Too clear

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
 It was too clear overnight for night migrants to stick around and too clear during the day for diurnal migrants to fly low so today's list is short:Heysham Nature ReserveRingingLesser Whitethroat - 3 were caught and ringedVis 0730-0930:Redpoll sp - 22 Linnet - 20 Goldfinch - 3Meadow Pipit - 3 Swallow - 1House Martin - 2 Pink-footed Goose - 8SeaKittiwake - 31 (also seen past Stone Jetty) inCommon Scoter - 1 out then onSandwich Tern - 27 inGreat-crested Grebe - 2 onMiddleton NRSedge Warbler - 3 singingLesser Whitethroat - 2 singingCetti's Warbler - 4 singing (1 near No Swimming Pond, 2 either side of central marsh, 1 west end of western marsh reedbed)...
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Winter favourites reappear

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
The start was perhaps about 30 minutes too late this morning but a few migrants were caught and ringed during the first hour or so with later rounds producing the first two Common Whitethroat of the yearGoldcrest - female ringed, male heard singingWheatear - 1Robin - unringed birdGreen Woodpecker - heard distantly early on HNRChough - flew over HNR heading SW at 0611 and was relocated having flown in from the SE at Half Moon Bay in early eveningWhitethroat - IOY - two ringed but none heard singing - usually the other way round with this spp!Shag - 2CY wooden jetty area late pmMothCommon Quaker in trap...

Two more Black Redstart

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
There was a lot of Wheatears moving through today, associated with one mobile group of about 15 birds was a particularly ghostly female/immature Black Redstart, see snap below (it actually is on this picture). They were on the rocks and sea wall around Red Nab before drifting inland about 12:30.A second, also female/immature, Black Redstart was on the south wall roundhead. This was a more striking bird, but no sign of white wing patches. It initially flew to north wall, but quickly returned, unfortunately to the inside of the Power Station confines (so no pictures) 13:15. It was relocated at 14:50 by Jeff on the roundhead.Sandwich Tern - 29 offshoreRock Pipit - still around lighthouse area. Record shot below is slightly overexposed making it appear pale.Wheatear - minimum 27, between 11:30 & 13:30, most moving through.Whimbrel - 1Insect...

The calm, hopefully before the storm!

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
A quieter day, by recent standards, but still not bad.Redwing ringed on HNRGreat Crested Grebe - 6 seen from Knowlys RoadRock Pipit, sitting quietly on steps near lighthouse on south wall roundhead (see yesterday's post). But as soon as a Meadow Pipit landed on roundhead it saw it off. It appears to be "on territory".......Arctic Tern on No.1 outflow. Arrived about 2hr before high water.Whimbrel 1 on Red Nab, another, or same mobile bird, on Ocean Edge salt marsh.Wheatears - minimum 4Middleton Nature Reserve1 Cetti's warbler and 2 Lesser Whitethroat singingTufted 2Teal 3(MD)...

Ring Ouzel leads another decent haul

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
A southerly wind didn't promise much but there were definite signs that we perhaps should have put at least one net up in the shelter before the rain hit after 0845Ring Ouzel - female on top of bush by office late am - flew towards tank farm via mist net ride!Arctic Tern - one outfallsRazorbill - one in sp flew outMed Gull - 2CY outfalls but very mobileRock Pipit - still hanging around south harbourChiffchaff - one south harbourWheatear - at least four...

Black Redstart

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
New for the year today:  Black Redstart and Lesser WhitethroatBlack Redstart - a very elusive and secretive female/imm, spending large amounts of time in dark crevices between boulders at Red Nab - found by Malcolm late amLesser Whitethroat - one started singing next to HNR office middayLittle Gull - two adults flew in off the sea on to the outfalls near high tideShag - on the large skeer with Cormorants pre-tide then flew towards harbourEider - 175RB Merg - 9Great-crested Grebe - 9, including flock of 4 - all sp (north European birds??)PlantsPresumed fence-hopping Snake's Head Fritillary on Middleton now in flowerMammalsGrey Seal...
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A colourful day

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
New for the year: Firecrest, redstart and common sandpiper Firecrest - singing Male found by holly page in willows alongside the alder copse boardwalk.   Couldn’t be found later but searches impeded by difficult terrain in the NE cornerRedstart - Male ringed 0800Common sandpiper - oneLittle gull - two adult and 3cy at various timesShag - 2cy wooden jettyCommon scoter - one offshoreSandwich tern - two early amWheatear - 5No apparent sign of any Brent’s todayA steady trickle of chiffchaff, willow warbler and blackcap in the two nets set in the shelter below the old obs tower Vis 07:30-10:00Meadow Pipit 110Linnet 34alba wagtail 3Redpoll sp 4Siskin 4 On the seaEider 72Great-crested Grebe 1Red-breasted Merganser 2...
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Black headed day

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
An early flurry of blackcaps in the mist nets, the superb adult summer little gull and later today a colourful black headed wagtail just up the road in fields next to the em poolShag - Juv near naze over tideLittle gull - probably three different adultsCetti’s warbler - two singing males middletonWhimbrel - one NorthBrent goose - five pale belliedThe shag is one of the few pics of mine I’m not too embarrassed to claim - the little gull is a very brief visitor  to the outfalls in the afternoon.  Thanks to Janice Sutton...
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Black and white things emerge from the mist

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
Very poor visibility today, but the wall to wall overnight rain had failed to drop any night migrants eg Wheatear during the morning at least.  A search of the grassy areas for the potentially 'grounded' Chough also failed to produce.  However, Red Nab and the outfalls provided some publishable material, notably a pink-flushed ad summer Little Gull: Little Gull - three - probably the recent on/off adult winter and new adult summer and a 3CY at Red Nab/outfalls at various times during the amBrent Goose - todays lottery number was five pale-bellied (multiple observation of just four yesterday!)Sandwich Tern - 7 came into Red NabRock Pipit - petrosus type still lingering around the south lighthouse area - record shot later...

Cumbrian feeding frenzy

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
A couple of things over and above the routine today, most notably two Barn Owls briefly on Middleton NRGannet - two adults diving distantly in CumbriaBarn Owl - two feeding on Middleton briefly during early amThanks JanetSandwich Tern - 14 similarly with the Gannets - no others seen!Rock Pipit - one fairly 'dark' bird near the south lighthouseBrent Goose - 4 pale-bellied today - on Red Nab throughoutCetti's Warbler - two singing males at the same time on MiddletonWheatear - just oneNo notable vis (two each of Swallow and Meadow Pipit!)No serious searches for the Chough we are aware of and not visible during a casual scan of the first two fields and sheep field ...