Friday, 30 June 2017

Ringed med at last

Thanks to pete woodruff for comprehensive coverage of the late afternoon tide

Med gull - 9 adult, one 3cy, four 2cy (one with white darvic)

Sand martin - two adults flew south over heysham nr in a purposeful manner - first southbound vis of the "autumn"?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Gulls head to the wet fields?

Male red-backed shrike recently reported flying across the car park and landing on top of a bush before flying off again.  At least the black tail and chestnut wing patches were seen.  Any more info on this please get in touch,  Thanks

Real lack of gulls on the outfalls today with bhg down by 80 per cent and only 4 meds ( 3 ads and a 3cy)

Nothing else of note other than a second brood early thorn - very early!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Adult med increase

Nine adult meds this am including a very small individual.   Also three 3cy and a single 2cy

One common sandpiper and three redshank

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Little Gull new in

A decent catch of moths last night as the ideal pre-rain warm sector 'leading' cloud cover lasted well into the night and not unusually producing a wet trap check this morning.  50 species in actinic Middleton in sharp contrast to the meagre fare in the clear polar air on Monday night.  This is the hoped for target at this time of year: Silver Hook - a very localised species in damp areas at/near the coast in Lancs

A wet record shot in situ - thanks Justine 

A low tide check saw a 2CY Little Gull in the shipping channel off Heysham 2 outfall and about 5 Ad/3CY Meds flying around the seaward end of the outfalls, but the later count was thwarted by a mutt clearing all the gulls off Red Nab and nearby shore on the incoming tide but at the same time there seemed to be a big reduction of stuff on the outfalls

Heysham skeer
Little Egret - at least 16 (per Malcolm) but no sign of the 200 Eiders at low tide which had floated in the JB Point at high tide yesterday

Monday, 26 June 2017

Willow warblers and ringlets

Unusually high June number of 20 unringed willow warblers this morning with a mix of moulting adults and surprisingly advanced juveniles - almost like a catch in late July.   Other birds included a few unringed adult sedge warbler and two young grasshopper warbler

Med gull - 6 ads, 2 3cy, 2 2cy

Heysham skeer
Two adult common or Arctic tern early am

Middleton boat pond
Red veined darter - one tatty male
Sand martin - 1 ad
House martin - 4 ad
Swift - 3
Little grebe - ad catching small crayfish

Butterfly transect HNR
Ringlet have arrived at last (two in ne corner).  One burnet companion still and both burnet moths in low single figures.   Also about half a dozen small skipper

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Med fest and mist net rides

Gave the outfalls a really good check on the incoming tide this morning using a scope from Ocean Edge caravan park

Med Gull - At least 6 adult, 3 3CY and 4 2CY - 10 of them were un-ringed unless there was a metal above the tarsus and four were not seen well enough to be sure.  I cannot remember a sample of 10 before where there were no darvic rings on show
Little Egret - 1
Eider - two females onshore in red nab channel

The mist net ride by the office was cleared as regards the ability to put up mist nets and the feeders  filled for the first time this 'autumn', but hadn't got the gear for lopping the tops off the branches.   Crutches make a useful rake, but it was really hard going and Jean, recovering from a broken toe, did most of it.  This is what happens when you couldn't do what you usually do last autumn/winter to keep on top of it.   Mist net ride maintenance should be part of a trainee permit - a lot of recent permit holders seem to think they look after themselves :-)

Saturday, 24 June 2017


Still no sign of any seabirds despite a prolific fylde coast watch.

Med gull - ad and 2CY
Black headed gull - leucistic bird

Burnet companion still heyshsm nr

Friday, 23 June 2017

Worst ever seawatch in south-westerlies?

Nowt in about an hour on and off on incoming tide

Outfalls/Red Nab
Common Tern - a welcome Adult feeding and resting
Tern spp - very brief view facing away - think it flew into bay (yesterdays Sandwich?)
Med Gull - ad and 3CY but disappeared very quickly and not there after 0900
Redshank - 2

Thursday - bowl hopping fish

Some goldfish have been around for some time in the dog walk pond and seem to have hybridised with ?roach which have similarly been put in there.  Hope this springs wintering Bittern can find them in 2017/8

Thanks Malcolm

Outfalls/Red Nab near HT
Med Gull - 2-3 Ad and a different 3CY
Sandwich Tern - adult outfalls

Grey Seal - 1

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Last day of red-veined heat?

Red-veined Darters
Perhaps the last throw of the dice for this year on the forecast
Mark Nightingale and Pete Kinsella had up to 5 males 1500-1600 - unusual so late in the day - wonder how many there were earlier?

Unfortunately it has been all very vague re-females this year with just the one seen ovipositing and only two other sightings, one on the same day as the ovipositing.  If any of the photographers out there have any info on females and ovipositing, please could you let us know.  Thanks.

Despite the seeming unlikelihood of them magically finding this place during influxes, the general consensus is that this year's early and mature male dominated influx (just one 'teneral' reported) is part of a national migratory invasion.  Feedback suggests there are still a lot of people who look for perched insects rather than scanning the rippled areas of the waterbody (in preference to calm bits) during light winds, often far from the shore, as the most likely means of making contact (especially with mature migrants?).  Therefore I suspect that many in such (perhaps transitory) mode have been missed on Lancashire's waterbodies 

Seagull census
A rather belated finish to the nesting seagull census today but I have not got the data to hand

Lots on Fisher's roof but unexpected lack of any GBBG success there

Outfalls/Red Nab
The outfalls held a new Med - below on Red Nab and easier to find than yesterdays 3CY!  Also the first (dispersing) baby Black-headed Gull of the year - early?  Late afternoon saw two adults at low tide.  Its starting to happen!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

More returning adult or near adult seagulls

Heysham Obs
A reasonable number of seagulls on the outfalls and Red Nab including a 3CY Med in full summer plumage:

Moth traps at Middleton held both Silky and Obscure Wainscot and a rather late Shaded Pug graced the Heysham trap.

Any dragonfly info from today?

Ringing took place at Middleton NR this am and the surprise was a rather early dispersing juvenile Treecreeper - usually an occasional July feature and scarce and erratic at all times away from Heysham Head - and the first juv Reed Warbler.   Perhaps surprisingly, the few recent ringing efforts have not included any juvenile Cetti's Warbler, but the territories are mainly to the east of the ringing site 

Monday, 19 June 2017


Middleton early am
4 Spotted chaser - minimum 10 (all checked were standard type)
Emperor - 1 male each, no swimming pond and new small scrapes. female type central marsh
Broad Bodied Chaser - 3 male on small scrapes
Common Darter - minimum 1 possibly 2
2 Cetti's singing
1 Grasshopper warbler reeling central marsh. First I've heard for a while, there are actual grasshoppers chirruping now, but this was definitely a warbler.
1 stoat
Later in am
5-6 male RV Darter plus a pair in cop then perhaps the same female on its own
Nice pic from John Wright later in afternoon:


A four spotted chaser without the central spots was photographed by Malcolm and there was also a wandering RV Darter on the track between the fence and no swimming ponds

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Red-veined day

Couple of pics from Dave Talbot - thanks Dave

At least 5 males and one female on model boat pond

Also Ad summer Little Grebe model boat pond

Friday, 16 June 2017

Brief gull check and a Shark

Tomorrow looks good for Red-veined Darter as does most of the next week.  Please report all sightings (e.g. email and especially any definite females/ovipositing.  I'm assuming no Common out yet, certainly not mature red males, but need to be very careful, especially with female/tenerals

Very distant gull facing away was half to two-thirds the size of the nearby BHGs but it flew as I was switching to 40 x lens on scope and didn't see it again & had to go.  Suspect the definite small 2CY BHG of a few weeks ago?

The 2CY Med still around along with 67 2CY Common Gull

The moth trap has at least come up with a few scarcities and the whole set up might be sorted out next week:


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Unexpected day

Started with a clear run through all the traffic lights on the Bay Coneway for the first time, then the sea looked a bit rough and a sweep produced a Gannet, so gave it a bit of unscheduled time before checking the Sunderland Point moth trap

Sea 0845ish to 0920ish
Gannet - 11
Fulmar - 1
Manx Shearwater - flock of 6
Med Gull - yesterdays 2CY seaward end Heysham one

Middleton NR
Lunchtime and early pm saw the temperature high enough, wall to wall sunshine and a few bits of shelter out of the wind for Malcolm and dragonfly recording but later in the afternoon the wind increased and the site became a no show as the forecast had suggested for the whole day

Red-veined Darter - two males and two female types or tenerals
also low single figures of Black-tailed Skimmer, Four-spotted Chaser (one eaten by an Emperor!), Broad-bodied Chaser and an interesting darter seen very briefly in the central marsh

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

They survived in numbers

No need to worry about the prolonged 'grounding' of red veined darters.    A single sweep from the seat saw nine males over the model boat pond with smaller counts including at least one almost certain additional insect over the next five minutes.   No time to check the western shore

On red nab there was a new 2cy med gull - a large individual with an unremarkable head pattern cf being lost amongst bhg and moulted greater coverts giving the folded wing a very 'plain' look for so early in the "autumn"

Heysham skeers held two common scoter in the channel, a small flock of Canada geese past and a build up of little egret.   Detail later

Monday, 12 June 2017

A few seabirds

The outfalls are in a bit of a rut at the moment - plenty of gulls but no obvious change in personnel.

Offshore was a bit disappointing in the absence of squalls.   Early on saw 7 gannet and 4 Manx shearwater with o my one of the gannet 'close'.   Brief checks during high tide period saw an empty sea but 5 Manx shearwater headed towards heysham later in the afternoon (seen from

Sunday, 11 June 2017


The Webs and pre-Webs outfalls check and rest of the coastal area plus the moth trap saw absolutely nothing of note

Might be worth a tomorrow morning seawatch though plus LOW tide check of outfalls


Three Canada Geese in

Friday, 9 June 2017

Gannet dead and alive

One dead on Middleton tideline per Mike

One alive flying out

Nowt on outfalls from half tide onwards (about half of what you get at low tide)

Later Pete Woodruff had what was presumably the same leucistic BHG as the other day

Large Yellow Underwing in moth trap!


2CY Med outfalls - nowt else

Red-veined Darter male located and photographed by Linda Renshaw roosting away from the waters edge by model boat pond

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Bits and bobs

Heysham Outfalls/Red Nab
Arctic Tern - adult resting on Red Nab, Common or Arctic on outfalls briefly
Common Scoter - two between the power stations outfalls, then flew into the bay at 10.20
Med Gull - 2CY Red Nab, adult seaward end Heysham one briefly
Black-headed Gull - leucistic bird (beware!)

A visiting birder had
Gannet - one out distantly
Fulmar - two out close

No obvious sign of Red veined Darter Middleton in highly marginal conditions that in fact didn't produce anything resembling a dragonfly!

The Hut moth trap in its present configuration is not performing well.  The current records will not be usable for comparison with other years.  It didn't perform last night because the electrics were off but that allowed anything from the two previous unchecked nights to clear off!  In this respect, given the small numbers, no incentive to check it if it involves going out of your way

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Heysham NR

Burnet Companion moths numerous on the plateau area.  These images from Wednesday of this difficult species to photograph by Janet:

The hut moth trap is picking up some moths now but numbers still below par - 13 regular species this morning.

Middleton NR
No Swimming Pond - still two Gadwall with families of 4 and 8 young.
Cettis Warbler at least one singing near the north east corner.

Model Boat Pond - excellent display of Northern Marsh Orchids around the west fringe and on the spit.
Plenty of Brown Hawker dragonflies plus at least one pair of Emperor, numerous Common Blue damselfies plus at least three Red-veined Darter.  These last seen in less-than ideal conditions - broken cloud, brisk wind and quite cool.


Friday, 2 June 2017

The A Team Are Away

With the main contributors away in the freezing north of Norway for a week, apologies for what will be rather sparse reporting.

The last two broods of Great tits in the nestboxes were ringed today.  Great Tits have done well this year with 9 successful broods.
Blue Tits have had a terrible year here with only one nest in a box.  A brood of 9 young were raised to the half-grown stage but were all found dead today.

Two Burnet Companion moths were seen along with a number of Common Blue butterflies on the plateau.

Middleton NR from Wednesday 31st May
Gadwall - 2 with 4 and 8 chicks
Cettis Warbler - Now 2 singing from NE and SW corners of No Swimming pond. Apparently was only one territory there previously but perhaps a second bird has taken part of the territory.

At least 4 Red veined Darters on model boat pond.  A couple of examples of great shots taken by Stan Parrott reproduced here: