Thursday, 30 June 2016

Eiders use ocean edge saltmarsh

Heysham Obs
Scraping the barrel for novelties but four female Eider lounging on Ocean Edge saltmarsh was a new one for me

One ad Med Gull on quick scan of much reduced gulls.  Why?  Outage?

The moth trap catch was a bit mundane but did hold a Silver Y and, unusually for here, both Plum and Marbled Orchard Tortrix together  

Whistle stop

Heysham Obs
Nothing of interest today although 6 Double Dart was nice

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

More odds and ends

Heysham Obs
A pre-rain ringing session by the office saw the two juvenile Great-spotted Woodpeckers, presumably from the successful nest on the reserve, being ringed along with a scattering of warblers and finches

New moths for the year were Yellow Shell, Anania coronata and Common Footman

No time for any birding eg gull checks

Pics from Janet and Tom over the last few days.  Thanks.  Bad news with Red-veined Darters.  I would have expected them before the weather broke and, even if any do appear,  they are going to be harder to sort out amongst the by then reddish Common Darters which emerged over the weekend.  No foreseeable suitable weather for Red-veined Darter and the shallow ovipositing area was continuously disturbed by splashing dogs at the back end of last summer - whether a continuous suspension of silt - it takes ages to settle - is good or bad for this species is not known.  We'll see as there was a lot of RVD ovipositing observed last year and no sign of any late autumn emergence. The caddis is Mystacides longicornis (thanks Steve)

Monday, 27 June 2016

Bits of interest

Heysham obs
Thanks to peel ports for addressing the heliport area problem straight away

Pics from Janet and Tom will be added tomorrow

Info recently of a pair of little owl within recording area pontins waste ground and hancocks area

Common darter out Middleton but no red veins or the weather for then coming up

3x ad med, just one 2cy med outfalls area

Dead hedgehog moneyclose lane

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Heysham Heliport mitigation fails at the first hurdle

Heysham Obs
It has been a long road to try and exclude dog walkers and other people from the old heliport site, leading to lack of disturbance of the wader roost along the seawall.  Re-fencing was a mitigation measure for Peel Energy's single wind turbine and this was carried out about a fortnight ago.   It was stressed time and again the the roost on the seawall would only be undisturbed if either the fencing measures were secure or the exclusion notices were being enforced by security or both.  The fencing at the Half moon bay cafĂ© end is fine, but the south end saw just an extra gate and a lock and was clearly still easy to access, albeit only a matters of a few metres from the security base.   

Wondering why the small summering Oystercatcher flock was not using the newly secured seawall, spent a bit of time today observing what was happening and sure enough the regular dog walkers who park and access from the Near Naze are just having the inconvenience of hurdling or climbing over the gate,  otherwise it is business as usual

Went to have a polite chat to security as one of these dog walkers also parked on the double yellow lines to see what their take was and I was informed that they had received no instructions to apprehend anyone  entering the old heliport site

Please can this be sorted out, Peel Ports?  Thanks

Red Nab and area
Med Gull - just adult in head moult, full summer adult and single 2CY in a much-reduced gull presence.  Again there did not seem to be a lot of food on Heysham One outfall
Grey Heron - 1

Nothing startling with Celypha striana new of the year


Saturday, 25 June 2016

Low tide

Heysham Obs
A quick check at low tide this am saw not a lot of activity on Heysham One which is unfortunate as a lot of the attractiveness for the more unusual odds and ends goes when there is no feeding fest on the seaward end of Heysham One.

Outfalls low tide
Med Gull - 2CY feeding end Heysham two
Arctic Tern - adult feeding end of Heysham two

Smoky Wainscot and Epinotia bilunana new for year

Friday, 24 June 2016

Little Egret invasion

Heysham Obs
Some strange goings on on Heysham skeer.  First gangs of Canada Geese overnight, now Little Egrets

Heysham skeer
Little Egret - usually 2-4, but 8 on Monday morning and a massive 19 this morning (thanks Malcolm)

Outfalls/Red Nab
A bit late but plenty of gulls but not a lot of interest in relation to numbers
Arctic Tern - adult briefly
Med Gull - 3 x 2CY

Swallow-tailed Moth and Short-cloaked Moth new for year

Fairly successful by office - early dispersing young Sedge Warbler the most notable & a collection of presumed local finches and warblers totalling about 40 birds

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Black-tailed Godwit swans off

Heysham Obs
A few bits and bobs of interest today

Black-tailed Godwit
Single adult islandica briefly on the model boat pond before being chased off by the male Mute Swan.   Thanks Janet

Outfalls/Red Nab etc
Med Gull - 1 x Ad, 2 x 2CY

Dingy Footman new for the year, a few Blackneck and Double Dart, another Figure of Eighty and two Barred Straw plus yet another Eyed Hawk-moth - the latter having a good year

Brown Hawker near office.  No RVD (yet?)

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Adult Meds appear - autumn is with us

Heysham Obs

Outfalls/Red Nab and area
Little Egret - 2
Grey Heron - one - unusual this time of year
Med Gull - 2 x adult, 3 x 2CY
Grey Seal - one

Figure of Eighty the highlight - scarce here - quite a way from the poplars.  5 x Double Dart nice and a Snout might possibly be the first of the year!  Micros led by Tinea semifulvella

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Hearts and darts

Heysham Obs
Moths first, outfalls check later

The moth trap held a few nice odds and ends but was dominated by "count fodder" notably 71 Heart and Dart.   Heart and Club has colonised this last two years after just odd ones previously and there were 10 this morning and other odds and ends new for year/local specialities included Sallow Kitten, 6 Double Dart, Buff Arches, Rivulet, 2 Eyed Hawk-moth, Small Fan-foot and a relatively unusual (!) midsummer Light-brown Apple Moth

Outfalls and area
Med Gull - 3 x 2CY
Grey Seal - one harbour mouth
Curlew - 110 Red Nab
Eider - 4 females out (thanks for pic Janet)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Swirling seagulls and Manxies in the murk

Heysham Obs
Getting used to having to use left eye wearing glasses for scope work (previously right eye without glasses)!  Todays swirling seagulls and Manxies in the murk were a bit of a challenge.

Outfalls/Red Nab/Ocean Edge
Kittiwake - grotty adult type
Arctic Tern - two adults on seaward end Heysham one outfall as tide turned
Med Gull - just 4 x 2CY but different one from yesterday - could easily have missed one or two, but definitely none of older age classes
Black-headed Gull - c850
Common Gull - c60
Manx Shearwater - gang of 3 distantly out (at last!)
Gannet - two distant adults out

Only 20 minutes spent actually seawatching ie until Manx shearwater appeared!  

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Productive gulls and moths coverage

Heysham Obs
If you scrutinise gull flocks for long enough you keep picking up extra 2CY Meds!  That was certainly the case this morning although a maximum of just three were visible at any one time on the uneven ground on Red Nab with quite a bit of turnover and early departure to high tide roosting areas to the south.  The key lies in the wide variety of head patterns varying from a full hood to complete 'winter plumage', backed up by the intensity or lack of any red/orange on the bill.  No need to mess about e.g. counting old primaries in flight to separate this gang of five - they were all distinctively different 

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls
No counts made of the commoner species as they were very scattered but at least 450 Black-headed.

Black-headed Gull - the first 3 juvs and a runt 2CY of note
Common Gull - one adult, c30 2CY
Med Gull - FIVE different 2CY, just possibly a sixth bird in very distant flight on Heysham One outfalls which may or may not have been located on Red Nab as some birds appeared to head north on the incoming tide
Little Egret - the first blank for some time!

A decent haul but the composition of the flighty stuff on the wall suggested some of the eg micros might have flown out during the intermittent sunlight early on
Notable (new for year/unusual here/local specialities) were:  2 x Shaded Pug, 1 x Barred Red, 1 x Heart and Club, 2 x Blackneck, 3 x Double Dart, 3 x Light Arches, 1 x Common Emerald and just a singleton Diamond-back Moth

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Nothing yet

Heysham Obs
Nothing in yet from at least two observers, suggesting an unremarkable morning.  What is remarkable is the complete lack of Manx Shearwater from the year list, reflecting a sharp downturn (and in two cases availability) of birders in this area who at least include some sea-watching on the agenda and also the predominantly northerly and easterly airflow this last few weeks

This should change on Monday morning when there is also a long-shot for Storm Petrel - best at low tide off the outfalls around the red buoy

Friday, 17 June 2016

Influx of small seagulls

Heysham Obs
The Black-headed Gulls hit the 350 mark today with a fair chunk on the mudflats just off Ocean Edge saltmarsh.  With them were 2 x 2CY Meds and 23 2CY Common Gulls

Must do better with phone-scoping - I can't see very well but at least you can just about make something out here - the two different 2CY Meds - one with very dull bare parts, the other with e.g. quite a bright reddish bill

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Belated roof-top gull breeding survey

Heysham Obs

Numbers refer to birds still sitting or with broods i.e. active breeding pairs

Ocean Edge south:  LBBG x 5
Ocean Edge north LBBG x 2

Harbour south:   LBBG x 30
                           HG x 33
                           GBBG x 1
Harbour north:  LBBG x 27
                          HG x 20
Centrica:           LBBG x 6
Middleton:        LBBG x 21
                          HG x 12
Grey and turbine stores:   LBBG x 20
                                          GBBG x 1

also c8 Herring and c6 LBBG territories noted at the S end of the PS operational land - usually scared from here

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Ghostly seagull

Heysham Obs
Scraping the barrel today with the worst pic ever taken of a bird which I wont trouble you with - a leucistic Black-headed Gull on the mudflats by Ocean Edge with 330 ordinary ones for company (but no Meds).  One Little Egret Red Nab and nothing of interest in the moth trap

Otherwise the Seacat was watched coming into port and going out again and the male Cetti's Warbler on territory within the CES ringing area was recorded again!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Burnet finds its Companion

Heysham Obs
Burnet Companion and Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet rarely overlap here with the former pretty well done and dusted before the latter emerge.  Not so today - also one of a small migrant influx of Silver Y.  Thanks Janet.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Spring and autumn cross paths

Heysham Obs
A routine seawatch by Ian at Rossall led to a text whilst I was still in bed recovering from the National Moth unsocial hours - a flock of three Pomarine Skua heading for Heysham.  Thanks Ian - I should have been nearer the cutting edge. 

In the opposite mode - the first stages of "autumnal" gulls saw a single 2CY Mediteranean amongst the increasing numbers of Black-headed Gulls (320) around the outfalls - Heysham 2 looking favoured

Help with these gulls greatly appreciated this late summer/autumn as my eyes might not be up to detailed scrutiny, so we need some more birders around.  Thanks

Sunday 12th

Heysham Obs
A very worn Silver Y, a Rush Veneer and three Shaded Pug were the highlights in the moth trap

Saturday 11th

Heysham Obs
The moth trap held the first 2 Silver Y of the year and others included the highly localised Phtheochroa inopiana, a Fleabane specialist with a track record here and Middleton but very few other places in the county, Blackneck and the only Light Brown Apple Moth we managed to record for NMN! 

Friday 10th

Heysham Obs
A very rushed trap check as part of a production line of traps! Highlights Shaded Pug, Freyers Pug, Agapeta zoegana.

Some day-searching on Middleton by Janet procured Grapholita compositella, Yellow Shell, Latticed Heath, Cinnabar, Triangle Plume .  Thanks for the pics

3 Burnet Companion seen by Reuben whilst on a litter pick Heysham NR 45E

Thursday 9th

Heysham Obs
A decent first night of the NMN in the moth trap highlighted by Silky Wainscot, Black-neck and Shaded Pug.

23 Canada Goose still roosting overnight on the skeer off Heysham

Pics from Janet from Middleton - thanks


Wednesday 8th

Heysham Obs
Middleton NR selection - thanks Janet

Tuesday 7th

Heysham Obs
Sorry for the backlog - problems downloading pics on home computer

Fly-over Greylag and Mute Swan trying to drown Coot chick -typical midsummer birding! Thanks Janet

Monday, 6 June 2016

Dragonflies get going and Painted Lady trickles in

Heysham Obs
The Canada Goose saga continues.  It does appear that variable numbers are using the skeer off Heysham as a night time roost, presumably from the Lune Estuary.  All very odd as they are usually pretty scarce in the Heysham recording area (thanks Malcolm)

A pair of unseasonal Teal at Middleton:

The following dragonfly pics from Janet at Middleton:

Moth trap
Lychnis new for year

Great Spotted Woodpecker proved breeding for the first time

Heysham Obs
This posting should be for Sunday,  Just found out via a photographic website that GS Wood bred at Heysham NR this year.  Suspected in 2015, when probably failed.  Seems to be right on the 10km square boundary - will need to get the GPS out!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

More diamond backs and the Canada goose mystery continues

Heysham Obs
59 Canada Geese were back on Heysham skeer this evening!

A heap of Diamond-back Moths around the reserve today and some other stuff found by Janet as per pics below

Two more Shaded Pug found at Middleton this evening


Three Shaded Pug during a dusking session at Middleton

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The diamond-backs arrive

Heysham Obs
They probably arrived yesterday but no reports as yet.  At least 6 casually disturbed from grass round the office but none in the trap!

Moth trap
Not helped by the easterly into the window but still held Shaded Pug, a local speciality this far north


Heysham Obs
The first Large Skipper of the year (thanks Janet) and either a very late or a very early Brimstone


Heysham Obs
Some bad news as regards the extra Mute Swans on Middleton - under investigation

Evening visit to Middleton (Malcolm)
Not a sight nor sound of Cetti's or Grasshopper warblers.4 swallow, 2 swift & 1 house martin feeding.WeBS list:2 mute + 4 cygnet, 8 mallard + 9 chicks, 4 coot + 3 chicks, 2 moorhen, 2 little grebe, 1 little ringed plover.

Another Ruddy Highflyer in the moth trap

Female Broad-bodied Chaser on one of the new ponds, Middleton (BBC are not very common here c/p 4-spot Chaser)