Friday 30 December 2016


 Five Waxwing were seen by Peter in Plover Drive (Mossgate estate) area late morning. These flew off in the direction of the bypass, but could not be relocated.
Czech ringed Mediterranean Gull on North wall

183 Wigeon remained at Red Nab at high tide (some had already flown out).

Watched tide (9.27m) cover Ocean Edge salt marsh.
91 Common Snipe
2 Jack Snipe
3 Linnet

Heliport highish tide count (unsuitable for consultants - only 20 minutes allocated)
Ringed Plover - 43
Redshank - 175
Turnstone - 31
Oystercatcher - 4100 (block 50s and about 600 flew off from near naze south)
Knot (careful count) - 920
Dunlin - c60
Lapwing - 15

28th Dec - 2nd Warbler

The very last bird of the winter bird survey of Middleton Nature Reserve was a Chiffchaff (collybita). This was not far from where yesterday's Cetti's was signing in the western scrape - no sign today.
Also at least 3 water rail squealing.

27th Dec - Cetti's song

The first half of the winter bird survey on Middleton Nature Reserve included a brief burst of song from Cetti's warbler in the western scrape. This, I believe, is the first confirmation of Cetti's here since mid autumn.
Goldcrest on eastern boundary of golf club.
Gadwall 5
Mallard 6
Pochard 1
Tufted 5
Teal 34
Little egret 1
Jack snipe 1

Monday 26 December 2016

Ferry fare

The Ben my chree was followed by:
Kittiwake - 1ad and 3 1CY - these continued into the bay
Med gull - 2ad

Sunday 25 December 2016

Gull turnover

There is a pretty decent turnover of gulls on the Middleton model boat pond with at least 70 in and 70 out in just 25 minutes, including at least 40 large gulls.

 North wall
Med gull - ad floating about

Model boat pond
Pochard - 1 mae
Rest of stuff in reduced  numbers with one gadwall, 4 tufted duck

Saturday 24 December 2016

Stationary technology

We're really high tec birders at Heysham, so I checked my IPhone ferry finding link at 1130hrs to see a little toy boat (the Ben My Chree) on a map somewhere off Fleetwood.  Peered out there but could not see it.  Then checked the interactive map ten minutes later, but it hadn't moved.  It transpired it was sitting it out until low tide in the rather dodgy conditions.  No chance of a procession of seabirds behind it.  Hope the passengers are fit to eat Christmas dinner.

Sea on and off late morning
Little Gull - one ad seaward end of outfalls briefly
Kittiwake - flock of 5 adult in
Razorbill - two out as soon as I got there (Suggesting some earlier?)

Middleton model boat pond
Gadwall - 3 (2 male)
Mute Swan - 3 1CY
Tufted Duck - 8
Pochard - drake

Interestingly all the seagulls flew and all the wildfowl went on alert when two nags went through the car park - I think it was the high vis jacket as thought they would have been used to these by now

Friday 23 December 2016

Ducks consolidate

Middleton Nature Reserve
The increasingly aggressive mute have cleared the "no swimming" pond of ducks. All except the teal and an odd mallard are now on the main pond.
2 adult mute ("no swimming" pond)
4 juvenile mute (main pond)
8 tufted
1 pochard
5 gadwall
20 teal (Tim Butler pond)
4 mallard
1 little egret

2 roe deer

Thursday 22 December 2016

Brief visit

ad kittiwake and ad med gull behind IOM ferry lunchtime

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Pochard present

Middleton Nature Reserve
A male pochard has joined tufted on main pond. This is, I think, the first record this winter.
6 Tufted duck
1 Pochard
6 Gadwall
5 Mallard
4 Teal
1 Little egret
2 Pheasant
24 Redwing
47 Pinkfoot (south)

Earlier 62 pinkfoot north

Sunday 18 December 2016

Amateur dramatics at the Heliport roost

Just managed to make it back from work - counting waders - to change into an 'unreliable amateur' (details confidential) and count waders for WeBS.  The heliport roost revealed a good array of birds and enabled most species to be counted at the individual level

Heliport roost
Redshank- 385 (initial guesstimate 370)
Ringed Plover - 43
Lapwing - 21
Dunlin - 68
Turnstone - 41
Knot - zero (all at Middleton?)
Black-headed Gull - 6

which left Oystercatcher.  Had just enough time to spend about 15 minutes on these:
"Visual impression" - 4500
Block count in 50s - 4800
Block count in 100s - 4700 plus about 60
Block count in 10s - took 'ages'! - 4840 - fortunately they kept still throughout
So yet again visual impressions underestimate - always doing this - especially with V or W geese flying over - amateur!!

The number of Oystercatcher at the sunny slopes and battery/west end groyne roosts were rather on the low side with 475 Redshank the stand-out. Adult Med just out of the area by the Battery groyne but anglers prevented access/time for access for a thorough check of Fishers roof for the Czech bird (can someone do this tomorrow pm please?)

Saturday 17 December 2016

Fishing Fest

North Harbour Wall
More than 30 vehicles along the wall just after lunchtime today.
Brief visit to replenish nyger seed saw just 13 Linnet and 1 Robin at the feeding area.

Heysham Reserve
A ringing session at the hut feeding area, still limited because of access difficulties, produced the following:
Goldfinch - 13 + 2 retraps
Blue tit - 7 + 3 retraps
Greenfinch - 6 + 1 retrap
Dunnock - 4 retraps
Chaffinch - 3
Robin - 2 retraps
Great tit - 1 + 3 retraps
Coal tit - 1 + 1 retrap
Blackbird - 1
GS Woodpecker - 1 retrap

Friday 16 December 2016

Peace returns

The 12 squabbling gadwall from yesterday on Middleton Nature reserve have now reduced to a peaceful 7.
2 tufted
36 snipe circling
12 & 18 pinkfoot low to south
 2 water rail calling
1 pheasant.
Didn't check out the teal

Ocean Edge
Watched as tide covered salt marsh
54 common snipe
0 Jack snipe today

Red Nab
35 widgeon
1 little egret

Thursday 15 December 2016

Good Gadwall

Full troll of Middleton Nature Reserve this morning revealed the following:
2 goldcrest and a chiffchaff (collybita) with mixed tit flock on eastern boundary of golf course. This is less than 100m from earlier chiffchaff sighting near Solrec.
4 adult + 4 juv mute
6 moorhen
5 mallard
2 tufted
12 gadwall, from memory this is the highest record of adult birds for the reserve
c30 teal
10 common snipe accidentally flushed, mainly singles.
8 + 10 flocks common snipe in from Ocean Edge direction, just before high tide.
1 meadow pipit.


 Also seen on Middleton  was an  all white blackbird - thanks Doreen

Wednesday 14 December 2016

High tide - Low count

The current 10m tides completely flush Ocean Edge salt marsh twice a day. This, coupled with slightly late start (marsh already 90% covered an hour before high water), resulted in lower than recent counts of snipe.
26 common snipe
1 Jack snipe
17 ringed plover
2 reed bunting

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Peacock surprise

Peacock butterfly on scrub on top of cliffs between Heysham Head and Half Moon Bay.
1 Great crested grebe feeding offshore.

Monday 12 December 2016

Med Gull Again

North Harbour Wall

Brief visit saw the Czech ringed Mediterranean Gull, in flight and on the railings, but no finches at the feeding area, just Starlings, a Robin and a Dunnock.


Ocean Edge salt marsh at high water
106 Common snipe
4 Jack snipe

Sunday 11 December 2016

The return of the ducks

seven gadwall and fourctufted duck graced Middleton today after a lengthy absence

Saturday 10 December 2016

Little to Report?

Heysham Reserve
A low key ringing session by John at the hut feeding area which has only occasionally been topped up with food recently owing to access difficulties produced the following:
Goldcrest - 2 + 2 retraps
Goldfinch - 10 + 6 retraps
Chaffinch - 3 + 1 retrap
Robin - 1 + 1 retrap
Blue tit - 2 retraps
Great tit - 1 retrap
Blackbird - 1
Greenfinch - 2

Heysham Head
Nuthatch present near the Cafe again, apparently becoming resident at this location.


Tuesday 6 December 2016

Partial Access Resumed

Heysham Nature Reserve
Access is now open into the reserve approach road. The car park, feeders and hut area are still closed, but the reserve is accessible via the classroom track and dipping pond area stile.

North Harbour Wall
On the feeding area were:
Linnet - 7, of which 3 were ringed
Goldfinch - 2
Robin - 1
Feral Pigeon - 2

North wall
70Bar-tailed Godwit
2 Little Egret
2 Snipe in heliport grass

Middleton NR
Buzzard still lingering
7 Mallard
Once again no sign of any Cetti's Warbler

Unseasonal Common Buzzard flew in
Roe Deer - 2
No ducks other than Mallard - most surprising

Thanks Malcolm/Alan

Saturday 3 December 2016

Beauty and the beast

 Thanks to Derek for this Czech Med Gull pic
An 'artistic' tree rat taken through the front windscreen HNR entrance today

The reserve should be open again soon

Friday 2nd December

Ringing took place at a low level on Middleton NR this am and did nothing to change the opinion that most small birds evacuate this area although a flock of 9 retrap Long-tailed Tit did materialise!  No sign of the two Chiffchaff (one collybita and one Siberian) noted on the last thorough search although both of these were a bit away from the mist net sites and how much searching between rounds was done is not known

Malcolm covered Ocean Edge saltmarsh and Red Nab again and counts included at least 84 Snipe, one Jack Snipe and 196 Wigeon - further update tomorrow

Thursday 1 December 2016

Snipe bonanza

Four possibly six jack snipe and 58 common snipe ocean edge saltmarsh along with a Reed bunting and 40 linnet

At least 186 wigeon on outfalls - a very high count for here

Thanks malcolm