Monday, 9 April 2018

Fogbound rubbish then a very welcome sighting

Nothing seemed to move early on during the fog this morning, epitomised by the lack of any Chiffchaff/Willow Warbler in the nets at Heysham and the nets at Middleton either definitely or probably picking up returning breeding birds.  In this respect, three Willow Warbler males ringed in previous years were caught.

Nothing overhead of note either until:

Jean (at the nets) and myself (by the office) simultaneously uttered the word 'Chough' at 1109hrs as calls were heard high in the sky to the SW.  It flew over the top of the pylon line and spiralled down towards Half Moon Bay area.  It was not followed up immediately and could not be located later but it is clearly (assuming it is not a one-off passing through) seeing Heysham Head as a familiar 'clocking in location' whilst wandering about looking for a mate.  It does beg the question that surely it can be turning up any where within a thirty or so mile radius of Heysham, including its presumed former haunt of one of the Blackpool golf courses.  It does seem highly unlikely that it has flown as far as the Sefton coast with its observer saturation, but a key potential observer is currently absent from the Rossall area and the rest of the Fylde coast south of there is tricky to cover unless it goes inland over Marton or as far as Fairhaven.  As previously mentioned, it definitely flew over Knott End mid-am on 20th March

Goldcrest - three ringed at Heysham with at least one other there
Raven - one flew over Middleton - hard to find these days and mostly high-fliers
Chough - see above (not the pic, that's the Raven!)
Sandwich tern - 6 on or around the buoys off the north wall pm
Brent Goose - none seen in several checks off Knowlys
Red-throated Diver - 2 offshore
Common Buzzard - four seen soaring high to the east of Middleton (and four fighting over Heysham Moss in pm) 
Sparrowhawk - one probably migrant north
Meadow Pipit - just 10 recorded
Swallow - just two
Cetti's Warbler singing central marsh

Early Orange Tip seen nearby on Heysham Moss.  Otherwise the 'big four' hibernators were at large:

Thanks for all the pics Janet