Wednesday 27 August 2014


Heysham Obs
A couple of early morning sessions splitting resources at Middleton and Heysham did not quite go as planned.  There was nowhere near as much Grey Wagtail passage as anticipated but a helicopter going backwards and forwards overhead did not help.   At least the catching was fairly efficient with 2/3 at Middleton and 3/4 at Heysham finding the nets with the third bird missed at Middleton due to being spooked by that dreadful creature, a retrap juvenile Blackbird.   More an odds and ends morning with Grasshopper Warbler and Tree Pipit among the species ringed

With some rubbishy weather likely to see out August, it might be time to provisionally reflect on a few ringing totals so far and some of them are quite impressive for here:

Record numbers (already):
Chiffchaff - 94
Whitethroat - 205
Reed Warbler - 33

Well above average (given the stage of the autumn)
Lesser Whitethroat - 48
Blackcap -101

Better than expected, given a poor spring passage (or failure to connect with the passage)
Willow Warbler -  145

Below par possibly due to rapid departure of adults and young in warm still weather
Sedge Warbler - 104
Grasshopper Warbler - 8

Another dreadful year compared to last century but on a par with last ten years
Garden Warbler - 4

Heading towards a record total after an excellent breeding season (expensive now they have to take B rings!)
Dunnock - 73

Good numbers so far with a majority of captures usually on autumn passage (September and early October respectively)
Robin - 75
Wren - 51

Middleton NR
Tree Pipit - 5 SE
Grey Wagtail - 3 SE
Meadow Pipit - 3 SE
House Martin - 15 SE
Swallow - c53 SE
Grasshopper Warbler - migrant juvenile caught (local birds long gone)
Collared Dove - flock of four north
Raven -1
Gadwall - flock of 8 with a smaller duck with them which was quite possibly a Garganey, but flight views inconclusive - the birds left the site high to SE
Parrot-type-thing - one again seen in silhouette and therefore unidentified -  from the racket could easily have been Ring-necked Parakeet