Saturday 20 April 2024

Two decent raptors and first Whinchat

A fairly still morning, with a west breeze developing then drifting to NW. A sunny day after a cold start.

Report from Pete:
Marsh Harrier in-off ocean edge 0730
Red Nab
Pale-bellied Brent goose 6
Grey Plover 1 in non-breeding plumage 

Seawatch from North harbour wall
Sandwich Tern 10-12
Red-Throated Diver 1
Common Scoter 15

Jean's observations included:
c2100 knot mainly 2cy heliport with Welsh ringed 39A the only ringed bird seen 
455 Bar-Tailed Godwit on shore off north harbour wall

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Ringing report by Alan:

Three nets set fairly early this morning, by about 06.45.  It was cold with a ground frost and was very quiet with many migrants possibly clearing out overnight. As it warmed up a little birds began to move around although still only 14 caught before packing up at 11.00.


Wren  1

Blackbird  1

Cetti's Warbler  1 retrap

Reed Warbler  1

Lesser Whitethroat  2

Chiffchaff  1

Willow Warbler  3

Blue Tit  3 retraps

Reed Bunting 1 ringed  from elsewhere

Later in the day, Kevin Eaves spotted this fine male Whinchat. First record this year

Janet took these shots

Dunnock in full song

Grey Heron

South shore

I had a walk along the sea wall on the morning rising tide (Malcolm)

The 6 Brent geese left Red Nab early in the tide, but returned towards high water.

Pale-bellied Brent geese, spending more time resting than feeding these longer days with lusher gutweed

Shelduck 3 individuals 

Slightly unusual, this one was resting in the middle of the Harbour

Whimbrel 1 heard

Swallow 2 north

Wheatear 2 near the lighthouse but quickly moved through

Rock Pipit 2 - one each Red Nab and Lighthouse 

Jay 2 together along Moneyclose Lane.

Heysham skear - low water 17:20

I went out a couple of hours before low water (Malcolm). 

Osprey 1. These neap tides provide feeding opportunities 2 hours either side of low water (Spring tides ebb and flow so quickly that there is usually too much sediment disturbed for good visibility, except for 30 minutes or so either side of low water). It was already fishing as I set off, I saw it make two passes along the channel from the Stone jetty to the skear. I didn't see it dive, but it didn't make a third pass. It was still quite distant, this was the best clip I managed, it looked as if it was going to dive towards the end of the clip, but it continued on.

Little Egret 8

Didn't try and count the Eider, but there was at least as many as yesterday.
Red-breasted Merganser 6 - 3 pairs, these are two of them, the males seemingly more interested in impressing each other than the females.

Great Crested Grebe 1

Waders similar to recent except more Turnstone today, at least 120

Several of the Turnstone were moving to breeding plumage
No godwits seen today but there was a Whimbrel

A nice comparison shot of a Lesser and Great Black-Backed gulls

Just out of the recording area - horse paddock behind Middleton Parish Hall

Glossy Ibis there mid morning at least.

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