Saturday, 30 July 2011

Early start for the Sedge warblers...and a new moth

Heysham Obs
Anyone who rose at a sensible hour this morning would find it hard to believe that my hands were almost too cold to ring birds after setting the nets at Middleton at 0500hrs in a very heavy dew.  You have to be ridiculously early to monitor wetland warbler species at this time of year as they can soon melt away once the sun has popped its head over the horizon.  However, you usually get a bit of secondary movement of the likes of Whitethroat out of the drier vegetation surrounding the site.............and sometimes tit flocks, but the latter have been conspicuously absent this autumn.  A few Swallows were caught and these provided good extraction practice for a trainee ringer

A very "average" morning by recent high standards with the sun and a bit of a breeze soon curtailing activities

Middleton NR
Green Woodpecker - one seen and heard
Kestrel - 3
Swift - 2 south
Ringing:  Grasshopper Warbler (2), Sedge Warbler (7), Whitethroat (4), Reed Warbler (2), Lesser Whitethroat (1), Reed Bunting (1), Goldfinch (4), Blackbird (3), Willow Warbler (6), Blackcap (1), Dunnock (1), Chaffinch (2), Blue Tit (2), Swallow (19), plus 13 retraps which included a Great Tit ringed as a 2011 nestling on nearby Heysham NR

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Med Gull - adult
Little Gull - adult summer
Whimbrel - 3
Missed most of the gulls as the tide was well-in

This thing was the belated highlight of the morning - identified from the Hey Nat Res office trap catch by John Girdley as Agonopterix angelicella, new for SD45 and one of very few records in VC60.  Thanks John

Otherwise, nothing dramatic, although that 'urban' species, Marbled Beauty, is not common here