Friday, 25 March 2022

Four butterfly species and a Merlin

Another day of variable light breezes. A cold start, but sunny and increasing warm in the sunshine throughout the day.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Ringing report from Alan:

Nothing exciting I'm afraid!

12 Lesser Redpolls and one Dunnock was total catch this morning. Three further Redpolls came down but were not trapped.

Meadow Pipits were scarce this morning with only about 20 attracted to the MP3 players but none was caught. A single alba Wagtail also came down but not trapped.

I had a walk around the eastern side late morning (MD).

Mute Swan 2 adult on "no swimming" pond but female not on the nest today. 1 adult on Tim Butler pond and 4 adult and 6 immature on the main pond - so another of last year's cygnets gone.

Coot 5 (4 on main pond, plus 1 on "no swimming" pond)

Moorhen 6 (2 each on the three ponds)

Gadwall 8 (4 pairs)

Mallard 6 

Tufted Duck 1 male

Male Tufted Duck

Little grebe 7 at least - 4 (2 pair) on main pond, pair on Tim Butler pond and at least 1 on "no swimming" pond. These are two of the main pond birds, at the very beginning of the clip you may just be able to hear one of the other pair trilling.

Water Rail 1 calling
Buzzard 3 - 2 together north plus one that soared too high to see which way it ended up going.
Sparrowhawk 1 male hunting 
Chiffchaff 10 singing males
One of today's singing Chiffchaff, this one is ringed

Brimstone 3 male and a female 
Male Brimstone 

Peacock 2 - one very worn plus this fresher looking individual 

Comma 1 
Worn Comma

Small Tortoiseshell 5
(plus Tim saw another female Brimstone and a Peacock, and there were several more Small Tortoiseshell around the saltmarsh in the afternoon)

South shore on rising tide (MD)
Pale-bellied Brent goose 29 on the sea waiting to feed on Red Nab (earlier Tim saw 8 fly west from the children's play area, possibly forming part of this group).
Shelduck 31
Eider 4 
No Wigeon again, also Shag not seen today.
There was a marked increase (50+) of immature large gulls, mainly Herring gulls, including another of the North West Gull Project, surely there will be others.
Wheatear 1 male on foreshore 
Merlin 1 female or immature male, shot past me heading north as I was leaving Ocean Edge.

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