Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A little bit of bread...........

This bird looked too far away to be tempted off a distant roof, but it didn't need the takeover of a bakery to produce these shots of the 3CY Iceland Gull.  Nice one Janet

Also a new 3CY Med coming to bread by Half moon bay café

The 3CY Med:

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Kellyanne conway guide to white-winged gull identification

This bird has been a pain and the viewing conditions on the first two days even more so.   We just cannot find its feeding area to get decent views - it just appears on the roof miles away.  Today in calm weather the identification 'clearly' pointed towards a 3CY Iceland Gull - the first thought after a couple of seconds after it was initially located two days ago!  However, I don't understand why brief views on the south side of the roof yesterday showed a coffee coloured mantle and wing coverts contrasting with white flight feathers!  Here is the best pic by a long way (and it was) taken so far by Janet

Plenty of Wigeon today - at least 205.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Iceland Gull

"Better" views consisting a slightly less shaky scope and sleeping rear end views, where the bird looked broader than nearby Herring and LBBG gulls, in retrospect led to an error and a mistaken change of identification.  Large 3CY Iceland can be tricky at long range and poor viewing conditions.

The other key sighting was a single Sanderling at the bottom of the OE saltmarsh slipway - not the first time a singleton has been located here in winter

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Seagull perseverance pays off

Inspired by Bill Aspin's latest Fishmoor video, decided to head off in the awful weather for a big seagull trawl of Heysham

Almost the first bird seen on the long range scope views (especially through rather a lot of rain) was a 2CY Iceland Gull.  It was not very settled however in the wet and windy conditions and repositioned itself several times before flipping over to the other side of the roof.  This is awkward to see but you can get very good views if you get the geometry right.  Jean managed this from the catwalk near the harbour waterfall before it slumped down showing only upperparts and head.  This was enough to confirm a not atypical late winter 'washed out' 2CY with a dark iris

Awful phonescope record shots into the wind and rain; one here:

 The model boat pond held 8 Gadwall (4 pairs) and 5 Tufted Duck

Friday, 24 February 2017

grey wagtail still in residence

Every so often one of our 'migrant' grey wagtails caught on autumn passage stays local, despite the norm being to tower off to the south east to continue an epic migration!

One ringed last autumn was seen on middleton in early January and the same bird was confirmed today by Malcolm with a few long range glimpses in the meantime.

 Not much else today in what has been a very quiet storm blown seabird free winter

Birdless Doris

Did the rounds this morning which included checking for wind blown seagulls as its main theme and this failed spectacularly with nothing found and not a single bird on the outfalls despite on one reactor off on each for the outage.  Even the pochard had given it a miss

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

More signs of spring

Middleton NR
 Model Boat Pond
Mallard 2 prs
Mute Swan 1pr
Tufted Duck 4males 2 femaales
Gadwall 4 prs
Oystercatcher. 1 pr
Pochard 1 male
Herring Gull 18, Lesser Black-backed Gull 9, Black-headed Gull 16

NoSwimming Pond
Little Grebe 1 (IOY)
Moorhen 1
Mute Swan 1 pr
 Fence Pond
Moorhen 1pr
Water Rail 1

Tim Butler
Moorhen 2
Teal 1 pr
Mute Swan  1pr
Mallard 1pr

Blackbird 2,
Magpie 3
Wren 2
Robin 6
BlueTit 1
Great Tit 2
Carrion Crow 4

Linnet 12
Goldfinch 1

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Canada 2 - Pochard 1

Middleton Nature Reserve (late am)
Two Canada Geese this morning again on model boat pond and again flew off (without any obvious disturbance) in SE direction. Only one male Pochard today, presumably the long staying bird from 2016.

6 Mute
2 Canada Geese
3 Moorhen
11 Gadwall
7 Mallard
1 Pochard
7 Tufted Duck
1 Water Rail
3 Meadow pipit (one displaying)

A couple of images below from model boat pond. Not to Janet's excellent standard, but they do show a reasonable selection of ducks etc.

20th Feb. Glodcrest

Checked out Middleton Nature Reserve again this morning, trying to relocate colour ringed Grey Wagtail. No luck.
The wildfowl status was as per yesterday, but no Canada Goose.

At least one Goldcrest with mixed tit flock on western boundary with golf course.

Czech-ringed Med Gull north harbour wall today (perhaps last sighting?)  (JM)

19th Feb. Canada 1 - Pochard 2

Middleton Nature Reserve (late am)
The four immature mute have now departed. Leaving three adult pairs.
1 Canada Goose (model boat pond then flew to SE)
2 Pochard (male)
9 Gadwall
4 Tufted Duck
7 Mallard
2 Teal

Colour ringed Grey Wagtail was to west of Tim Butler pond. Could only manage a few glimpses of rings and failed to confirm the colour bof top ring on right leg. Peter has "details"

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Then there were two drake pochard

But not a lot else on a quick circuit - offshore visibility too poor for a low tide check.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Much The Same

North Harbour Wall
Czech ringed adult Med Gull
Snipe x 20+ below heliport

Middleton Nature Reserve
Gadwall x 7
Pochard x 1
Tufted x 2
Teal x 2


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Hardly anything

A quick spin round the area in a vain search for white-winged gulls on the incoming tide couldn't even produce a diving duck on the model boat pond - lots of bread and swimming dogs and its got to produce a decent seagull this spring if they carry on the good(?) work with the bread

7 Gadwall model boat pond
2 Little Egret Red Nab

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Scandinavian Herring Gull

Scandinavian Herring Gull on fishers roof
A great big 4th winter seagull seemed to fit this form on size, mantle tone, primary mirrors - very long range record shot showing it dwarfing argenteus Herring and indeed appearing bigger than a nearby Great black-backed Gull

Czech ringed adult Med Gull patrolling North Harbour Wall

60+ Snipe below Heliport with Oystercatchers

Middleton Nature Reserve

Usual 7 Gadwall plus single male Pochard and three Tufted on model boat pond.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Bittern search unearths the first woodcock of the year

Woodcock Middleton Nr

Cetti's warbler giving one burst of song middleton

60 snipe heliport

Czech med gull north wall

Injured p f goose by heliport for fourth day

Sunday Chiffchaff

A collybita type was by heysham Nr office with a small tit flock

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Fewer snipe

Just checked Ocean Edge & Red Nab at high tide.
48 common snipe
3 Jack snipe
27 Ringed plover
3 Reed bunting (single male plus male & female together)
Only other small birds were 6 house sparrow.
215 Wigeon nearby


Friday, 10 February 2017

Med gull still in residence

The Czech ringed med gull was in residence but a big surprise was the presence of 97 snipe in the area below the heliport which hopped on to the sea wall with some flying into the now tussocky grass on the heliport (per Mike ).  Flock of 9 Tufted Duck on model boat pond along with the usual drake Pochard and 7 Gadwall

Thanks for these pics Janet from today

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Great White Egret

Two Great White Egret flew high from north, over Heysham Nature Reserve, then continued south appearing to be losing height. 11:06

Ocean Edge salt marsh - high tide
The 9m tide was not high enough to cover all the marsh in the calm conditions. Still a creditable:
79 Common Snipe
2 Jack Snipe
3 ringed Plover

Red Nab
c230 Widgeon
75 Shelduck

8th Feb - Goldeneye

Hysham skeer
Goldeneye  (male)  1
34 closely packed fishing cormorant
27 Eider

 Middleton Nature Reserve.
Cetti's warbler calling by western reedbed
Pochard (male) 1
Tufted duck 4
Gadwall 5
Teal 10

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Twice shy

The bittern was seen for a second time in a difficult to access dangerous area of Middleton Nr again today.   Please don't wander off track trying to locate it as you run the risk of disappearing down a hole with no mobile reception.  It flew off in the direction of heysham golf course and implicitly is flighty and wary.  Thanks.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Retro bittern!

One flushed on Middleton on 28th Jan and headed for the reedbef but harassed by gulls and ended up heading for the golf course

Also otter photographed recently at Middleton

Thanks to Dave for info

Song Thrush welcome. Raptor.... perhaps not

Middleton Nature Reserve.
It was very nice on arrival this morning to be welcomed by a Song Thrush in full song. Also the regularly reported "white" Blackbird was showing well near the entrance. The yellow bill and a few black feathers, clearly identifying it as a male.
A large unidentified raptor was flying around.  Larger than a peregrine with broader wings and obvious fingers. There was no sign of a falconer, and no jesses, so presumably this is an escapee rather than a bird being worked.
To cap a busy visit, three additional adult and one immature mute swan, had disrupted the normal status quo, resulting in several territorial battles.

Mute Swan 7 adult, 5 immature
Moorhen 2
Coot 2
Pochard (male) 1
Gadwall 7
Mallard 6
Teal 6
Little Egret 1
Common Snipe 1
Jack Snipe 1
Cetti's Warbler 1 (one burst of song).

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Cettis warbler

The usual Cetti's warbler gave a burst of song at Middleton today but little else from an afternoon trawl with just 7 gadwall on the model boat pond and a female reed bunting (with 18 linnet and one goldfinch) on the north wall and absolutely nothing on the flat calm sea.   Just north of the area an ad med gull was off sunny slopes and therefore would have been a 'seen from'!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Unremarkable circuit

Ad med gull fishers roof

17 linnet one goldfinch on n h wall seed

Three snipe landed in lengthy grass in heliport area

Drake pochard, 7 gadwall model boat pond

Two unringed Grey Wagtails, wet area, near Tim Butler pool

230ish wigeon red nab

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Shag still shunned

South shore at high water
The 2cy Shag (see Monday's post) was the only bird roosting on the isolated middle section of what remains of the wooden extension, at the end of the south harbour wall. In comparison, there were 104 cormorant roosting on the end section, less than 20 metres away!
232 widgeon flew from Red Nab towards Lune estuary in 7 groups

Ocean Edge salt marsh
38 Common snipe
1 Jack snipe
1 Reed bunting

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Bit better at Middleton

Middleton Nature Reserve
The male Pochard was back on model boat pond and Cetti's warbler obliged with a couple of bursts of song from western scrape (just to west of fence pond). Also three greenfinch were the first I've seen here this winter.
Mute swan 4 adult + 4 immature
Moorhen 4
Coot 3
Gadwall 7
Pochard (male) 1
Tufted (male) 2
Mallard 7
Teal 18
Snipe 4
Little egret 1
Cetti's warbler 1
Greenfinch 3