Monday 11 April 2016

The vagaries of migration

Heysham Obs
The start of a 'seagulls on the skeers' check as per yesterdays posting was interspersed by northbound specks passing through the scope.  Time to go into vis mig mode and what an excellent hour by recent standards/coverage before it all seemed to dry up at 0915.

**A female Hen Harrier was seen heading for our recording area over the sea by Barry Dyson from Lane Ends area at 1310hrs

North wall 0805-0930
Meadow Pipit - 177 plus c60 flying dots presumed to be this species
Yellow Wagtail - what a bonus and an early one at that - a calling 'cadbury's flake' male north at 0905hrs.  To put in perspective, there were no records in the recording area last year
Marsh Harrier - rather distant female/imm (with yellow 'headlights') being mobbed by gulls as it laboured north about at least a mile out at about 0855 - why was it doing this is over the 'sea' in a strong wind - not the first time this species has been seen taking the 'maritime route' in adverse conditions!
alba Wagtail - 21
Swallow - 2
Sand Martin - 3
Linnet - 27 plus a tight flock of 8 presumed this spp
Siskin - heard once (one bird?)
Common Gull - 57
Black-headed Gull - 16
Red-breasted Merganser - just 4
Large Gulls - c450
Eider - mostly hidden by skeers - not counted

Outfalls area low tide
Med Gull - yesterdays 2CY with blackish head?
Common Gull - an additional 38 to the above
Little Egret - 2

No evidence of any grounded passerines north wall or ocean edge (eg no Wheatear seen)

Middleton Nature reserve - late afternoon
6 mute
3 coot
4 moorhen
8 tufted
3 teal
1 gadwall (male)
1 mallard
1 Cetti's warbler (singing male at fence pond)
2 swallow (singles north