Sunday, 31 July 2016

New generation Czech?

Heysham Obs
A red-darvic-ringed juvenile Mediterranean Gull expertly read by Pete Crooks this morning is almost certainly of Czech origin.  Hopefully it will be soon joined by our returning 12 year old Czech bird which first appeared as a juvenile in 2003 and was last seen as usual at the back end of February this year

Outfalls/Red Nab near high tide
Med Gull - 3 x juv, 2 x ad, 1 x 2CY
Whimbrel - 11

Nothing yet from the ringers on Middleton but a juv Lesser Redpoll of notable local breeding origin was retrapped

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Early morning check in the heat haze

Heysham Obs

Ocean Edge/Red Nab/outfalls
Little Gull - adult summer
Med Gull - 2 x 2CY, 2 x 1CY, 2 x ad/3CY

Sallow (NFY), Drinker and four Slender Pug of note

Ringing by the office
Unremarkable with the only new migrants being a Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap.  Very little on the feeders

Evening visit to Middleton
Swallow - c40 in the roost - seemingly mainly juvs
Grasshopper Warbler - singing male central marsh

Friday, 29 July 2016

Same time, same check, tide a bit further in

Heysham Obs
Didn't realise how much this morning's check would be on the drop as opposed to near low tide.  How time flies.  No good for eg seaward end Hey one and in the circumstances saw more than might have been expected with stuff scattered far and wide.  Didn't bother later on it what would have been an awful heat haze.  Meany to check for the Guillemot - forgot!

Little Gull - the/a Ad summer on mudflats by Heysham 2
Med Gull - the three flighty juvs plus 4 Ad/3CY
Kittiwake - 2CY
Whimbrel - 2
Greenshank - heard but didn't see - probably out of sight OE saltmarsh channels?

Spruce Carpet pretty rare here and Barred Rivulet a f.f.y.  Half a dozen Silver Y and the first Light Brown Apple Moth for a bit

Anyone able to do the moth trap in the next three days please - especially Sunday?

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Multiple juv meds

Heysham Obs
An 0930 check of the outfalls/Red Nab from Ocean Edge:

Med Gull - 3 x 1CY, 2 x 2CY, 5-9 Ad/3CY (mobile!)
Kittiwake - 2CY
Whimbrel - at least one

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Guillemot remains

Heysham Obs
From Pete Woodruff - thanks for this
Med Gulls - all adult or 3CY
11 Red Nab in one 15 minute scan 
1 Stage 1
2 Stage 2

Guillemot still by intake, and 1st summer Kittiwake which incidentally behaved in the same way the bird I saw 12 July did, in that it was reluctant to fly but did so a few metres along the sea wall to sit again, if this is the same bird, it's surviving whatever's the problem is
A local mega in the form of a Plain Golden Y!


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Guillemot and rush veneer

Heysham obs
An adult guillemot by the waterfall was most unexpected

Outfalls saw at least 10 Meds and 1k bh gulls

Moths included rush veneer, bordered beauty

Monday, 25 July 2016

Even more seagulls

Heysham Obs

Outfalls area
Med Gull - at least 16 including one juv
Little Gull - adult
Kittiwake - 2CY
Whimbrel - 1

Dun-bar new for year

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Loads of seagulls

Heysham obs
Decent numbers of gulls on outfalls again including a runt black-headed gull.

Med gull- one juv, three 2cy, three 3cy but only three adults
Little gull - ad seen briefly
Kittiwake - ad
Whimbrel - 4

Reed bunting by office unusual at this time of year

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The outfalls are a frothing

Heysham Obs
Perhaps up to 1000 small gulls at one stage until a mysterious spook sent half of them heading for the Lune

Outfalls/Red Nab
Med Gull - at least 15 Ad/3CY (R13E plus another darvic, prob German Axxx), 3 2CY (no juv seen)
Little Gull - ad summer
Sandwich Tern - ad
Kittiwake - 2CY

Middleton NR
Not sure of full details, but catch of 50 ish included a young Grasshopper Warbler and a good range of common warblers but Sedge Warbler a little below par

Decentish catch included two P. inopiana at this favoured site.  Garden Carpet quite unusual!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Belatedly quick round of the basics

Heysham Obs
Other than ringing, which wasn't possible unfortunately - loads of birds now next to the office now the feeding regime has been resumed, only time for the absolute basics of quick incoming tide scan of the outfalls/red nab, the moths.......and topping up the feeders!  PLEASE can someone else do this tomorrow?

Outfalls 11ish - a little too late
LOADS of gulls again - could easily have missed something as they were streaming off to the high tide roost during the observation.

Med Gull - at least 10 x ad/3CY, 1 x 2CY
Sandwich Tern - ad
Little Gull - at last saw ?the  Ad summer (but not the recent 2CY)
Whimbrel - at least 4

Far too late a check and obviously a really good night with still 150 odd in the trap of 45 species.  Included Small Dusty Wave, Dingy Shears and the footman ratio of 13 Dingy to one Common!  Very few micros left.

Thanks for the decent pics after my SDW record shot, Janet

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Garden warbler

Heysham Obs
A short mist netting session by the office was unusually quiet, but it doesn't help if the feeders have been empty for two days!  The absence of Common Whitethroat was particularly noticeable - the locals seem to have moved on with no migratory replacements

Garden Warbler was notable so early in the autumn - don't breed in this area, otherwise just a couple of Willow Warbler and a Robin ringed

After none in SD45 until two days ago (Middleton actinic), another Epinotia bilunana turned up in Heysham toilet trap this morning!

Updates for yesterday and today pic-wise definitely tomorrow - sorry Janet.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

First juv Med

Heysham Obs
Will sort the posting out tomorrow - also a Sandwich tern

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Too hot!

Heysham Obs
A lot of ringing effort this morning with only the Middleton CES (east) side being up to scratch although the west side did produced a 'control' Reed Warbler and a baby Lesser Redpoll, confirming the territorial pair had been successful.  The resident male Cetti's Warbler was also caught

Lots of lively hot moths as well and these included a surprising first for the 10km square - it occurs all around it! - Epinotia bilunana (SD45).  This was in one of two Middleton actinics which also produced two Silky Wainscot

Common Sandpiper on the model boat pond late pm (thanks Janet)

Monday, 18 July 2016

Still a dearth of seagulls

Heysham Obs
Not quite sure what is going on with the smaller gulls - the outfalls only seem to be attractive intermittently and conversely a lot more are scattered over the mudflats all the way to the Lune Estuary than is usual on an incoming tide (usually a dropping tide feature)

Red Nab/outfalls/Ocean Edge mudflats area incoming tide
Med Gull - 3 x ad, 1 x 3CY, all unringed
Kittiwake - ad & 2CY
Curlew - 282 on Red Nab plus another 50 or so on the mudflats
Whimbrel - 7 on Red Nab
No sign of Little Gull
No sign of any small calidrids or Grey Plover along the incoming tideline

Barred Yellow was nice and a good series of pugs including Slender, Golden Rod and a worn large one which needs checking carefully

Middleton late evening
Swallow - small roost of about 16 adults
Grasshopper Warbler - 3 singing males
Grey Wagtail - very unseasonal bird heard calling in direction of sewage works

Sunday, 17 July 2016

More intertidal disturbance

Heysham Obs
Unusually, the Red Nab end today (and perhaps responsible for nothing on there yesterday?).  Single male with one white dog and one ginger terrier with a black back - the dogs were running all over the mudflats off Red Nab.  If anyone from Ocean Edge knows this gentleman, please could you have a quiet word and draw his attention to the informative notices along the seaward edge of the site.  Thanks.

Red Nab/outfalls etc
Kittiwake - 2CY
Med Gull - just one adult
Little Gull - 2CY really inconspicuous sat alone on the mudflats!

Nice catch with Bordered Beauty the highlight

Three rounds by the office produced about a dozen birds before it became too windy

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Disappointing all round for visiting birders

Heysham Obs
Visiting birders had an unfortunate double whammy this morning with a visit to the newly secured heliport seawall seeing two 30 something females wandering about in there with no apprehension by security staff and no birds.  Secondly something must have flushed the gulls off Red Nab and a visit to the outfalls near a (lowish) high tide only produced the Ad and 2CY Kittiwakes

Moths were slightly better if you are a fan of Dingy Shears and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing - first of the year for the checker and definitely FFY in latter case

Friday, 15 July 2016

Routine high tide check from Ocean Edge

Heysham Obs
A bit tricky because of drizzle preventing a check along the tideline

Ocean Edge vantage point
Med Gull - x 5 ad
Little Gull - x 1 2CY
Dunlin - 12
Curlew - 210
Little Egret - 7

Decent variety, nothing of note

Thursday, 14 July 2016

More unringed young warblers by the office

Heysham Obs
The office nets are about feeders and a few local-ish or so we assume warblers at this time of year but just two days after a previous ringing effort there, 30 birds were caught, 28 of which were unringed.   Lots of birds were seeing and avoiding the nets as well in the bright sunlight.  Totals of unringed birds:  Chiffchaff (4), Whitethroat (3), Blackcap (3), Sedge Warbler (1), Greenfinch (7), Goldfinch (3), Chaffinch (2), Great Tit (2), Blue Tit (2), Dunnock (1)

Outfalls/Red Nab/mudflats off OE just after HT
Med Gull - 6 ads
Little Gull - 2CY
Whimbrel - 1
Bar-tailed Godwit - one with Curlew on Red Nab

Pigmy Shrew - 1 found dead on path below Princess Alexandra Way.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

New moth and the low tide med gathering kickstarts

Heysham Obs
Not a lot on a dropping tide check of outfalls but a later check of the wooden jetty area and Heysham one outfall by Phil saw a gathering of Med Gulls in the usual place between Heysham one and the wooden jetty and also a return of the two Little Gulls ...but no terns and the 2CY Kittiwake may have succumbed after yesterdays health check.  Later on there were 15 x adult, 6 x 3CY and one x 2CY meds! The toilet moth trap was surprisingly good, including the inexplicably scarce Elephant Hawk-moth!

Outfalls/Red Nab early on
Med Gull - unringed Ad

Outfalls low tide check by Phil Simpson
Med Gull - 8 adults (6 between wooden jetty and heysham one, 2 between outfalls) early afternoon then by late afternoon a minimum of 15 x ad, 6 x 3CY and 1 x 2CY - these were definitely not present yesterday!
Little Gull - adult and 2CY
Kittiwake - adult

Moth trap
Aethes rubigana new for the site and Elephant Hawk-moth, True Lover's Knot, Herald, Anania coronata of note

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Much quieter on the Heysham front

Bit of a change from yesterday with much reduced numbers on the outfalls, Red Nab and Ocean Edge.

Today's sightings thanks to AC, PW, JR, JP and MD

Best birds:
Whimbrel on Red Nab at low tide
Mediterranean Gulls - ad and 3CY at Ocean Edge at low tide and the 3CY seen later on the outfalls
Kittiwake - adult flew past as the tide rose.  A juv sat on the seawall at high tide
Bar-tailed Godwit seen at high tide
Little Egret - 4
A white-looking gull was seen this afternoon but not well enough to rule out leucistic Black-headed Gull. Worth checking again in case it's something more exciting!

Ringing 0630-1130
44 birds caught: 32 new and 12 retraps. Only 4 adults, the rest were this year's young.
Good variety (new birds only):
Reed Warbler (1)
Willow Warbler (1)
Chiffchaff ( 3)
Whitethroat (5)
Lesser Whitethroat (1)
Blackcap (1)
Goldfinch (3)
Greenfinch (7)
Chaffinch (1)
Great Tit (3)
Blue Tit (2)
Robin (2)
Wren (1)
Dunnock (1)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1 retrap)

Photos showing the different eye colour of Whitethroat in an adult bird (upper photo) and young bird (lower photo)

Middleton NR this am - thanks Malcolm
There is certainly a feel of autumn now! Mute - pair with 4 young boating pond. Second pair (appearing to be bonding) on Tim Butler. Coot - 6 all mature Moorhen - 3 plus 2 immature Tufted - m & f together Mallard - 3 female type, one with 3 young Lots of small birds around, particularly common whitethroat. 5 males singing. 4 female type seen. One must have been adult female as it was protecting at least 3 newly fledged birds (surely local). Also heard singing: Blackcap 1 Sedge warbler 2 Reed warbler 1 Chiffchaff 1 House martin - 2 feeding Swallow - 5 feeding (near Tim Butler) plus 2 singles over to south. Swift - 2 feeding over boating pond at 10am. Increased to 10 by noon.

Middleton NR insects - thanks Janet.  The Ringlet was from a completely new area on the south side of the access road (the 'community woodland' bit):

Middleton NR later this afternoon - thanks Andrew and Pete W - Southern Hawker, Comma and many Gatekeepers seen in the afternoon sunshine

Monday, 11 July 2016

Good variety for mid July

Heysham Obs
Outfalls/Red Nab/harbour low/incoming tide.  Thanks for the pics Janet

Arctic Tern - adult
Common Tern - adult - with the above on red nab late pm
Med Gull - 2-3 adults and 3cy
Kittiwake - adult-type and 2CY
Little Gull - 2CY on red nab late pm

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A waste of decent seawatching conditions

Heysham Obs
Thanks to Mark for putting in 30 minutes before other jobs this morning

Gannet : adult diving for fish off end of Heysham one!   2CY out

No outfalls check I am aware of or tidal seawatching

Saturday sightings

Heysham Obs
Just enough time to see Ad summer and 2CY Little Gull flying on the outfalls

Moths included the first Straw Underwing of the year

Friday, 8 July 2016

Darvic ringed adult Med

Heysham Obs
One of the two adult Meds had a darvic on the left leg - a dark colour with yellow or white letters.  Hopefully someone with better eyes can read this.

Outfalls/Red Nab
Two very brief visits at low tide and incoming tide
Med Gull - 2 x ad, 1 x 3CY
Little Gull - same 2CY
Arctic Tern - adult
tern spp - seen very briefly seaward end of Heysham one outfall - looked like ad 'commic'

Scalloped Oak new for year

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Biodiverse outfalls

Heysham Obs
Outfalls/Red Nab one hour before tide
Too late for Meds but:
Arctic Tern - adult inner end Heysham 2
Little Gull - 2CY Heysham two outfall then disappeared (IOA)
Sandwich tern - adult Red Nab (IOA)
Greenshank - adult ocean edge saltmarsh (IOA)
Whimbrel - one displaced by tide from Red Nab
Little Egret - 1

Thanks for these pics, Janet, including the first Ringlet open winged shot ever taken here and a 'proper' Riband Wave!

A small catch but good variety as the trap was checked prior to any sunlight.  Double Dart was unusually topping the list until pipped at the post by two Dark Arches on the last egg packing.  Catch included White Satin and Blackneck

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Baby bird breakout and belated Cuckoo

Heysham Obs

It was a busy bird ringing session at both Heysham and Middleton NRs today. 8 species of warbler were caught at Middleton:
Sedge Warbler (15)
Willow Warbler (11)
Whitethroat (7)
Chiffchaff (3)
Blackcap (2)
Reed Warbler (1)
Grasshopper Warbler (1)
Lesser Whitethroat (1)
Plus the usual Blue Tits (9), Great Tit (2), Robin (4) and Dunnock (1)

Heysham NR office nets
Young Chaffinches were a feature at Heysham, with the numbers keeping pace with the usually much commoner Greenfinch.  Three each of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat were duly ringed, a young Willow Warbler ringed at Middleton was caught and more surprisingly two young Reed Warbler, already 'out of habitat', were caught.  44 new-ringed birds with retraps including a couple of local nestbox-pullus-ringed Great Tit 

CUCKOO - male heard early morning at Middleton, a last minute addition to the year list for this species (definitely not someone taking the xxxx)
Swift - 3
Swallow - 1
Sand Martin - one south over HNR

New for the year were Small Fan-footed Wave and Dotted Clay

Little Egret
11-14 over recent days in sheltered shallow water by Heysham skeer but none this morning in calm weather with plenty of other feeding opportunities

Middleton pics - thanks Janet


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Ringlet premiere

Heysham Obs
Highlight today was a detailed search by Janet of where Arthur recorded the Ringlet on 30th June and two were found (both photographed below)

Sunny breezy north-westerly so the gulls were at an awkward angle and heat-hazy - only 1 x ad and 1 x 2CY Med were immediately visible

Moth trap highlight was yet another fleabane eater - Ebulea crocealis plus a Blackneck was seen by day on Middleton NR

Some nice pics by Janet - thanks very much:

Monday, 4 July 2016

Two novelties

Heysham Obs
Nothing posted by the ringers, so the only thing I am aware of is the first conclusive proof of successful Cetti's Warbler breeding with a single recently fledged juvenile, but, given one territory was within the CES area, we were really expecting this before now and it suggests a first brood failure.  Arthur recorded a Ringlet on the Middleton butterfly transect on 30th June and this is the first fully-confirmed record after a previous second hand report from an otherwise well-recorded part of the site.  This one was from the corridor of EDF energy land with the underground cables running east-west alongside the golf course and is not often checked for butterflies

Outfalls/Red Nab
Late check of seagulls which were already wheeling their way towards Middleton spring tide roost.  Single adult and two 2CY Meds remained

Two of a Heysham micro specialist Phtheochroa inopiana (spelling correct from memory?) - a larval fleabane eater not very common in the north

Sunday, 3 July 2016

More adult Meds and the first Whimbrel

Heysham Obs
A reasonable number of gulls on the outfalls/Red Nab for early July and a few more Meds after a bit of a lull after the multiple 2CYs moved on and few older-age birds had appeared

Red Nab and area
Curlew - 220
Whimbrel - one
Little Egret - 2
Med Gull - 4 x ad, 1 x 3CY, 1 x 2CY (with very peppered head).   Unringed apart from two of the adults where legs could not be seen

   4/6 of the Meds

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Guillotined seabirds

Heysham Obs
A reasonable fare when I arrived but then zero

Sea until about 0820, nothing at all after this 0830-0915
Gannet - 16, including 1 x 2CY, 2 x 3CY very close - all out
Manx Shearwater - distant gang of 5 out
Fulmar - I out

Outfalls 0820-0830
Med Gull - adult and 2Cy - more large gulls today but small gulls still in low numbers

Just off for a low tide check -hopefully some editing to do

Nothing notable

Friday, 1 July 2016

Reasonable midsummer selection

Heysham Obs

Tree Sparrow on office feeders

Gannet far offshore

Adult and 2CY Med Gull on Red Nab but again not many gulls

White Satin and Campion new for the year in the moth trap

Thanks Janet for these pics from Middleton today which also indicate why it was no good for seawatching contra forecast a few days ago!