Monday, 31 December 2018

Middleton very wetland 29-31 Dec

Despite the relatively dry weather the ringing area at Middleton NR is somewhat flooded. This is a by-product of the works going on at UU. Great for ducks, though.

The water levels continue to rise. The newly coppiced "wet" area is now open water, but there are still lots of common snipe nearby. Only one Jack snipe disturbed. The Christmas cessation of operation on pipeline has resulted in the fence pond and Western scrape being populated again.

Main pond
Mute 7 - now 4 x 1cy
Moorhen 1
Gadwall 6

No swimming pond
Mute 1
Moorhen 2
Coot 1
Tufted 2 (m)
Shoveler 2 (m&f)
Gadwall 12
Teal 4

Tim Butler pond
Mute 2
Moorhen 2
Teal 1
Mallard 4

Fence pond
Gadwall 3
Teal 15

Western scrape
Moorhen 1
Teal 35
Mallard 6

Western marsh
Jack snipe 1
Common snipe 29
Cetti's warbler singing 

Central marsh
Common snipe 2
Water rail 1
Cetti's warbler singing


Model Boat pond
Mute Swan 2ad plus 4 immatures
Gadwall 2 females
Oystercatcher - 1 flew over

No swimming pond
Teal - 5 prs
Shoveler - 1 pr
Tufted Duck - 1 pr
Mallard - 1 pr
Gadwall - 1M
Moorhen - 1
Coot - 1

Gun club area
Song Thrush - 1 singing plus 1 singing across the road
Raven - 1 "cronking" at the top of the nearest pylon

Tim Butler pond
Mute Swan - 1pr
Teal - 2pr plus a spare M
Mallard - 1 pr
Moorhen - 1

Fence pond
Water Rail - 2
Gadwall - 3 pr
Moorhen - 1
Cetti's Warbler - 1 singing from bushes on east side of pond

Central Marsh
Cetti's Warbler - 1 singing from bushes at fenced off bridge
Reed Bunting - 1 calling

Western Marsh
Teal - 5 pr
Snipe - at least 1

Friday, 28 December 2018

Thorough seagull search

A double negative with gulls today including no sign of the Czech ringed Med

Rock pipits harbour mouth and along half moon bay beach

Dark Chestnut and another Mottled Umber in the office Moth trap

Thursday, 27 December 2018


A full stone jetty count in the murk by nick on the incoming tide saw
Eider - 225
Great crested Grebe - 35
Goldeneye - female out
No common Scoter floated in that far

Rock pipit by harbour mouth
Jack snipe - 2 oe salt
Snipe - 12 oe salt

Ad White winged gull reported flying past Heysham Head towards the harbour.  Hopefully more on this tomorrow

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Poor visibility

The Eider line was in silhouette this morning with the dreaded orange sky and little could be discerned

Common Scoter - female inshore
Great crested Grebe - 9 inshore
Rock pipit - one harbour mouth

Mottled Umber and Emmelina monodactyla on the office wall by the light

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

As you were

Rock  pipit - singles harbour mouth and half moon bay shore
Meadow pipit -1
Shag - 2cy harbour mouth and wooden jetty area. it was feeding out from Half Moon Bay yesterday

9 Gadwall, 8 Mallard and 8 Mute Swan model boat pond

Second calendar year Shag feeding just beyond rocks at Half Moon Bay Christmas Eve

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Winter moths

Looks good for winter period moths in woodland etc between 26th Dec and at least 5th Jan and there were two Winter Moth in the trap this am.  

At least two Common Scoter offshore 

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Common Scoter

Only thing of note today was the gang of three female Common Scoter in the low tide channel

Interestingly I don’t think this species has featured on a New Year’s Day list on this area (n lancs) for many years if ever!

Friday, 21 December 2018

20 & 21 Dec 2018

21 Dec
Merlin - one Heysham Head
Shag - 2cy harbour for 15 mins
Common Scoter - three females main channel, another female close inshore

20 Dec

Common Scoter - 1M, 3 F inshore seen from Knowlys Road

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Small tortoiseshell!!

One by half moon bay cafe - nearly caught by Pied Wagtail!

Common Scoter - 3 fem
Great crested Grebe - 5 offshore

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Whiting influx

The only report today was of lots of small Whiting being eaten by Cormorants and gulls in the harbour

Monday, 17 December 2018


No sign of female Scaup
Common Scoter - flock of 5 female in Eider line & single male and female close inshore
Cormorant - 108 roosting on wooden jetty and beach at low tide!

Sunday, 16 December 2018


Scaup - A rather restless female Scaup was close inshore off Knowlys play area this am.  It flew short distances twice, the second time looking like it was going to go into the bay but it circled and re-landed
Common Scoter - one inshore, 8-9 offshore in gang.  All female types
Med Gull - Ad on beach with usual Knowlys play-area gang - known wintering bird
Rock Pipit - one below Heysham Head cliffs

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Dead cold snap

The only action today was the discovery and photography of a freshly dead 1cy Shag on Heysham south wall.  It didn’t have a Puffin Island bracelet, unlike many others found in Lancashire

Friday, 14 December 2018

Getting a bit repetitive - we need a new bird or two!

Seaduck check
A quick one:
Common Scoter - all together comprising 10 female types
Eider - only 135 counted
Great crested grebe - 4

Coot - 1
Teal - 20
Gadwall - 34
Woodcock - 1
Meadow pipit - 3
Mute Swan - 9
Cetti’s warbler - one singing western marsh

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Lowish tide sea check off the Head

Common Scoter - 3 inshore, tight flock of 6 in Eider line
Eider - no more than 150
Red-throated Diver - 1
Great crested Grebe - 3
Wigeon - 4 with Eider

No sign 1cy Shag
Skylark OE saltmarsh

Wednesday, 12 December 2018


Sorry about wrong day order.....
Mottled Umber in trap

Middleton Nature Reserve
Main pond
Mute 2 adult plus 3x 1cy
Gadwall 6
Mallard 4
Teal 2
Moorhen 1

No swimming pond
Mute 2
Coot 1
Moorhen 1
Shoveler 2 (m & f)
Gadwall 14
Teal 10
Moorhen 1

Tim Butler pond
Mute 1
Teal 19

Jack snipe 1
Common snipe 13

Green woodpecker (at least) 1
Raven 2 over to SW
Cetti's 1 - singing from willow stand closest to the new small ponds. 


245 Wigeon
232 Shelduck
Ad Med

Wate Rail hey Nr

Wednesday Jack Snipe

Two Middleton in newly managed area

Green Woodpecker - Middleton

Cetti’s warbler - one singing Middleton

Common Scoter - at least four off the Head

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Sunny half tide dearth

This might be the lot today unless high tide produces

Cormorant - 107 wooden jetty
Shag - 1CY wooden jetty - surprisingly obvious at long range!
Med Gull - ad off children play area north of Heysham head
Red-throated Diver - distant one out the only entry for a 20 min seawatch
Redshank - 420 heliport (memo re-WeBs)

Saturday, 8 December 2018

An earlier start?

The intended seawatch was unfortunately later than intended and coincided with a big wadge of clearing skies and reducing wind speed with no squally gusts.  As a result most of the interest was of outbound birds on the first sweep

Sea 0925-1015
Kittiwake - flock of 22 lifted off then out
Little Gull - two adults heading steadily out quite distantly, juvenile out much closer
Red-throated Diver - two out - one close, one distant
Med Gull - ad harbour mouth
Shag - 1CY flew out of harbour towards wooden jetty


Shag - 1CY in harbour (thanks Janice)

Short seawatch
Kittiwake - 5
Red-throated Diver - 1

OE saltmarsh edge
Reed Bunting - gang of four (thanks for pic Malcolm of 3 of them)
Common Snipe - 5

Thursday, 6 December 2018


An adult kittiwake was hehind the iom ferry and the ferry disturbed the 1cy Shag

Mottled Umber and three Winter Moth in trap

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Valiant effort

Malcolm braved the foul weather this morning for the following local patch notables:

Jack Snipe - one OE saltmarsh
Shag - 1CY at waterfall

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

1CY Shag

The 1CY Shag which first surfaced two days ago was again around the waterfall in the harbour today

Thanks Malcolm
Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Reed Bunting - 2 (1 ringed)
Linnet - 30
Meadow Pipit - 1

Monday, 3 December 2018

Clear as a bell

Common Scoter - flock of 5 females, two separate females, one separate male off Heysham Head
Eider - only c150
Great-crested Grebe - at least 7

Fleshfly agg - one at large in HNR car park

SUNDAY at the waterfall

Thanks Malcolm

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Poor visibility and wet

Six Meadow Pipit by the Near Naze had obviously wandered from the heliport grassland

Ringing in November was unremarkable and very office feeder-net orientated, which meant a decent passage of Blackbird was not reflected in the ringing totals.  144 of 17 species.   Most notably, just two of these were Blue Tits and none were Great Tits!  Continental Song Thrushes have been like hen's teeth this autumn and the only one caught was given the Yellow-brow level of minor excitement!  A high, over 50%, ratio of new birds until a sudden change on 22nd Nov when just 8 out of 34 were unringed and no further ringing was undertaken after 23rd.  Top five were Greenfinch (41), Goldfinch (30), Chaffinch (19), Blackbird (18), Goldcrest (8).  One Greenfinch control. 

Friday, 30 November 2018

Standard seawatching fodder

Shag - the presumed long staying bird still around
Little gull - ad out
Kittiwake - 52 out including flocks of 6,11,31
Auk spp - one long range
Duck spp - one at long range and not a lot to go on but possibly of interest!
Common Scoter -usual flock of 7-8 with Eider
Eider - c400

Thursday, 29 November 2018


Little gull - ad out during 40 min seawatching
Common Scoter - drake in
Shoveler - Male Still middleton
Gadwall - c23 middleton
Coot - 1
Teal - female with Wigeon Red Nab
R b merg- 3 red nab (2 drake)

No seaduck check

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Wet and Windies but too southerly

 Common Scoter - flock of eight and Singleton off Heysham Head
Red-breasted Merganser - three as above

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Bits and bobs before the rain

Guillemot in harbour new in
Med gull - ad harbour mouth area
Common Scoter - tight flock of 8-9 bouncing up and down in channel off Heysham Head
Great-crested Grebe - 14 close inshore North side of Heysham Head
Meadow pipit - at least one ocean edge

Monday, 26 November 2018

Hen Harrier harried

A ring-tailed Hen Harrier, the first for many years, was harassed by corvids on Middleton
Thanks Malcolm

Subad Shag on wooden jetty with 124 Cormorant
NO Common Darter seen on Middleton on last possible afternoon, weather-wise
Middleton NR rest
Main pond
Mute 8
Gadwall 20
Mallard 4
Teal 1
Moorhen 2
No swimming pond
Mute 2
Coot 1
Moorhen 4
Shoveler 2 (m&f)
Teal 2
Gadwall 6
Tim Butler pond
Moorhen 2
Teal 2
Water rail 1
New small ponds
Teal 2
Water rail 1
Meadow pipit 4 grounded
Green woodpecker 1
Common snipe 1
Woodcock 1

Saturday, 24 November 2018

A lot of not a lot

There was a heaving great flock of what seemed to be mainly Knot off Potts corner to the south of OE - one for the murm fans and possibly as many as 15-17k, the biggest number for a few years

Jack Snipe - one OE saltmarsh
Great-crested Grebe - 8 off Heysham Head as tide dropping but too early for seaduck in numbers

Friday, 23 November 2018

The day the earth stood still

If only this was late September or October - murky NE with bits of sunshine.  There was absolutely nowt happening today with three new finches the only "arrivals" caught in the feeder nets run from 0830-1330!  Reed Bunting by HNR office notable. Tides a bit awkward but no obvious sign of the Brent Geese

Green Woodpecker - around office most of am and would be a site ringing tick if.....
Chiffchaff - by the fire pond near office still
Common Scoter - 8 off Heysham Head
Skylark - one flushed by tide off OE saltmarsh but only one (Common) Snipe
Shoveler - just one male Middleton
Coot - one Middleton still

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Are they back?

Pale-bellied Brent - three south past OE close inshore at 1020 - tidally-related feeding movt or just passage?
Snipe 56 OE Salt
Jack Snipe - one OE salt
Chiffchaff - collybita female ringed Heysham NR office
Wigeon - 223 Red Nab including male with maybe 15-20% American genes

Scoters again Wednesday

6 Common Scoter off Heysham Head
Two RB mergs Red Nab

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Very brief

At least four of the Common Scoter flock offshore

Monday, 19 November 2018


This was a real bonus and once again a product of scanning for seaduck from Knowlys Road - this time from the main section.  A first winter calling on top of a hawthorn bush bordering the horse field at the inland end before following after three Starlings which flew over houses on the south side of the road.  No further sign but a big area with berries!
Common Scoter - flock now 6 female/imms
Green Woodpecker - 1 Middleton
Redwing - I grounded Middleton
Middleton NR
Not sure what's happened, but Gadwall now favouring main pond. Can't think it's the result of recent landscaping, and Mute on "no swimming" are not bothering the remaining ducks.  No dragonflies.
Main pond
9 Mute (including 3 x 1cy)
24 Gadwall
4 Mallard
2 Moorhen
No Swimming pond
2  Mute
2 Gadwall
2 Shoveler
1 Tufted
6 Teal
1 Coot
6 Moorhen
Tim Butler
1 Teal (almost certainly more in reeds)
2 Moorhen

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Still just about in shirt sleeves

The change from warm southerlies to a mini beast from the east is slow and subtle with today perhaps being the final curtain for the lingering Common Darters on Middleton.  The or a Chiffchaff was also calling by the fire pond near the office but the only other notable was a male Stonechat on OE saltmarsh, as rare as Yellow B, Warbler this autumn.  Of interest was an experienced birder thinking they heard two Chough flight calls in the sky but in an area with limited viewing and nothing was found on Heysham Head.  Thanks to Malcolm for pics

Common Scoter - gang of 5 still offshore 

Stonechat - male OE saltmarsh

Chiffchaff - by fire pond

Middleton NR
Mute 10 - could only see 2 of the recently arrived 1cy.
Coot 1

Gadwall 24 (16 on main pond)
Shoveler 2
Tufted Duck 1
Teal 2
Mallard 4
Common Darter - male trying to keep warm on Middleton

Saturday, 17 November 2018

A couple of continentals arrive

A couple of female Blackcaps unexpectedly appeared in the nets, probably wintering birds arriving from the continent.

Vis 0730-0900
Pink-footed Goose 192 SE
Chaffinch 8 south
Brambling 1 S
Redwing 3 S
Fieldfare 1 S
Siskin 1 S

Just after dawn c4600 Pink-footed Geese flew north from the Cockerham Marsh roost to feed somewhere.

Middleton NR
Mute Swan 11
Gadwall 19
Shoveler 2
Tufted Duck 1 (Male almost out of eclipse)
Teal 2

Moths: Large Wainscot, Brick and 2 Winter Moths

Spot the Common Darter:
 No? Well try on this closer up photo.
Still no?
Here it is:

Friday, 16 November 2018

The last fling of autumn passage?

The sort of murky light south easterly we have been waiting for all autumn.  Unfortunately all three of the current Ringing team had last minute commitments.  Best was a scarcity we don’t really need this year - spring records- found whilst scanning for any swifts!

Chaffinch - c40 south
Brambling - flock of 6 south then landed 
Meadow pipit - 1se and four more grounded
Blackbird - c30 round hnr office 
Redwing - two hnr office
Black redstart - female/imm north side Heyshsm Head seaward end Salem Mews
Common Scoter - flock of five

Winter Moth - one hnr office 

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Bits of late migration and another Common Darter

No proper vis coverage today but bits noted which suggested it might have been a good idea

Chaffinch - 24 S
Brambling - 1 S
Skylark - 12 S
Meadow Pipit - 3 S
No obvious thrush grounding in clear conditions but two unringed Goldcrest caught along with low single figures of unringed Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch

Middleton NR
Mute Swan - 11!
Shoveler - pair still
Woodcock - 1
Coot - 1

The seaduck check on the neap tide was poor with just 320 Eider and no Common Scoter

Common Darter nowhere near where the two 2 days ago were

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Not much coverage today

A quick seaduck check on the choppy sea saw:

Common Scoter - flock of five female/imm about half way out to the main Eider line and a drake on its own beyond the Eider line
Eider - c420

Blackbird - gang of 10 migrants by hnr office car park

Mute swan - flock of six juvs along coast
Rock pipit - at least one

Middleton NR
Gadwall - 11 model boat pond + 6 no swimming pool
Shoveler - 2 no swimming pool (m+f)
Raven - 1 calling from transmission tower
Snipe - 1 western marsh

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Late darters

Malcolm saw a Male and photographed a female Common Darter at Middleton today

Also at Middleton, the pair of Shoveler, 22 Gadwall, a Chiffchaff, single Coot

Five female Conmon Scoter off Heysham Head

Monday, 12 November 2018

Seaduck day

Just a bit late this am and missed some of the Eiders which float rapidly in on the fast Kent channel

Lower Knowlys VP
Scaup - flock of 3 - male, female and what looked like juv - way beyond the outer Eider line
Scoter spp - drake on sea on its own - not convinced it wasn't Velvet but it didn't flap/fly - absolutely miles away - then floated behind the trees

Eider - 445 min
Common Scoter - 3 females together fairly close inshore
GCGrebe - 5

No swifts in lee of Head!


Sunday, 11 November 2018

Sunday 11th November

Fairly quiet on the Heysham front today due to a band of rain moving through in the morning.

Blackbird - 15 munching through hawthorn berries in the Reserve
Cettti’s Warbler - singing Male in the scrub bordering the marsh
Water Rail - in the marsh again
Chiffchaff - 1 
Pink-footed Goose - 52 south at midday

On the sea:
Common Scoter - 5

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Low-key highlights

Only a fleeting visit today. Luckily Wigan RSPB group had spent a bit more time in the area so thanks to them for the coastal sightings:

Common Scoter - at least 5
Snipe - 40 in the high tide roost at the heliport seawall today
Cetti’s Warbler singing in the scrub at the back of the car park for Half Moon Bay cafe and area.

Grounded migrants on Heysham Nature Reserve:
Blackbird - at least 12
Chiffchaff - 1
Goldcrest - 1

Water Rail squealing in the marsh

Friday, 9 November 2018


The vis was quite good for so late in the year:

Heysham NR
Vis 0700 - 1000. SE F5 gusting 7, 6/8 cloud, dry
Sparrowhawk - flock of 3 high flew south
Chaffinch - 80 SW including a flock of 35
Brambling - 2
Yellowhammer - 1
Redwing - 43 SW
Starling - 27 SW
Goldfinch - 12 S
Kestrel - 1 SE
Blackbird - 3 S
Meadow Pipit - 2 S

Other birds of note:
Raven - 1 on the pylons again
Teal - 1 male by the boardwalk
Goldcrest - 3
Water Rail - 1 calling in the marsh

Middleton NR
Shoveler - male and female
Gadwall - 20
Coot - 1
Redwing - 10
Meadow Pipit - 7

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Scoter still in situ

Common Scoter - flock of 5 off Heysham Head on drop tide
Ringed plover - 36 heliport roost
Rock Pipit - two half moon bay beach, one by harbour
Lots of Blackbird Hey NR

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

High tide roost spectacle

The operative word was "high" in the high tide roost - high numbers of Oystercatchers which stretched all along the heliport sea wall along with other waders.  Another "high"light was a young Merlin chasing the Starlings in the horse paddock.

Heliport sea wall
Oystercatcher - 9600
Redshank - 460
Turnstone - 38
Ringed Plover - 36
Snipe - 21

Ocean Edge
Jack Snipe - 2

Horse paddocks north of Heysham Head
Merlin 1CY

 The large Oystercatcher roost. 
Five birds had metal rings but too far away to read the numbers with binoculars.
 Little Egret looking rather elegant in flight
Wigeon at Ocean Edge 

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

A quieter day

Most of the Blackbirds had gone from the reserve so it was a lot quieter today. Fewer finches were moving overhead and even fewer at the feeder.

Vis 0830-1000
Chaffinch - 20 SE
Greenfinch - 2 S
Little Egret - 1 W

On the reserve
Cetti's Warbler singing again between the pagoda and the alder copse in the scrub on the edge of the reedbed.

Monday, 5 November 2018

More Blackbirds and some old friends

At least 100 Blackbirds from observations around the recording area with at least 60 on or passing through Heysham NR alone.
The "old friends" were a Robin first caught in August 2011 at Heysham, a Dunnock first caught in July 2013 at Heysham and a Cetti's Warbler at Middleton NR which was first caught in October 2015.

Offshore very murky but flock of five female Common Scoter located and Eiders in the mist at low tide at least 520

Shoveler still at Middleton

More later when sound recorder consulted!!!
Well, nothing of any note on the sound recorder - plenty of Robin, Wren, Carrion Crow, Magpie and Blackbird noise and a few Chaffinches plus the odd Bullfinch.

Pink-footed Goose 2000N over Middleton NR in ten flocks plus flocks of 450N and 20E over Heysham bypass at 0730.
Fieldfare 1
Redwing 16 SE
Starling 47 S
Grey Wagtail 2 E
Chaffinch 21 SE
Bullfinch 1

The Green Woodpecker is still around.

A female Blackcap appeared in the nets later in the day.

A Raven sat for a while on one of the pylons.

Sunday, 4 November 2018


Shag - subadult feeding off the Head
Common Scoter - flock of five off Head and two females off north wall
Great crested grebe - 6
Brambling - one south west over HNR

Red admiral on orange buddleia by office

Saturday, 3 November 2018

More Common Scoter and thrushes

Low tide channels
Common Scoter - flock of five (2 Male) close inshore and another Male flew in and landed seaward side of the Eider line

Middleton NR
Blackbird - c40
Redwing - c30
Shoveler - 1cy Male still
Gadwall -18
Coot - Singleton
Mallard - just three
Moorhen - 9 plus

Pics published tomorrow

Friday, 2 November 2018

End of season

There's a definite end of migration season feel now, with few birds over and few in the nets. But there is still a trickle:

Vis 0800-1000
Weather: NWF2, short rain showers at 0825 and 0900, 5-9C, 1022mB, 4/8 cloud
Chaffinch - 10N, 3 S
Coal Tit - 2
Starling - 207N
alba wagtail - 1N
Goldfinch - 1S
Greenfinch - 4S
Meadow Pipit - 3S
Corvid sp - 30E in one flock-
Pink-footed Goose - a flock heard
Carrion Crow - 2N
Skylark - 3S
Bullfinch - 2S

On the ground:
Blackbird - 15
Goldcrest - 2
Coal Tit - 1

Low tide channels
The only thing of note was a distant Red-throated Diver.  No sign of any Common Scoter

Feathered Thorn in the trap and Red Admiral on the yellow buddleia

No sign of any wasp flightlines today past the office

Grey Seal as yesterday

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Just a wee bit late

The highlight was the first SINGING Cetti's Warbler for Heysham Nature Reserve (others have contact called or be seen on passage but this is the first one to sing)

Offshore at low tide - perfect conditions for viewing but no Slavonian Grebe
Eider - 510
Common Scoter - 2F together and 1M further out
Great Crested Grebe - 6

Vis 0800 - 0900
Blackbird - 60 moving inland through the bushes, all had gone by 11am
Song Thrush - 1
Mistle Thrush - 2 SE
Starling - 155 N
Redwing 3 N
Fieldfare 3 E
Chaffinch - 10N
Reed Bunting 1 S
alba wagtail - 1SE
Jackdaw - 1N

Raven - 1 "messing about"

Blackcap - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Coal Tit - 1

Water Rail - 1

Two Silver Y and a Winter Moth graced the office lights

Grey seal off Heysham Head close inshore 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Slavonian Grebe

A Slavonian Grebe was located this morning quite close inshore working its way south diving repeatedly. It was lost behind trees from the Knowlys VP and couldn’t be relocated in the swirling incoming tide
Common Scoter - flock of two m and two f
Great crested Grebe - at least four
Starling - bizarre sighting. One flying erratically over the sea landed for about 30 secs looking quite buoyant before carrying on flying into the Bay (cant think of anything else sensible it could be as it was all dark)

Top ten Ringing totals for the month were saved by the finches caught using Chaffinch MP3 which also attracted migrant Greenfinch.  Other Greenfinch along with Goldfinch and most of the Blue/Great tits were on the feeder.  Migrant Coal Tit were attracted to the Yellow-browed Warbler MP3.

Greenfinch (139), Chaffinch (90), Blue Tit (56), Goldfinch (48), Chiffchaff (44), Long-tailed Tit (44), Goldcrest (40), Coal Tit (38), Redwing (28) and Great Tit (27)

Only remotely unusual Ringing activity: Treecreeper (3), Yellow-browed Warbler (1), Tree Sparrow (1) and Cetti’s Warbler (3 - one Heysham NR, the other two the first new Birds for ages at Middleton where they breed)

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Weak weather front blocks not drops

This rather unimpressive month trickled along today with yet another minor first light fall, again mainly Blackbird heading north into the wind and mainly avoiding the mist nets.

Chiffchaff - the resident Male Still by office
Blackbird - about 75 seen (50N and 25 grounded)
Redwing - 10 (6N, 4 grounded)
Raven - 1
Chaffinch - c25 north
Coal tit - three together
alba wagtail = 2 north
Bullfinch - 2 north
Goldcrest - 2 grounded
Treecreeper - the recently (22nd) ringed bird and a new one
Starling - 2000 ex roost headed SE
Teal - 2 on the newly cleared area by the boardwalk
Grey Wagtail -1 also on the newly cleared area late morning

Didn’t manage to count the Eider but:
Common Scoter - the same two female close inshore and two Male much further out
Great crested Grebe - 8

Rock Pipit
At least one below Heysham Head - pic posted tomorrow

Monday, 29 October 2018

A few surprises

Another chilly day (0C at 0700hrs) but with less wind and hopes that the easterly component in the ENE wind would bring a few migrants. Few was the operative word. After an intial explosion of birds at dawn there then followed the smallest of trickles.

Heysham NR
Vis 07:00-12:00 with the vast majority before 08:00hrs Birds in order of appearance and all north unless stated:
Redwing 3 heard in the dark then 37 departed
Woodcock 1
Blackbird 16N, 2 S
Chaffinch 49
Brambling 5
Snipe 1
Long-tailed Tit 20
Starling 700
Carrion Crow 3
Coal Tit 4
Meadow Pipit 4 S
Jackdaw 4
alba wagtail 1
Skylark 3 over the reserve but 74 seen between Red Nab and Potts Corner

In the low tide channels
Eider 954
Goldeneye 1 female/immature
Wigeon 2
Gadwall 3
Common Scoter 2 females
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Great-crested Grebe 6

Over the sea
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - 3 flew down the middle of the Bay then headed towards Rampside
Swan sp., probably Whooper, - 1

In the sea
Grey Seal

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Blackbird bonanza but virtually everything going the 'wrong way'!

Large numbers of birds for the first two hours or so this morning, both overhead and (in the case of Blackbird), low-level 'vis'.   The main thing was that virtually everything was heading north straight over the top of our mist nets from the tank farm over the reserve.  Therefore the actual ringing part of today was unremarkable.

Vis mig HNR office with some also Middleton NR
Chaffinch - 77
Brambling - 2
Meadow Pipit - 2
Blackbird - 270 plus 16 grounded later
Redwing - 19
Woodpigeon - 265
Jackdaw - 153
Rook - 11
Whooper Swan - 3
Greenfinch - 14
Starling - 589
Bullfinch - 1
Tree Sparrow - 1
Skylark - 5
Siskin - 4
Pink-footed Goose - c500
Coal Tit - heard quite high but not seen plus 3 unringed birds caught
Linnet - 1
Lesser Redpoll - 4

Middleton NR late am
Woodcock - 1
Jack Snipe - 2
Common Snipe - 1
Mute Swan - 9
Teal - 8

Anyone time to count the Redshank?  Thanks Jim

Migrant Hawker & 2 Common Darter Middleton NR

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Last daylight low spring tide for a bit

Too windy from a horrible direction for any Ringing so the plan was to check the low tide channels off Heysham Head.  It wasn’t easy with a lot of orange sky silhouettes and a significant “heat”haze.

Eider - absolute minimum of 710 and probably at least another hundred.   No chance of discerning anything in the main mass in the second channel
Common Scoter - two females close inshore
Great crested Grebe - at least one
Med gull - presumed Czech adult North wall

Chaffinch - 10 south, the only perceived vis

Green Woodpecker present by hnr office last Thursday

Friday - not quite nothing

Northwesterlies continue. Hopefully turning more northerly tomorrow.

Jackdaw 36 south
Common buzzard 1 south

Still a few dragonflies in afternoon sun on Middleton:
Common darter 4 (all males)
Migrant hawker 1

Wildfowl status similar to previous, but Shoveler not showing today.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

North westerlies continue

Whooper Swan - 8 south
Shoveler - 1cy Male still Middleton
Cetti’s warbler - possibly up to three singing males middleton
Wigeon - 144 red nab

Landbird migration
No perceptible vis hnr but a late start
13 unringed Greenfinch, 2 unringed Goldcrest, unringed Coal Tit and a few other odds and ends in the nets but no Chaffinch passage today


to be added

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Don’t give up yet!

The weather today was a heap of rubbish which failed to deliver any seabirds, vis or grounded.  The Ben was checked and failed to deliver Kittiwakes but:

Med Gull - ad and 2cy behind incoming ferry

A red line Quaker was in the Moth trap

Monday, 22 October 2018

Monday 22 October

Complete contrast in the weather this morning - clear, with a light NNW wind.

Vis -07:30-10:30
Redwing - 5 calls heard while it was still dark plus 2 seen
Chaffinch - 74
Brambling - 8
Woodpigeon - 13
Carrion Crow - 10
alba wagtail - 3
Meadow Pipit - 1
Bullfinch - 3 dropped in from height, four similarly later
Pink-footed Goose - 9 + 51 north, 115 south
Jackdaw - 9 south plus heard but not seen
Grey Wagtail - 2
Coal Tit - 1 in addition to 2 ringed
Skylark - 11 but probably more (mainly from Ocean Edge)

Treecreeper - another unringed dispersing bird
Chiffchaff - two calling at dawn, one has been here for several days
Goldcrest - three unringed birds and no obvious sign of any others

Red Nab
Wigeon - 140
Little egret - 10

Heliport seawall
Snipe - 15
Male Merlin 16:45

Middleton NR
Another new Cetti's Warbler ringed.
Redwing - c20
Reed Bunting - 4 migrants ringed

Sunday 21 Oct 2018

A misty, murky but mild morning.

Heysham Harbour 
Rock Pipit - 1

Middleton NR
Mute Swan - 8
Mallard - 1
Teal - 2
Gadwall - 24
Pink-footed Goose - 150 north

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Moth highlight Heysham NR and an unringed Cetti's warbler at Middleton

Today's efforts did not look promising with a forecast which was suitable for mist-netting, but the uniform unbroken cloud for the first few hours certainly put the lid on significant vis and the wind direction suggested a paucity of grounded migrants.  The highlight came very early on - a twilight check of what was on the outside of the moth trap window:
Scarce Bordered Straw

Red Nab/Ocean edge shore
Bar-tailed Godwit - 950
Grey Plover - 320
Med Gull - one (small) adult
Teal - female/juv Red Nab
Wigeon - huge increase to 144
Shelduck - 420 (142 Red Nab)

Cettis Warbler - a new unringed bird - probably a new dispersing arrival but cannot rule out a local bird which somehow avoided the nets

Office area grounded
Very quiet - not a single Goldcrest heard, just the 'resident' male Chiffchaff and another singleton ringed along with a single Blackcap.  About 10 Blackbird and 6 Song Thrush completes the perceived grounded migrant total within audible/visual range of the office

Vis mig
Swan spp - two high to north
Mute Swan - 5 north then u-turned over Middleton
Chaffinch - 15
Brambling - 1
Little Egret - 2 S
Starling - just 6+20
Greenfinch - at least 1!
Alba wagtail - 2
Goldfinch - 2
Pink-footed Goose - 850 N at 0910

Friday, 19 October 2018

Starling and Chaffinch vis

Every morning has been different this week and this morning looked very duff at dawn with cloud spilling in from the west.  However, it soon became apparent that small flocks of Starlings were bombing SW - a route which is not ex-local-roost.  Indeed they were crossing over local ex-roost birds heading east from the harbour.

Vis mig
Starling - 1374 SW in about 26 flocks
Chaffinch - 153 (including flock of 36)
Meadow Pipit - 17
Jackdaw - 161
Grey Wagtail - 2
Redwing - 51
Linnet - 3
alba Wagtail - 14
Siskin - 4
Greenfinch - 10
Skylark - 14
Goldfinch - 2
Pink-footed Goose - 316 plus 35 S
Whooper Swan - 13 south

Chiffchaff - the resident male by the office still
Goldcrest - 3 ringed
Blackcap - one ringed
Robin - unringed bird
Wheatear - 1

No sign Chough Heysham Head

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Its back or another has turned up!

Chough Heysham Head 1130ish per Malcolm - Throbshaw Point area, then flew south. We suspect it may be a passage bird, on a day when there have been lots of corvid movement, as its behaviour was atypical of last winter's resident which Malcolm daw virtually daily.  We'll see.

Crystal clear conditions didn't promise very much other than a bit of vis, but a single Yellow-browed Warbler and, perhaps more unusually as obviously not a 'one-off', a flock of three Chiffchaff were caught.  Earlier a Long or Short-eared Owl was chased by three Carrion Crow in semi-darkness east towards the entrance gate.  The owl probably tried to land as it became light in the middle of the tank farm crow roost!  What I could see of it and the fact it obviously disturbed a thorn-bush and caused roost Carrion Crows to pursue it before they would normally have "got up" does suggest a Long-eared looking for a suitable daytime roost just before dawn.  Indeed the Carrion Crows seemed to fly back to bed and didn't start generally making their presence felt again for another 25 mins!

Vis 0730 - 1230
Chaffinch 185
Brambling 3
Jackdaw 175
Carrion Crow 23
Woodpigeon 65
Stock Dove 2
Collared Dove 1
Pink-footed Goose 53
Mistle Thrush 14
Redwing 13
Skylark - 4
Lesser Redpoll 3
alba wagtail 14
Linnet 3
Meadow Pipit - 10

Wheatear 1
Rock pipit at least 1

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Brambling at last

Ringing included a pleasant flock of Long tailed tit   and three Chiffchaff and a Blackcap is some more migrant Greenfinch.

An adult Common Tern was a bit of a surprise on the outfalls

Vis 0730-123
Flock of 10 Brambling plus at least one other
58 Carrion Crow
14 Jackdaw
95 Chaffinch
13 Greenfinch
2 alba wagtail
8 Song Thrush
6 Skylark
2 Meadow Pipit
4 Redwing
1 Siskin
1 redpoll sp
100 Pink-footed Geese north at 07:50
14 Starling NW later in the morning so not ex roost

A possible Yellow-browed calling distantly x 2 in the tank farm direction from the office was not confirmed due to a horrendous amount of background noise this am

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

What a grey day

Thick cloud and mizzle put the dampners on the vis but there were a few odds and ends of migrants.

Heysham NR

Vis 0730-1200
Mistle Thrush - 1 SE
Reed bunting - 1 S
Chaffinch - 12
alba wagtail - 8
Meadow Pipit - 1

Blackcap - 1
Goldcrest - 3
Blackbird - 6
Song Thrush - 3
Chiffchaff - 1

Middleton NR
Redwing - 5
Goldcrest - 3

Monday, 15 October 2018

Not quite what was expected

What seemed to be a corridor from the eastern side of Britain (at least) along the northern edge of the cloud was 'fudged' by some heavy cloud north-east of us.   It was also rather clear under the high cloud on site.  Plan B was to monitor the mainly North to South Chaffinch passage and also quite a bit of cross-bay vis, including another 'should have run a Grey Wagtail tape'.   There were a handful of grounded migrants but they didn't include the expected Goldcrest arrival with numbers way down on yesterday and the morning certainly didn't have a 'yellow-brow' feel about it

Grounded Heysham NR
Chiffchaff - 3 new birds ringed plus one ringed Midd
Blackcap - 2 new birds ringed plus one ringed Midd
Song Thrush - three then inland
Blackbird - c15, then inland
Goldcrest - 1!
NO Redwing

Vis mig HNR
Great -spotted Woodpecker - one high SE
Chaffinch - 78
Skylark - 9 plus two (H)
Meadow Pipit - 45
alba Wagtail - 41
Carrion Crow - 18
Rook - two together south
Jackdaw - 31
Fieldfare - bit of a surprise in the context - 6 SW calling (IOA)
Siskin - 2
Lesser Redpoll - 2+ heard
Grey Wagtail - 2
Goldfinch - at least 27 migrants
Linnet - flock of 7 SE
Greenfinch - at least 25 migrants
Merlin - one presumed male high to SE, including chasing Meadow Pipit
Tree sparrow - one (ringed)
Coal tit - c5

No sign of YBW in yesterday's area

Middleton - Pink-footed Goose - c500 flew north after dawn very high and far to the east.
                  Swallow - 3 south
                  Sparrowhawk - 1 high flew south

Mostly migrant finches today with Greenfinch and Chaffinch conspicuous.   Four Chiffchaff and three Blackcap a bit unexpected as there seemed to be little grounded.  Just five Goldcrest ringed.  A Tree Sparrow was a new addition to the ringed species list for the year where it is very erratic and unpredictable.  Just one Redwing ringed at Middleton.

Shoveler - Drake middleton no swimming pond

Large Wainscot in Middleton actinic, November Moth agg in office trap

Sunday Yellow-browed

Sorry for the late update here

Good jobs the forecasts were not believed today and we headed for a dawn start to find us sandwiched between two blobs of rain on the alarm app but in the end not s single drop landed on the obs!   The wind also decreased much earlier than we thought and this led to ideal ringing conditions.  The downside of this is that local birds also don't notice the nets and we ended up with the highest proportion of retraps of the autumn, notably "all' the Dunnocks in the vicinity!

Yellow-browed Warbler - this was found by Malcolm in the trees and scrub on the west side by the entrance to Ocean Edge. and was there for at least an hour before cars arrived emptying multiple dogs and we left it to any visiting birders.  No further reports on the information network.  One of four today in our area (Sunderland, Fluke Hall, JBPoint being the other three)

Grounded HNR
Redwing - 10
Blackbird - 15
Chiffchaff -4 (& 3 more ringed at Middleton in the afternoon)
Goldcrest - 15-20 plus a similar number down the landscape strip to Red Nab
Robin - at least one migrant ringed

Vis mig HNR
Chaffinch - 30
Meadow Pipit - 2
alba Wagtail - 6
Grey Wagtail - 1
Reed Bunting - 1
Coal Tit - 11

Saturday 13th October

Wet - to be added!

Friday, 12 October 2018

Redshank all in one basket

An early WEBS saw 1,500 Redshank on the heliport seawall yet none on any other of the Webs sites along the prom to the north

Other things included two adult and one 1cy med gull around the harbour mouth but the Shag could not be located

Wheatear - two oe foreshore
Rock pipit - at least two
10 Twite were reported on the heliport grassland - an early date for here

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Bits and bobs of migrants

Early start in quite breezy conditions saw a few Redwing departing inland at dawn but very little actual vis mig.  We called a halt on the Grey Wagtail ringing season after the 50th was ringed yesterday and of course one of the first birds over this morning was yet another late passage Grey Wagtail!

Two Goldcrest ringed so far - they are really thin on the ground this autumn along with Chiffchaff, Blackcap and migrant Robin...…… a dispersing Treecreeper!

Vis 07:15 - 10:00
Redwing - 35
Linnet - 1
Grey Wagtail - 1
alba wagtail - 1
Meadow Pipit - 2
Skylark - 4
Chaffinch - 4
Mistle Thrush - 1

Goldcrest - 4 at least (2 ringed)
Chiffchaff - 3 (2 ringed)
Blackcap - 1 (ringed)
Coal Tit - 2 (1 ringed)

Heysham skeer channels early am
Pinkfooted Goose - c200
Diver sp - one in
Common Scoter - Drake
Two lots of redwing overhead in dark

10th Oct

Vis 07:00-12:30 Heysham and Middleton NRs combined
Grey Wagtail - 2
Jackdaw - 196 (3 flocks)
Carrion Crow - 6 W, 29 E
Pink-footed Goose - 800+
Song Thrush - 8
Blackbird 10
Redwing - about 20 seen between Hey and Middleton combined with 5 ringed at Middelton
Siskin - 2
Crossbill - 2 SE 0750
Reed Bunting - 1
Skylark - 3 only but hard to heard vis HNR
Meadow Pipit - 2
Common Buzzard - 1 definite southbound migrant, possibly in off
Chaffinch - 16 pus others ringed
alba wagtail - 5

Chiffchaff - 1
Blackcap - 3
Coal Tit - 3

Green Woodpecker still around

Red Admiral - 1
Other insects to be added later

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

9th Oct

Rock Pipit - one Red Nab, the other half moon bay in quick search
Med Gull - 1st W lingering

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Bit of a clearout but some decent one offs

Fewer birds than yesterday. The warblers seem to have cleared out with the clear weather overnight

Heysham NR
Woodcock - one flushed from the net rides behind the hut
Green Woodpecker - 1 almost caught in mist net!  Last seen in tank farm
Cetti’s Warbler - first record of year for hey Nr with a migrant caught by the office

Vis 0715-1215 (generally south unless stated)
Chaffinch 17
alba wagtail 9
Meadow Pipit 2
Pink-footed Goose 62 south, 96 north, 140 south
Goldfinch 6
Skylark 4
Blue Tit 2
Grey Heron - 2 high north
Linnet 1
Swallow 1

Carrion Crow 8 SE
Jackdaw 58 SE
Pink-footed Goose 100 S (far over Morecambe Bay) +50 S to the east of the reserve
Meadow Pipit c8 SE
Cettis Warbler - 3 singing in central and western marsh areas, another around no swimming pond area
Reed Bunting - 5 ringed

Med gull - green ringed ad red nab not ANLT and prob not ASRE therefore new and unread - first letter A with four code letters do presumed German.  Metal only ringed adult red nab.   Adult on sea half moon bay
Common gull - two 1cy outfalls
Short-eared Owl - presumably flushed OE saltmarsh and drifted towards Middleton

Red kite prob over east of area or visible from eg Middleton but no one there ! ( seen heading nw from Glasson).  Thanks for the text Ian

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Much better!

The cold front moved away to the south at dawn leaving increasingly higher cloud and quite a few birds were moving overhead as well as reasonable numbers of Blackcap and Chiffchaff.  Indeed by some considerable distance the best Chiffchaff morning of what has been a poor autumn.
The Blackcaps were all but one showing signs of being off passage with 20g plus weight and fat scores of up to 4.

Middleton NR
Vis mig 0700-1200
Siskin 1
Lesser Redpoll 1
Pink-footed goose 15
Grey Wagtail 4
Tree Sparrow 4
Meadow Pipit 210
Jackdaw 9
Linnet 10
Mistle Thrush 1
alba wagtail 31
Goldfinch 8
Skylark 2
Sparrowhawk 1

Ringing - about 70 new birds including 16 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap and quite a few Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Long tailed Tit.   Two each of Reed Bunting and Grey Wagtail were caught

Large Wheatear OE foreshore and the Wigeon flock up to 8.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Low key

The first Stonechat of the autumn comprised a 1cy Male on Middleton late afternoon.   Also three separate Long tailed tit flocks

Cetti’s warbler were noisy especially in central marsh (at least two singing)

Nothing new on the wildfowl etc front with two Water Rail the best

However a possible ring necked parakeet was heard flying over but not seen

Rock pipit - four half moon bay shore

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Routine observatory coverage

The degree of shelter from westerly sector winds has enabled quite a bit of ringing to be undertaken this year by the office which would have been very difficult in previous years.  Perhaps/probably we were too quick to give up/assume nothing much moved in marginal weather.  The rain also held off and any issues monitored on the rain alarm/visual observation across the Bay

Red Nab and harbour area
Med Gull - 2 x ad, 1 x 1CY, 2 x 2CY
Shelduck - 220
Auk spp - one out, probably Guillemot
Kittiwake - ad behind IOM ferry but peeled off very early by old sewage pipe and flew out

Office area
New birds ringed included single Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Robin and about a dozen finch species
Just one Goldcrest seen

No perceptible vis mig in quite low cloud

Eudonia angustea and Pink-barred Sallow

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Great White Egret doubleton

Not sure what is going on with these things but they were miles up in the sky heading south and almost passed off as migrating large gulls when first seen head on.  No obvious landing place as per pager reports

HNR office
Great White Egret - 2 south c1030
Meadow Pipit - only 2 early am
Coal Tit, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest - single unringed birds caught
No obvious finch vis
Common Buzzard - the first grounded bird I can remember on there - later seen soaring off:

Cetti's Warbler - active with minimum of three probably four singing/calling birds (new arrival?)
Gadwall - 31
Meadow Pipit - low double figures over in clearer weather

Heysham Head
Rock Pipit - 6 feeding along the shore on the low cliff section at the south end and one under the bigger cliffs
Little Egret - gang of five on shore in rocks - unusual here

Single Green brindled Crescent and Red-line Quaker

Lots of dozy dying wasps flopping about around the office area today


Nothing sent to me

The moth trap held Green Brindled Crescent and Red-line Quaker

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Monday 1st October

Heysham NR
07:15 - 12:00
Too clear to monitor the vis properly as most birds flew high at the nature reserve and by all accounts Meadow Pipits were grounding at Ocean Edge but no systematic coverage took place at that location.

Chaffinch - 33
Grey Wagtail - 7
Reed Bunting - 5
alba wagtail - 11
Bullfinch - 4
Pink-footed Goose - 246 north again
Linnet - 1
Siskin - 3
Dunnock - 5

Middleton Nature reserve
Mute 5
Mallard 4
Gadwall 10
Teal 10
Water Rail 1

Cetti's singing from fence pond

Buzzard 5. Together drifting over to south

Limited coverage

Just adult and 1CY Meds around the harbour entrance

Sand Mason worms

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Massive northerly goose movement tracked into and over Cumbria further up the Bay

Given the weather forecast for tomorrow, this will be the end of the month as regards ringing and any vis mig sessions and it was a month with an amazing one-off, the Little Shearwater and which can otherwise be consigned to the instantly forgettable

There was no decent visible migration with all the Meadow Pipit being sent along the Pennines or down the east coast by strong westerlies to the north of us and even the "seawatching weather" promised much but was never (with one notable exception) quite right on the day with a lot of watching paint dry waiting for the odd Leach's

As regards 'falls' and other possibilities with overnight migrants, a lot of effort was put in around the office area, where the feeder fare was a back-up to any poor migrant showing, but Middleton motivation suffered from the general synoptic mediocrity and received the worst coverage for a few years.  The few visits made did suggest that more warblers were moving through there than Heysham NR

So the monthly ringing totals top ten as follows:  Chaffinch (65), Blue Tit (64), Goldfinch (55), Grey Wagtail (37), Robin (32), Blackcap (29), Chiffchaff (23), Greenfinch (22), Meadow Pipit (18 - we did try!), Long-tailed Tit (17).  So the top species away from the feeders was the study-targeted Grey Wagtail with a meagre 37!  Grand total about 455.  Thanks for all the effort, often with low but by no means worthless catches

Vis mig today
Pink-footed Goose - northerly passage of 3865 visible from HNR office and two other flocks heard further west.  These were tracked over the bay/south Cumbria and were almost certainly all overshoots heading for the Solway.  Note that both movements this week have been in SW winds eg virtually none seen yesterday.  25+1(!) south.
Chaffinch - 30
alba - 8
Meadow Pipit - 11
Grey Wagtail - 4
Reed Bunting - 1

Only perceptible stuff round HNR office was single Goldcrest, Blackcap, Chiffchaff

Ad and Juv med gulls near jetty - probably Czech ad - no available tubeworms now
Shag 2cy - flew from harbour to wooden jetty

About 30 new birds by office - surprisingly good - mostly goldfinch, chaffinch and blue tit

Friday, 28 September 2018


A Short-eared Owl was the day highlight as it was flushed by the tide from Ocean Edge saltmarsh

Also unexpected was the Ringing session at Middleton which was assumed to be a vis mig morning after a clear night and sizeable moon but the hint of east in the northerly produced virtually no vis but the highest day catch of what has been an awful year for Chiffchaff - both migration and perhaps especially local productivity (8 new birds).  Other grounded migrants ringed: 5 Reed Bunting, two Blackcap, two Robin and a Goldcrest

Med gull - 3 2cy Red Nab
Buzzard - juvenile over Middleton
Wigeon - IOA

Pics and additional stuff will be added tomorrow

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Surprisingly good

Nets were put up at the office just for routine coverage from about 0715 and the dull conditions meant probably very little was missed earlier.  A combination of HNR office coverage and Malcolm out on the shore saw an enormous NORTHERLY movement of Pink-footed Goose which was presumably some overshooting by ?Solway birds and certainly not roost to feeding area.  One flock contained a single Barnacle Goose

The only other vis mig over the office was four Grey Wagtail and two were duly ringed along with an array of finches and tits with single Chiffchaff and Robin - far more than seemed likely from the synopsis

Thanks to Janet and Malcolm for pics

Pink-footed Goose - 2280 north in at least 15 skeins
Barnacle Goose - 1 north
Skylark - 2 south
Grey Wagtail - 4 SE
Red-throated Diver - 1
Meadow Pipit and Chaffinch - 'none'!

Heysham Head shore
Rock Pipit - ELEVEN!

Red Nab area
Sanderling - at least 2

After a mild night, nine species in the office trap including Acleris emargana which I think if NFY

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Bits on the coast

Merlin - Male ocean edge - 1OA
Wheatear -1
Med gull - min 9 (2 juvs)
Shelduck - 217
Common or Arctic Tern - distant Juv prob Common

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Latish willow warbler

Ringing saw a lot of effort for fairly meagre fare which included a Willow warbler, two Reed warbler,   Chiffchaff, two Blackcap, two Goldcrest and two Grey Wagtail

The rest included three migrant Rock Pipit along ocean edge, a Juv Med gull and a Guillemot still in the harbour

Vis mig 06:30 - 12:00
Chaaffinch - 36
Pink-footed Goose - 148 north
Grey Wagtail - 1 north at 07:50
Meadow Pipit - 2
Collared Dove - 2
Golden Plover - 1 east

Monday, 24 September 2018

Northwesterly and that means more pinks but few warblers

Vis mig 06:45 - 11:00
Pink-footed Goose - 1208
Grey Wagtail - 5
Chaffinch - 39
Alba Wagtail - 4
Goldfinch - 13
Bullfinch - 2
Meadow Pipit - 7
Swallow - 10
Cormorant - 5
Buzzard - 1
Song Thrush - 1
Linnet - 1
Siskin - 1

White Wagtail - 1 at Ocean Edge

Harbour - see photo

Rock pipit - singles by 1/2 m b cafe and below Heysham Head
Wheatear 1 - Heysham Head

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Sat and sun

22 September 2018

Heysham NR
Vis 08:50-12:00
Pink-footed Goose - 428 south
Meadow Pipit - 2
Swallow - 4
Goldcrest - 1

Red Nab
Sandwich Tern - 2 (adult and juv)
Mediterranean Gull - 15 at least

Guillemot - 2

Ocean Edge
Ringed Plover - 32
Grey Plover - 420

Middleton NR
Gadwall - 27
Mallard - 2
Teal - 1
Coot - 2
Water Rail - 3
Stock Dove - 2

Heysham Moss
Woodpigeon - flock of 70


23 September 2018

Heysham NR

Vis 06:45 - 12:00
Meadow Pipit - 35
Pink-footed Goose - 1736
Chaffinch - 25
alba wagtail - 3
Jackdaw - 1
Grey Wagtail - 3
House Martin - 1
Swallow - 1
Mistle Thrush - 1
Song Thrush - 1

Wooden Jetty


Friday, 21 September 2018

Wind okayish in the bay but not in the bigger picture Irish Sea

Nothing to push birds in overnight and a marginal wind on the tide produced very little with just one Leach’s after a cumulative 100 square miles of scanning from various VPs over four hours.  Didn’t realise IOM ferry was in business until it reached the harbour and some followers undoubtedly missed

Leach’s Petrel - one cut across from north side then headed out beyond the yellow buoys
Great Skua - one flew north west through the scope as it was trained towards Knott end from ocean edge
Sandwich tern - loose gang of 13 out, three red nab and two later on outfalls in squall
Common Tern - ad behind ferry
Arctic Tern - 1cy behind ferry
Pintail - flock of three out
Kittiwake - two 1cy early on then at least seven behind IOM ferry
Little gull - usual ad red nab over tide
Med gull - min of 19 including 5 Juv red nab then 25-30 by wooden jetty including the above Belgian or French Juv and German ANLT
Guillemot - one harbour area, one dead on water
Shag - flew towards heyshsm head close inshore

Rock pipit 1-2 Heysham head shore
Low double figures of swallow and meadow pipit struggling south

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Small shearwater

One of the vagrant small shearwater species off Heysham this am then Rossall an hour later.   Not necessarily Barolo but unlikely to be fully documented and specified unless we get some point blank views and pics further down the coast.   What an amazing sighting though, initially at only c350m range.  More later.

Shag - usual bird
Leachs petrel - one out distantly 0810
Sandwich Tern - two north wall, 7 red nab

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Long gaps between highlights!

One of these days lists with decent variety but quite hard work.   The morning tide was predictably useless in the southerly but the cold front saw a change to SW.  A few bits as the tide came in

Seawatching stuff
Leach’s petrel - one out 1635 at medium range, another out and across about 1710. A further 8 seen past SJ, all but one distant bird after 1730
Black Tern - Juv out past north wall mid afternoon
Sandwich Tern - at least 5 out
Gannet - two out early am
Common Scoter - Drake offshore
Guillemot or Razorbill - four out together
Guillemot - two singletons close inshore
Shelduck - 5 plus 11 out
Kittiwake - three out together (one ad), ad and Juv blogging by harbour

Med gull - 23 ad/2cy red nab plus Juv outfalls
Little gull - usual ad red nab
Wheatear - 2

Tuesday, 18 September 2018


Unfortunately a rapidly inbound probably black tern in particularly foul weather this am couldn’t be clinched but single juvenile Arctic and Common and a flock of four Sandwich tern were seen rather better although also in transit

Guillemot - two together out and one in harbour mouth later

17 Med Gulls on the mud near the wooden jetty

A house Martin decided to fly through the wake of the IOM ferry as it was turning to enter port!

Two swallows similarly struggling over the rough sea

Five Pinkfeet out

Eider - at least 196 on sea off Heysham Head - 70 per cent ad m

Monday, 17 September 2018

All about flightlines and virtually nothing grounded

Today's south-easterly would in normal circumstances have seen reasonable numbers of vis mig species at both Heysham and Middleton NRs but it didn't really happen that way with, for example, the Meadow Pipit tape on Middleton catching and attracting down zero.  As is often the case at Heysham NR, the south-easterly sent a significant number of birds crossing the Bay round the north side of the Power Station and there was a reasonable trickle of stuff heading down the coast from Heysham Head over the reserve

Vis mig
alba Wagtail - just 14 SE
Meadow Pipit - 142 SE
Chaffinch - first big movement of the autumn - 84 S/SW
Grey Wagtail - 21 SE
Linnet - 8 SE
Dunnock - one S - very high!
Pink-footed Goose - 26 N, 10 S
Great White Egret - 1 S at 0848
Swallow - 80
House Martin - 1
Coal Tit - flock of 4
Magpie - one in-off amd a flock of 3 high to south
Common Buzzard - one low to E

Grounded HNR
Goldcrest - 2
Chiffchaff - 2
Blackcap - 2

Grounded Middleton
Willow Warbler - 1
Garden Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 2 

Ringing combined:  Grey Wagtail (11), Chaffinch (12), Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap (3), Garden Warbler, Greenfinch (2), Goldfinch (6), Blue Tit (6|), Great Tit (2)

Small Dusty Wave new for year

Sunday, 16 September 2018

More geese

Pink-footed Goose - 660 S
House Martin - 1
Swallow - 5
Raven - 2

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Pinks pile in

A day of proper early morning migration coverage at last but it did not include anything over the sea so the Pink-foot count was very high in the circumstances.  The first two migrant Goldcrest of the autumn appeared in the net at Middleton and there was a variety of late warbler species as well as the more seasonal trickle of Chiffchaff and Blackcap.  In summary, better than recently but in the context of a normal September, nothing special, as to be expected with the light WSW wind and rain fortunately just to the south until lunchtime

Chiffchaff - just three (2 ringed)
Willow warbler - one ringed Heysham NR
Blackcap - three ringed
Reed Warbler - one ringed Middleton
Garden Warbler - one ringed Middleton
Goldcrest - two together ringed Middleton
Robin - 4 lightweight presumed migrants ringed

Vis mig until midday
Pink-footed Goose - 840 S
Sparrowhawk - on east high - prob in-off
Golden Plover - one high to SE
Carrion Crow - flock of 7 east
Swallow - just 14
Grey Wagtail - at least 6 (5 ringed which included 4 out of a flock of 5)
alba Wagtail - just two and no sign of any ex-roost early on
Meadow Pipit - 205 SE
Tree Pipit - one SE
Chaffinch - 9 S
Linnet - flock of 4 SE
Reed Bunting - 1 S over HNR (one ringed Middleton where conspicuously absent recently)

Inshore stuff on tide
Med gull c14 - less than recently
Little Gull - usual ad

Rock Pipit
Two by the south harbour late pm. Six along the shoreline from half-moon bay to Heysham Head - difficult to be certain of origin now but appeared to be two groups of three, including at least three adult and at least one juv and nothing in the plumage to suggest other than petrosus

First Pink-barred Sallow of year

More later on incoming tide stuff red nab/outfalls