Sunday 8 October 2017

Under a cloud

A mass of cloud hung over the Heysham area till late morning putting a bit of a dampener on the vis and ringing.  A bit more action when it started to clear and I've updated stuff from elsewhere in the recording area to add to Jean's post

The mid morning 'action' was mostly tit movement with at least 20 coal and 35 long-tailed through Heysham NR as well as the flock of 13 unringed birds caught at Middleton

Pink-footed Goose - at least 485 Groups moving south throughout the morning
Sparrowhawk 1
Redpoll sp 3
Siskin 1
Meadow Pipit 18
Alba Wagtail 40
Chaffinch 16
Raven 1
Grey Wagtail 7
Skylark - 4
Snipe 2
Song thrush - 1
Mistle thrush - 2
No sign of the Redwing heading NW from the Pennines.
Two singing Cetti’s Warblers on site at Middleton NR

at Middleton and Heysham NRs consisted mainly of Long-tailed Tits (13), Chiffchaff (5), Goldcrest (14) Reed Bunting (5), Coal tit (4), Pied and Grey Wagtails (two each) and a surprise late Willow Warbler.

Had a look at the ringing totals and, has been the case in recent years, the Chiffchaff total overtook that of Willow Warbler today (217:215) but it has been a poor later autumn for Blackcap which suddenly dried up in mid-September.   Goldcrest are very unpredictable but it looks like just one decent spell of suitable ringing weather could see a record annual total (already 211).  Thanks to everyone for the Grey Wagtail effort during an autumn passage where mist netting was by no means straightforward with a lot of last minute weather watching - 82 colour-ringed is a good total in the circumstances

One feature of this second half of the year has been the complete lack of any birds ringed elsewhere (other than Med Gulls).  Maybe the fairly constant low-level movements, rather than major falls, indicate that we are catching mainly young birds trickling south down the country from obscure inland locations (in this respect Heysham is very 'central' as the west coast headland nearest to the east coast!) and not 'finding' the numerous mainly coastal ringing sites en route.     

Guillemot - one out then landed
Red throated diver - one out
Ringed plover - 43 on red nab at ht
Med gull - ad and 1cy