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.