Wednesday 30 November 2016


There is coverage but unfortunately people are having great difficulty posting sightings.   Please send to me and I'll do my best (working away most of time).   Thanks

Tuesday 29 November 2016

North wall whistle stop

Czech ringed med gull
Red throated diver offshore

Saturday 26 November 2016

Siberian chiffchaff

Two chiffchaff on Middleton - collybita near solrec and a tristis type along the southern golf course edge hedge

Monday 21 November 2016

Roe Deer save the day

Three Roe Deer together on Middleton the only sighting of note today (thanks Malcolm)

Sunday 20 November 2016

Long range lingerers

11 common scoter were in the Kent channel

The only other things worth noting were 10 eider, Czech med gull and about 18 small finches on the north wall

Middleton held 8 teal but nothing else of note with diving suck still absent

Saturday 19 November 2016

Meagre coastal fare

Flock of eight distant common scoter off heysham head on Kent channel

Large tit flock on heysham head included single treecreeper and nuthatch

A heysham ringed twite was seen at the feeder with about 18 linnet and low single figures of goldfinch

A circuit of the north wall sandworks and mound saw just one 1CY rabbit!

Friday 18 November 2016

Nothing new

Oystercatchers and Redshank in the roost on the seawall yesterday
Jack snipe Middleton nature reserve but a virtual absence of wildfowl with no diving duck - never known this happen in non freezing conditions

Thursday 17 November 2016

Heliport roost

Decent number of birds on the heliport roost today-  initially all on the seawall then spilling on to the seawall and grassland east of the heliport surface

Oystercatcher - 9100
Redshank - 470
Turnstone - 22
Lapwing - 34
Ringed plover 34
Dunlin - 19
Lapwing -41
Knot - 1!

Nothing offshore

1500 oystercatcher in field north of heysham head also fox!

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Sea bits

Intermittent seawatching in the morning saw:

Red-throated diver - 2
Kittiwake - 1cy out, flock 27 in, ad behind Ben
Pintail - flock of 6 out
Auk app - 5 plus 3 out
Razorbill - 2 out
Med gull - Czech ad and possibly another ad behind Ben

North Harbour Wall feeding area:
Linnet - 17,  at least 30% with rings
Goldfinch - 7

7200 oystercatcher heliport
420 redshank heliport early on at least

Tuesday 15 November 2016

14th and 15th November

Nothing I am aware of from the 14th, certainly not from a very rapid circuit of the north wall

Kingfisher - one by dipping pond Heysham NR (thanks Janet)

About 18 finches - 50:50ish Goldfinch/Linnet - on north wall seed.  Still no lingering Twite despite a significant number much closer than last autumn/winter

Sunday 13 November 2016

Decent coverage highlighted by Siberian Chiffchaff and Short-eared Owl

The main feature today was Blackbird as some murky conditions and very intermittent drizzle saw a decent late autumn fall. 

Blackbird - at various sites (Tank farm, Middleton, Heysham NR, Half moon bay café and area scrub, Ocean Edge fringe scrub = 150-180, including some flocks eg 15 by HNR car park.  Undoubtedly more if the anemometer area and golf course edge had been grilled
Redwing - 6
Song Thrush - 2
Goldcrest - at least 7 new birds at Heysham NR and three unringed birds with LTT flock near Half moon bay.  No evidence Middleton.
Long-tailed Tit - minimum three flocks of unringed birds, one intercepted in Heysham NR nets plus 15 by Half moon bay café and c15 by anemometer
Meadow Pipit - 13 Ocean Edge and 15 dodging dogs on the grassland inland of half moon bay (odd choice!)
Skylark - one Ocean Edge
Short-eared Owl - one tank farm in the wet bit in the middle - landed again at far end so left in peace
Siberian Chiffchaff - one nice non-contentious buff bird in the bracken area on the tank farm, calling regularly and see very well for about 15 seconds when seen to be ringed on the right leg with a shiny new BTO-type ring.  Definitely not ours!
Brambling - male tank farm north end
Chaffinch - c8 tank farm
Blackcap - female ringed HNR feeder nets

Vis mig
Skylark - 2 S at Ocean Edge

At last some effort possible in the feeder rides next to the office as the construction site does not now include any trenches across the access.  Combined new birds Middleton/Heysham: Blackbird (9),  Blue tit (4), Robin (1), Song thrush (1), Goldcrest (7), Goldfinch (3), Long tailed tit (9), Greenfinch (1), Wren (1), Chaffinch (1), Blackcap (1CY female).
Odds and ends, including WeBS highlights
Kingfisher - one Red Nab
Snipe - 12 OE foreshore and flock of 12 also Middleton NR plus two singletons
Med Gull - Czech adult
Pink footed goose - large flocks moving NE around 08.00 high over MNR totalling at least 5000. possibly disturbed by wildfowlers to the south?
Ringed Plover - 19 OE and 16 heliport
Turnstone - 38 wooden jetty
Wigeon - 113 Red Nab of which 91 remained over the tide

Heliport seawall WeBS count
Redshank (160), Ringed Plover (16), Turnstone (11), Dunlin (19), Oystercatcher (2250), Curlew (2), Lapwing (3).  All bar 5 Oystercatcher on the seawall or top of seawall with calm conditions and tide less than 10m. Mammals
Grey Seal - one

Saturday 12 November 2016

The view from the top

Heavy overnight rain had left puddles and slippy leaves everywhere. Heysham Barrows was doubly treacherous as a result, having to avoid multiple dogs racing around and watching your step on the leaves in the wood and the wet grass on the slopes. Having successfully reached the "summit" the view from the top yielded the following:

Common Scoter - a raft of 27 in the distance

Closer in were:
Great-crested Grebe - 1
Red-breasted Merganser - 4
Eider - 3 (around  Heysham skeer)
Little Egret - 3 (on Heysham skeer)
Oystercatcher - several thousand feeding on Heysham skeer.

Friday 11 November 2016

Bits of late autumn migration

Red throated diver - two together offshore
Blackbird - 35-40 hnr circuit
Redwing - 5 hnr circuit
Chaffinch - 15 s
Skylark - 5 s
Meadow pipit - 17 grounded oe foreshore
Chiffchaff - collybita by dipping pond hnr
Med gull - ad outfalls
Goldcrest - 2 hnr circuit
Jack snipe -  Middleton Nr ( thanks Steve)

Wasp - at least 5 social wasps attending nest

Thursday 10 November 2016

Kittiwakes and golden plovers headline

What was shaping into a watching paint drying circuit livened up a bit as the Isle of Man ferry appeared.   It seemed to have dragged in a tight flock of 26 kittiwake which continued into the bay. Almost immediately afterwards, a flock of nine golden plover gained height and seemed to go inland over the barrows.   Odd?  Perhaps spooked by a peregrine further south on the lune estuary

Inshore sightings
Kittiwake -see above
Golden plover - see above
Med gull - adult

North wall
5 linnet and 6 goldfinch (just one ringed) on seed and a bizarre encounter with two birders surveying the heliport for passerines!   More surveyors than birds!!  One meadow pipit at the south end.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

More grebes

North Harbour Wall
In the low tide channels were:
Red-throated Diver - 1
Great-crested Grebe - 10
Common Scoter - a raft of 23
Grey Seals - 2 near the yellow buoys

Visiting the feeding station were:
Linnet - 16
Goldfinch - 6

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Only one Waxwing and a new office

Heysham Obs
New office being installed lunchtimish

Hopefully significantly, at least one Twite was on the seed on the north harbour wall this afternoon

Waxwing - one sewage works entrance just dropping from treetops on to rowans when a van turned up and reversed and the warning noise spooked the bird and it headed off SW.  Probably just arrived (1030ish)

Chiffchaff - in line of screening planting running west from sewage works with a rather odd disyllabic call as you sometimes get from these late birds, but not Siberian.  Couldn't see it as spent the whole time on sewage works side of dense trees

Med Gull adult Heysham one

Starling - flock of c2000 north Middleton mid-am
Woodpigeon - flock of 14 Middleton

Redwing - at least 6 Heysham NR reserve entrance but no access to reserve for further checks

Monday 7 November 2016

Grebes and divers

North Harbour Wall
As the tide turned to incoming the following were fishing in or floating in on the low tide channels:

Red-throated Diver and a distant diver further offshore
Great-crested Grebe 6
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Eider 51
Grey Seal 1

No Twite but about 40 Linnets at the feeding station

Ad and 2CY meds on seaward end Heysham one

Heysham Nature Reserve
Chiffchaff by pond above the old, now non-existent, office
Goldcrest 6 heard, so probably more
Coal Tit 1 heard

Sunday 6 November 2016

Three meds and a boat

A freezing cold walk around the sandworks saw 27 linnet, 4 goldfinch and a rock pipit

Watching a freight ferry in saw three adult meds in tow. None of which flew out to meet it therefore unlikely to include the Czech ringed bird.  Extra meds following ferries are very inconsistent

Saturday 5 November 2016

Low ebb Middleton

Just 6 teal, 3 tufted duck and 7 mallard on a trawl round windy Middleton

Friday 4 November 2016

Wigeon increase

A check of the north and south harbour for snow bunting revealed virtually nothing of interest bar the wigeon being up to 140 and about 10 linnet on the north wall.

Worth checking for waxwings this weekend and next week with quite a few rowans in the recording area

Thursday 3 November 2016

1st to 3rd november

Events elsewhere notably Walney suggested we should have carried on intensive coverage for the first two days of November.  As it was we just had bits and pieces:

3rd Nov
Linnet - up to 18 on north wall
Med gull - Czech adult present
Guillemot - one flew out

2nd Nov north wall
Pink footed Goose - 60 NW flying over to cumbria plus c80 also NW over Barrow around 08.30. c60 SE later in morning flying SE over bay.
Linnet - revised my count back down to 16. Suspect double counting earlier - they were flitting about a lot.
Goldfinch - 1
Robin - 2
Dunnock - 1
wren - 1
Starling - 17

Tuesday 1 November 2016

31st October

The weather suggested a half-chance of finding something decent today, but it didn't happen with a couple of likely locations receiving no coverage

Thanks Janet - taken today

North wall sandworks and mound
Blackcap - male rock-dodging at the end
Linnet - 14
Rock Pipit - 1
Meadow Pipit - 1
Starling - 15
Robin, Pied Wagtail, Wren and Dunnock in low single figures

Middleton NR (info from the ringers, Malcolm and Janet)
Chiffchaff - 2 ringed
Blackcap - 2 ringed
Reed Bunting - 2 ringed
Goldcrest - 10 ringed
Mute Swan - 2 pairs, 1 single + 4 juv
Moorhen - 10 (8 on "no swimming pond")
Gadwall - 5 (2male) no swimming pond
Mallard - 4
Teal - 4
Tufted Duck - 3
Pink-footed Goose - 3 north
Bullfinch - 5
Long tailed tit  - big flock of 20+ unringed with blue tit and 2 goldcrest.
Starling - 200 roosting in Typha by CES net one - one caught and ringed (first of year!)

Ocean Edge
Common snipe - 5

Red Nab
Wigeon - 101
Little egret - 4
Jackdaw - 6 south
Goldfinch - 18 north
Pink-footed Goose - 87  north

Migrant Hawker - 1 Middleton
Common Darter - 5+ Middleton
Diamond-back Moth - late and worn specimen north harbour wall SD36V