Thursday, 11 September 2014

Another hour in bed?

Heysham Obs
We have colour-ringed 78 Grey Wagtail so far this autumn, mostly in the last fortnight.  Please do keep an eye out for these.  The left leg is a single colour and metal and it is important to note in which order these two rings are.  The right leg has a unique combination of two colours and again it is important to note which order these are in.  Part-reads will be very useful, especially right leg, and you may be fortunate enough to find a combination which only applies (as yet) to one bird!  If any ringers want to know how to catch these, please get in touch.  We usually catch around 50% of the vis mig birds passing over, more on cloudy still mornings, less on sunny ones with a very slight breeze.  Meadow Pipit 'triangles' don't work - just provide more perches for the birds!

Middleton NR
The routine this week has been to set a net for Grey Wagtail passage by 0600hrs, along with various other mist nets to hopefully ring night migrants, Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits.  By 0630 hours, not a lot going on!   Then looked out west and there was a wall of murk which undoubtedly nullified the power station's greatest environmental asset - a landmark providing a concentrated flight-line of cross-bay vis mig (go over to e.g. Foulney/Walney too see why this happens).  These conditions also seem to slow down the inland trickle of coastal landfall by night migrants.  Things started to liven up around 0730 with quite a pulse of Meadow Pipit, but Grey Wagtails remained thin on the ground with just 4/10 ringed in (by then) sunny conditions.  More Reed Bunting on the move this morning than so far this autumn but the main 'feature' was the complete dearth of any hirundine passage with TWO Swallows in 3.5hrs!!

Vis mig 0600-0930
Meadow Pipit - 322
Grey Wagtail - 10
Linnet - 3 SE
Cormorant - high flock of 4 SE
Tree Pipit - 1 SE
Reed Bunting - 11 SE
Grey Heron - one high to south
alba Wagtail - just 7 SE
Swallow - TWO SE - unbelievably low numbers over here this last couple of days
Sparrowhawk - male high to south
Raven - one north
Common Buzzard - one circling SE (not very common here & usually migrants)

Night migrants ringed comprised:  2 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff (& at least three others), one Willow Warbler, 3 Robin, 2 Goldcrest i.e. not particularly dramatic.  In addition, a Reed Warbler was seen/heard

Middleton Nature reserve this afternoon

Raven just outside our area near the Lune estuary and Overton.