Thursday, 3 April 2014

Nature Notes up to April 17th 2014

Mipit movement through North West coast Spring 2014
(Click over sketch to enlarge)

Thursday 17th April 2014
(Forecast: 0700hrs Wind: WSW 13-28mph, 8c, 99% Cloud cover, Visibility 13400m, 1017mb pressure)

0900-1000hrs Dalton Crags

Primula on Lancelot
Another Tree Pipit has landed back since yesterday and on its regular territory on the lower crags, that brings at least two to that area and another one further up at the bottom of the deforested.  The ones further up on the high levels of the Crag (deforested) will need to be checked out on another day. Far to windy to hear anything today up there. 

There are three Northern Greenland Wheatear present today in the upper crags (deforested), one male (light phase), one male (dark phase) and one female. I noticed them in the main "Wheatear Plain" area.  

Fresh asplenium on Lancelot
A minimum of three singing Willow Warblers around the Plain Quarry and lower Dalton areas, also one Blackcap and one Chiffchaff heard.  I would have thought these were probably birds already recorded.  

Sedge Warbler and strong Swallow passage at Aldcliffe - First Sedge Warbler, first House Martin and a Swallow passage of 40 birds. Also local 3 Lesser Whitethroats (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe Blog) 

51 Willow Warblers, 41 Blackcaps, 26 Chiffchaff at Bardsey - also 12 Grasshopper Warblers, 6 Sedge Warblers and a Turtle Dove (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog). 

First Swift seen today flying over Northowram, Halifax (information sourced through Trektellen) 

Also two Swifts flew South over Spurn Point Observatory - I hope someone told them they were flying the wrong way! (information sourced through Spurn Observatory website)

Wednesday 16th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind 10mph Southerly, 8c, 28% Cloud cover, Visability good, 1026mb pressure)

0900-1000hrs Holme to Burton walking alongside the Canal.

Found new "Ceterach" on wall of Churchyard. Chiffchaff singing alongside main road up to Canal. One at Brook Cottage and one near Fern Cottage.  On the Canal another Chiffchaff singing near to Bridge No 148 (Sheernest Lane - Holme side), A Lesser Whitethroat up close and singing along Canal side quite close to the Barn Conversions which are almost across from the Holme Mills Lodge. Two Chiffchaffs on Canal across from Station Pub also Three Bullfinch, One Willow Warbler and a new Blackcap.

1300-1600hrs Dalton Crags, Hutton Roof Common, Lancelot Clark Storth.

Pavement in Lancelot below BAP seat
Whilst walking up Vicarage Lane had a Tree Sparrow calling "Tiff Tiff". Also noted two Swallows were back on territory at Russell Farm. One Blackcap calling from garden in Dalton Hamlet, also here a Brimstone Butterfly was doing the rounds. A Sparrowhawk flew overhead and appeared to have "jessies" on its legs. Lots (scores) of Peacock Butterflies about everywhere.. Two Willow Warblers and a Blackcap were calling from around the old Summer House in Dalton Woods. Two Northern Greenland Wheatear on the walls going up through Dalton Crags (deforested). 12 Willow Warblers counted in Lancelot Clark Storth, plus one Blackcap singing and one Chiffchaff calling. Also lots of Dog Violet and Primrose, and my first sighting of Wood Anemone. Also beautiful fresh just opened lemon coloured "Asplenium" fronds now showing (Maidenhair Spleenwort).  Odd Ladybirds and Hover flies now showing up.

A cache of egg shells found in Lancelot
I found the cache of eggshells within a depressed muddy tyre track on a forestry track in Lancelot Clark Storth.  I dont know who was responsible for this egg cache but do feel after giving it plenty of thought that it could well be the result of a "grey squirrel".  I have seen this sort of thing before, but usually only the eggs from one species of bird, never two species until now.

47 Meadow Pipit NE over Heysham (0630-0930hrs) - also 19 Redpoll NE, 17 Albas NE, 12 Linnet NE, 3 Goldfinch NE. (information sourced from Heysham Observatory Blog)

Yellow Wagtail, Common Whitethroat and two Wheatear at Aldcliffe - plus up to 6 Lesser Whitethroats recorded (information sourced from Birding Aldcliffe Blog)

Osprey, first Tree Pipit, Common Redstart and 39 Meadow Pipits at Bardsey - plus 3 Sand Martins, 22 Swallows, 95 Goldfinch, 67 Linnet, 4 Lesser Redpolls, 49 Willow Warblers, 14 Blackcap, 14 Chiffchaff. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory Blog)

Two Whinchat, Five Wheatear, One Redstart and Two Tree Pipits at Leasowe Lighthouse (information sourced from Dee Estuary Birds Blog)

First Lesser Whitethroat back on Walney. (information sourced from Walney Observatory Blog) 

Osprey, Tree Pipits, Grasshopper Warblers at Hilbre Observatory - plus 15 Willow Warblers, 1 Greenland Wheatear, 7 Swallows and one Skylark. (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog) 

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Two Tree Pipits have arrived back in Dalton Crags, both displaying within their regular territories, a new Blackcap and more Willow Warblers in Dalton.

Two Lesser Whitethroats and overhead Tree Pipit and Yellow Wag at Aldcliffe - plus 20 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, 28 Siskin (vismig) and 10 Swallows (vismig) (information sourced Birding Aldcliffe Blog)

One Grasshopper Warbler, one Whitethroat, 25 Blackcaps at Bardsey Observatory also 17 Chiffchaffs, 31 Willow Warblers, 39 Swallows, 17 Sand Martin, 7 House Martin and one Rock Pipit  (information supplied by Bardsey Observatory Blog)  

Two Tree Pipits and one Yellow Wagtail at Hilbre also 12 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs etc. (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog. 

38 Meadow Pipits North, 5 Tree Pipits North at Fleetwood - plus 18 Swallow NE, lots of finches East and also 7 Chiffchaffs, 1 Redstart, 25 Willow Warblers, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Blackcap, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler (information sourced from Fleetwood Observatory).   

Monday 14th April 2014

Two Swallows back on territory at Green Dragon Farm, Burton In Kendal.

Early and first Cuckoo at Walney - also a few Swallows and Sand Martins with a handful of Willow Warblers and Wheatear (information sourced from Walney Observatory Blog) 

Saturday 12th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind: WSW 17mph, 8c, 97% Cloud cover, 15800m visibility, 1014mb pressure)

2 Greenland Wheatear on Farleton Side (0800 to 1000hrs) Near Newbiggin close to the "large Gorse" area. one male and one beautiful female.  She had lovely shades of light brown and a vivid orange upper chest. The only black was a solid "mask". Also just the one pair of Yellowhammers and one calling Willow Warbler which came in yesterday.

1 Swallow one same line as A6 at Hale at 1130hrs.

1430hrs to 1330hrs - Went up Dalton Crags and gave it a thorough check and the Greenlands which have been around the last couple of days seem to have left. No more come in yet and no other migrants to report.

One Male Redstart, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatear and 1 Swallow at Hilbre Observatory (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog

Friday 11th April 2014
(Forecast: Wind: West 5mph, 10c, 19600m vis, 1023mb pressure)
Beech Tree removal at Dalton Crags
(click over photo to enlarge)

3 fresh in Willow Warblers on Farleton (Newbiggin Crags) 

Beautiful sunny weather today.  0900-1100hrs on Farleton side. Had 3 separate calling in song Willow Warblers which must have come in overnight. Also can now confirm a minimum of three pairs of Yellowhammers on territory. Also several Linnet about, a few pairs of Meadow Pipits and at least 10-12 paired Skylarks. Also Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.

1 Blackcap and the 3 Northern Greenland Wheatear are still present in Dalton

(1300hrs-1400hrs)  Blackcap returned to Plain Quarry area overnight, also a single Long Tailed Tit in same area.  Two singing Chiffchaffs.  One singing fresh in Willow Warbler at Plain Quarry. Usual Green Woodpeckers and Mistle Thrushes on territory and the regular Kestrel.  Also plenty of Primrose, Rue Leaved Saxifrage. A pair of Peacock Butterflies and also a Brimstone Butterfly reported.

32 Meadow Pipits NE over Heysham Observatory 0650-0750hrs (information sourced from Heysham Observatory)

30 Meadow Pipits, 15 Siskin, 12 Redpoll all North over Aldcliffe
(Information gathered from Birding Aldcliffe Blog)

8 Swallows over Hilbre Observatory (information sourced from Hilbre Observatory Blog)

292 Willow Warblers, 156 Blackcaps and lots lots more at Bardsey Observatory.  Also a Pied Flycatcher, one Redstart, 2 Ring Ouzel, 31 Chiffchaffs, 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 98 Swallows and 35 Sand Martins. (information sourced from Bardsey Observatory)

702 Meadow Pipits North and 2 Tree Pipits North over Fleetwood, also 10 Swallows, 11 Albas North and 77 Goldfinch East. (information sourced from Fleetwood Observatory)

Thursday 10th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind: WSW 10-16mph, 9c, 77% Cloud, 19100m visibility, 1021mb pressure)
"The Turtle Stone"
(please click over to enlarge)

Another Lesser Whitethroat and 2 pairs Yellowhammers on Farleton side (0930hrs to 1030hrs) Watching a single Lesser Whitethroat singing from the top of a small tree near Newbiggin.  Also two pairs of Yellowhammers "chinking" close to Newbiggin Crags.  Just the odd Meadow Pipit crossing over and single finches heading out South East for some reason. 

"Rusty Back Fern in flower"
(please click over to enlarge)
Checked out the "Ceterach" which was in flower at this time of year (see photo).  Some really superb specimens. 

Two Greenland Wheatear on Dalton Crags (1430hrs to 1600hrs)

One Osprey flew over Lancaster University this morning at around 0940hrs heading West to the coast. (information gathered from the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Site) 

43 Willow Warblers, 8 Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs at Bardsey (information gathered from the Bardsey Blog)

Wednesday 9th April 2014
"Fused the Pregnant Ewe"
found in Lancelot Clark Storth
(please click over to enlarge)

(Forecast: 0700-1000hrs Wind: WSW to West 13-26mph, 7-8c, 94 decreasing to 86% Cloud, 8500m to 15300m visibility, 1022mb pressure.

0900hrs to 1030hrs Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof Common.  A definite two new territories for the Chiffchaffs in Dalton Crags bringing the territories and calling birds to four so far.  Lots of Meadow Pipits grounded on the Common not far from the Trig Point.  Still no signs of other migrants and no passing birds. 
"Spring Reflections" found
in Lancelot Clark Storth
(Please click over to enlarge)

1400hrs to 1600hrs Lancelot Clark Storth and Burton Fell.  A quick check over which produced two Blackcaps singing from both the usual breeding areas. Also 3 Chiffchaffs singing from their usual three sites within Lancelot. One Willow Warbler in Lancelot and also another Willow Warbler in Burton Fell. Both Willow Warblers were recognized by their "houwit" contact calls. Also a Treecreeper and plenty of Nuthatches in song (one with the breeding "trilling" call). 2 Palmate Newt in Spring. 

4 Meadow Pipits over one hour at Heysham  (information gathered from Heysham Observatory Blog)  
2 Swallows and 12 Sand Martins over Aldcliffe (information from Dan Haywood (Birding Aldcliffe)
227 Meadow Pipits North and 1 Swallows North East over Fleetwood (Information sourced from Fleetwood Observatory)
Grasshopper Warbler and others at Bardsey - 3 Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaffs, 12 Willow Warblers, 1 Sand Martin, 4 Swallows and 14 Wheatear. (information from Bardsey Observatory Blog)
One Greenland Wheatear at Dee Estuary plus 6 Willow Warblers and 10 Swallows. (information from Dee Estuary Birding)

Tuesday 8th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind: 20-28mph, 6c, Cloud 43%, 18100m visibility, 1013mb  pressure.

Just returned from Dalton Crags (0900-1000 hrs) nothing showing with mipits or migrants.

66 Meadow Pipits North and 1 Swallow East over Fleetwood (Information sourced from the Fleetwood Observatory Blog)

Monday 7th April 2014
(Forecast: 1000hrs Wind Easterly 6mph, 8c, Cloud 92%, 10100m visibility, 1003 pressure). Actual weather: Light continual rain-wind 2-3mph E

0800-0900hrs Usual Chiffchaffs singing away above Plain Quarry, never heard any Blackcaps or Willow Warblers yet, certainly no moving birds, a couple of grounded Meadow Pipits and thats about it. 

Willow Warbler and several Chiffchaffs at Aldcliffe (information Jon Carter, Birding Aldcliffe.

18 Meadow Pipits NE over Heysham 0800-0825hrs (information Heysham Bird Observatory)

156 Meadow Pipits, 20 Swallows, 150 Goldfinches over Bardsey (information Bardsey Observatory)

235 Meadow Pipits - one flock at 65 over Hilbre (information via Hilbre Bird Observatory)

Sunday 6th April 2014

First Swallow arrived at Walney (information via Walney Observatory)

59 Meadow Pipits and 9 Albas NE plus 88 Goldfinch to E, 13 Siskin E and 31 Linnets East over Fleetwood(information via Fleetwood Observatory)

Saturday 5th April 2014
(Forecast: 0700 -1000hrs Wind SSE 9mph, 6-9c, 90% down to 78% Cloud Cover, 18400m visibility, 1008mb pressure).

5 Meadow Pipits over the hour (0800-0900hrs) at Hutton Roof.
Gone really quiet with the Meadow Pipits with just the odd ones. Chiffchaffs at least 3 possibly 4 calling from just above Plain Quarry. No other migrants to report.

2 Meadow Pipits over Heysham (0800-0915hrs) (information via Heysham Observatory)
110 Meadow Pipits over Fleetwood N to NE, also 1 Osprey over mid day. (information via Fleetwood Observatory)

Friday 4th April 2014

(Forecast: 0700-1000hrs Wind: SSW to W 2-9mph, 7c to 9c, 94% Cloud cover, 1300m to 14800m visibility, 1005 to 1006 mb pressure)

Went up on Hutton Roof at 1630hrs to 1730hrs but never had anything migrant wise.

56 Meadow Pipits NE over Heysham (1200hrs to 1300hrs) also 3 Lesser Whitethroats. (information supplied by Heysham Observatory)

Thats 5 Lesser Whitethroats over the last three days, with one on Wednesday at Dalton Crags, one at Aldcliffe yesterday, and one at Heysham and two at Middleton today.  All these are really early birds compared to the norm. 

88 Meadow Pipits NE over Fleetwood (information from Trektellen)