Wednesday 13 April 2022

Willow Warbler fall

A misty start with occasional light rain. The sun came out in the afternoon and another patch of evening mist. Light west to WSW wind.

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
I just had a short walk around (dog walking duties)
The ponds not closely checked but still 2 pair plus 1 Mute. 4+ Coot, 4 Moorhen, 2+ Little Grebe

Pete advised that this morning's conditions were ideal for a Willow Warbler fall, and so it proved.
Willow Warbler 6 singing males plus at least 4 others
Chiffchaff 7 singing males
Blackcap 1 singing male plus anoth male and female seen
Cetti's Warbler 2 singing (no swimming pond and central marsh males)
Wheatear 4 together - I'm so used to seeing them on the shore rocks, they always look strange when perching in a tree.
Four Wheatear
Jay 3

Tim checked out Heysham Head:
Took the binoculars down to the Head late morning-lunchtime. 
3 Rock Pipit on the cobbles at the Throbshaw end of Half Moon Bay. Could hear another 150m towards HMB, but did not see it. Later on the way back saw a RP parachute in front of the cliffs. 
5-6 linnets 
Similar greenfinch 
A pair of RB mergansers fishing just off the HMB rocks. 
1 little Egret
In the wood -
3 very quarrelsome Jays
2 Chiffchaff

Heysham skear low water 17:00 (MD)
Very infuriatingly, the mist rolled in just as I reached the water's edge, so stuff on the sea was largely obscured.
Pale-bellied Brent goose 4 on north side of skear - seen before the mist arrived, there were no others.
Red-breasted Merganser 5
Great Crested Grebe 2
Eider c100
The above three records affected by poor visibility.
Little Egret 12 - here are five of them shrimping

Purple Sandpiper 1 - the Turnstone that roost on the wooden jetty feed on the skear. It stood to reason that the Purple Sandpiper, that has been in association with them, will feed here too. But their plumage is ideally camouflaged for the skear, making them very difficult to see and today's mist made it even harder. I eventually managed this misty clip.