Tuesday 15 March 2022

Sand Martins, plus ringing resumes.

SE wind in the morning eased during the day and shifted to SSE. High cloud with occasional sunshine.

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Access to the office is still restricted, but ringing is again a practical option. Report from Pete:

Jean set a net by the feeder next to the office for the first time for two years and it was immediately pronounced too gusty.  It became slowly but progressively more ok, so from 1205 just over 50 birds were caught: 

20 Goldfinch (one retrap) 

17 Greenfinch

7 Blue tit (two retrap)

4 Great Tit (two retrap)

3 Dunnock (one retrap)

2 long-tailed tit

2 Bullfinch.  

We would have almost doubled this catch had it not been windy to begin with with several gangs of greenfinches passing through and heading off 

Only vis from late morning arrival at HNR was:

one Sand Martin (first record this year)

up to 35 Greenfinch in addition to those ringed which seemed to be passing through having been attracted down to the feeder assemblage

Pete also managed a quick check of the north side chanel:

Sand Martin 2 together north

Eider c400

Common Scoter 1 male

Great Crested Grebe 6

Later Red-breasted Merganser 5

South shore (MD)

Pale-bellied Brent goose 49

Dark-bellied Brent goose 1 possibly 2

Both on Red Nab. I am very wary about calling dark-bellied in such strong light. The other day they all looked like dark-bellied! But I thought the two below and left of the female Eider did look like dark-bellied, so I took this clip.

Pete's had a look and is satisfied that they are both dark-bellied Brent
Shelduck 61
Wigeon c100
Eider 1 - this female has been hanging around for a couple of weeks.
Wheatear 2 males on the grass behind the foreshore 
Mature male Wheatear, looking very smart this time of year

They seemed to be finding plenty to eat, but had moved on by my return leg.

Rock Pipits 6 including the pair near the lighthouse 
Skylark 1 south
Shag 1 juvenile preening on the wooden jetty.