Sunday, 21 October 2007

Blackbirds but not a lot else

Heysham Obs
..........especially when you forget to bring home the 'vis' figures. Apologies to the various contributors but as I was packing up I had to deal with an uncharacteristic incident at this site involving a dodgy off-lead bull terrier spp, terrified children and a lost purse. Thanks to a whole host of people for contributions today, pity it was a bit below par by recent standards

The main feature today was a combination of grounded and vis in the form of at least 150 Blackbird on British Energy property during pre-dawn cloud cover and the gradual departure of these birds at a consistent angle of 45 degrees i.e. high to the east as the sun broke through after about 0900hrs. There were also at least 45 Redwing and 15 Song Thrush (fewer than recently in relation to other thrushes). The only other grounded migrants, however, during good coverage, were two Blackcap and just TWO Goldcrest. A few of the vis migs landed temporarily during the cloudy period, notably 5 Siskin. A Water Rail was calling in the wetland area.

Vis mig
Very 'mixed up' this morning with the only real consistency being 250+ Starling to the south and early morning thrushes comprising (I think!), 45 Redwing, 15 Fieldfare and about 8 Song Thrush. Finches were in very low numbers for the first time this week and the small fare was heading in all directions! Less than 10 Chaffinch were seen, excluding a distant flock of 21 which were either Chaffinch or Brambling. Another mixed flock of Rook and Jackdaw and small numbers of 'pure' Jackdaw flocks (details tomorrow). Two high-flying Coal Tit to the south and 14 Meadow Pipit was more than expected
Mistle Thrush 8 SW
Redwing 78 SE
Fieldfare 26 SE
Collared Dove 3 N, 2 SE
Rook 12 SE (with 7 Jackdaw)
Jackdaw 7 SE + 8 SE +48 NE + 15 SW
Corvid sp 14 E, 8 NE (probably Jackdaw)
Meadow Pipit 14 SE
Starling 312 S
Chaffinch 14 SW
Song Thrush 14 S
alba wagtail 3 SE, 1 N
Grey Wagtail 1 S
Goldfinch 1 S
Coal Tit 2 S
Finch sp 21 S (probably Chaffinch)
Reed Bunting 1 S
Siskin 5 S

A flock of 12 Twite was briefly near the heliport - this is early but coincides with some at Cockersands. 14 were also reported on the north harbour wall mound flying off at 1030hrs (but a same-size flock of Linnet also reported!). Two 2nd W and one adult Med Gulls on the north harbour wall along with good numbers of Knot on the mudflats. The Black Guillemot is proving elusive and not seen by people there for a lengthy spell early-mid-morning or during the afternoon but has been belatedly registered alongside the wooden jetty by an observer at c1030. This suggests that it has a 'bolt hole' somewhere and not simply flying backwards and forwards offshore. Red-throated Diver off the north harbour wall.

Two Migrant Hawker still on the reserve late afternoon along with a worn Speckled Wood. c5 Red Admiral seen during the day.

Nothing of major rarity notified in this area yet but plenty of reports of good numbers of thrushes, notably Blackbird & Fieldfare. Returning Polish-ringed Med Gull was seen for the first known occasion this autumn on Lancaster Cricket Club pitch