Sunday, 9 September 2007

Deader still

Heysham Obs
Given the time of year, this was possibly the worst potentially reasonable migrant day in 28 years of covering Heysham. The coverage was good, unlike yesterday, but the first two hours could have been spent remaining in bed! There have been plenty of examples of clear mornings flattering to deceive as a look to the north-west sees the clouds building up & between 0800 and 0900 the wind suddenly whooshes up from the NW. However, there is normally some vis in the early clear stuff. This morning saw fog around Heysham and over the Bay and for the first two hours, other than a meagre sprinkling of night migrants, mainly low single figures of Robin and Chiffchaff, 'nothing' moved. Then the weather suddenly changed and the cloud & wind increased:

Just 3 Meadow Pipit, one alba wagtail, 5 Swallow 0630-0830 & a single Grey Wagtail at 0920hrs & a southbound Raven at about 1000hrs. Single Dunnock (see below)

About 5 Chiffchaff, one Sedge Warbler and 'a few' Robin. A singleton Jay on the Tank farm may have been a wanderer as the resident birds have been sticking together as a foursome. 8 Wheatear noted at coastal sites. Wildfowl at Middleton saw three new Tufted Duck (6 altogether) and the first Pochard of the autumn. The escaped/feral female Wood Duck remained on the Middleton fence pond (see yesterday).

Nothing on the outfalls despite check on the optimum incoming tide. The north harbour wall seems to be down to a single 2nd W plus the Czech-ringed adult Med Gulls. Only other loggable birds were two Sandwich Tern

An irritating Grey Wagtail tape played from dawn-0830hrs saw no Grey Wagtail at all, not even flying over and ignoring it. No birds would go anywhere near the two nets when this was playing and all ringing was after 0830hrs! "Highlight" was a vis mig Dunnock which dropped out of the sky into the net and its cross-the-bay (?) efforts had reduced its weight to a size zero 16.9grms. 9 Greenfinch, one Sedge Warbler and one Robin completed the ringing total before wind intervened.

Providing you queued (or were early or late in the day), Great White Egret, two Little Stint, three Curlew Sandpiper and 4 Spotted Redshank available from the Eric Morecambe hide. North Morecambe seafront at high tide saw adult Spotted Redshank and the Belgian-ringed adult Mediterranean Gull. Problematic raptor at Leighton Moss Lower hide area catching (but not hawking for) Migrant Hawker dragonflies has been identified as a juvenile Merlin. There has also been a transient Hobby seen well in the Leighton area this last two days........