Friday 29 June 2018

Wandering insects

Gatekeeper was definitely new for SD35Z as it wandered around the sparse brambles by the wooden jetty.  Also 10+ Meadow Brown, possibly as many as three Painted Lady and numerous whites

Med Gull - 3-4 ad and a new 3CY
Curlew - at least 208

Thursday 28 June 2018

Nice mixture for Malcolm's rounds

Rock Pipit - what is hopefully the off-duty male was around a moored boat on the south quay today before slipping away:

Little Grebe - pair with two young Middleton no swimming pond
Stock Dove one flew east over Middleton NR
Gadwall - 6 adult, 16 young
Curlew - 280 Red Nab incoming tide
Med Gull - 2 x ad Red Nab incoming tide
Shag - 2CY wooden jetty (PM)

Porpoise poss two offshore

No sign of yesterdays probable White-letter Hairstreak along the golf course edge between the reserve entrance and the five barred gate.  Gatekeeper yesterday at Middleton = early

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Meds think its still spring!

Just received this pic from Heysham head in my in-box!   Live-rug rat.

Returning Meds were still displaying on the sandflats off Ocean Edge this morning

Med Gull - 3 x adult - one metal-ringed on right leg - and one 3CY - all four in lower photo

No sign of any Rock Pipit activity as viewed from along the seawall (none expected in the time available if female is sitting)

Grey Seal inshore feeding on mullet

Grey Heron in-off

Ringing by office
A surprising number of juvenile Great Tits which were unringed - nine caught, otherwise a few finches and a couple of warbler fledglings.  Missing from the Middleton session and this morning were the (on arrival dates) the earliest nesters - just one Chiffchaff and Blackcap and no Lesser Whitethroat from the two sessions - have they dispersed already/too dry to attract them into the trapping areas/failed?

Monday 25 June 2018

Young Birds are about at Middleton

Post for Sunday 24th:

A ringing session at Middleton NR this morning produced a decent number of juvenile captures including:

Blackcap 1, Blue Tit 1, Chiffchaff 1, GreatTit 3, Reed Warbler 1 (+3 adults), Robin 3, Sedge Warbler 5 (+4 adults), Whitethroat 6, Willow Warbler 3 (+1 adult in primary moult).


Thursday 21 June 2018

Bits and pieces

Possible distant Rock Pipit flying into the power station area by wooden jetty

Middleton WEBS:
Mute 1 pair plus 2 individuals. Don't know what happened to the young one on Tim Butler. Perhaps it was just out of sight somewhere.
0 Coot
4 Moorhen
2 female Gadwall with 3 & 5 young.
1 Little grebe ("no swimming")
1 Heron

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Another ad Med

Missed out on an early morning seawatch due to alarm problems!

Manx Shearwater - one out
Med Gull - 2CY am, Ad pm
Shag - wooden jetty
Lapwing - one Red Nab unseasonal

A nice mixed bag from Janet's travels today - thanks for these Janet

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Nothing new today

One brief Rock Pipit sighting

1x 2cy med (one with blackish head)

Shag 2cy around

Linnet breeding in SD35Z -  carrying nest material

Quite a few moths in the trap including Blackneck and Heart and Club

Monday 18 June 2018

Arctic Skua shock and more Rock Pipit observation

Malcolm was out on Heyshsm skeer pre tide and a light morph Arctic Skua flew close above his head heading into the Bay

At least one Rock Pipit seen carrying nesting material into the power station this pm - must surely have almost finished building a ??(time of year) second attempt

Both of the 2cy meds were on Red Nab

2CY Shag wooden jetty

Sunday 17 June 2018

Breeding Rock Pipit

Two were seen together on Thursday with one carrying nesting material.  Unfortunately the observer had to leave before they could track the bird to the nest site.  Awkward time - the ringing team don't seem to have any time to follow this up and the same goes for any of the rest of us.  Watch this space and hopefully not predated before we can absolutely confirm a nest site (I've not seen either of the two birds and they are incredibly elusive)

Note the nesting material carried by bird on the left

Family party of Pied Wagtail and a few Linnet in the same area

Shag still present on wooden jetty - another novelty - a summering Shag!

Sat 16th

Lift off with seagulls

2 x 2CY Meds - one with mask, the other with blackish head
250 Black-headed
35 Common

Shag - 2CY

2 x Little Egret Red Nab

160 Curlew Red Nab

Friday 15th

3 x Manx
2Cy Med with mask

Thursday 14 June 2018

Decent seawatch and an interesting development

Sea 0830ish to 1345 with virtually nothing after 1230 with clearing skies and dropping wind

Manx Shearwater - 196 out with highest density about 1200-1215 just before the Stormie as thought the Bay was 'emptying out' as the weather cleared
Storm Petrel - one out about 1222-23hrs (Pete) - Knowlys Rd VP definitely best height for petrels - on view all the time
Fulmar - 3 out - one cliff-hugging, two distant
Bonxie - one out mid-am (Tom), one out 1240 (Matt but also seen from Far Arnside)
Kittiwake - flock of 23 out, a few after I left
Sandwich Tern - 1
prob Guillemot - one out
Gannet - just 5 adult and one 2CY out
Bar-tailed Godwit - two unseasonal birds out
Common Scoter - 1
Swallow - one north over sea!

Tom, Matt and Pete at various times

Rock Pipit - pair with nesting material!!!!   Watch this space after tomorrows investigation

Wednesday 13 June 2018


There were two dangerous off-lead dogs on Middleton NR and surrounding area today with a single male owner.   They were either Dobermann or very similar.   A photographer was attacked and bitten on the back of the leg after repeatedly having to fend one of them off.   Unacceptable.  Any other incidents/idea who this is please?

Incoming tide outfalls/ocean edge
2cy med gull
Black-headed gull - 175
Common gull - 16
Whimbrel - 1

Tuesday 12 June 2018

No news today

Nothing received today but a one-off summer sea-watch coming up on Thursday with 40 mph SW going W on the incoming tide.  Please note that the best time to see any possible Storm Petrel is often as they fly out on the dropping tide so a post-tide watch worth it

Yet again no Red-veined Darter yesterday - that's it I suspect

Still haven't got the seagull breeding info so that will be updated tomorrow

Monday 11 June 2018

Fluffy things on rooftops

Gull nest count day - haven't got the figures though - update tomorrow

First 6-spot Burnet of the year - thanks Janet

Sunday 10 June 2018

Mixed bag

A Short-winged Conehead found yesterday at Red Nab - previously 'bat-detected' on Ocean Edge saltmarsh

Teneral Common Darter today at Middleton.  Bad news for Red-veined - never recorded Red-veined as new for the year, as far as I am aware, after the teneral Common D's appear:
Poor breeding season for waterfowl on Middleton.  Mute Swan down to one chick by all accounts.  No obvious sign of successful Little Grebe.   Gadwall chicks down to 7+2

THREE singing male Cetti's today including the western marsh bird for the first time in ages

Saturday 9 June 2018

Another sunny insect day

……..…..but still no sign of any Red-veined Darter

30 Canada Geese off Ocean Edge yesterday evening

Some nice pics from Janice Sutton's dragonfly searching visit.  Thanks Janice

Friday 8 June 2018

Med Gull

A quite early unringed summer adult Med Gull was on the tideline between the old sewage pipe and Heysham 2 outfall just after morning high tide

Three Little Egret around

15 adult summer Black-headed Gull also showing the seasons are changing

Nothing notable on Middleton CES but two singing Cetti's Warbler

Thursday 7 June 2018

Insects and wanderers

The insects are making the most of the hot weather on Middleton nature reserve. Large numbers of dragonflies including: Emperor, 4-Spotted chasers, Broad bodied chasers and Black tailed skimmers. Plenty of butterflies too, including first Meadow brown (for me at least).

Birds on Middleton NR:
Canada goose - 3 on model boat pond all morning
Gadwall - 3 adult plus two lots of young chicks (5 & 11) "no swimming" pond
Mallard 2 female with chicks (2 mature & 8 young)
Little grebe, at least one feeding on "no swimming" pond
Just one pair of mute still with active nest, but the two failed pairs are still present.
Cetti's warblers 2 singing birds, "no swimming" pond and central marsh

Two additional mute swan feeding on Red Nab again today.

Two Pinkfoot south 9:00.

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Coastal bits and pieces

Sandwich Tern - 16 feeding in Kent channel region on dropping tide
Arctic Tern - one fishing slightly closer in than above
More diving white dots further out in the heat haze
Eider - couldn’t find a single one in scan from Knowlys
Shag - 2cy still on and around wooden jetty
Great crested Grebe - still one
Rock pipit no show

Jackdaw - two in sheep field - never seen them foraging on south side of head before!

Grey Seal - one between outfalls

MD and PM

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Summer variety

Two sandwich tern in low tide channel off outfalls

Middleton NR
Three black-tailed slimmer and four emperor

At least one Little grebe feeding on "no swimming" pond (pair feeding on main pond yesterday).
Cetti's warbler singing from central marsh.
2 Gadwall plus at least three chicks

Monday 4 June 2018

Quiet period

Please could people post their own stuff this week.  I may be able to do a quick check of gulls one or two mornings but otherwise nothing from Jean or Pete this week.  Thanks.

Sunday 3 June 2018

Bits and bobs

Gadwall - female with 5 new young Middleton
Little Grebe - pair but behaviour suggests nest failure
Mallard with two large chicks

No coastal coverage but the seagulls should be building up now - await some Meds!

2nd June belated warblers

The only coverage today was a ringing session in our usual Middleton western marsh sites which was a bit of a revelation, with the absence of the Subalpine Warbler replaced by a perfectly acceptable Plan B

Eight new for year Sedge Warblers were caught (three with last year's rings) and all seemingly wandering males or females without brood patches.  Mid-month there was just one singing male Sedge Warbler in the trapping area!  Three unringed male Whitethroat were also caught, unringed Dunnock, Goldfinch, Blackbird and Robin, the 'ahhh' factor a baby Robin and the pain factor a Great-spotted Woodpecker

Two singing male Cetti's Warblers in the central marsh - one intermittent and the other sounding like it was unpaired

Friday 1 June 2018

Subalpine Warbler spp

Can’t post much today but a female Subalpine Warbler was located by an experienced migrant searcher on Middleton NR just west of the western marsh at the bottom of the slope up to the higher ground

More stuff for today will be sorted tomorrow when I can get on main computer internet