Thursday 20 April 2023

Incredible 187 Little Gulls! Plus even more just to the south.

 A light NE overnight wind freshened slightly by mid morning and remained E-NE all day. Sunny.

Pete and Jean made an early start and were duly rewarded with a phenomenal Little gull spectacle!
Little gull 187! - summary from Pete:
Initially, 62 little gulls were located in the channel south of the outfalls on arrival in two compact groups on the water in the middle of the feeding trail of mainly 2cy Common Gull.  Then they got up and spiralled high into the sky heading east to the south of Heysham two power station.  No hesitancy as is usual in clear conditions and if they had aborted and spun back round we would have seen them do that.  I’m convinced all three groups (62, 55, 70) were separate birds as were the 43 over Knott end and 50 going high east at Rossall to the south of us
There were 270 Common gulls here plus more strung out to Heysham Head. 
Bar-Tailed Godwit 19 north (1 plus 18)
Whimbrel 2 north, 
2 Sand martin
48 Swallow
1 House Martin
1 White Wagtail
4 blogging Sandwich Tern on northern yellow buoy 

Myself and Kevin Eaves also checked the south shore but too late to see the Little Gulls.
Wheatear 4
Kittiwake 2 x 2nd calendar year 
Swallow 10 in addition to above
Rock Pipit 3
Shag 1 immature on wooden jetty
Grey Seal 1
It was a nice morning for a swim, for these Red Nab Redshank

I had another walk along the sea wall early evening (MD). Really just in the hope that some interesting insects had come in (and it was a nice day!). There was lots of small stuff, beyond my identification skills. This Devil's Coach Horse was also seeing what was around.
Devil's Coach Horse
The only other large insects seen were a Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.

Shelduck 2
Little Egret 8 including 2 flying into the bay.
Great White Egret 1 flying into the bay
This pigeon was asleep on the wall, and looked to have been there a while (it was surprisingly quiet)
I had to wake it as a couple were approaching with a dog.
Presumably a racing pigeon, but previous ones I've seen had brightly coloured rings
It looked weary, but managed to fly off before the dog arrived.

This male Black Blackcap was in the Nature Park. My camera almost behaved itself (noise wise) you can hear a burst of song at the end of the clip.

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
Just a very quick check
Mute swan - pair nesting plus 2 non-breeding adults and today only 4 immature on the main pond
Mallard 5 male and a female with at least 10 chicks 
You get a sense that this was their first outing. They reminded me of kids getting out of lessons and running to the playground (there's always one tearaway!) 
Hope they fare better than last year's clutch here
Coot 4
Moorhen 2
In a 15 minute visit 4 warbler species heard:
Willow Warbler 3
Chiffchaff 4
Cetti's Warbler 4
Sedge Warbler 1 - first record this year

But as far as singing goes, the tiny Wren takes some beating!
Kevin Singleton also paid a brief visit:
Brimstone male , Speckled wood , Small Tortoiseshell.
warblers included:
Cettis near the small pond, chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap and common whitethroat.
two shelduck circling pond

Litter Grebe

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Mark Jones saw a pair of Kestrel mating on one of the pylons.

Kevin Eaves had this Puss Moth in his overnight trap.

Always nice to have one of these in the trap. I seem to get just the one every year!