Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Everything was waiting for wind to stop!

After several days of strong SW winds today it was almost breathless with what breeze there was starting from south and making its way around the compass clockwise. Sunny and pleasantly warm.

Report from Middleton ringers by Alan:

Caught this morning:

Chiffchaff  6

Goldcrest  2

Blackcap  1 (first of year)

Greenfinch  1

Reed Bunting  2

Dunnock  1

10 Swallows north (first of year)

13 meadow pipits down to mp3

Pete checked the north side, including the morning low water channels:
Great Crested grebe 16 
Red-breasted Merganser 39, including one group of 15
Eider 323 
Sandwich Tern 1 out along Kent channel (first of year)
Whooper 24 on sea
Pink-footed goose 170 in one flock north (distant)
Pintail pair on the sea
Swallow 2

Jean did a visual migration check from Ocean edge 08:30 - 10-30

Meadow Pipit 178 (including a sudden “fall” of 120 just after 09:00.

Skylark 2 

Pied Wagtail 6

Swallow 13

Linnet 14

Carrion Crow 15

Chaffinch 1

Wheatear 8 female, 2 male

The rest of the south shore located:

Wheatear 8 male 2 female (different birds to Jean's)

Rock pipit 6 

This young Herring gull was ringed in the Isle of Man - details awaited 
Located near the Harbour waterfall by Gareth and Leslie Powley.

Janet checked Heysham Nature Reserve:

One of the several Chiffchaffs
Brimstone 1 male

John Dent checked Heysham Head foreshore:

Rock Pipits at the usual nest site were carrying nest material as I arrived, then were feeding as the tide dropped.

The pipits were chasing off a pair of wagtails. This happened last year but they still had nests very close to each other.

Further North along the shore were two more Pipits feeding on the tideline- this is one of them

Wheatear 1 on the cliff.

Greenfinch 3 singing around the old go cart track area.

Heysham skeer evening low water (MD)

It was a very pleasant evening stroll, but I was grateful that Pete had conducted a thorough count this morning, there were too many birds for an easy count, so I didn't bother. But I can demonstrate why the Great Crested grebe and Red-breasted Merganser are around in large numbers......so are the fish!

These are five Great Crested grebe fishing. The technique is to let one bird scout, as soon as it finds the fish, they all go hunting.

Everything I know about fish here at this time of year, tells me what they are catching are either large Whitebait or small Whiting. But they don't look right, they look like very small Bass, which historically should not be here. But on the back of the large number of fingerling Bass I saw last year, perhaps the times, they are a changing!