Friday 27 October 2023

A Swift interest

Sunny till early afternoon then overcast with a few light showers. A light but freshening east to SE breeze.

Heysham Nature Reserve
Report from Jean:

It was fairly quiet at Heysham NR this morning. We had 6 nets up but didn’t catch much. The highlight was a Tree Sparrow. Goldcrests could be heard but stayed feeding in the bushes, the one I managed to catch was a retrap from not long ago so it suggests Goldcrests weren’t actually on the move. The same went for Chiffchaffs, just 2 or 3 caught. Of the Redwings that poured into the east of the country yesterday, very few made it to Heysham. One was caught as it left its roost along with a grey looking continental Blackbird. Pete got excited as an obvious continental Coal Tit descended from the sky but it evaded the nets and only a few British Coal Tits were caught.

Visible migration was also low key:


Jackdaw 51 south in 3 flocks

Carrion Crow 6 north

Chaffinch 17 south

Brambling 1, possibly 2

Bullfinch 3 south

Finch sp 10 south 

Redwing 7 plus 5 landed

Blackbird 16 south

Starling 13 

Woodpigeon 7

Pink-footed Goose 208 north, 26 south

Pied Wagtail 2

Siskin 1

Redpoll 2 SE

Coal Tit 7 south plus the Continental one

Collared Dove 1 south

At 09:50 a SWIFT flew northwest (could it have been the Pallid Swift seen over Mull at 2pm??!! - we can dream!)

Starling roost

520 flew from the power station roost


Peregrine called from one of the pylons

Two Sparrowhawks flew up from one of the copses

Middleman Nature Reserve
Common Darter 3 - Janet saw one in the morning and I managed 2 males in the afternoon 
I was busy till mid afternoon (MD). The sun was still shining when I left home, but the first shower started just as I reached the main pond!
Wildfowl similar to recent, still 8 cygnets with the Mute Swan pair.
Just before I reached the "no swimming" pond something must have spooked the ducks as 9 Gadwall and 2 Teal flew off.
All that remained on the "no swimming pond were 2 Coot (12 in total), 2 Moorhen (6 in total) and a single Mallard (13 in total).
A single Mallard was the only remaining duck on the "no swimming" pond.
It was clearly going to be one of those days!

Grey Heron on the main pond
Pink-Footed goose - 2 skeins south, but on both occasions there were trees obscuring view so only heard.
Redwing 3 elusive around the reserve
Thrush sp - probably Redwing - 22 south but quite distant to the east
Blackbirds were the only other thrushes seen c12 feeding on Hawthorn berries
Cetti's warbler 3 singing Males - "no swimming" and Tim Butler ponds plus central marsh.
Roe deer 1 - unfortunately it saw me before I saw it! So only a fleeting glimpse.

The sun came out again just as I got back to the main pond. I'd noted the eight cygnets lined up along the north side, when they decided to fly to the south side. No apparent reason, just flying practice, this clip is rubbish as I was largely obscured but it does convey the impact of eight large birds landing on the water close by.