Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Coming from your direction................

Heysham Obs
A near miss this morning with one gang (25) of the huge Barnacle Goose movement ending up on this side of the country flying south at Sunderland Point and obviously "coming from the Heysham direction".  Thanks for the info, Dan.  After a fantastic run of early morning migration weather, looks like a few days of normal sleep and a bit of coastal coverage - so neglected recently that I had to look up the tide time!

This morning failed to produce any grounded night migrants, but another couple of Grey Wagtail were ringed (office nets at Heysham NR)

Monday, 22 September 2014

Decent numbers of chiffchaff

Heysham obs
Havnt had chance to count but I suspect chiffchaff had overtaken willow warbler in the ringing totals somewhere in the 180s. Bearing in mind chiffchaff ringing totals have never exceeded 100 in previous years this is pretty remarkable. Robin and blackcap numbers are also exceedingly high and a more modest dunnock total is already in excess of other years.   Seven grey wagtail ringed this morning after a few quieter days for this species

Vis mig Middleton dawn to 0930 only
Carrion crow - 4 s
Meadow pipit - 181 se
Grey wagtail -  10 se
Linnet - 10 se
Heron - 3 s
Swallow - 22 se
Alba wagtail - 37 se
Goldfinch - 13 se
Reed bunting - 21 migrants
Pink-footed goose - 38, 37, c180 se/e
Canada goose - 14 e
Chaffinch - just 3 a
Golden plover - one high to east - rare here
Skylark 4 se

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Cetti's and Pinks

Heysham Obs

Heysham Nature Reserve
A Cetti's Warbler was trapped and ringed at 0830hrs. 
Late news: the two garganey were still present this am on model boat pond then central marsh
North Harbour Wall vis 0945-1045
Pink-footed Goose - 425.  Largest flock 165.
Meadow Pipit - 250
Skylark - 8
Swallow - 13
Rock Pipit - 1
Grey Wagtail - 2

Goldcrest - 1
Linnet - 35

Saturday, 20 September 2014


Heysham Obs

Heysham Nature Reserve
A quick trawl round the reserve for night migrants yielded 15 Robins, 11 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Blackcap, 3 Song Thrushes.

Middleton Nature Reserve  Dawn - 10am

Crossbill - 3 at 0730hrs
Meadow Pipit -111
Grey Wagtail - 3
Swallow - 42
Song Thrush - 5
Snipe - 2 west
Collared Dove - 1
Tree Pipit - 1
alba wagtail - 12
Linnet - 3
Woodpigeon - 3
Reed Bunting - 6
Chaffinch - 8
Skylark - 8

Ringing highlights:
Sedge Warbler (late for this species)
5 Blackcaps
6 Chiffchaff
2 Willow Warblers (one a grey-green colour/northern variety)
2 Robins
1 of the 5 migrant Song Thrushes

Friday, 19 September 2014

Typical west coast migration day

Heysham Obs
Fidgety Dunnock migration and the like is hardly going to stop people deserting Lancashire and heading for the east coast.   This morning had a very west coast feel!

Vis mig dawn to 1000hrs Middleton
Meadow Pipit - 710 SE, big downturn in numbers after 0900 after being similar to yesterday up until then
Grey Wagtail - probably only six with other registrations being an off-passage bird visiting the sewage works on several occasions.  None of these visited the tape and that is probably because three of them had already been ringed at nearby Heysham NR, one was too far to the north and the last two appeared as the net was blowing about!
alba Wagtail - 36 SE
Linnet - 2 SE
Chaffinch - 20 S
Swallow - exactly 50 SE
Reed Bunting - difficult with some grounded birds but at least 18 SE
Goldfinch - 16 headed high to south and perceived as migrants
Tree Sparrow - singleton S
Little Egret - one high to east
Dunnock - 2+3 calling and flying south

Grounded Middleton NR
Blackcap - 4 ringed the only sightings
Chiffchaff - 4 ringed and at least three others
Willow Warbler - two ringed the only records
Goldcrest - 1-2 only
Song Thrush - 4 migrants, three few inland - all very early on
Robin - two ringed and no other evidence of migration
No tit flocks encountered to see what was with them

Grounded Heysham NR office area only
Garden Warbler  - one ringed
Blackcap - one ringed
Chiffchaff - 4 ringed
Goldcrest - one ringed
Robin - two ringed 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

A great day to be outside watching migration in action

Heysham Obs
One of the Grey Wagtails ringed at Middleton on 12/9/14 was seen at Seaforth Nature Reserve today - the third individual to have been seen there over the years (50ish miles to south).  Thanks to Tony Conway

Wasn't sure what was going to happen this morning.  At 0714hrs, I was beginning to think staying in bed would have been a better option.  The wind was increasing and billowing the net set for my study species, Grey Wagtail.  Then at 0715hrs, the floodgates opened and the bushes were liberally sprinkled with the sounds of Chiffchaff and Blackcap.  Just two mist nets were set so the vis could be concentrated on and they produced 75 birds!!

Vis mig 0700-1100
Little Egret - flock of 6 high to the west, then appeared to split up (maybe ex-roost birds going to the shore to feed, but not seen it before and not on a direct line from Ashton Hall roost)
Meadow Pipit - exactly 2,047 recorded flying SE
alba Wagtail - 22 SE
Skylark - 4 SE
Reed Bunting - 6 SE
Linnet - 8 SE
Goosander - flock of 3 SE
House Martin - 1 SE
Swallow - 370 SE (many probably missed early on)
Woodpigeon - 4 S
Chaffinch - 17 S
Jay - 4+1+1 S
Starling - 249 seemed to be purposefully heading south!
Greenfinch - 4 S
Goldfinch - 74 S
Grey Wagtail - 16 SE, many of these after 0930
Lesser Black-backed Gull - a high gang of 32 SE
Grey Heron - 1 high to the E
Jackdaw - 4+6 S
Cormorant - 4 high to SE
Kestrel - 1 S

Grounded migrants Middleton
Spotted Flycatcher - 1
Stonechat - one male
Blackcap - 8 ringed
Chiffchaff - 6 ringed
Song Thrush - flock of three first thing flew inland
Goldcrest - at least three
Willow Warbler - 4 ringed, 3 long-winged birds
Lesser Whitethroat - presumed curraca ringed (photographed)

Garganey - two flew across to the Tim Butler pond early on
Common Buzzard - one briefly by the sewage works (also seen yesterday)
Stock Dove - 2
Jay - one probably/ possibly just off-passage
Gadwall - at least 6
Mallard - three flew in from the direction of the shore

Heysham NR migrants at lunchtime
Goldcrest - 5
Chiffchaff - 5
Blackcap - 1-2

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Evening update

No heron returning at or after dusk this evening. Suitable compensation however in the form if two garganey whizzing about between the central marsh ponds and even responding to iPhone playback by circling over our heads!