Calm to light SSE breeze. Sunny spells turning to overcast by mid afternoon.
There were a lot of Pink-footed geese around today. Janet reported the fields behind Meldon/Oxcliffe roads full of noisy geese at first light. The various records below record 6,000+ heading NW to NE, the latest at 15:10 - which seems late to be heading north.
With clear skies and calm conditions, there was a grass frost this morning although it didn't feel too cold except for the hands whilst setting nets. Ringing was very slow with only 9 birds caught by ten thirty. There were 20+ blackbirds grounded around the ringing area and small groups of Redwing and the odd fieldfares moving about the reserve feeding on Hawthorn berries. By 08.30 there was less movement with ones and twos of blackbirds and redwings quietly feeding in hawthorns all around.
The highlight was just after sunrise when lines (possibly 2500) of Pink footed Geese came from the Fylde area flying NE - they filled the sky almost from horizon to horizon and sound of their calls was wonderful. A second, slightly smaller flock followed half an hour later (possibly 1500) and a further 250 + 70 followed them.
Single retraps each of Wren, Long tailed Tit and Great Tit.
Up to three Water Rails calling in the reeds.
Shaun managed another visit this morning:
Half Moon Bay & Heysham Head 07:30 - 10:30
Pink-footed Goose - large group of c1300 heading North and NE at 07:35 + c130 NE at 07:45
Shag juv feeding close in just off the northern tip of Heysham Head at high tide
Little Egret 11
Lapwing 84 roosting next to Helipad with some spooked and heading north
Golden Plover group of 36 heading in to the bay
Ringed Plover 4 roosting Heysham Head
Knot c900 in several flocks heading south towards harbour
Snipe 5 flushed off Helipad by a dog walker
Peregrine pair over power station
Rock Pipit 4
Heysham Nature Reserve 10:30 - 11:30
Did a circuit from the reserve car park to the NE corner via Dipping Pond
Very few birds besides c25 Blackbird, c15 Redwing, 3 Robins and a pair of Bullfinch!
Small Tortoiseshell 1 seen later by Kevin.
|Pale-bellied Brent feeding in the SE corner of skear|
This clip is when they all went to the NE corner, you can easily see the Stone Jetty behind, so presumably the geese would be visible from there, but they don't stay there long on calm days, as there is nothing to feed on (West to SW strong winds can drive broken weed into this corner).
Pink-Footed goose c600 one flock to NW at 15:10, presumably they had been flushed from wherever they had been feeding. 600 is one of the smaller flocks recorded today, even so, it is quite impressive.