Monday 30 June 2014

Returning birds

Heysham Obs

A check of the tide again a bit late saw four Meds on the remaining rocks - 2 Ads and 2 2CY.  One of the ads was first seen yesterday and proved to be the returning 2P96 (thanks Pete) along with 5 other Meds

A bit of multi-tasking this evening - late working/moth traps and a mist net or two to see what Swallows were roosting at Middleton.  The Swallow roost was interesting if that is ever a word you can use in this context.  13/18 caught were adults and two of these already possessed rings - ringed as a juvenile and adult in July last year here.  I cannot recall ever having retrapped a swallow from one year to the next    

Finally word from Justine indicated that two Little Ringed Plover chicks were still alive and healthy amongst the piles of broken glass on Middleton 'mound area'

Sunday 29 June 2014

Juvenile Sedge Warblers

18 captures this morning included three juvenile Grasshopper Warblers and two juvenile Sedge Warblers.  Further very recently fledged Sedge Warblers were observed flying in the western marsh area.  Small family groups of Reed Bunting also seen, with just one youngster trapped.

One ad med gull at red nab near high tide


Saturday 28 June 2014

The same Meds in quick check

Heysham Obs
Red Nab incoming tide
Med Gull - 2 Ad, 3 3 CY and 2 2CY but several gulls had flown towards Middleton before I could check them

Two baby Coal Tit ringed by office - these are the second and third this week - origin?

The migrant Rusty Dot Pearl was in the moth trap (quite an influx see e.g. Portland Bird Observatory site)

Friday 27 June 2014

Thursday 26th June

Heysham Obs
Med Gull - 9 (2 x ad, 3 x 3CY, 4 x 2CY) Red Nab during brief check
Oystercatcher - almost fledged, but still 'fluffy') juvenile accompanied by adult Red Nab!!!! (from Middleton saltmarsh?)

Wednesday 25 June 2014

No Juvenile Sedge Warblers Yet

Middleton NR
A ringing session this morning resulted in a decent catch of 64 birds of which over two thirds were juveniles, although a notable exception were Sedge Warblers.  Of the eleven Sedge Warblers trapped, seven were retraps and all were adults.  Initially this seemed unusual.  However, on looking at records from previous years, todays date may be a little early for fledged juveniles to be foraging, even given the good weather conditions during the nesting period this year.

Red Nab
Very brief visit
Med Gull - 2 x Ad, 4 x 3CY, 4 x 2CY - no rings seen but birds more bunched up and only about half had both legs visible, but fortunately all the wing-tips on the "ads" were!


Tuesday 24 June 2014

Med fest starts

Heysham Obs
There are going to be a lot of Med Gulls in the next few weeks.  Many will be bearing rings with some returning birds.  Please could you let me know if you have read any and sent them off, otherwise please pass to me ( and I'll inform you of the details.  Thanks

Red Nab incoming tide
Med Gull - 4 x Ad, 2 x 3CY, 3 x 2CY - one of adults legs not visible but all the rest seemed to be unringed - unusual

More gulls on the sands towards Middleton were too far away

Monday 23 June 2014

Early morning at Middleton

Heysham Obs
The only tangible sighting of interest was a Green Woodpecker which crossed the site about 0700hrs, calling twice before heading inland

The CES ringing included good numbers of young Blackcap for here (7 ringed) and a few phylloscs but disappointingly low numbers of Sedge Warbler with only one juvenile seen/caught

Two Grasshopper Warbler were reeling but nowhere near the ringing area

A Toadflax Pug was early for this species at this regular site

Sunday 22nd June: Swallow roost kicks off

Heysham Obs
An evening visit to Middleton revealed up to 30-40 Swallows roosting in the main reed bed and the pair of Little Ringed Plover still looking after at least one young.  A brief glimpse of a large owl spp in flight suggested Tawny

Sunday 22 June 2014

Saturday 21st June: Gulls building up

Heysham Obs
Red Nab
Med Gull - 4 unringed 2CY
Common Gull - 62CY
Curlew - 59
Little Egret - 1
First juv Black-headed Gull

Lesser Whitethroat singing Ocean Edge entrance (been quiet recently)

Thursday 19 June 2014

Caterpillars are out in force at the Middleton site

Small Tortoishell


Wednesday 18 June 2014

Mullein caterpillar twitch

Heysham obs
At least one and prob two typically mobile hummingbird hawk moth at the mullein larvae site at the Middleton bottle dump. Still 15 larvae

Also breeding pr little ringed plover

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Silky Wainscot

Heysham Obs
A rare sighting in the office trap was a Silky Wainscot - this has been found in small numbers in recent years in Heysham NR wetlands and also Middleton.  Two Garden Tiger from an overnight actinic at Middleton were nice

Amazing moth record just outside area

Heysham Obs
A small moth taken in a light trap literally yards to the north of our northern recording boundary has proved to be Waved Carpet - a scarce and threatened species which was never on the radar for this area.  Its close relative, Welsh Wave is very familiar to us fell-edge trappers but even that would be well outside its comfort zone at coastal sites, despite planted rowans

Middleton came up with the goods this evening with 15 Mullein larvae being located by Justine

Birds included:
Med Gull - a single 2CY on the sea off Ocean Edge
Tree Sparrow - one heard by the feeder early am
Greenfinch - 21 caught at the feeder, mainly juvenile males

Moth trap
Bordered Sallow was nice and a few new for the year including Common Emerald and Dark Arches

 Waved Carpet (thanks John)
Mullein larva (thanks Justine)

Sunday 15 June 2014

CES minimum

Heysham Obs
The Middleton CES was quite interesting but unfortunately had to be curtailed for the last 25 minutes due to work in south-west Cumbria and a realisation I hadn't factored in the full driving time in relation to tide height

The main interest was negative - I am obviously familiar with the song and various calls of Grasshopper and Sedge Warbler but saw and heard zero in 2.5 hours.  I hope this is not a repeat of the 2012 mass breeding failure and rapid departure.  Reed Warblers, on the other hand were quite noisy mobile and a few unringed males were caught along with a retrap of the Leighton Moss-ringed bird from earlier this summer - obviously breeding here.  Estimated at least 9 singing males

One unringed capture and two mobile and short-stay singing birds suggested that some Willow Warblers were already on the move

Other sightings included a singing Skylark and at least two audible Pheasants.......... 

A very brief check of the trap saw Small Clouded |Brindle of minor interest

Saturday 14 June 2014

Secondhand report

Heysham Obs
A report of a red darter spp on the model boat pond this late morning but too windy when I arrived early afternoon (couple per swan-feeder!).  Please can we have more info?

6 4-spotted Chaser and a male Emperor on 'fence' pond

6 Burnet Companion on a short wander Heysham NR and two Red Admiral seen late pm around the orange buddleia

Moth trap not switched on

Friday the thirteenth

Heysham Obs
Two 2CY Med Gulls outfalls (both unringed) - thanks Ian

Thursday 12 June 2014

Elusive Marsh Pug eventually located

Records for Wednesday 11th June 2014:
Heysham Obs
Creepy crawly news only today

Heysham NR
Marsh Pug - one found in sweep net almost certainly caught along the bank along the entrance road
Burnet Companion - several

Middleton NR
Wall Brown - one rescued from puddle
Burnet Companion - a few

Many Large Heaths have now emerged and are being released daily on Heysham Moss with the BBC in tow today

Records for Thursday 12th June 2014:
Heysham Obs
CES ringing visit number five completed this morning. One downside of running a CES project is the frightening speed at which the 12 periods pass.  It's a little like counting the summer away and we are already now looking to visit six - half way through!

This morning's catch was typically small, normal for this site.  The majority were recently fledged young of common species but did include single juveniles each of Lesser Whitethroat,  Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

A reasonable catch of 26 species, including the first Blackneck of the year.


Tuesday 10 June 2014

Midsummer fence hopper

Heysham Obs

Middleton NR
Harris Hawk - one without jesses and seemingly nothing to do with gull scaring eventually flew off east
Little Ringed Plover - have young
Lesser Black-backed Gull - c40 nests on ind est roof
Herring Gull - c17 nests on ind est roof
Broad-bodied Chaser - male and female in NE corner of reserve
Hedgehog - not easy to see around here these days (thanks Justine):
Heysham NR
Following the earliest known Lancs Common Hawker in Hindburndale on Sunday, the same (I think) could be said of a BROWN HAWKER seen by the dipping pond today. 

Sunday 8 June 2014

Bee Orchid
Sunday 8th June at Heysham nature reserve
Red Admiral

Saturday 7 June 2014


Heysham Obs
A quick look at the tide off Ocean Edge revealed a 3CY Med in amongst some rather poor visibility - shedload of gulls seaward end Heysham one (best watch from north wall).  Two Little Egret seen

Friday 6 June 2014

Few Young Birds Yet

A ringing session at Middleton Nature Reserve this morning was mildly disappointing.  There was little evidence of fledged young moving around, with only three juveniles caught - 2 Greenfinch and 1 Great Tit.
Four unringed Sedge Warblers and one Reed Warbler were trapped.  Many migrant breeding warblers are presumably still incubating eggs and therefore out of the picture until feeding begins.


Thursday 5 June 2014

Recent records

Heysham Obs
Sorry getting a bit behind with this

Dark-bellied Brent Goose - one flew 'out' past half moon bay on 31st May (thanks Malcolm)

A pretty thorough check of the gulls yesterday produced a typical result - nothing - other than about 675-700 common seagulls with fewer Common but more Black-headed than previously.  Still looking good!

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Tuesday 3rd June

Heysham Obs
Not perfect, but a bit better look at the gulls today produced 675 with about 350 2CY Common - a very late influx after very few at the usual time earlier in the spring

The only 'oddity' was a 2CY Med - unringed

6 Burnet Companion recorded on the butterfly transect at various places around Heysham NR.  The trap held an increasing variety of common early summer species, but none of the local specialities.  By far the best was a single Figure of 80 - just about annual here

Game on

Heysham Obs

A very early influx of gulls on to the outfalls - not sure whether these were around yesterday (coverage didn't seem to include this area).

Outfalls low tide mid morning
Mixed Black-headed/2CY Common - c600-700
Med Gull - moulting adult (first of autumn)
Little Gull - 2CY
Common/Arctic Tern - one in heat haze

Many of these could not be seen well due to heat haze and the fact they were miles away on the outer shoreline by Stage one


ONLY via the Nature Park/Red Nab and you can walk as far along the seawall as Heysham Two Outfall