Friday, 31 March 2017

Late jack snipe

Two together ocean edge tide line

Wheatear - 9

Red throated diver - 1

Thursday, 30 March 2017


Coverage minimal today as office not accessible and no base to mix and match coverage with eg writing up the 2016 Obs report - it wont be long before it is finished - honest!

Chris Batty saved the day with an observation of two dm Arctic Skua heading towards Heysham wooden jetty mid afternoon from his north Fylde window - can only recall one previous migrant March record 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

More migrants

29 March 2016 

Middleton NR 
Osprey over at c10am
First Willow Warbler of the year

Heysham NR
Singing Blackcap along Moneyclose Lane

Ocean Edge
4 Wheatear

4 Wheatear


28 March 2016

Middleton NR 0705 - 1030
6C, ENE F2, Clear but misty

Thanks Janet

Hardly any migration was detected at Middleton, just 8 Meadow Pipits (1 trapped and ringed)  and 1 Pied Wagtail (trapped and ringed) flew over!

Cetti's Warbler still singing in the central marsh
Water Rail still calling from the western reedbed
A pair of Gadwall was on the Fence pond along with a pair of Mallard and a spare male
male Teal
Chiffchaff singing.
Blackbird with food seen

Ocean Edge
4 male Wheatear grounded
2 Linnet (local)
c40 Meadow Pipit grounded

No Snipe on high tideline

Monday, 27 March 2017

Black and white bentbill

An Avocet was a very welcome surprise on Ocean Edge saltmarsh with the Oystercatchers but it was just about to be flushed by the tide and ended up flying towards Middleton saltmarsh.  Hopefully one of the Lune Estuary pair returning

Some kind of courtship feeding?  Nice pic Janet

North harbour wall
Meadow Pipit - 78 N
alba Wagtail - 2 N
Goldfinch - 4 N
Siskin - 2 N
Red-throated Diver - flock of 5 on
Chiffchaff - one grounded on mound

Middleton NR
Meadow Pipit - 129 N
Sand Martin - 4 N
Sparrowhawk - 1 N
Chaffinch - 2 NE
Goldfinch - 9 NE
Cetti's singing central marsh
Water Rail - 1
Tufted Duck - 2 males and female model boat pond

Middleton pm - some raptor movement/local thermalling
Quite a lot of common raptor movement.
1 (presumably common) Buzzard very high, got even higher before heading north 14:50. This one looked like genuine movement.
2 common buzzard together 15:45 heading west - think these were local.
2 kestrel together, male displaying.
2 separate sparrow hawk, one high to north, other just high and disappeared.
Still lots of Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest.
4 Teal, I'm hoping these are going to breed!
Little grebe calling on Tim Butler pond

Ocean Edge pm
Wheatear - 3

Early Thorn (2), Common Quaker, Hebrew Character,  Diurnea fagella 

Grey Seal

Dead still sunday

A fairly dismal fare today in flat calm weather

The sea produced a Red-throated Diver in 4 minutes of seawatching!

Middleton saw a trickle of vis mig:  Sparrowhawk (1), Meadowe Pipit (13), Siskin (3), Lesser Redpoll (1), Reed Bunting (7 including flock of 6), Pied Wagtail (1)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Just a trickle

Clear overnight and clear day means a lot of birds have cleared off.
Middleton NR 07:00 - 11:00
Meadow Pipit 25 over
Alba Wagtail 3
That was it for vis.

Cetti's Warbler singing
Chiffchaff singing by the gate first thing.
Common Buzzard - 2 circling but not moving off anywhere. One was displaying for a time so probably local birds.
Jay - 1 flew SE
Lapwing - 3 circled over the Model Boat Pond then flew off.

Near half moon bay
Stonechat - male on gorse by fenced off gravel

Ringing (new birds)
Chiffchaff. - 1
Pied Wagtail - 2
Meadow Pipit - 5
Goldcrest - 3
Dunnock - 1
At Heysham there were even fewer birds!
Chiffchaff - 1
Robin - 1
Dunnock - 1
Meadow Pipit - 1

At sea
Red-throated Diver - 3
Grey Seal - 1

Friday, 24 March 2017

And they're off....

Lots of birds on the move now we're past the equinox and the weather is more favourable.

North Harbour Wall from 07:15hrs - 0930

Meadow Pipits 195
Alba Wagtail 38
Linnet 6
Carrion Crow 2
Greenfinch 1
Goldfinch 2
Little Gull 1 adult into Bay
Common Gull 31 into Bay
Black-headed Gull 22 into Bay
Red-throated Diver 18 (1 in at 0719, 1 on then N at 0726, 2 in at 0805, a further 5 in singly, 7 close together on water, a further 2 on the water)
Guillemot 1 on the water
Osprey seen distantly to south at about 0815 heading north then turned and headed in over the Lune channel.
Buzzard 1 north at 1100hrs

Middleton NR
Greylag 3 NE
Chiffchaff 11
Cetti's singing from Femce Pond

Middleton NR - Comma feeding on coltsfoot
Heysham NR - Brimstone


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Meadow Pipit push begins

Negative: no sign Iceland Gull

As the weather starts to improve, the Meadow Pipit passage is getting underway. Should have got to Heysham for first light though as other areas e.g. Rossall had hundreds of Mipits by 08:00

Ocean Edge 08:00
44 Meadow Pipits grounded
Wheatear - 2 males early afternoon

Visible migration
North Harbour Wall 08:15 - 09:35 
All birds heading NE into the wind. 
Meadow Pipit 152 plus 71 different over Middleton, plus 40 later 
Alba Wagtail 17
Goldfinch 2
Greenfinch 1
Linnet 2
Common Gull - 7 . All immatures. NB 25 Common Gulls on the beach in the afternoon. Mixed ages.
Black-headed Gull - 5
Red-throated Diver 4 into the Bay
Auk sp. probably Guillemot 1 into the Bay
Whooper Swan - flock of 70-75 north mid afternoon
Swallow - two north over Heysham village pm (IOY)
Peregrine 2 high. May be local.

Heysham NR 
Stonechat - female still present

Chiffchaff - at least 5 including one showing pollen from the Med!

Total of 71 Meadow pipits over to NE. Mainly groups of 3 to 5 birds. Largest group 11. Didn't see any after 10:30, this coincides with arrival of clear weather front.
Thought I was going to be swamped with Chiffchaff, 4 around model boat pond (2 singing), but only heard one other bird singing in the rest of the circuit.
Cetti's Warbler singing loudly from middle of central marsh.
1 drake Gadwall
2 Tufted
4 Teal
1 Water rail
6 Moorhen



Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Migrants struggle through

Two Sand Martin north this morning (IOY)

17 grounded Meadow Pipit Red Nab and three north this am

Male Wheatear Red Nab the only one despite good coastal coverage

Iceland Gull at waterfall after the tide - the grey is really coming through on the mantle now


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Stonechat performs well

A female Stonechat gave Janet some nice pic opportunities when it appeared on Heysham NR late afternoon:

Iceland Gull - 3CY on Fishers roof and later on the south quay - almost a long enough stay to be given a name
Gannet - adult
Kittiwake - adult
Both the last two appeared as the IOM passenger ferry was coming in and may have been dragged in then headed north as the boat slowed down

Monday, 20 March 2017

Brief visit

Iceland gull 3CY on the south quay

Flock of 6 Kittiwake in then on in 30 min seawatch

Two chiffchaff singing by office

Middleton (MD)
2 Tufted
2 Mallard
2 Teal
1 Little grebe on Fence pond (first I've seen here this year)
No sightings of Goldcrest or Chiffchaff. But did hear 2 Chiffchaff singing.
Contact calls only from Cetti's in western scrape

March Moth and Common Quaker in trap

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Nothing happening

The 3CY Iceland Gull was asleep on Fishers roof from at least 0805hrs to 1330hrs and nothing else stirred despite quite a bit of migrant activity elsewhere

The sea was particularly awful with a couple of hours producing some seagulls and an Eider!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Thwarted Kittiwakes

Two gangs of Kittiwake clearly did not fancy an overland crossing in todays weather and ended up flying out and across the bay

Kittiwake: flocks of 20 and c135 out/on then out
Iceland Gull: 3CY south quayside then later on Fishers roof

Friday, 17 March 2017

Gannet in the gloom

The visibility wasn't too clever today otherwise more surely on the sea?  As it was only had 30 minutes to spare and this immediately produced an outbound adult Gannet but nothing else other than a flock of 5 small gulls in the gloom which lifted off the water briefly before landing again out of sight (Common Gull or Kittiwake)

The 3CY Iceland Gull was south quayside mid afternoon just below the old Fisher's warehouse

Moths:  2 x Hebrew Character, single of Clouded Drab and Common Quaker

Thursday, 16 March 2017


Iceland Gull on Fisher's roof again.

1 Goldcrest in the bushes at the corner of the South Harbour Wall.

Meadow Pipit 2
Alba Wagtail 1
Siskin 4
Grey Wagtail 1

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Spring migrant trickle

Low double figures of Goldcrest and 4-5 Chiffchaff around this am with low double figures of Meadow Pipit and alba Wagtail overhead. 1 Grey Wagtail over and headed to sewage works.

Jay- 2 by Pagoda on Reserve.

Two Raven at the heliport area welcome - scarce recently

3CY Iceland Gull at the waterfall early am

106 Eider in the low tide channel

Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler on territory Middleton

Mammals:  Roe Deer - 2 crossed Heysham NR plateau at 10.30 from marshy area below old classroom.

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly - 1 seen in Reserve car park am

Four singletons of four species in the moth trap:  Diurnea fagella, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, March Moth

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Iceland Gull still in residence

Must like it here as quite a bit of the recent weather could be labelled 'departure conditions'

Completely dead, having said that, overhead today

Just 14 Snipe but no Jack Snipe OE saltmarsh

Male Wheatear (still?) in this area

60 Cormorants on the wooden jetty and 24 Turnstone on the lower deck

Common Quaker in the new moth trap

Monday, 13 March 2017

Spring trundles along and Iceland Gull lingers

Some good coverage by Janet and Malcolm today but unfortunately still struggling with logistics at Heysham NR and (eg as the visiting birder yesterday found) the office is still closed most of the time as there is only one key at present and regular migrant ringing and vis mig coverage has yet to get started

Ocean Edge afternoon

Just the one Wheatear seen today

Middleton am
22 Meadow pipits were grounded on/around field to east of Tim Butler. Drifted off north in three groups (8, 8 & 6).
1 burst of song from Cetti's in western scrape.
1 Buzzard
7 jackdaw (5 & 2) high to north
1 Gadwall
3 Tufted
2 Teal

3CY Iceland Gull giving close views at last as it fed around the waterfall in the SW corner of the harbour this am.  This can actually be viewed with a telescope from the end of the 'Twite corridor', to save the long walk round, but best to check Fishers roof first

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Decent mix

Iceland gull 3cy at waterfall early am then flew towards wooden jetty

Jack snipe - 3 oe foreshore

Chiffchaff - 2 middleton, one singing

Wheatear - male oe foreshore

Saturday, 11 March 2017


Male Wheatear in the old sandworks

14 Snipe and single Jack Snipe Ocean Edge

No sign of Iceland Gull but gulls very unsettled

At least 7 Goldcrest HNR - definite migration

No evidence of overhead eg pipit passage in murky weather

Friday 10th March

Iceland Gull still present early am

8 Whooper Swan over Middleton and a further singleton seen from ferry (Malcolm & Stephen)

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Iceland Gull and more Stonechat

The Iceland Gull was back asleep on Fishers roof this am (per Jean)

Three Stonechat were on Middleton western marsh this morning (one male) (per Malcolm)

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Stonechat top the bill

Stonechat - male and female along recycling centre road
Iceland Gull - negative on two brief am checks
Cettis Warbler - singing central marsh
Thanks for the pics Janet:

tuesday : Iceland gull persists

Plenty of nice weather for it to call it a day but the Iceland gull was still asleep on fishers roof late morning

Singing male Cetti's warbler middleton fence pond

Other stuff not sent to me yet

Monday, 6 March 2017

Stonechat highlight

The Stonechat passage is getting going with some decent counts already south of here and today's is our second so far - another female, but this time on Heysham barrows

Iceland Gull - 3CY still Fisher's Roof
Red-throated Diver - one in wp quite close in feeding in a low tide riffle
Eider - c90
Stonechat - female Heysham barrows by old go kart track

Malcolm's email from Middleton (thanks)
Cetti's singing from western scrape this morning. I was really pleased! No other Cetti's singing from other areas, so perhaps this one has been having a reconnoiter and decided to return to its old haunt.
4 Reed Bunting, including one singing male.
Buzzard being mobbed by crows.
The pair of mute that claimed the "no swimming" pond, decided to oust the pair from the model boat pond last week. That leaves us with only two pairs and a vacated "no swimming" pond. I have gone down to the reed mace there a couple of times, but no sign of bittern.

Mute 2 pair
Coot 2
Moorhen 5
Little Grebe 1 ("no swimming" pond)
Gadwall 5
Tufted 3
Mallard 7
Teal 4
Water Rail 3
Common Snipe 6
Cetti's Warbler 1
Common Buzzard 1

Sunday sightings

Other than an invasion by Arctic mutts (husky club) at the excellent Half Moon Bay Café and a Cetti's warbler singing from possibly a new area/new bird at Middleton, routine stuff today

Iceland Gull - seen several times, roof area in the morning and flying about later in the afternoon

Siskin - flock of 5 by the office feeders

Eider - perfect viewing conditions offshore but a complete seaduck monoculture - just 104 Eider and no RBM at low tide

Meadow Pipit - 2 grounded north harbour wall

Cetti's Warbler - singing male by pumping station (but none in the usual area for a few days now)

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Signs of migration

Middleton NR
Female Stonechat near Tim Butler Pond.
2 Skylark over.
Cetti's Warbler singing near the bridge over the dyke.

On the Model Boat Pond:
1pr Mute Swans
1pr Teal
3prs Gadwall
1pr Mallard
1pr Tufted Duck

Tim Butler Pond
1pr Mute Swan
1pr Teal
1pr Moorhen
1 Coot

Fence Pond
Water Rail - 2

Water Rail - 1 at least. Has been using the new pools as well.

Heysham Harbour
Iceland Gull still there

Low tide channel
56 Eider (36 males, 20 females)
1 Red-breasted Merganser

Heysham Head
3 Siskin over
3 Meadow Pipits over

Friday, 3 March 2017

Distant scaup and Iceland gull remains

The first sweep of the distant channels by heysham alerts as the tide turned saw a frenzy of feeding activity by oystercatcher on rarely exposed skeers.  The channels held seaduck, mainly Eider but also a flock of welcome Scaup and something which appeared to be a female goldeneye but not certain at the range.   Oddly no Rb mergansers seen

Iceland gull - another mid to late afternoon success with bread after abortive attempts earlier in the day.

Scaup - two adult drake and three female

Gadwall - 6 model boat pond

Eider - 121

Thursday, 2 March 2017


A short seawatch this morning produced:
Red-throated Diver 2 - wp/2cy plus adult moulting into sp
Kittiwake - flock of 17 ad and 1 2CY in then on
Eider - building up - 104 in channel just south of Heysham skeer

Iceland Gull - 3CY on Fisher's roof early am, then disappeared only to reappear there midday!  Two loaves of white bread wasted on it - no response

6 Gadwall model boat pond

Nice pic of a male Bullfinch HNR from Janet:

1st March Iceland

Today it was patrolling the north wall -Med-style at one stage for Jim Clift and Len Knowles - thanks for the pics.  Most of us have had to put up with views from a different 10km square!