Friday 15 October 2021

Enough moving through, on a clear day, to be interesting

It started cold and calm. The air temperature never really got above 10C but the sun made it feel warm. The breeze started light from the east and briefly switched to NW for a period in the afternoon. Before returning to SE.

First, this excellent shot of a Little Egret taken yesterday by Kevin Singleton 

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Report from Jean:

I’ve gone and left the ringing book in Pete’s car and I don’t know what John ended up with (apart from the 10 Redpoll). As far as I remember I only caught 2 Wrens, a Robin and a Reed Bunting.

The vis from 07:30-10:30: 

Mainly corvids.

Jackdaw 235 south, 10 NW - largest flock size was 80

Carrion Crow 10 south, 2 NE 

Pink-footed Goose 82 north, 67 south

Grey Heron 4 SE

Little Egret 1 North

Redwing 39 north

Song Thrush 1 

Blackbird 6 

Woodpigeon 18 south

Grey Wagtail 1 caught

Pied Wagtail 2 north

Chaffinch 1 south, 3 north

Finch sp 10 NW 

Redpoll 1 SE plus 10 caught

Bullfinch 3 south

Skylark 4 SE

Linnet 2 

I had a look around mid morning (MD)
Mute unchanged 
Mallard 11
Gadwall 18
Moorhen 12
Little grebe 1
There was a large mixed tit flock feeding near golf course 30+ birds. I've tried merging a few short videos, not sure if it will work, to convey the general activity. It starts with a Long-Tailed Tit watching the others go by, then a Blue Tit, not sure what it is picking off a leaf. There was at least one Chiffchaff and three Goldcrest, but not certain the crests were actually moving with the feeding flock, or just feeding in the same area.

Migrant Hawker 3
Common Darter 6
(One each of the above were seen by Pete, quite early in the morning when the air temperature was still very cool).
This is a clip of a female Common Darter, first landing then visibly "relaxing" in the warmth of the sun.

Out of recording area - Heysham Moss
It was a very nice walk around this under visited reserve. The recent rains have refilled the pools between the peat. (MD).
Teal 4
Mallard 1
Grey Heron 1
Green Sandpiper 1 (heard only)
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 at least
Mixed tit feeding flock c25 birds
Sparrowhawk 1
Raven 1
I couldn't decide if the Sparrowhawk was seeing off the Raven, or vice versa. The Raven ended up heading north.
Ravens and a Sparrowhawk 

Insects - this was my main reason for a visit, it was warm in the sun and I wondered if there were still Black Darters around. I didn't see any, but at times the number of Common Darters around the pools was more like midsummer than mid October!
Common Darter 55 - most in  100m square in the NW corner of the peat pools. Unlike Middleton Nature Reserve where many of the remaining Common Darter are mature female, the Moss darters were all, but one, male. The only female seen was already coupled with a male.
The above was c14:00. On my return to this area c15:00 the breeze had shifted to NW and it was cooler, resulting in only a handful of Common Darters seen, and only when flushed.

Surprisingly no Migrant Hawkers

Presumably third generation Small Copper in the heather