Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 Reserve
Lesser Whitethroat - 3 were caught and ringed

Vis 0730-0930:
Redpoll sp - 22
Linnet - 20
Goldfinch - 3
Meadow Pipit - 3
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 2
Pink-footed Goose - 8

Kittiwake - 31 (also seen past Stone Jetty) in
Common Scoter - 1 out then on
Sandwich Tern - 27 in
Great-crested Grebe - 2 on

Middleton NR
Sedge Warbler - 3 singing
Lesser Whitethroat - 2 singing
Cetti's Warbler - 4 singing (1 near No Swimming Pond, 2 either side of central marsh, 1 west end of western marsh reedbed)

Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 year

Goldcrest - female ringed, male heard singing
Wheatear - 1
Robin - unringed bird
Green Woodpecker - heard distantly early on HNR
Chough - flew over HNR heading SW at 0611 and was relocated having flown in from the SE at Half Moon Bay in early evening

Whitethroat - IOY - two ringed but none heard singing - usually the other way round with this spp!
Shag - 2CY wooden jetty area late pm

Common Quaker in trap

Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 offshore
Rock 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 - 1

Small White on Ocean Edge salt marsh

Middleton Nature Reserve
Cetti's warbler - 2 singing
Lesser Whitethroat - c10 singing

(report MD)

Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 HNR

Great Crested Grebe - 6 seen from Knowlys Road

Rock 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 4

Middleton Nature Reserve
1 Cetti's warbler and 2 Lesser Whitethroat singing
Tufted 2
Teal 3


Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 0845

Ring Ouzel - female on top of bush by office late am - flew towards tank farm via mist net ride!
Arctic Tern - one outfalls
Razorbill - one in sp flew out
Med Gull - 2CY outfalls but very mobile
Rock Pipit - still hanging around south harbour
Chiffchaff - one south harbour
Wheatear - at least four

Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

Black Redstart

Posted on - In Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)
New for the year today:  Black Redstart and Lesser Whitethroat

Black 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 am

Lesser Whitethroat - one started singing next to HNR office midday
Little Gull - two adults flew in off the sea on to the outfalls near high tide
Shag - on the large skeer with Cormorants pre-tide then flew towards harbour
Eider - 175
RB Merg - 9
Great-crested Grebe - 9, including flock of 4 - all sp (north European birds??)

Presumed fence-hopping Snake's Head Fritillary on Middleton now in flower

Grey Seal

Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 corner
Redstart - Male ringed 0800
Common sandpiper - one
Little gull - two adult and 3cy at various times
Shag - 2cy wooden jetty
Common scoter - one offshore
Sandwich tern - two early am
Wheatear - 5
No apparent sign of any Brent’s today

A steady trickle of chiffchaff, willow warbler and blackcap in the two nets set in the shelter below the old obs tower

Vis 07:30-10:00
Meadow Pipit 110
Linnet 34
alba wagtail 3
Redpoll sp 4
Siskin 4
On the sea
Eider 72
Great-crested Grebe 1
Red-breasted Merganser 2

Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 pool

Shag - Juv near naze over tide
Little gull - probably three different adults
Cetti’s warbler - two singing males middleton
Whimbrel - one North
Brent goose - five pale bellied

The 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

Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 am
Brent Goose - todays lottery number was five pale-bellied (multiple observation of just four yesterday!)
Sandwich Tern - 7 came into Red Nab
Rock Pipit - petrosus type still lingering around the south lighthouse area - record shot later

Source Heysham Bird Observatory (LWT)

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 NR

Gannet - two adults diving distantly in Cumbria
Barn Owl - two feeding on Middleton briefly during early am
Thanks Janet
Sandwich Tern - 14 similarly with the Gannets - no others seen!
Rock Pipit - one fairly 'dark' bird near the south lighthouse
Brent Goose - 4 pale-bellied today - on Red Nab throughout
Cetti's Warbler - two singing males at the same time on Middleton
Wheatear - just one
No 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