Wednesday 15 September 2021

Spotted Flycatcher best from a decent day.

Light breeze started from the south, before moving to the west. Warm and sunny all day.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Ringing and vis report from Alan:

There was much less cloud than expected this morning but the ringing catch was quite respectable

Meadow Pipit 5

Grey Wagtail 13

Dunnock 2 + 1 retrap

Robin 3

Blackbird 1

Whitethroat 1

Blackcap 6

Blue Tit 2

Reed Bunting 1

A further five Grey Wagtails were seen but escaped capture. Meadow Pipits were attracted to the MP3 player in small numbers (at least 27) as well as the five captured. A flock of 25 Starlings flying fast south at 10.00 were probably passage birds. 

South shore
Shaun had a quick check of the harbour area this morning

Mediterranean Gull  5 adults and 3 1st winters

Little Egret 12 in the vicinity of Red Nab

Chiffchaff 2 and Pied Wagtail 7 south side of harbour

I checked Red Nab and foreshore at evening high water (MD)

Mediterranean gull 7 adult and 4 first winter on Red Nab (there will be overlap with Shaun's)
Common Sandpiper 1 Red Nab
Shelduck 16
Wheatear 2
Rock Pipit 2

Kestrel 1 still hunting, so presumably is catching something 

Heysham Head early afternoon (MD)

Wheatear 6
Rock Pipit 2
Sand Martin 2 south
Spotted Flycatcher 1. Feeding from the trees on the west side of the wood.
Spotted Flycatcher 

Heysham Nature Reserve afternoon 
Janet took these shots during her stroll around
Small Copper

Common Darter male

Garden Spider (I think (MD)) wrapping its lunch

Buzzard 4 together on eastern boundary, see below

So far, with very few exceptions, the only records I have posted on this blog have been within the recording area for the Observatory. This is a bit of a shame, as it excludes some interesting records within the Heysham area, but outside of the recording area. Most notably Heysham Moss which is just east of the rail track that acts as the eastern observatory boundary. So, starting today anything of note in the Heysham area but outside the recording area will be included in this post as an addendum (in blue), but obviously will not be included in the Observatory annual report (MD)
Out of recording area
Heysham Moss Reserve 
This is a very nice reserve, in many ways my favourite of the three local reserves, although the going can be a bit tricky away from the maintained pathways. But there is plenty to be seen from the paths, particularly this time of year when the insects are active. The easiest access is from Meldon Road, just north of Jenny Nook. There is a footpath over the railway bridge and the reserve entrance gate is c100m past the bridge.
Today myself with Peter and Rosemary Silvester had a walk along the western edge of the reserve.
One of the objectives of today's walk was to see how the Black Darters are doing this year. The answer is, not bad, but the males might be a bit lonely, as no females seen today.
Black Darter 2 males seen from the main path, another 7 males were located with a quick excursion into the peat moss on the south section.

Four of the male Black Darters

There were lots of other interesting insects to see. Rosemary took these shots.
Honey Bees in a tree hole nest entrance 

Peter and Rosemary have done some research on this Hoverfly and decided
that it is, almost certainly, a Bog Hoverfly (Sericomyia silentis).
It has now been confirmed as a bog Hoverfly.

I thought this was a female Migrant Hawker, unfortunately some key 
features were not visible, so again, any comments would be welcome (MD)
Female Common Darter
Pair of Common Darters - the female has quite worn wings
All of today's pictures are high resolution and much better appreciated when opened.

By late morning there were Common Darters everywhere, in one small pool there were 9 pairs ovipositoring at the same time. This clip shows four pairs, and it is a fifth pair that quickly flies through the frame.

Buzzard 4 together, being harassed by a Sparrowhawk, while gaining height on the thermal created by the Moss before drifting to the west into the recording area.
Common Buzzard