Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Ringed Rock Pipit returns for duty

The NE breeze continues, mainly overcast and light showers till mid morning then dry with some short sunny spells.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
First, I missed Pete's summary of yesterday morning's ringing session on Middleton Nature Reserve.


3 Grey Wagtail (out of four over), 

5 Blackcap, 

2 Chiffchaff 

1 Garden warbler, 

3 LOng Tailed Tit

1 Meadow Pipit 

Single figure swallow and meadow pipit over

Green woodpecker again early on 

This is today's ringing and vis report from Jean:

Early morning drizzle stifled any vis but once it cleared there was a small movement of Swallows and a steady trickle of Meadow Pipits. Warblers took time to arrive, with the first one just before 10am. 

Ringing today:

Meadow Pipit 11

Robin 5 (comment from Pete - The main migrant today was subtle - there were Robins all along  the coastal strip and we even caught 5 in two nets at Middleton without tapes)

Willow Warbler 1

Chiffchaff 1

Blackcap 1

Cetti’s Warbler 1

Great Tit 1

Wren 1 retrap.

Grounded migrants:

Whitethroat 1

Reed Bunting 2


Meadow Pipit - given the number ringed, 50 probably went over.

Grey Wagtail - 5

Pied Wagtail - 1

Swallow - 12

Linnet - 2

South shore low water this morning (MD)
Wheatear 4 on foreshore 
Rock Pipit 5 - 2 on Red Nab, plus the ringed male was back on territory near the lighthouse and chased off two other birds. It was also inspecting previous and potential nest holes and displaying.
This was the only angle I could manage to show the ring on the right leg
Still, it's not often you see a picture of a Rock Pipit's back

This shot of it displaying isn't much better 
I'd wondered where it had been, Pete advised that it would have been quietly moulting somewhere.

There were two Robin and at least one "warbler" (likely Willow warbler) calling from the scrub near the lighthouse. A Chiffchaff was singing from the scrub behind Red Nab.

The outflows seemed to be at full capacity after a long break, the gulls were also interested in the waterfall again. Nothing of note today. Several young gulls had already tried and rejected this piece of apple peel. This young Herring gull was the last in the pecking order.

This adult Herring gull was glaring at me, I was obviously walking around its favourite mussel breaking area. This looks like an easy meal, but it takes a lot of effort to break a mature mussel's anchorage, and it often takes several attempts to break it open by dropping it on the harbour wall. And there isn't really a lot of mussel inside.
Herring gull with a mussel, soon to be broken by dropping on the harbour wall.

Mediterranean gull 5 adult plus 1 first winter resting on the rocks at the seaward end of the beach next to the wooden jetty. We have received an update of the Belgian ringed bird from yesterday. A bit of a disappointment, when it was first seen here in 2020, England was the fifth country that it had been seen in. Since then, the only record away from Heysham was Lancaster! Still it's nice to know that it is doing ok.

White 3VEP ringed as a pullus 09/06/16 
At marais d'Harchies; Bernissart; Hainaut; Wallonia; BELGIUM 50,27N 3,41

The sun came out as was going through the nature park behind Red Nab, bringing out the insects.
Red Admiral 3
Painted Lady 1
Small Tortoiseshell 1
Small White 1
Speckled Wood 3
Migrant Hawker dragonfly 3

Kevin did a check in the early afternoon:

5 Wheatear along the Ocean Edge shore. A few butterflies sunning themselves along the wall. 6 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Red Admiral.

Shaun did another thorough search of Heysham Head 08:00 - 10:00

Whinchat 2 (females - yesterday's birds)

Stonechat 2 (imms - different area than yesterdays, but presumably yesterday's bird + an extra one)

Whitethroat 7

Blackcap male

Chiffchaff 2

Swallow 35

House Martin 10

Sand Martin 5 

The above over the wood, then dispersed when it cleared up.

Wheatear 9 on beach quickly moved through

Rock Pipit 4

Little Egrets 7

Later - 23 Wheatears Middleton Sands– most of which came down in a shower and swiftly flitted east when the sun came out - thanks to Dan for this