Saturday, 4 July 2015

First juv Med and continuing Red-veins in warm weather

Heysham Obs
The Red-veined Darters performed admirably other than the one I wanted to examine closely which was chased off by Black-tailed Skimmer - a teneral or female looking like this species but not 100% nailed

Middleton model boat pond
Red-veined Darter - 6 males on western shoreline - one spit, one inlet next to spit, one along reedbed, one between reedbed and swan-loafing area fighting at one stage with one just to east of swan loafing area and then one in the SW corner by small reedbed.  Yesterday there was also one near the bench where the swans were being fed along the southern shore but didn't get chance to check today, so possibly 7 males.  A female/teneral was along the reedbed for a very short time and looked like this species. A teneral darter multi observed late afternoon remains un identified but probably Common unless someone produces a pic to the contrary.
Black-tailed Skimmer - 12 (3 females), possibly more
Emperor - 2 males
Four-spotted Chaser - 2
Broad-bodied chaser - two in the rubble mounds by pond

Outfalls/Red Nab incoming tide
Med Gull - amazing turnover c/p yesterdays birds.  One (unringed) juvenile, just one adult, 6 3CY and 4 2CY. All but the juv sitting down so couldn't check for rings, then the sun came out, everything heat-hazed and time to check the darters

Friday, 3 July 2015

The return of the red-veins

Heysham Obs
These were a regular fixture at Middleton model boat pond for most of the 'noughties' but have been hard to find in recent years until today.  Janet texted me about the swan family having moved to the model boat pond and I suggested (as a long shot) to check for any red- darters - the response was very rapid!

Outfalls/Red Nab (thanks to Pete)
Med Gull:  5 x Ad, 3 x 2CY, 3 x 3CY

Butterfly census
Still rather low numbers with a few Small Skipper seen, a decent influx of Silver Y moths and a single second brood Small Tortoiseshell

First Rustic and Single Dotted Wave of the year

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A mothy morning

Heysham Obs
The Obs resembled a moth identification centre this morning with four people checking unidentified tiddlers from the Sunderland Point 125MV, pot-ticking upland fare from the Leck Fell actinics and going through the not inconsiderable contents of the toilet trap.  Thankfully the likes of Grey Mountain Carpet did not escape!

The toilet trap produced one of the highlights in the form of Apotomis semifasciana (with a putative Eudonia murana from Leck the best of the lot) along with a few year ticks such as pristine Common Emerald

11 out of the 15 VC60 records, and all the recent ones, have been from Heysham or Middleton NR or immediate surrounds

Not a lot of birding done today which was down to ineptitude - how many times have we advised birders not to turn up on high spring tides?  The outfalls visit was delayed and only a single 2CY Med Gull troubled the notebook at high tide.

Despite the dull weather, 2 x Painted Lady were along Ocean Edge foreshore (along with 3 x perhaps migrant Large White) and a Red Admiral was briefly on the 'orange ball' buddleia by the office

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Swift exit?

Heysham Nature Reserve

A bit of vis already (07:00-08:30):
Siskin - 11 - not sure of direction as difficult to see but 4 of them appeared to go NE
Swift - 19 south

Red Nab
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 12
Herring Gull - 4
Common Gull - 7
Black-headed Gull - 206 (only 4 juvs seen)
Mediterranean Gull - 8 (4 x ad, 2 x 3CY, 2 x 2CY)
Oystercatcher - 335
Curlew - 106

Mediterranean Gull - 2 (1 x ad, 1 x 2CY)
Black-headed Gull - 655 (only 4 juvs seen) These birds were in addition to the ones on Red Nab.
Comon Gull - 10

South Harbour Wall
Ringed Plover - 1

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A mixed day

Heysham Obs
First of all very sad news.  Ian Kinley has passed away and south Cumbria loses a really nice and helpful person who was always there to sort out records from the Kent Estuary and area for the Cumbrian part of the LDBWS recording area.  I have known Ian for many years and he has always been a cheerful and friendly person.  I will miss him.  Pete.

Secondly the circus act has started - the hatching of the Mute Swan chicks on Middleton

The rest of the day saw an outfalls check which was too late and just saw an incomplete count of 6 Med Gulls (3 x Ad, 1 x 3CY, 2 x 2CY) in the remaining gulls on Red Nab

The moth trap was also checked rather late as a blazing hot sun was streaming through the window and even a Buff Ermine was flying about as the check was made.  Miller was the best - not annual here - Blackneck was new for the year and there was a decent variety including a late Shaded Pug 

Monday, 29 June 2015

More Meds

Heysham Obs
Red Nab produced the goods at high tide after being surprisingly poor yesterday.  It does seem that the main influx of gulls yesterday was on the dropping afternoon tide and this was reflected and added to at high tide today

Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore high tide
Common Gull - 197
Black-headed Gull - 520
Med Gull - 6 ads, 2 3CY (one darvic-ringed, probably green), at least 5 2CY
Little Gull - 3CY
Curlew - 42
Oystercatcher - 320

Butterfly Census
Opening their account were four Meadow Brown and a single Narrow-bordered five spot Burnet, just about to close its account was a very tatty Peacock.  No sign of any Burnet Companion or Mother Shipton or any Brimstone

No major surprises but another couple of Heart and Club.  However, a definite Pammene aurana was seen in the NE corner after being reminded by the sheet that a probable was seen on last weeks butterfly census in the same area.  It was sat on a hogweed leaf as was last week's insect

Singing Reed and Sedge Warbler in HNR marsh and a nice collection of birds in the office mist net ride in the afternoon including 2 x family parties of Common Whitethroat and a family party of Willow Warbler - so some birds have bred successfully albeit seemingly with low brood sizes

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Thorough outfalls coverage

Heysham Obs
Good coverage by Ian Walker in flat light this morning before the weather went pear-shaped and the sun came out.  Thanks Ian.

Outfalls area
Little Gull - 3CY showing all the time
Sandwich Tern - one on Red Nab after the tide
Med Gull - 5 adults, 1 3CY, 6 2CY, many of these coming on to Heysham 2 outfall as the tide dropped
Common Gull - one with red darvic - please look out for - its unread
Lesser Black-backed Gull - very quick response with this one:

  FH21382            N      10    Ringed          22/11/08  SGD  Stoke Orchard Landfill Site, Gloucestershire. 51.56N 02.06W
            S          12         Sighted 28/06/15    IW    Heysham outfall, Lancashire (238 km, NNW, 6 yrs 218days

Really good catch but nothing of any real interest other than yet more Heart and Club (3) and a few years ticks such as Peach Blossom, Light Arches.  Best was Sallow Kitten & Small China Mark and most surprising were single Rustic Shoulder Knot and Scalloped Hazel - long past their bedtime