Friday, 2 November 2012

Unstable polar air

Heysham Obs
Thundery hail-showers are not the best recipe during the rush hour and conditions remained wild and woolly for the rest of the day.   Whether or not the weather caused my computer hard drive to fail is uncertain buit probably pure coincidence.  Winter fare bird-wise

Coastal sites
Little Gull - 2 ads offshore and an ad-type on the outfalls, the latter looked too pale under-winged to be the moulting adult present on and off since the end of July
Med Gull - 2 adults roosting on Fisher's roof by the harbour
Twite - 3
Goldfinch - 15 with above  (45 on feeding area at around 15.30 keeping their distance from a large Rabbit also taking the nyger)
Linnet - 1 with Goldfinches
Ringed Plover - 24 Ocean Edge
Inner harbour/waterfall and wooden jetty checked & nothing of note

Eddie Maguire was kindly in touch yesterday informing that all his Twite had left Machrihanish, 300 of them bearing rings

Ringing totals for October reflect several things, notably the massive Coal Tit irruption where the behaviour of many of the birds did not bring them anywhere near the mist nets - in this respect, the ringing total "only" equalled the maximum day count.  The rest of it was all a bit negative other than the coverage being rather good thanks to John Mason's availability, although Middleton was too wet and messy and the wind was rarely light enough.  Perhaps the most negative specific thing was the awful passage of Reed Bunting as determined by the lack of birds in early morning mist nets at Middleton and also the paucity on vis mig. More generally, there was not one single morning comprising a nice mixture of easterly wind and poor visibility - all the easterlies involved 'useless' medium-high cloud.  Therefore Chiffchaff and Blackcap just about struggled into double figures, the Goldcrest total was an accumulated trickle, Robin numbers were low and nothing unusual was found in the nets.  Totals for October in order of magnitude:  Coal Tit (161), Greenfinch (108), Goldfinch (95), Goldcrest (57),  Lesser Redpoll (39), Blue Tit (36), Chaffinch (32), Redwing (23), Long-tailed Tit (22), Wren (20), Robin (18), Blackbird (15), Blackcap (13), Great Tit (12), Twite (12), Chiffchaff (10), Dunnock (9), Song Thrush (8), Bullfinch (6), Grey Wagtail (5), Reed Bunting (5), Meadow Pipit (3), Linnet (2), Great-spotted Woodpecker (1), Treecreeper (1)