The observatory was set up in 1980. It involves ringing,'vis mig' counts (including seabirds) and general monitoring in the Heysham Nature reserve/power stations/harbour area. The statutory moth trap is in place and also a daily log for butterflies, dragonflies etc.
We share an office, kindly provided by EDF Energy, with the County Wildlife Trust. This is located next to the Nature Reserve car park. Do call in. Please leave sightings in the letterbox, ESPECIALLY 'fly-by' seabirds.
From this autumn onwards a new colour system will be used for
Twite captured at Heysham Harbour that will uniquely identify individual birds.
The combination for this winter will
be:Right Leg below tarsal joint – Pale Blue over BTO
Metal,Left Leg below tarsal joint –
White with dark engraved number between 1 and 99.(The Pale Blue ring is the SITE colour for
Sightings of colours only will be
attributable to Site and Season, but individuals will be identifiable too if
the numbers can be read (by telescope, digital camera etc).
Twite are a tricky species to check for colour rings with their
short legs often concealed.For any
sightings of coastal Lancashire flocks, please try and concentrate on a quick
check of ringed/unringed ratios and then the colour rings, with emphasis on the
single colour rings.
There may also still be birds with a metal ring on the right leg
and two colour rings on the left, one a single colour, the other a two-colour
striped. These will be birds ringed in previous seasons under the original
There may be plenty of
Twite with Pale Blue site rings around between Knott End and Heysham, but also
birds wearing other site colours e.g. YELLOW that is the site colour for birds
ringed at Askam in Furness.
All records are important so please send any sightings to Alan
(see contacts in right sidebar).
The early morning was ok if you are into poetry or fancy cloud names as the sky was filled by orangy red dappled things instead of the hoped for "clear sky meets clear-cut frontal edge at dawn"
Another colour-ringed Grey Wagtail seems to be taking up residence at Seaforth Nature reserve and has been seen there twice this last week. Thanks to Chris Gregson.
Vis mig dawn to 1030
Redwing - 25
Song thrush - 3
Grey Wagtail - 1 (definitely a SE-bound high migrant)
Chaffinch - 93
Brambling - one in the half light - presumed just one
Meadow Pipit - 27
alba Wagtail - 50
Goldfinch - 29
Mistle Thrush - 2
Carrion Crow - 7
Sparrowhawk - 2 high to south together
Pink-footed Goose - 6
Reed Bunting - 1
Bullfinch - 3
Dunnock - 1
Jay - 1 Red-throated Diver - c0830: one appeared from 'over' the power station, turned north, then turned round, gained height and headed inland to the north-east and was a dot when last seen. Seemed to be moulting out of summer plumage. Unprecedented behaviour in autumn
Med Gull - Czech adult and unringed adult north wall
Twite - one on glasswort on Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Linnet- 27 on nyger seed on north wall along with a male Chaffinch
Little Egret - one Red Nab
No sign (predictably) of any terns