Monday, 15 August 2022

First Grey Wagtails of the autumn join the colour ringing scheme

Heavy overnight rain, but only the occasional light shower during the day. Variable light wind, mainly from west, overcast, but still very warm.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Report from Alan:

I thought I could be dodging showers this morning but none arrived apart from a few spots that hardly amounted to rain. The Grey Wagtail autumn season has started with the first two caught and colour ringed on the earliest date so far. I was alerted to set for the species by Jean's report of two passing over yesterday morning.

There were a few passage warblers around too but not in great numbers - no Tree Pipits in the very overcast conditions and no Hirundines whatsoever. A Sparrowhawk was patrolling around the mist net area which prompted a rather early end to the session as most of the birds had sensibly melted away.

Grey Wagtail 2 (see Grey Wagtail ringing scheme details on sidebar)

Cetti's Warbler 1 retrap

Sedge Warbler 1

Lesser Whitethroat 2

Common Whitethroat 4

Blackcap 1

Chiffchaff 3

Willow Warbler 2 + 1 retrap

Great Tit 1

Bullfinch 1 + 1 retrap

Heysham skear - low water (MD)

Eider 14
Great Crested Grebe 9
Shag 1 (presumably the regular 2nd calendar year) feeding near green marker post
Sandwich Tern 2 together in through the low water channel
Little Egret 14
Heron 2 - this one has a small flatfish 
Grey Heron with a small flatfish

It didn't last long

Waders: Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, Ringed Plover 12, Dunlin 2

The tide was out quite a distance and the reef which formed over winter was largely exposed. Any submerged feature like this will always attract feeding creatures - great and small.
The long thin finger mid picture is the reef which formed last winter

South shore early evening dropping tide (MD)
Swallow 5 together came in over Red Nab
Rock Pipits 7 - the swarms of Kelp flies were not present today, but clearly there were still lots on the sloping wall, both the Pied Wagtails and the Pipits were helping themselves. This is one of the Pipits with a missing foot and currently moulting, even so it seemed to be easily finding plenty to eat, but it backed away as another group of 3 Pipits past by. It was clearly more wary of them than it was of me (which pleases me greatly!)

Common Sandpiper 3 - there was one on Red Nab and two together came from the north side and rested on No.1 outflow - just a couple of half hearted bobs today.

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