Tuesday 25 October 2022

Vagrant Emperor.......another one!

The light wind shifted from the south to south east and freshened slightly after lunch. High cloud with plenty of sunshine, although there was very heavy overnight rain.

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Report from Alan:

John and I set nets at Heysham this morning, the first time for us at that site for a while. Little movement overhead was evident to us apart from a distant group of Pink footed Geese heard but not seen and 12 Carrion Crows that gathered on a transmission tower near the office before moving off southwards.

Ringing totals were:

Wren 1

Dunnock 2 + 1 retrap

Robin 2

Blackcap 1

Chiffchaff 3

Goldcrest 18

Coal Tit 2

Great Tit 1

Chaffinch 1

Greenfinch 7

Goldfinch 2

Imperial Rd 11:15

I just had a quick look in passing and for once my timing was impeccable (MD). I'd just pulled up, opened my window and heard

Whooper Swans 8. They were flying low along a flight line from the fields at Heysham Moss and SW towards Middleton Nature Reserve. At least 3 juvenile.

Whooper Swans 

A few minutes later a Buzzard turned up and landed in a tree, initially mobbed by a pair of Kestrels, but eventually seen off by a pair of crows:

South shore 
I had a walk along the sea wall at lunchtime (MD). It was high water, probably the worst time on these spring tides, but I was on dog walking duty, so little choice of time.
Rock Pipits 2 on Red Nab - Janet took this nice shot 
Rock Pipit

Great Black-Backed gulls 12 resting on the wooden jetty 
Great Black-Backed gulls with Cormorants on wooden jetty

Wren 3 flitting around the scrub near the lighthouse. I normally get a brief glimpse of one here, but these were very open. Presumably one or two newcomers being challenged by the local(s)
Well fed looking Wren

Eider 5 female/immature in
Wigeon just 1 on saltmarsh 
No passerines around saltmarsh, presumably I'd missed a raptor visit
Jack Snipe 1

Kevin Eaves picked a more sensible time to check the wall, towards low water when the tide only reaches the wall towards the wooden jetty. And was justly rewarded with what will almost certainly be the best record of the year......
Vagrant Emperor 1 female in the scrub near the lighthouse 
Female Vagrant Emperor
This is Kevin's second record here in two years, the last one 9th November 2020. This isn't a lucky coincidence, we have established that there is a major insect flight path into this area when there is an east wind and warm sun, especially when the tide is out. Kevin checks whenever practical, and considering the time of year, he had hoped (although never expected) for a sighting today. 

Although the star, it wasn't the only insect around today. Janet spotted this Common Darter on Middleton Nature Reserve 
Male Common Darter

Also a Red Admiral on Moneyclose Lane

Monday - Stonechat influx

 Sorry about the delay in this posting, my internet at home is down and could be for a few days, so I'm having to post this from my daughter's (MD).

South shore (MD)

A walk in the morning on the rising tide. Overcast but dry with a south wind.


Linnet c100

Greenfinch + Goldfinch mixed flock c40

Reed Bunting 1

Reed Bunting 

Mediterranean gulls 2 adult on Red Nab plus 1 out from the harbour 

Adult Mediterranean gull 

Wigeon 86 - the males are coming out of eclipse 


Rock Pipit 2

Meadow Pipit 5 east (1, 2 & 2)

Kingfisher 1 showing well again on Red Nab

Stonechat 2 males, one elusive around saltmarsh plus this one feeding near the lighthouse 

Just a hint of a white rump

Mistle Thrush 3 grounded at the lighthouse 

Mid afternoon there was a heavy downpour, when it had stopped I had another quick look around and located 3 additional Stonechat - so total for the day 5

There was a male and female/immature in the copse just behind Red Nab, before moving inland

Female/immature Stonechat

Another female/immature was along Imperial Road. By this time the sun was out, making seeing difficult, but images enigmatic 

Imperial Rd Stonechat 

Middleton Nature Reserve (Janet)

Cetti's warbler 1 singing

Common Snipe 1

Pheasant 1

Not sure when I'll be able to post Tuesday's records