Tuesday 30 June 2015

A mixed day

Heysham Obs
First of all very sad news.  Ian Kinley has passed away and south Cumbria loses a really nice and helpful person who was always there to sort out records from the Kent Estuary and area for the Cumbrian part of the LDBWS recording area.  I have known Ian for many years and he has always been a cheerful and friendly person.  I will miss him.  Pete.

Secondly the circus act has started - the hatching of the Mute Swan chicks on Middleton

The rest of the day saw an outfalls check which was too late and just saw an incomplete count of 6 Med Gulls (3 x Ad, 1 x 3CY, 2 x 2CY) in the remaining gulls on Red Nab

The moth trap was also checked rather late as a blazing hot sun was streaming through the window and even a Buff Ermine was flying about as the check was made.  Miller was the best - not annual here - Blackneck was new for the year and there was a decent variety including a late Shaded Pug 

Monday 29 June 2015

More Meds

Heysham Obs
Red Nab produced the goods at high tide after being surprisingly poor yesterday.  It does seem that the main influx of gulls yesterday was on the dropping afternoon tide and this was reflected and added to at high tide today

Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore high tide
Common Gull - 197
Black-headed Gull - 520
Med Gull - 6 ads, 2 3CY (one darvic-ringed, probably green), at least 5 2CY
Little Gull - 3CY
Curlew - 42
Oystercatcher - 320

Butterfly Census
Opening their account were four Meadow Brown and a single Narrow-bordered five spot Burnet, just about to close its account was a very tatty Peacock.  No sign of any Burnet Companion or Mother Shipton or any Brimstone

No major surprises but another couple of Heart and Club.  However, a definite Pammene aurana was seen in the NE corner after being reminded by the sheet that a probable was seen on last weeks butterfly census in the same area.  It was sat on a hogweed leaf as was last week's insect

Singing Reed and Sedge Warbler in HNR marsh and a nice collection of birds in the office mist net ride in the afternoon including 2 x family parties of Common Whitethroat and a family party of Willow Warbler - so some birds have bred successfully albeit seemingly with low brood sizes

Sunday 28 June 2015

Thorough outfalls coverage

Heysham Obs
Good coverage by Ian Walker in flat light this morning before the weather went pear-shaped and the sun came out.  Thanks Ian.

Outfalls area
Little Gull - 3CY showing all the time
Sandwich Tern - one on Red Nab after the tide
Med Gull - 5 adults, 1 3CY, 6 2CY, many of these coming on to Heysham 2 outfall as the tide dropped
Common Gull - one with red darvic - please look out for - its unread
Lesser Black-backed Gull - very quick response with this one:

  FH21382            N      10    Ringed          22/11/08  SGD  Stoke Orchard Landfill Site, Gloucestershire. 51.56N 02.06W
            S          12         Sighted 28/06/15    IW    Heysham outfall, Lancashire (238 km, NNW, 6 yrs 218days

Really good catch but nothing of any real interest other than yet more Heart and Club (3) and a few years ticks such as Peach Blossom, Light Arches.  Best was Sallow Kitten & Small China Mark and most surprising were single Rustic Shoulder Knot and Scalloped Hazel - long past their bedtime  

Saturday 27th June

Heysham Obs
A few moths including Bordered Sallow, Dog's Tooth and yet another Heart and Club

Friday 26 June 2015

3CY Little Gull new in

Heysham Obs
A 3CY Little Gull was new in on the seaward end of Heysham one outfall but it seemed to be 'as you were' with the Meds with just a few of the longer stayers around

The office toilet moth trap was again on form with 2 x Heart and Club doubling the grand total in two nights and Silky Wainscot an unusual wanderer from the wetlands

Outfalls area low tide
Med Gull - 1 x ad, 1 x 3CY, 2 x 2CY (one with black head)
Little Gull - 1 x 3CY still in summer plumage
Little Ringed Plover - one alarm calling from within the power station between Red Nab and Heysham Two.  Interesting!

Notable/new for the year were: 2 x Heart and Club (neither the previous night's individual re-visiting), 1 x Green Pug, 1 x Map-winged Swift, 1 x Eana osseana,  1 x Silky Wainscot, 1 x Light Emerald, 1 x P coronata, 1 x Double Dart with Shoulder-striped Wainscot top of the pile at 27

Thursday 25 June 2015

Ominous CES

Heysham Obs
Absolutely dreadful CES at Middleton this morning with just no sign of the usual young birds you would expect at this time of year and a notable lack of Sedge Warbler - they did this in 2012 - cleared off!

Tjhe moth trap was really good though with the first Shark since 2012 and the third record of Heart and Club (although four were taken at nearby Middleton in 2014).   Clay materialised for the first time this year

Wednesday 24th June

Heysham Obs
A thorough search of the outfalls on the early stages of the incoming tide "only" produced the following

Med Gull: 1 x Ad, 4 x 2CY

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Bits and bobs

Heysham Obs
Mainly insects today

Live Grey Squirrel Moneyclose Lane
Stoat Moneyclose Lane

Butterfly census
Very worn singleton Peacock and at least three Brimstone.  Three Burnet Companion, single Mother Shipton and Silver Y and, best of all, a single Marsh Pug

Jackdaw - flock of 16 Middleton MB pond may be a record county of local birds
Grasshopper Warbler - two singing Middleton
Tufted Duck - two eclipse males Middleton

A careful scrutiny revealed 9 x 2CY Med yesterday (thanks Pete) - no gull check today in sun and heat haze

Pics from Janet - thanks Janet - all taken today at Middleton

Monday 22 June 2015

More outfalls coverage

Heysham Obs
Outfalls/Red Nab three visits
Med Gull - 2 x summer ad, 1 x summer ad or 3CY (wing tips not visible).  2 x 2CY but neither the black-headed one seen the last few days
Common Gull - 235
Black-headed Gull - 280

Middleton NR
Grasshopper Warbler - two intermittent singing males western marsh

At least one Burnet Companion NR plateau.  Nothing dramatic in the trap, although two Shaded Pug cannot be sniffed at the top NW site for this species

Sunday 21 June 2015

Ten minute cameo

Heysham Obs
A ten minute check of the outfalls at low tide paid dividends

Outfalls 0920-0930
Common Tern  - adult briefly on seaward ends of Heysham one then Heysham two
Med Gull - 2 x 2CY and 1 x 3CY
Arctic Skua - dark morph sauntered out down the shipping lane at 0924! - midsummer skuas are very unusual in this area with 'no' terns for any off-passage birds to chase
Little Gull - 2CY seaward end of Heysham two outfall

A further check soon on the incoming tide

A little bit on the late side for the afternoon check and just the adult med gull seen and no sign little gull or any terns

Campion the best of a reasonable catch with pristine Scalloped Hazel reflecting how late a year this is

Saturday 20 June 2015

More gulls

Heysham Obs
Different ratio of Common (145) and Black-headed (c250) today with fewer of the former and many more of the latter including a juvenile

Meds seen amounted to two x 2CY but a bit late for the outfalls and the totals were mainly Red Nab

The moth trap was very good with Lime Hawk-moth a rare visitor here and Small Fan-foot notable

Friday 19 June 2015

Larid kick-off

Heysham Obs
Its looking good - both outfalls in full flow and lots of gulls including serious numbers of Common Gull for this time of year.  There has got to be something good in the next few weeks but it needs regular careful scrutiny as the pattern of e.g. ringed Meds suggests quite a bit of midsummer turnover

Outfalls/Red Nab incoming tide
Whimbrel - 1
Curlew - 156
Oystercatcher - 790
Common Gull - 235 (2 adult)
Black-headed Gull - 96
Med Gull - large summer adult, smaller summer 3CY, at least one 2CY

Thursday 18 June 2015

A working away day

Heysham Obs
Will upload some pics tomorrow - thanks Janet

Don't forget the day-flying moth and butterfly event on Saturday 20th meeting 0930 Heysham NR car park and spending most of the morning on Middleton NR

Eyed Hawk-moth in the trap this morning

Wednesday 17 June 2015

New moth for the reserve

Heysham Obs
Pale Prominent was new for the Heysham office toilet trap today, although there have been two records on nearby Middleton NR.

At least one adult Little Ringed Plover and at least one well-grown chick seen today at Middleton

First Tufted Duck for a while on the ponds there


Heysham Obs
Nutmeg was new for the north harbour wall 10km square (SD36) - quite scarce these days and perhaps surprisingly so was Turnip moth

Decent haul in the Heysham NR office toilet trap with Shaded Pug the usual highlight at this time of year

At least one adult Little Ringed Plover Middleton

Monday 15 June 2015

Midsummery bits and a few migrants

Heysham Obs

The CESes confirmed that there are a few baby Robins around and a couple of unringed adult male Willow Warblers were presumably on the move.  No sign of any young Sedge Warbler, but the adults were still in situ.  Described as 'slow'!

The butterfly census was all about variety and local quality, not quantity.  A worn pale Painted lady and similar Red Admiral were holding territory on Heysham NR as was a male Holly Blue (scarce here).  Three male Brimstone were still trundling around but no other ex-hibernators seen.   Two Burnet Companion and a single Mother Shipton were seen - below par for the ground covered. 

As promised some of Janet's recent pics - thanks Janet:

Little Grebe are pretty scarce these days and this male may be the only bird on site this breeding season


Sunday 14 June 2015


Heysham Obs
The office trap done good this morning, but only in the context of what has been a very poor year.  Other than a very odd noctuid which might be an aberrant Mottled Rustic (check tomorrow), new for the year included Treble Bar, Double Dart and a definite Mottled Rustic.

Problems with computer, Janet - sorry will upload your pics from work tomorrow and add any sightings from the NLWG event today

Please note that there is a Butterfly Conservation visit to Heysham and Middleton next Saturday with an okay forecast in the context of this year.  Meet Heysham NR car park 0930hrs

Saturday 13 June 2015

Saturday 13th June

Heysham obs
Two sandwich tern off the Heysham skeers per Malcolm

Shaded pug in moth trap

Male and teneral black-tailed skimmers Middleton model boat pond also sev large skipper and little ringed plovers seem to have fledged.

Shaded pug in trap first decent catch for a bit also including ruddy highflyer - third of the year at this known site

Pics later from Janet . Thanks

Wednesday 10 June 2015

SD36 strikes again

Heysham Obs
The bit of land in SD36 often produces surprises - one of which is that it can be very good for moths
Lou Cross located the first ever Mother Shipton for there this lunchtime and another was seen on Middleton looking rather tatty (see below)

Malcolm recorded the Little Ringed Plover party this afternoon along with a party of 10 Long-tailed Tit juveniles and taking Crane Fly identification beyond the daddy long legs level for the first time on this site - latin name for a black and yellow striped thing tomorrow

Earlier in the day, low-key midsummer ringing in the form of the Middleton CES took place - thanks John - and was quite productive for this time of year, including a juvenile Reed Warbler

Thanks for these Janet


Heysham Obs
About 5 Burnet Companion seen on Heysham NR, including one in SD45E

Monday 8 June 2015

Mainly insects including hints of migration

Heysham Obs

Silver Y
Worn pale examples on the north harbour wall in Sd36V and next to the office

Butterfly transect
Included up to 5 Burnet Companion and a few lingering Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell and one Brimstone

A Red Admiral was reported by a visitor

Middleton NR
Emperor dragonfly new for the year

Off-duty LRP Middleton
Moth trap
Buff Tip and Shoulder-striped Wainscot new for the year

Sunday 7 June 2015

Little ringed plovers successful

Heysham obs

Five little ringed plover chicks this evening on Middleton along with 120 mullein moth larvae. House Martin down to low single figures.

Turnip moth new for the year hnr trap

Saturday 6th June - belated House Martin movement

Heysham Obs
Sorry this is late as quite an interesting day - albeit one species

House Martin
14 north from NHW 1200-1230hrs
11 feeding over model boat pond at 9:30 swelled to 50+
by 12:15, then 47 and dwindling as the weather cleared 1245
Middleton NR
Mute Swan - pair on Tim Butler pond have 1 chick. Other pair failed on Fence
pond. They did mate again but since then I have only seen 1 bird, hopefully they
have another nest. 6 2cy on model boat pond.
9 mallard
1 gadwall (m)
3 moorhen
1 heron
1 little ringed plover
Kittiwake - 1 adult on no2
Seawatch 1200-1230
See above
Swallow - 3 north
Manx Shearwater - 1+5+1 - all but the first very distant and all out

Friday 5 June 2015

mega alert

Heysham Obs
The first Red-legged Partridge this century in the recording area!

3rd June
Pair of LRP Middleton alarm calling

Burnet Companion next to office

4th June
RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE - two Middleton NR - one calling (Dan Haywood).  Getting infested with game birds with at least 7 Pheasant on there

5th June
Decent moth catch last night with first Shaded Pug of the year and a single (recently very scarce) Shears and Muslin Moth

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Frontal wave knocks seawatching on the head

Heysham Obs
The isobars widened to let a little wave depression through which produced a lot of rain and knocked the wind on the head.  By the time they closed, it was low tide and late evening.  Result: not a lot:

Kittiwake - adult Heysham 2 outfall pm
Manx Shearwater - two distant birds am

Grey Seal - 1

Monday 1 June 2015

Will the wind veer before dusk. If so.......

Heysham Obs
There are no House Martins at Ashleys Farm this year.............so far, but they still seem to be arriving.  Foe example, there were 24 feeding on Middleton model boat pond in the rain this afternoon (from no obvious local source) along with that ubiquitous "highlight" which keeps turning up out of pity on grotty days when there is nothing else of 'note', 4 Canada Geese

Gannet - one far offshore early morning

Flock of 7 Manx shearwater whilst the wind still south at 1950 - heading out