Monday, 31 July 2017

Windy but still ok for insects

Red Nab at low tide
26 Med Gulls, including two juveniles and about 6 2CY but some hard to age as they were bit-parts hidden behind rocks.  Just the one juvenile and one 2CY visible on the outfalls

Whimbrel - at least 4

Dragonflies at Middleton saw hordes of Common Darter amongst which was this one - I don't think it is a Ruddy as the yellow thoracic sides appear to be hidden in shadow and the legs deceptively dark - also never seen one on bare ground even when they were common here.  Also a Black-tailed Skimmer still, 6 + Emperor, 3 Brown Hawker (thanks Malcolm)

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Quick check

11 meds in a quick visit, including three juvs but red nab was disturbed just prior to my arrival and could only find four adults

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Routine at low tide

At least three Med darvics to read if anyone able (assuming just one of each colour):
prob White or another pale colour

Med Gull - 29, 20 of these on Red Nab at low tide:  3 x 1CY, 18 x Ad/3CY, 8 x 2CY
Little Gull - ad summer (the 2CY appears to have moved on as coverage has been good this last week)
Whimbrel - 1

Heysham One outfall erratic this am with no food seemingly flowing down early on and no birds on the seaward end at low tide - a Med fest usually

Friday, 28 July 2017

Runt Black-headed Gull causes trouble

Outfalls/Red Nab low tide, scanned from OE foreshore
A distant and partially obscured small gull, obviously not a Little, and dwarfed by surrounding Meds and the odd Black-headed revealed itself to be a 2/3 sized adult Black-headed Gull when it finally lifted it head

Med Gull - at least 27, including a roosting flock of 17 on Red Nab - often do this at low tide and not including any which were resting on the mudflats between the outfalls.  (3-4 juvs, 18 or so ad/3CY) and at least 6  2CY)
Common Tern - ad
Commic Tern - too distant and heat-hazy but probably an adult arctic
Little Gull - ad summer
Gannet - 2 offshore

Later a running total of 34 Meds on Red Nab in 30 minutes with a trickle leaving south and a trickle coming in from the outfalls.  At least 8 2CY

Old Lady in the trap

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Outfalls check

Checked by Tom Walkington and Pete Marsh this morning during the early stages of the incoming tide

Med Gull - absolute minimum of 26 but almost certainly a further 6 which were seen by Tom on the outfalls mudflats - the 26 were assessed from OE foreshore checking the seaward end of the outfalls and Red Nab.  At least three and probably four juvs around, 6 2CY and at least 17 ad/3CY

Little Gull - adult summer
Common Tern - adult
Whimbrel - 4


c15 meds and the adult summer Little Gull

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Warblers on the move

Willow Warblers were a feature of the ringing this morning, along with smaller numbers of Blackcaps Sedge and Reed Warblers and, later in the morning, Whitethroats. 50 birds ringed.  (Will put the ringing totals on tomorrow.) A similar movement took place at Leighton Moss where 60 birds were caught.

Med Gull count at the outfalls today = 8

The only other birds of note at Middleton NR were 2 Water Rails squealing, A Skylark over, heading eastwards and a Kingfisher calling on the reedbed pond.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Its back

The 22nd Med Gull of the morning was the only one on the north harbour wall side and sure enough the above tarsus metal ring indicated it was the returning Czech bird, first seen here as a 1CY in autumn 2003

Outfalls/Red Nab
Med Gull - 21 (12 x ad, 3 x 3CY, 5 x 2CY, including the red darvic-ringed summer plumaged bird seen a bit ago, one juv)

Anyone read this :-)

Little Gull - Ad summer but no sign 2CY
Whimbrel - 4

Oystercatcher - 2200 (late influx from SS Groyne - anglers on there again?)
Redshank - 260
Ringed Plover - 1
Med Gull - see above

Middleton pm
Swallow - c60 roosting (21 ringed)
Water Rail - 2+
Grasshopper Warbler - 3 singing males, two western, one central marshes
No sign regular Barn Owl
Brown Hawker still flying about at 2130hrs

Sunday, 23 July 2017

More odds and ends

No obvious landfall of warblers today so ringing sessions were a bit slow with a single new Grasshopper Warbler and retrap female Cetti's Warbler at Middleton and a couple of out of habitat Sedge Warbler and the more usual 5 new Whitethroat next to the office

Outfalls/red nab
Juxtaposed heat-hazed birds but a lot of them.  Could easily have missed something but larophiles note that Heysham One is now back on and the number of gulls has doubled

Little Gull - 2CY
Med Gull - 4 x ad/3CY, 5 x 2CY, 1 x least

Odds and ends
Daytime moths on Heysham NR.  Thanks Janet:

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Ringing in the eye

Quite a decent morning with a couple of nets on Middleton producing quite a few sedge warbler and blackcap.   The rainfall radar monitored the mass of wet looking cloud to the east after the overnight rain cleared just after 0600

Little gull
Ad summer new in on outfalls but no obvious sign of 2cy

Med gull
At least 12 but many on sand out of range to south (7 ad or 3cy, 4 2cy and one juv)

Common scoter - 3 (two drakes) off heysham skeer

No sign of common tern

Water rail
Calling from three separate areas middleton presumably dispersing juveniles from breeding pair on site

Grasshopper warbler - two juvs ringed western marsh and singing male central marsh

Swift c40 south along edge of rain

Friday, 21 July 2017

Bits and bobs

Outfalls/red nab/ocean edge salt marsh

Common sandpiper - two oe salt, one by jetty
Little gull - 1stS moulting to 2nd W - easy to miss
Med gull - two adults
Common tern - ad outfalls

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Missing meds

A bit late this morning for the tide and there were only four meds on view (ad and 3x 2cy) and 236 curlew

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Flying ants and wandering dragonflies

Med Gull
Ant-chasing juv, ad and 2CY over the office this am but ants soon disappeared as the easterly wind kicked in and there seemed to be a decent attendance by gulls at the outfalls by late afternoon with c6 Meds seen in the less heat-hazed gangs, but the main reason, to see if any terns or Little Gulls were on, drew a blank

Took place at all sites this am but rather below par, especially on Middleton where there were fewer warblers than expected.  Of note were a juvenile Grasshopper Warbler and especially an adult Garden Warbler  - suggesting local breeding.  A few young Greenfinch were welcome in the office nets but no sign of (the?) Marsh Tit there this am

Heysham skeer
No Black Guillemot and no terns this am at low tide

Banded Demoiselle - a male was seen well but briefly before flying across the model boat pond
Black Darter - I think this is probably an imm male but stand to be corrected - thanks for the pics Janet in difficult windy conditions
No sign of any Red-veined Darter - c/f a new influx in southern Britain and SE Ireland


Monday, 17 July 2017

Summer plumage Black Guillemot

Black Guillemot
This flew along the low tide channel alongside Heysham skeer as Malcolm was out on there at low tide this am - lost still flying into the Bay.  No reason why it wont still be in the area

Also two Sandwich tern

No other coverage today yet - gave the heat-hazed NW wind gulls this late afternoon a miss

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Seagulls staying in house

The tide is now low enough to leave a section of undisturbed dry sand just to the south of ocean edge and this was used by the gulls clearing off from red nab this afternoon.  The light and heat haze were awful but there were a fair few meds

Red nab/outfalls
Med gull - 13 ad/3cy, 2 2cy, 2juv with some almost certainly missed
Whimbrel - 2
Curlew - 379

Office area
Marsh tit - heard calling sev times
Reed warbler - singing male by obs t fire pond

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Disruptive curlew

350 plus curlew on red nab again but they are occupying the space used by gulls and furthermore are flying off red nab towards middleton way before high tide and dragging a proportion of the gulls either them including 3x 2cy meds

Outfalls/red nab
Common tern - ad heysham two outfall
Med gull - two ad, three 2cy and two juvs - the latter at least unringed

Curlew - 350 plus
Whimbrel - heard once

Heysham one is apparently fully back on line on 21st July so hopefully the seagulls will increase again

Friday, 14 July 2017

Midsummer Curlew

The Curlew roost at Red Nab just before high tide reached 375 with some birds already having headed south whilst others arrived so the grand total probably in the region of 400. 

Heysham One outfall looked ominously dead which explains why the gulls have nosedived - this is a real shame and will cost us at least one decent bird in the next month or so as the seaward end in full flow at low tide is the real magnate for passing seagulls and terns

Med Gull
Red Nab:  6 adult, one 3CY, 2 2CY - the latter heading off south well before high tide

Should be moulting adult Little in by now but......................

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Warblers on the move

A couple of decent small-scale ringing sessions this am at sheltered sites at Middleton/Heysham revealed Whitethroat, Sedge and Willow Warblers on the move along with a few unringed Chiffchaff and Blackcap.  Singing Grasshopper Warbler central marsh

The warbler ringing total is quite high for so early in the autumn with Whitethroat already in the 60's for the year

A few Swift on the move over Middleton

Could other observers please add your own stuff to the last three days.  Thanks


Outfalls/Red Nab
Med Gull : 2 x ad, 4 x 2CY
Whimbrel - 2

Treecreeper ringed
juvenile Cetti's Warbler retrapped



Monday, 10 July 2017

Where have the seagulls gone?

After a real flurry of Meds at the turn of the month, the numbers of gulls today were pitiful, after a thorough search by Gav and Ian on Saturday produced only 7 Meds and the Lune estuary, the spring tide displacement location for several Heysham birds, drew a blank for Ian this weekend.  Could not find any today at low tide and just after high tide - not the best time.  Maybe word has got round that Lancashire is bad news for seagulls at the moment

A few odds and ends in the mist nets next to the office, totalling about twenty five, including most of the common non-wetland warbler species

One relatively decent moth in the trap - the range-expanding homoeosoma sinuella

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Swift Exit

Just a quick look at Middleton Nature Reserve this morning.
12 swift feeding over model boat pond at 10:15, down to 2 by 11:00. Presumably rest heading south.
Two female gadwall with 2 & 3 well advanced young.
5 visiting mallard.
Temporary truce between mute leaving, pair with 1 (underdeveloped) cygnet on model boat pond and pair with 2 (well developed) cygnet on "no swimming" pond

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Marsh tit mega

First record this century with the last one ringed in 1998.   One heard calling then ended up in mist net Heysham nr this am (with long tailed tit flock)

Ringing took place at both Heysham and Middleton, with a total of 85 birds, with the highest catches being 19 Willow Warblers and 18 Whitethroats.

Only seven meds for the top gull team of gav and Ian - shame.   Four ad, two 3cy and a juv.   Also whimbrel and bar-tailed Godwit

Friday, 7 July 2017

Tidal misjudgement

Too late for the tide today with many of the gulls displaced put of the area in the moderate westerly.

Med gull
8 ad
2 3cy

One heard

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Some Sandwiches

In a change from Med Gull news:
Two adult Sandwich Tern crossing Heysham skeer channels to north about 4pm.(MD)

But now back to Med Gulls:
A whistle stop visit saw 12 Meds loafing on the dry sand at Ocean Edge this morning
A more leisurely visit to the outfalls this afternoon produced 5 adult Meds and 2 x 3CYs on Heysham 1 outfall and 1 adult on Heysham 2 outfall. 

8 Swifts flew over the reserve at 14:30


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Med Gull update

Ocean Edge
The Med Gulls were loafing on the sand again:
10 adults
2 x 3CY
4 x 2CY

Also in the roost :
Common Gull 1
Herring Gull 15
Lesser Black-backed Gull 31
Great Black-backed Gull 2
Whimbrel 1
Curlew 12
Bar-tailed Godwit in sum plum 1
Oystercatcher 9

Red Nab:
Eider - 1 female
Little Egret - 1
Curlew - 120
Redshank - 6
Oystercatcher- 47
BH Gull - 60
LBB Gull - 5

Middleton NR
2 juv Cetti's Warblers ringed
Tufted Duck 1 male

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Medfest increases, including early juvenile

An amazing roost today with reduced numbers of Black-headed Gull and increased numbers of Med Gull giving only a 4:1 ratio in favour of BHG at high tide!

Med Gull
16 x adults (one with 'pale' darvic and black letters)
3 x 3CY
6 x 2CY
1 x juvenile

There was no sign however of yesterdays distinctive red darvic-ringed 2CY or indeed the white darvic bird of a few days ago - must be quite a turnover, even this early in the 'autumn'

See how many you can find on here - all the above ages represented:

Mute Swan - unringed adult male in saltmarsh channel
Whimbrel - one heard
Curlew - 87 Red Nab

Monday, 3 July 2017

Meds increase

Disappointingly no feedback over the weekend on gulls but today saw a great heap of meds but all rather frustrating for ageing eyesight

Med gulls
11x ad, 3x 3cy, 5 x 2cy

One of the 2cy had a four charactered red darvic with white lettering on the right, metal below tarsus on left and would have been a doddle to read if I had either remembered to bring my mobile or had a zoom!   It was an odd bird with a 'completely adult' summer plumages head and bill

Only four of the above were on red nab at high tide, the rest were on the uncovered mudflats just south of ocean edge salt marsh

Whimbrel - first of autumn
Common sandpiper - 1-2
Redshank - 21
Curlew - 97

Model boat pond MNR
Little Grebe - quite mature chick diving with adult