Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Sand Martins heading south

A very light southerly breeze to start with, later freshened and moved to the west. Sunshine all day.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Ringing report from Alan:

Much as yesterday the conditions were far from ideal for ringing.  It seemed that most birds had moved on during the last two clear nights.  The catch was therefore rather low:

Grasshopper Warbler  1

Blackcap   3

Chaffinch  3

Willow Warbler   2 retrap

Lesser Whitethroat  2

Reed Bunting  1 retrap

Sedge Warbler  1

Song Thrush   1

Blackbird  1

South Shore (MD)

On these very low neap tides, high water doesn't get much higher than Red Nab, so I had a walk along the water line, nice walk, but little to see other than the large gulls, Oystercatcher and Curlew.

Holidaymakers disturbed the small roost of small gulls on Red Nab revealing:

Mediterranean gull 4 (3 adult and 1 3rd calendar year)

No sign of Wheatears or Rock Pipits today.

Sand Martin 3 flew south out from the saltmarsh - later a single bird flew south past my house.

There are large stands of Buddleia (butterfly bush) near the pond behind Red Nab. The flowers this year have been very impressive, but largely butterfly free! Today they were alive with butterflies.

Red Admiral 3

Peacock 10
Peacock butterfly 

Comma 7

Large White 2 - these were particularly frustrating. I find these second generation butterflies very striking, especially when seen against a large purple flower. Both the ones seen here did feed on the Buddleia, but they quickly moved on before I got a decent shot. The picture below is one of two that were on the saltmarsh.
Large White butterfly 
Meadow Brown 4
Meadow Brown

Small Tortoiseshell 5

Small Tortoiseshell 
Small Skipper 2

Also around the Buddleia, but not seen feeding on it.
Gatekeeper 5

Common Blue 3

Heysham skear (low water 14:50)

Another nice walk, but with little to see. Nothing on the sea except gulls and the odd cormorant.

Little Egret 7

Curlew numbers still low c20

Whimbrel 1

Plus the ever present Oystercatcher and a scattering of Redshank and Turnstone 

It has been a good year for moths turning up in gardens (I understand it has been a good year for moths generally). This Vapourer moth turned up in Janet's garden. It has to be a male, as the females are wingless.

Vapourer moth