Tuesday 31 July 2018

Meds reach record levels but a few dog problems on Red Nab

Having said that it was another frustrating day for ring-reading until Richard in the evening when three were read - all adults from previous years, hopefully with some interesting sightings since they were last read here - this time due to scope shake and alarm calling large gulls

Arctic Tern - ad and juv outfalls/Red Nab

Thanks Janet
Med Gull - 62 (12 2CY, 4 juv, rest ad or 3CY) - record count
Little Gull - ad
Shag - 2Cy wooden jetty at high tide
Dunlin - 1,100 on Red Nab until flushed by Red Setter
Green Sandpiper - one Middleton NR
Little Grebe - two ad one juv Middleton NR
Kingfisher - IOA (year??) Middleton

Two days running of dog problems on Red Nab - one of the dog walking companies yesterday - not one I am familiar with and comprising a single lady with an unnamed company.   Today a very distinctive lady in green with a red setter & smaller black dog and hair dyed the same colour as the Red Setter!

Please try and find an opportunity to explain about high tide roosts if you come across any flushing incidents - especially any perceived (likely repetitive) dog walking companies.

Recent recoveries not already mentioned:
S784839          Juv       13/08/17          Middleton
Recaptured      Ad F     09/06/18          Thornton (Merseyside) 60km S 300 days.

This is the second time a Middleton ringed juvenile has been caught at Thornton during the breeding season

Med Gull
FS32314/PRK4   Breeding 3CY F   26/5/18  Wisla, Mazowieckie, POLAND 52 28N 19 57E
Seen                                                  26/7/18    Heysham Red Nab    1518km WNW            

Monday 30 July 2018

Meds getting near record levels

................but a very frustrating time with ring reading with a badly timed weather front and rain on glasses and optics

Med Gull - 49; 35 Ad/3CY, 8 2CY, 6 juv.  Absolute minimum of 7 colour-ringed birds: 3 x green ad, one x red ad, one x white ad, one x white juv, one ad with a ring with a 'pale' background.  None read today due to the best period being very wet

Sandwich Tern - one off Heysham skeer evening

To be added

Saturday 28 July 2018

Yet more Meds

Ad Med and Ad Little incoming tide this am
Unringed juv outfalls (thanks Malcolm)

Thanks to Richard for persevering in horrible conditions this morning with the attempted Med ring-reading
So far then:

R13E - returning French bird seen here in at least three late summers since 2011 - must have a decent life history now - white letters on green background

Nestling15/06/2009Oye Plage, Les Huttes d'Oye, Pas-de-Calais, FRANCE  50,59N 2,03E
Seen20/09/2009Le Portel, Pas-de-Calais, FRANCE  50,42N 1,34E
Seen07/02/2010Piriac-sur-Mer, Loire-Atlantique, FRANCE  47,23N 2,33W
Seen18/02/2010Piriac-sur-Mer, Loire-Atlantique, FRANCE  47,23N 2,33W
Seen21/04/2010Barbâtre, Polder de Sebastopol, Vendée, FRANCE  46,56N 2,09W
Seen27/04/2011Barbâtre, Polder de Sebastopol, Vendée, FRANCE  46,56N 2,09W
Seen03/08/2011Heysham outfalls
Seen21/07/2013Heysham outfalls
Seen22/07/2013Heysham outfalls
Seen31/12/2014Noyalo, étang, Pont Grandic, Noyalo, Morbihan, FRANCE  47,37N 2,41W
Seen05/07/2015Heysham outfalls
Seen23/07/2016Heysham outfalls
Seen06/03/2017Playa de El Rinconin, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN  43,32N 5,38W
Seen28/07/2018Heysham outfalls

ANLT - white letters on green background.  Another returning bird which has been re-ringed on the nest (German)

5405056/AKRS then replaced with ANLT from 22.05.2016
Nestling M16.06.2012 Pionierinsel Lühe, Steinkirchen, Stade, Niedersachsen, GERMANY 53 34N 9 36E
Seen08.07.2013 Heysham outfalls
Seen13.07.2013 Heysham outfalls
Seen21.07.2013 Heysham outfalls
Seen14.05.2016 Pionierinsel Lühe, Steinkirchen, Stade, Niedersachsen, GERMANY 53 34N 9 36E
Caught/nest22.05.2016Pionierinsel Lühe, Steinkirchen, Stade, Niedersachsen, GERMANY 53 34N 9 36E
Seen31.03.2017Pionierinsel Lühe, Steinkirchen, Stade, Niedersachsen, GERMANY 53 34N 9 36E
Seen30.08.2017Heysham outfalls
Seen28.07.2018Heysham outfalls

PKR4 - white letters on red background - Polish - no info yet

Please do have a go at ring reading if you are down there - at least one more adult, one 3CY and two

juvs seen in recent days which have not been read.   Low or early incoming tide probably best

Reed Warbler - just received info of a Reed Warbler caught on 4/5/18 when there was a massive

fall of migratory warblers, including two Belgian, one French and one British Sedge Warbler controls 
(on a CES!).  This Reed Warbler has just recently been caught on territory at Lough Neagh,
Northern Ireland where they are still pretty scarce and relatively recent colonists.   One previous
example of a spring-ringed bird subsequently breeding elsewhere in the same season was
just across the Bay at Barrow!!
Richard's Donaghey's email this am:
"I'm sure your guys will have picked up on this but we are very pleased to have our first Reed
Warbler recovery. We only began ringing along the west shore of Lough Neagh last year with two visits and
we were very pleased to ring c120 Sedge Warblers and an amazing 30 Reed Warblers, which from your time
in NI, you'll know this is a massive total! We were very surprised that that we didn't get a single control from
c150 acros, even on the way back north this spring. On the first visit this year that changed when we caught
your Middleton Reed Warbler and  French Sedge Warbler, hopefully more to come"
Little Gull - ad around
Shag - wooden jetty

Whimbrel - saltmarsh

Friday 27 July 2018

More Meds

Med Gull - totals for the day saw minimum 35 adult/3CY, one 3CY, 7 2CY and three juvs = 46
Little Gull - adult
Shag - 2CY wooden jetty
Dunlin - 400 or so
Curlew - 180 plus including bird with red flag above tarsus left leg

Migrant Hawker by wooden jetty

Little Grebe & young Middleton

Latish Poplar Hawk-moth in trap

Thursday 26 July 2018

Ringed Meds

Med Gull: At least five with darvic rings - many sat and legs not viewable -  Adults with green darvic (3), unspecified pale colour (1) and red (1) with juv seen very briefly with a 'pale colour ring' on Red Nab on incoming tide - very frustrating as couldn't quite read any of them with my eyes, but Pete had more luck with at least one of them

At least 23 Med in total (3 juv, 4 2cy, one obvious 3cy, rest ad/3cy)

Dunlin - unexpected invasion of 1,100-1,200 - nearly all in summer plumage - some flew off, but many stayed on the outer edge of Red Nab on the incoming tide

Little Ringed Plover - adult again by slipway on OE
Common Sandpiper - one by wooden jetty
Wheatear - first of autumn along OE foreshore
Coal Tit - juvenile ringed by Heysham NR office
Reed Warbler - juv ringed by Hey NR office

Wednesday 25 July 2018

Another young Cetti’s warbler

Ringing at Middleton saw a decent selection of mainly warblers with young Cetti’s and young Garden Warbler notable - the latter certainly did not breed within song-audible range of the usual areas covered this year.   No Grasshopper Warbler though

The shore fractionally after high tide held 22 Med Gulls, all adult or 3cy apart from two 2cy and just one Juv

The Middleton Webs saw the first two Snipe of the autumn, one Coot, Little Grebe with young and a welcome reduction to just four Mute Swans.  About 17 Gadwall were visible

The low key office Moth trap is turning up a few odds and ends and Catoptria margaritella was an unexpected visitor from the moors this am

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Juv med influx and Treecreeper at last

One of these has a darvic with black letters on a dark background but I just can’t quite read it. Another seen more briefly before it sat down had white lettering on a 'dark' background.  Five in total and 18 Meds altogether on Red Nab.  None of the older birds where the legs were visible (8) appeared to be ringed, so if you are down there, please concentrate on juvs.  Thanks.

Greenshank and summer plum Knot

Ad Little Gull which promptly disappeared!

Shag - 2cy feeding off Throbshaw Point (Heysham Head rocks) at high water.
Rock pipit - still at least three between Half Moon Bay and Heysham Head
Tree creeper - juvenile ringed by HNR office

Monday 23 July 2018

High tide check

Shag - 2CY on wooden jetty - moulting in to more adult-type body plumage

Little Gull - ad summer (re)appears
Med Gull - 13 scattered on sand flats to south or (just 3) on Red Nab - no juvs seen
Whimbrel - one heliport seawall. Four Ocean Edge
Redshank - 270 heliport seawall
Common Sandpiper - one wooden jetty area

Office area
Juvenile Swallow with brand new ring caught Z7593xx

The Middleton actinic held a Mompha, either substrigella or sturnipennella TBC.  At the other size extreme, an Old Lady and the SD45-infrequent Lesser Swallow and Pale Prominents.  Straw Underwing, as usual topping the Heysham trap catch with 8 and nothing special in there .

Sunday 22 July 2018

More bits and pieces

Only about 10 scattered Swallows at the roost tonight but 19 Swift flew south in the hour before dusk

Five Little Egret and two Whimbrel Red Nab

This Holly Blue and a Garden Tiger on vegetation near Red Nab (thanks Malcolm)

Saturday 21 July 2018

Nice mix

Ringing saw the first rather belated juvenile Cetti’s Warbler of the year.  Next best we’re two juvenile  Grasshopper Warblers ringed and the Green Sandpiper reappeared on the Tim Butler pond

Little grebe plus young seen again as were the 27 Gadwall

At least five adult and two Juv Med gulls on outfalls

Two rock pipit of unknown age were on half moon bay beach

Middleton Moth trap held five species of Wainscot and a Pale Prominent

Friday 20 July 2018

From heat haze to drizzly murk

One outfalls check saw 3 ad and one Juv med gulls and that was it!

Thursday 19 July 2018

Off day

A few heat hazy Meds on red nab this pm was about it with no reports of Little gull or the rock pipit family on Heysham half moon bay (checked)

A few Straw Underwing in the reopened Moth trap, next best probably Lime speck Pug

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Mixed bag

Multi-genera highlights notably a soldier fly known as the Banded General which was found on the path by Heysham Nr office - this is one of the most North-westerly records of a species which is hardly going to be overlooked!

Next best was a Hummingbird Hawk-Moth near the bottle dump on Middleton NR

Outfalls saw at least one mobile adult Little Gull and a cursory check saw 7 Meds

Top two by Malcolm, bottom by Pete Woodruff - thanks for these

Ringing by the office was very productive with just short of fifty new birds including 5-6 each of both Whitethroats and Willow warbler and single out of habitat Reed and Sedge warblers

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Early returning little gull

Ad summer little gull Heysham two outfall

Med gull - 10 adult, one 2cy, one Juv

71 Eider and four g c grebe low tide channels this am


No joy this evening at Middleton - single singing Grasshopper Warbler and a Brown Hawker still flying at 2203

Med gull - 5ad, one 2cy as seen from ocean edge early stages incoming tide

Greenfinch female ringed as a Juv in 2012 was caught by the office in rain interrupted session otherwise notable for a willow warbler and a blackcap!

Sunday 15 July 2018

Two juv Meds

 Not much else today - the Webs failed to reveal the Shag and it may have moved on

Med gull - 7 ad, one 2cy and two juvs pre tide, one Juv left for Webs count as 10m tide cleared most things out of the area

Small copper butterfly in SD35Z new for tetrad and a painted lady was seen on Middleton

Saturday 14 July 2018

The mythical Wall Brown reappears

Thanks Malcolm - all four Rock Pipit somewhere here

Whimbrel - 1 inshore
Curlew - 304 Red Nab
Med Gull - 11 x ad, 2 x 2CY Red Nab

Reed Warbler juv ringed next to office

Humming Bird Hawk-moth and Wall brown photographed on buddleia at southern end of landscape strip - where it meets the egress route

Interesting day - Friday posting

A heron emerged from the reedbed area just before dusk and gave a prolonged view of flight silhoeuttte before heading south east.   Once it had sorted itself out in level flight any worries about the initial ‘take-off’ views were dissipated and it was clearly a bittern for the observer with optics, not a possible night heron.   Always have optics at hand even though you are set up to deal with a swallow catch as rapidly as possible before dusk!

Dead harbour porpoise in harbour

Only c35 swallow this evening -21 ringed

Sand Martin - one juvenile ringed

The two rock pipit young were still being fed by one parent with the other fairly close by but ignoring them.   Still giving food begging calls!

Thursday 12 July 2018

Juv med and early swallow roost

Juv med red nab just before high tide plus two adults but most of gulls had moved off
23 adult Meds were feeding between No.1 outflow and wooden jetty on rising tide 20:00

At least 200 Swallow roosting Middleton Nr

Having serious trouble with very slow and ‘freezing’ computer late evening at home.   Please could you post your own pics thanks


Reports of northern brown and brown Argus in the recording area to be confirmed

Max of 6 med gulls

Rock pipits feeding at least  two young, no sign of the other pair

Tuesday 10 July 2018

Rock Pipit confirmed breeding

Its a bit complicated, but we have definite evidence now with two recently fledged young being fed on 6th July and earlier pics showing insects being taken to the nest by both parents.  Thanks very much to John Dent for alerting us to this as it would perhaps otherwise have remained on Flickr

More detail later

Coastal coverage
Curlew - 400 exactly Red Nab and 15 nearby on mud at HT
Whimbrel - 4
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1
Ringed Plover - 3
Redshank - 31
Med Gull - max of 14 this evening

Common Sandpiper - 2 by wooden jetty

Monday 9 July 2018

Med gulls again

Another no show for rock pipit - not looking good.

15 meds this evening on outfalls

Two ringlet Heysham Nr

Sunday 8 July 2018

Reasonable CES

Middleton CES produced a few warblers including a Reed Warbler from elsewhere to continue an impressive year for birds ringed elsewhere

Unfortunately not the case with Meds with numbers suppressed as heysham one outfall is not in full flow for about a month.   Max of 5 ads seen today and no reports of Shag or Rock Pipits

Singing Male grasshopper warbler middleton central marsh - first for a bit and the usual Cetti’s singing in the central marsh

Pic update for last few days tomorrow

Saturday 7 July 2018

Baby birds at the feeder

Inshore coverage saw a maximum of 6 ad and 2 2CY Med reported and at least 180 Curlew at high tide on Red Nab

Ringing by the office produce about half a dozen each of baby Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit (including one ringed in our nestbox), Chaffinch but a bit of a dearth of Green and Goldfinches. 2-3 each of Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler.

A Yellow-tail moth resided on the shaded side of the office wall all day and a Grey Seal was off the outfalls

Friday 6 July 2018

Meds and end of the moth trap

The seemingly simple process of changing the security lights on the office to motion sensor has been lost in a tangle of bureaucracy/inertia somewhere in Manchester.  The security lights on full blast all night renders the moth trap completely useless.  A few moths were coming through the window but not worth a special journey to check a handful and obviously not on to leave them in there to die, so the window was boarded up and the room will be extra storage space.   Very frustrating example of a subcontract where there are no obvious appraisals in place (comment by pete marsh as lancashire county Moth recorder)

Med gull - four adults by Heysham  one power station outfall

Thursday 5 July 2018

Ringlets reach the dog walk track

Thanks to Janet and Malcolm for info

Med Gull - 6 x ads on drop tide evening the max count - including right leg metal ringed bird

'Thinly spread' sums up Ringlet status with presence along the dog track for the first time

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Green Sandpiper still present

Green Sandpiper still on Middleton Tim Butler pond

Little Grebe plus at least one young still

Obvious Otter activity on Middleton overnight targeting signal crayfish

Very quick negative check for Rock Pipit otherwise no coastal coverage

White plume moth in moth trap

Tuesday 3 July 2018

Mixed bag of action

Rock Pipit - seen on power station fence

Shag - the 2CY in wing moult in harbour

Med Gull - 10 x Ad including metal ringed bird, 1 x3CY with either orange or red darvic, 2 x 2CY

Green Sandpiper - one Middleton Tim Butler pond for large part of day

Ringing at Middleton - a real mixed bag, mainly Willow Warbler and Whitethroat.  Oddity was an adult male Swallow ringed as a juvenile in a Middleton roost in August 2015 and a female Cetti's Warbler with a brood patch is the nearest we have got to breeding this year so far.  One juvenile Grasshopper Warbler but it looks like a lot of the Sedge Warblers have moved off

Ringlet drifted along the track between central and western marsh  

Monday 2 July 2018

More meds

Rock pipit seen very briefly by wooden jetty

Med gull: - 5 ads and two 2cy.   Only ring seen was on the presumed regular metal ringed ad

Whimbrel - 1

Ringlet -  4 plus middleton

Nothing of note in Moth trap

Sunday 1 July 2018

Rock Pipit again

Single Rock Pipit frequenting the west quay and the area above the waterfall, hopefully the off duty male as the other bird should in theory still be sitting

Little Grebe with at least one young Middleton

Med Gull:  3 x ad and 1 x 3CY - no real build up yet with Heysham one outfall birdless during the latter stages of the outage

Depressaria badiella in the moth trap; best of rest a Common Emerald but trap not really fully operational yet due to the tortuous process of resetting the security lights to motion sensor

30th June - Male little ringed plover photographed by oe slipway