First Chestnut and Early Thorn of the year

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Blocking not dropping front?

Heysham Obs
A bit late this morning due to a coverage misunderstanding.  A single mist net was set about 0845 for a couple of hours pre-rain.  11 new (unringed) birds were caught including a female Bullfinch and a Robin. The only Wheatear seen today were two on Middleton late afternoon

Vis mig
None under the cloud cover

Grounded reserve area
Goldcrest - gang of 5 passed through whilst setting the net but only one further bird caught
Reed Bunting - 1
Chiffchaff - at least 3 (6 on Middleton)

Guillemot - 2
Kittiwake - adult

North wall
8 each of Twite and Linnet

Middleton model boat pond
Scaup - 2CYmale still there
Teal - pair
Tufted Duck - 9
Mute Swan - 2 unringed ads & 6 juvs

Monday 24 March 2014

Good coverage and a smattering of migrants

Heysham Obs
This was much better coverage than of late, other than Malcolm's efforts on especially Middleton, especially the 'necessary' early morning stuff!  Highlights were the first two Sandwich Tern of the year, a Green Sandpiper at a rarely checked nook (along with four Greylags - the first of the year!!) and a sizeable flock of Whoopers on the sea

Heysham Nature reserve 0700-0930
Goldcrest - at least 3
Chiffchaff - at least three passed through
Song Thrush - one migrant headed inland
Meadow Pipit - 145 north in about 2 hours 0715-0915
Skylark - one north
Carrion Crow - flock of 8 chased off back south by locals
Bullfinch - female high to north - odd?
Reed Bunting - one grounded
Gadwall - pair visited the obs tower pond
Mallard -3 on obs tower pond
Siskin - one east
alba Wagtail - 11 north
Buzzard - 1

Outfalls (Heysham 2 back on and attracting birds)
Med Gull - 3CY
Common Gull - c60

North Harbour Wall
a) Feeder area:
Twite - 8
Linnet - 6
Goldfinch - 1
Robin - 1
Pied Wagtail - 2
b) Mound:
Chiffchaff - 1
Linnet - 2
c) Wooden Jetty:
Collared Dove 2
d) Channels:
Red-breasted Merganser - 1
Great-crested Grebe - 3
Red-throated Diver - 1
Eider - 240
e) Vis
Meadow Pipit - 13 (obviously many more but flying very high in clear weather)
Whooper Swan - 34 on sea gradually moving north. First seen at 0645
Mute Swan - 3 closer inshore then flew NE
alba wagtail - 3
Redpoll sp - 1
Carrion Crow - 3 singletons heading north across Bay
Goldfinch - 2 (may have been going to feeder)
Greenfinch - 1
Reed Bunting - 1

Sandwich Tern - 2
Pink-footed Goose - 43 north
Ocean Edge
Wheatear - 2 in afternoon

Eastern boundary
Green Sandpiper - one
Greylag - 2 pairs

Middleton NR
Distinct absence of Coot in the area at the moment with only four seen
Scaup - 2CY male
Tufted Duck - 9
Gadwall - 4
Teal - 2
Mallard - 1
Grey Wagtail - one
Chiffchaff - 3
Moorhen - 1
Meadow Pipit - 50 in an hour in afternoon

Included Emmelina monodactyla

Sunday 23 March 2014

Decent selection but hardly qualifying as migration

Heysham Obs
Bits and bobs around today, the main thing being the 'reawakening' of Heysham One outfall after a long birdless spell on both outfalls

Eider - 240
Little Gull - 2CY Heysham one
Med Gull - superb summer plumaged 3CY as above
Common Gull - 50-55 as above
Guillemot  - 2 harbour
Kittiwake - one ad harbour
Meadow Pipit - at least 15 north
Twite - at least 7
Linnet - 19
Wheatear - 2CY male Red Nab

Siskin - 2

Middleton model boat pond
Scaup - 2CY male
Tufted Duck - 8
Gadwall - 4
Little Egret - 1
Lapwing - 1

Saturday 22 March 2014

Horrible Hail!

Heysham N Harbour Wall

Birds at feeding area this morning were:
Linnet - 30
Twite - 2 both ringed
Goldfinch - 2
Dunnock - 1
Pied Wagtail - 1
Feral Pigeon - 3


Friday 21 March 2014

Another wheatear and bits left in the harbour

Ocean Edge
1 female wheatear (near slipway)
2 adult kittiwake
2 guillemot
Middleton NR
2 chiffchaff (together by Tim Butler - seen only)
6 adult + 6 juv mute
2 gadwall
7 teal
2 mallard
17 tufted
1 scaup
6 coot
1 moorhen
1 lapwing (think mute wars are a disturbance)
3 reed bunting
9 linnet

Thursday 20 March 2014

More low-level migration

Heysham Obs
Anyone able to cover Friday (tomorrow), please, esp sea on early incoming tide? Thanks

A smattering of coverage again today, including Pete Cook's one hour vigil looking over the sea.  Certainly at least a trickle of Meadow Pipit and alba wagtails over but little time to cover vis systematically

North wall
Twite - more passing through and using the seed with at least 13 individuals, at least 6 of these unringed and two bearing white rings from this winter
Linnet - a good count of 29 on the seed early morning with the majority seeming to be unringed
Meadow Pipit - 15 north in 20 minutes & 6 grounded
alba Wagtail - 7 north in 20 minutes and 6 grounded
Eider - an increase to c230 offshore at low tide but nothing could be found with them other than low single figures of RBMerg and GCGrebe
Little Gull - ad in, 2CY out
Guillemot - one floating in on tide

Office area
Siskin - 5 north
Goldcrest - at least 3
Mute Swan - one 'stuck' on the nature park pond but not stressed & plenty of food - it will be moved in the next few days
Impressions of the same low-level alba/Meadow Pipit passage based on short forays outside the office

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Wheatear - one male reported but again missed it!
Wigeon - just 3

Middleton NR
Scaup - 2CY male
Gadwall - 3 males, 2 females
Tufted Duck - at least 13
Teal - pair

A Shoulder Stripe in the trap

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Just One Twite

N Harbour Wall
Linnet - 24
Goldfinch - 2
Twite - 1 wearing white colour ring from this winter

Model Boat Pond only checked
Scaup - 1 2ndCY still present
Tufted Duck - 6
Gadwall - 2
Lapwing -2
Oystercatcher - 2
Chiffchaff - 1 singing

Small Tortoiseshell - 2


Tuesday 18 March 2014

Just the Scaup

Heysham Obs
Nothing else on offer today other than a rain-drenched 2CY male Scaup still on Middleton model boat pond

Coverage gratefully received the next three days - might be a bit of Kittiwake passage for a spring passage Bonxie?

Monday 17 March 2014

Mass Twite migration

Heysham Obs
A short earlyish morning session on the north harbour wall was a bit more interesting than of late

Twite - 16 around the seed area then flew out to sea in a northerly direction at c0920 gaining height whilst 'dropping' a single Linnet which returned to the north wall (couldn't see whether these were ringed).  A circuit revealed three further Twite, one of which was a male in full song, on the sea buckthorn and then another flock of 8 flew from the south and joined these.  At least 5 of these were unringed.  The gang then flew towards the harbour mouth.
Linnet - about 7 around - see above
Goldfinch - 2
Pied Wagtail - 4 grounded, one north
Reed Bunting - one north
Meadow Pipit - 8 north (and a further 6 over the nature reserve)
Red-throated Diver - one on the sea
Kittiwake - dead legless adult under the met mast - has someone removed rings from it I wonder?

Heysham N Reserve
Siskin - 2+ flew over

Middleton NR (thanks Malcolm)
Mute Swan - 6 adults (!) and 6 young still
Long-tailed Tit - pair nest building
1 2CY male Scaup
18 tufted
2 gadwall
4 teal
4 mallard
8 coot
5 moorhen
1 little egret
2 lapwing
2 pheasant
1 chiffchaff
41 linnet
6 reed bunting
2 meadow pipit
2 bullfinch

Dotted Border in trap - a bit late
Middleton: 2 small tortoiseshell, 1 peacock

Thrush at Heysham on the nature path near Ocean Edge with nesting material.
A bit of territorial behaviour on the model pond at Middleton

Sunday 16 March 2014

Post-winter, pre-spring migratory void

Heysham Obs
Perhaps the deadest morning this year with nothing on the sea, nothing left in the harbour, no vis, no new grounded stuff and just one or to leftovers:

Scaup - 2CY Middleton model boat pond
Tufted Duck - 14
Teal - 2
Gadwall - pair and single male

North harbour wall
Twite - 17 - looked like yesterdays birds, including the Machrihanish-ringed green/white on both legs, but only 11/17 seen properly
Linnet - 7

Much more like it!   Shoulder Stripe and Twin-spot Quaker (rare here) both new for the year.  March Moth late in the context of this spring and six each of Common Quaker and Hebrew Character

Saturday 15 March 2014

Adult Twite gathering

Heysham Obs

Pretty dire this morning, although the pristine 2CY male Scaup continues to favour the Middleton model boat pond.

The rest of it saw the sea, land and sky given 10-15 minutes each and producing nothing Kittiwake or Meadow Pipit-wise, the "dead sea" backed up by John Webb's more conscientious vigil at JB Point.

The feeding station on the north harbour wall was topped up and visited an hour later for the WeBS and this revealed a settled group of birds allowing ring combinations to be noted

Twite - all bar three of the 17 birds were adults ringed during the 2012/13 winter period.  The remainder were what was presumably the usual (3CY or +) Machrihanish-ringed adult with green/white on both legs, a pre-2012/13 Heysham bird with orange/blue combination and just one with the new individually-inscribed white rings from the 2013/14 winter.  The greater coverts etc appeared to indicate this was the only 2CY bird in the flock, but the number could not be read.
Linnet - 14, 10 of these ringed
Goldfinch - 2 - both ringed

Middleton model boat pond
Scaup - 2CY male
Gadwall - 3
Little Egret - 1
Mute Swan - 2 adult and 6 young
Teal - pair
Mallard -male
Lapwing - 2
Tufted Duck - 10-12

Hebrew Character and March Moth

Friday 14 March 2014

Clearing Mist Replaced by Drizzle!

Heysham Obs
Speculative ringing session resulted in predictably few captures of new birds in the conditions prevailing:
Goldcrest - 2
Chiffchaff - 3
Chaffinch - 2
Bullfinch - 1
Greenfinch - 1
Goldfinch - 1

N Harbour Wall
20 finches at feeding station comprising:
Twite - 6
Linnet - 11
Goldfinch - 2
Reed Bunting - 1

Scaup 2CY male still present on model boat pond
1 Chiffchaff near car park
1 Goldcrest in alder by western scrape
1 Fieldfare - struggling to fly west against a pretty feeble breeze!
4 adult + 6 juv Mute Swan. Another juv (presumably the one missing from boat pond) dead in water - NE corner of Tim Butler.
19 Tufted Duck
4 Mallard
12 Teal
0 gadwall or pochard seen
1 Little Grebe
1 Snipe
3 Pheasant
2 Lapwing
15 Linnet.


Thursday 13 March 2014

Migratory subtleties

Heysham Obs

Office area
Greenfinch - Low double-figures caught and all were ringed, most unexpected with many old adults.  Retrap history (if any) will be interesting
Chaffinch - 4 unringed birds caught, including a long-winged female
Goldfinch - couple of unringed birds
Long-tailed Tit - the sixth unringed bird of the month - the ultimate in subtle migration as all were singletons
Goldcrest - c5 around
Chiffchaff - at least one moved through
Meadow Pipit - 7 north as it cleared
Blackbird - at least 5 migrants
House Sparrow - probably just the one grounded briefly

Middleton NR
Scaup - 2CY male

Ocean Edge
Wheatear - male early morning only

North harbour wall
Twite - 55 reported early afternoon (but may have included Linnets) after a lot of food was put down early morning

March Moth

Wednesday 12 March 2014

More clear skies

Heysham Obs
Slightly more around this morning and we should have been here a bit earlier, I suspect

Chiffchaff - singing males Middleton and Heysham NR - both on the move
Meadow Pipit - 3 north!
Scaup - 2CY male Middleton model boat pond still
Red-throated Diver - 2 offshore
Common Scoter - flock of 4 offshore

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Another birdless butterfly day

Heysham Obs

Middleton NR - 06.15 - 07.30hrs.
Mute Swan - 8 (2ad/6imm) adults on SW pond
Gadwall - 1 pair
Teal - 2 (pair)
Mallard - 4 (2 pairs)
Pochard - 3m
Tufted Duck - 15 (8m/7f)
Scaup - 1m
Grey Heron - 1
Little Grebe - 2+ heard
Moorhen - 4
Coot - 8+
Lapwing - 1
Stock Dove - 2 flying south
Woodpigeon - 10+ (inc.flock of 6 flying south)
Magpie - 4
Carrion Crow - 3
Wren - 6+ singing
Robin - 5+
Dunnock - 4
Chaffinch - 2 singing
Greenfinch - 4+
Reed Bunting - 5

Heysham Harbour North Wall - 07.40hrs
Knot - c300 on Near Naze rocks (heliport disturbed)
Twite - 11 in feeding area
Pied Wagtail - 6+
Red-throated Diver - one offshore
Meadow Pipit - ONE north!!

Heysham NR
Mallard - pair on dipping pond
Long-tailed Tit - two unringed birds
Robin/Dunnock - single unringed of each
Common buzzard - a presumed migrant chased off by a pair on Heysham moss was visible from hey nr office
Siskin - at least one 

Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell (4), Brimstone Heysham NR.  Agonopterix heracliana in trap along with Early Grey   

Monday 10 March 2014

Signs of spring on the Heysham Nature reserve.
 By the gate leading into Heysham reserve there was 3 seen altogether on the reserve

Sunday 9 March 2014

Meadow Pipits on the move

Heysham Obs

Landbird coverage 0900 intermittently to midday
Jack Snipe - one flushed from private area - appeared to land nearby but view obscured
Blackbird - at least 6 long-winged migrants
Rock Pipit - one north wall
Otherwise dead e.g. no Goldcrest seen

Vis mig
Carrion Crow - flock of 5 north
Grey Wagtail - one north
alba Wagtail - 3 north
Meadow Pipit - 26 north (up to 3 together)

Twite 2, Linnet 7, Goldfinch 3 on north wall seed
Scaup - 2CY male model boat pond
Pochard - 3 males as above
Kittiwake - 4 harbour

Common Quaker and Dotted Border

Saturday 8 March 2014

No sign of any migrants yet

Heysham Obs
Nothing obvious migrant-wise, despite a south-easterly with increasing cloud cover

Middleton NR
4 adult 6 juv mute swan
8 coot
4 moorhen
1 2CY male scaup
19 tufted duck
4 gadwall
3 pochard (all male)
7 mallard
16 teal
2 little grebe
4 lapwing (boat pond peninsula)
1 pheasant (f)
2 reed bunting
1 grey wagtail (female - no rings)
Ocean Edge
2 snipe

No finches north harbour wall

Eider - c65 but visibility/sea conditions poor
Kittiwake - 4 in harbour
Guillemot - 2 in harbour

Moths & butterflies
Two Small Tortoiseshell by office late afternoon
Single Early Grey and Common Quaker contrasting with 125 of 18 species at the riparian woodland site at Millhouses (inc 31 Oak Beauty, 6 Small Brindled Beauty, Shoulder Stripe)

Friday 7 March 2014

Minimal coverage

Heysham Obs

Not a lot today:

Twite - 30 north harbour wall
Kittiwake - 4 harbour
Guillemot - one harbour

Nothing of interest outfalls or behind midday IOM ferry

Late News
Pink-footed Goose - flock of 200 NW on 4th March

Thursday 6 March 2014

Late whizz round

Heysham Obs

The only coverage today was a late whizz around the usual easy to cover places

Scaup - 2CY male Middleton model boat pond
Kittiwake - 5 on the pipe in the harbour
Finches - none on the north wall and none had been seen by any nearby anglers (and no dogs on the prowl to be an obvious cause) - the anglers reported a photographer had earlier been 'disappointed' not to see any.
Heliport - everything shifted by a couple in red clothing apparently shouted at by the same photographer - not having a good day as, in addition to the above, the wintering Meds have, I think, gone!

The first March Moth of the year

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Pinks on the move

Heysham Obs

3 flocks of Pink-footed Goose: 5 +25 north at 0905hrs and 60 north at 1000hrs

North Harbour Wall
Twite 16
Redpoll sp 1 heard overhead
Linnet 1 singing
Pied Wagtail 3
Red-breasted Merganser 1 main channel
Great-crested Grebe 2 main channel
Eider 80 Kent Channel

Heysham Nature Reserve
Goldfinch with colour rings (orange over yellow on right leg and metal over white on left leg)

Middleton Nature Reserve
Brimstone butterfly

Tuesday 4 March 2014

An unremarkable sunny day

Heysham Obs
The highlight was undoubtedly Acleris hastiana in the moth trap - the only moth

Not a lot happening this morning with many of the wind driven birds having drifted off

Little Egret - one Red Nab
Eider - 82 offshore
Great-crested Grebe - 10 offshore
Kittiwake - 7 in harbour
Guillemot - one visible in harbour
Finches - c50 on seed early on
Pink-footed Goose - 200 flying high and purposely NW over the bay towards Cumbria at around 08.00.

Middleton model boat pond
Pochard - 3 males
Scaup - 2CY male
Tufted Duck - 10
Mute Swan - 6 imms
Todays photos from the site at Middleton

Monday 3 March 2014

Flight of the bumble bee

Heysham Obs
First, alerting people to the new Flamborough Bird Observatory website - go to

Most of the coastal observation was concentrated at distance this morning ahead of the flooding tide, scrutinising the birds around the offshore skeers, many of which only see daylight on 10 metre tides.  Despite the distance, the Eider count in recent times has 'always' been 80.  Nothing else of interest was seen in the distance, despite a lot of large gulls to go through, with just 5 RBM and 3 Great-crested grebe.

Two bumble bees seen today but too distant to identify, but the only butterfly in a cool wind, despite full sunlight most of the day, was a Small Tortoiseshell at Middleton

Coastal low tide
Eider - 80
Common Gull - 43 on the seaward end of Heysham one - a definite influx
Little Gull - one 2CY seaward end of  Heysham one
Med Gull - adult north wall (unringed?)

Pair of Common Buzzard circling over Heysham Moss this morning, only just outside the area and certainly a 'seen from'.  See 2013 report for the changing status of this species.
Goldcrest - singing male near anemometer, Moneyclose Lane
Redwing - one HNR this am along with what might have been a small influx of migrant Blackbird
Pied Wagtail - two northbound vis mig birds
Long-tailed Tit - unusually in recent months, an unringed bird HNR!

Middleton NR
Gadwall - 12 - record count
Scaup - 2CY male
Pochard - 2 male
Tufted Duck - 15
Teal - 15
Little Grebe - 1
Stock Dove - 2
Linnet - 81
Lapwing - 3
Skylark - one

The Lesser Whitethroat seen in a Heysham garden on 28/2 was just in the recording area

The first Pale Brindled Beauty (and probably the last) of the year was a melanistic individual this morning

The Ladybirds are out and moving on the Heysham site.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Bits of migration

Heysham Obs
5 Siskin flew over this morning and three unringed male Goldfinch were trapped during a very short ringing session.  Only one adult Med Gull could be located during the morning, despite loads of anglers.  Events elsewhere suggest we may have missed a passage Stonechat or two this last few days, although the favoured Middleton has been well-covered.  Rather odd what has happened to the wintering Black Redstarts as absolutely no sight nor sound in recent weeks

Med Gull - adult fishers roof at HT
Little Gull - 2CY outfalls on dropping tide
Kittiwake - at least 11 in harbour
Guillemot - 2 visible in harbour
There were about 30 finches in the sea buckthorn during a brief visit to the NHW feeder area this am

Red-throated Diver - one out

Middleton NR model boat pond
Scaup - 2CY male, identifiable as such only on its known history - looks like an ad now
Pochard - 2 males
Gadwall -pair
Tufted Duck - 11

HNR office area
Siskin - 5 east (flock)
Goldfinch - three unringed males caught in two-round mist net session

Saturday 1 March 2014

Visitor News

Heysham Obs
A rain disrupted ringing session at the hut feeders produced a mixed catch of only 33 birds:
Blue Tit 3 (2 retraps), Bullfinch 2, Chaffinch 2, Dunnock 4 retraps, Goldfinch 6 (inc 1 retrap from NHWall), Greenfinch 10 (1 retrap), Long-tailed Tit 3 (2 retraps), Robin 2 retraps, Great Tit 1.

Thanks to Craig Bell for todays sightings

North Harbour Wall
Twite- 51
Linnet - 22
Greenfinch - 4
Goldfinch - 7
Med Gull - Czech ringed

Kittiwakes - 16
Guillemots - 2
Little Gull- 1 (fishers roof)

Little Gull - 4 (all adults)
Wigeon - 64
R T Diver - 1
R B Merganser - male
Peregrine - 1

Scaup - 2CY male