Tuesday 13 May 2014

New moth and a swan hatch

Heysham Obs
Early morning CES at Middleton characterised by a virtual lack of grounded migrants and a trickle birds, including returning summer migrants, already bearing rings.  This is exactly what CES should be about, but a little bit more excitement in the form of a few migrants would have made the early start a bit more interesting

The most popular topic for the vast majority of Middleton residents is the progress of the Mute Swan pair which bring their young on to the model boat pond.  Good news - they hatched at 0845hrs this morning after the female had been sitting tight during the whole of the early morning. 

Justine found a new moth for the area in the form of the small but distinctive Grapholita jungiella
in the grassland on Middleton. 

Otherwise it was rather frustrating.  A "very large bird" spooked the gulls at exactly the wrong moment when I was tied up with vehicle movement to let a tanker into the sewage works.  A dog walker said it was "big with a long neck and wings like an eagle" (splayed), but it had gone east over the crown of the hill and was not visible by the time.  Number two was an almost certain Hobby sighting by Pete C as it targeted northbound Swallows over Middleton (as seen from the model boat pond area), but not in the direction I was looking at the time.

Middleton NR
Grasshopper Warbler - intermittent very early song from three sites
Whimbrel - two north
Swift - three north
Grey Heron - one high and purposefully north
Kestrel - one high and purposefully from the south-west, then heading east (quite a bit later than the abovementioned falcon)
Swallow - 54 NE
Sedge Warbler - no evidence of any females arriving, with seemingly all the males in continuous song, including regular song-flight.  One female (on wing length) was caught at the end of the CES session , presumably (the only?) newly arrived migrant of the morning
Greylag - 2
Mute Swan - see above; didn't see how many young but 5+

Sea 0600-0700
Sandwich Tern - flock of 6 out

Heysham NR
Presumed migrant Willow Warbler ringed

See above