Friday 18 September 2015

Meadow Pipit free zone

Heysham Obs
One of our team, Jean Roberts, was working in coastal Lincolnshire this morning and had more Meadow Pipit during half a sentence of phone conversation than in total over here.  Bearing in mind the virtually complete lack of breeding success on our local moors (e.g. no post-breeding gatherings), followed by a very below-par autumn passage so far, where are all these east coast ones coming from as there certainly aren't any westerlies of any strength to send "ours" over there?

The weak front pre-dawn heading south-east did absolutely nothing in terms of producing grounded migrants and, apart from the eight Grey Wagtail caught, a Reed Warbler ringed elsewhere (Z152 sequence) and a few fat off-passage Blackcaps at Middleton, the double-site ringing effort was pretty rock-bottom.  On the subject of birds ringed elsewhere, thanks to the North Solway Ringing Group for providing information on the Appletowngarth Sand Martin which will, of course, be sent in 'as usual' via our IPMR

Middleton NR
Reed Warbler - one retrap and one ringed elsewhere
Blackcap - 4 x 20g plus new birds, one F0 new bird and three F0/2/0 recently-ringed retraps
Chiffchaff - one new bird
Robin - one unringed very low weight
Grey Wagtail - flocks of 4 & 2 caught and ringed

Heysham NR
Goldcrest - one ringed bird seen in the field, none caught
Blackcap - the only warbler species to trouble the mist nets was F1, probably from off-passga ein the tank farm
Chiffchaff - one passed rapidly through - the only warbler passage of the morning
Robin - one unringed low weight

Vis mig Heysham NR dawn to 1000
Grey Wagtail - only six and they were all individuals on a flightline almost NNE-SSW to the east of the office - only two of these were caught and ringed.  
Meadow Pipit - as above but only 10 seen -why there was no cross-bay vis mig NW/NNW-SE/SSE is puzzling as the remnants of cloud did not seem to pose a barrier
Siskin - heard distantly twice
Coal Tit - 2 south
Dunnock - two heading south and climbing
Mistle Thrush - the 'star' of the show at HNR! 9 together high from the south, landed on pylon then flew high and purposefully ESE
alba Wagtail - 6 as per Grey W and Meadow Pipit
Pink-footed Goose - a "sensation" of distant calls to the west - Alan at Middleton then picked up 11 distant geese heading SE after being alerted
Chaffinch - 44 S
Goldfinch - 60 S

Ringing (2 x 18m nets at each site) - new birds only: 
Grey Wagtail (8), Robin (2), Blackcap (6), Chiffchaff (1), Dunnock (2), Wren (1), Reed Warbler (1 ringed elsewhere), Goldfinch (2), Greenfinch (2), Great Tit (1)

Heap of Treble Bar and Silver Y again and a minor break-out of Light Brown Apple Moth - the latter summing up the whole morning's mediocrity