Thursday, 21 August 2014

Wet and windy seagulls

Heysham Obs
Outfalls and area
Med Gull - 10 x 1CY, one x each of 2CY, 3CY and Ad
Little Egret  1

Much better including White-line Dart again, two Lime-speck Pug, 3 Agriphila latistria, Rusty Dot Pearl, Treble Bar, Agriphila geniculea, Ypsophola sequella and Oidematophorus lithodactyla

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Early morning Middleton coverage

Heysham Obs
The calm weather windows at Middleton may have been few and far between recently but they have provided high quality mist-netting conditions, with bits of cloud knocking the sun on the head and no sea breezes kicking in.  Not exactly fall conditions (too clear) but a fair number of warblers ringed

Middleton NR 0545 to late morning
Lesser Redpoll - one SE (very unseasonal)
Meadow Pipit - 3 SE and a  juvenile, perhaps local, ringed
House Martin - 2 SE
Grey Wagtail - 4 SE (one ringed)
Willow Warbler - 9 ringed
Whitethroat - 17 ringed 
Lesser Whitethroat - three ringed
Blackcap- 6 ringed
Chiffchaff - no new ones
Reed Warbler - none
Grasshopper Warbler - as above
Sedge Warbler - the only ones seen/heard/caught were a family party of at least four birds (ringed adult and one young caught) which appeared on site late morning
Swallow - also scarce with just 3-4 casual sightings of at least one adult

The remainder of the newly ringed birds comprised 2 Blue Tit, one Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet, 4 Goldfinch, one Greenfinch, one Bullfinch, 2 Robin, 4 Dunnock, 2 Blackbird, 2 Long-tailed Tit

Another Agriphila latistria in the moth trap along with two late White-line Dart.  Single Clouded Yellow & Panted Lady casually noted at Middleton

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

More odds and ends of migrants

Heysham Obs
Clear this morning and cool with a touch more northerly in the wind.  The autumnal feel was enhanced by a calling Goldcrest by the office - early for this 'migrant only' species here

The dead animal at Middleton model boat pond has been variously identified as a horse, a colt, a goat and a deer - the latter seems about right and presumably a Roe.  Thanks to all for reporting this unfortunate beastie

Office area
Whitethroat - 10+ (just one ringed in rather windy conditions, most of them feeding in tank farm)
Willow Warbler - one ringed
Blackcap - 6-10 office/tank farm (four ringed)
Goldcrest - one (IOA)
Robin - seemed to be quite a few ticking birds (5+) early on
Chiffchaff - at least two
Swallow - 16 purposefully south

Decent number of butterflies around, including a single Painted Lady - thanks to Janet for the pics which will appear soon

The localised Agriphila latistria made its autumnal debut in the trap

Monday, 18 August 2014

Small fall

Heysham Obs
A late start revealed the wind was far less than forecasted, a few warblers were about and it seemed worth putting up a belated net or two (until it became too windy).  Then almost immediately visited by a couple of contractors who indicated our main ringing area was going to be out of commission due to fence replacement and vegetation removal................starting in September.  I don't think a plea to leave it until the end of October will be possible but we'll see. Unfortunate after just spending a considerable amount of time doing the kind of gardening familiar to many people operating mist-net rides

Office area
Whitethroat - at least 10-15 (8 ringed)
Blackcap - one ringed
Chiffchaff - 2
Robin - 1 migrant ringed

Little Gull - 2 adult type
Med Gull - at least 15 around, probably many more - a Catherine Tate attitude to windswept gulls all facing away in a slight 'heat' haze as of 4pm

A late Straw Underwing and Grey Chi were the best of a meagre moth catch

Manx Shearwater caught up in line..

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday 17th August

Med Gull - c10 juv, at least one adult but conditions awful!

Absolutely nothing on the sea other than 6 Sandwich Terns at low tide just to the north of Heysham Head

1cy med fest 16th August

Heysham obs
Large numbers of Meds around today including 21 1cy and about 10 of older age classes.

Moths included agriphila geniculea

Friday, 15 August 2014

Bits and bobs of early autumnal migration

Heysham Obs

Middleton NR
Bird Fair or CES?  Had to be the CES as there isn't any more suitable weather during the 10 day period for the likes of Middleton on the horizon - no shelter from north-westerlies which are often spiced up over and above the forecasted strength as they come straight in off the sea.  Conditions were well-nigh perfect for mist-netting with no sun until after the CES period and no wind

Mainly due to being dragged around by tit flocks, a fair chunk of the warbler presence at Middleton seemed to end up in the mist nets.  This vast majority of the captures comprised three 'collections', including tits, in a single net on three separate occasions.  The nets were otherwise empty with virtually no resident warblers and implicitly very few 'acros'.  New-ringed birds at Middleton included the following:

Sedge Warbler - only two seen/heard/caught
Reed Warbler - conspicuous by absence - a juv ringed near the end of the session the only evidence
Garden Warbler - one ringed (do not breed here)
Blackcap - 7 ringed
Whitethroat - 6 ringed
Lesser Whitethroat - one ringed
Willow Warbler - 10 ringed
Chiffchaff - 4 ringed
Robin - one post-moult 1CY and one late brood speckled bird

Heysham NR
The Heysham Nature reserve CES produced the star bird of the morning - a Grasshopper Warbler in probably the driest habitat in the area and obviously a migrant

Also notable there was a newly fledged brood of Chiffchaff still in the '1J' stage and four presumed migrant post-juv-moult Robin

Outfalls/Red Nab
Wheatear - 4
Med Gull - 16, mainly 1CY
Little Gull - one adult

Vis mig
Meadow Pipit - one
Grey Wagtail - 3 very early on

Middleton actinic produced very little but included Brown China Mark and the Heysham NR trap saw a lot of Flounced Ructic and a couple of t.b.i.micros which night be of interest!

Gulls at high tide on the outfalls

Med Gull late afternoon on the outfalls