Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Thorne and Hatfield

Over the summer Tim was working on ringing Nightjars on the peat bogs between Doncaster and Goole. I managed to negotiate a day off work and had the pleasure of going out with him. During the day we worked Hatfield Moor tracking individual adult Nightjars with radio transmitters in the hope of finding some nests. We found three nests; the first had some fledged chicks we Tim stumbled across by chance, the second had two mid-sized chicks one of which I was able to ring, and the third nest had two chicks that had just hatched. At the final nest we also caught the female, on whom we put a data logger.
In the evening we went out onto Thorne Moors where we set up nets to try and catch adult birds to retrieve data tags. We caught three adult birds, a female and two males. All the birds were already ringed , but it was still fun to hold the birds whilst the tags were put on them. The mosquitoes were an absolute nightmare but it was worth the pain. 
Thorne and Hatfield are both excellent sites. Whilst out on the reserves we had excellent views of Turtle Dove and Hobby, and we heard the Cranes calling distantly, although we did not see them. We also had plenty of dragonflies including hundreds of Black Darters, plus Southern, Brown and Common Hawker, the latter (My favourite dragonflies) are the first I have seen for some years. 
-First Nightjar chicks
-Younger Nightjar chicks
-Adult female Nightjar

Species List:
Thorne and Hatfield Moors: Greylag Goose, Mallard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Hobby, Kestrel, Little Owl, Pheasant, Grey Partridge, Lapwing, Redshank, Turtle Dove, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Green Woodpecker, European Nightjar, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Rook, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Common Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, Black Darter, Emerald Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Large White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral,

Saturday, 30 June 2018

June at Spurn


June carried on much as May had finished, working nearly full time in the pub and working on the trip report for Canada. On the occasions I got out birding there were a number of good birds still to be had. The Golden Oriole persisted into the start of June, but as before it had was mobile and difficult to get close to.
-Purple Cloud
-Eyed Hawkmoth
We went and ringed the Peregrine chicks at the Hull gas terminal on the 01st. They were a bit bigger than we had thought they would be, and the whole process was long and slow as a result of the size of the chicks and a BBC film crew trying to have everything their way. They were good fun to ring though. I was fortunate in that they did not scratch and bite me whilst I was ringing them. Paul on the other had was bitten by almost every single one of the chicks. The adults were bombing us the whole time that we were removing the chicks, it was a really fun morning.
-Peregrine
On the subject of raptor chicks, we also did a nest of Marsh Harriers on the 11th. We had been monitoring a site just outside Patrington to try and locate the nest to ring them. Once we made our move into the reedbed we immediately became lost and had to fight our way through looking for the nest. Eventually we made it, and found two very healthy chicks in place. We ringed both birds and then withdrew to reduce disturbance.
-Marsh Harrier
We continued to target pulli around the Spurn area, on the 12th we chased after the Avocet chicks on Kilnsea Wetlands. After a short run-around we caught two of the three chicks. We also did another chick on Holderness Field on the 21st. On the 25th we also did the Barn Owl chicks at the Easington primary school. They were not the healthiest looking chicks, and we ringed 2 of the 3 given their condition. It was fun showing them to the children, who were very excitable about the whole thing.
Ringing was generally pretty slow, a Grasshopper Warbler that we targeted on the 5th the highlight until the 24th when a female Firecrest turned up in the high net. It was the latest spring record at Spurn by 20 days. Something of a real surprise when I checked the nets, and the ringing highlight for the month. On a couple of occasions we tried to catch the Marsh Warblers on Beacon Lane. Frustratingly one bird bounced out of the net, and neither bird ever came close again.
-Firecrest
The tern colony suffered a lot of damage as a result of a fox breaking through the fence. We went up on the 25th to assess the damage and ring any wader chicks present. We managed 3 Ringed Plover chicks and a single Oystercatcher. On the way back we were able to get distant views of a Bee-eater that was flying over Holderness Field, a late migrant. 
-Oystercatcher
During the later days of the month a Turtle Dove was present occasionally in Churchfield. We set up traps to try and catch it but sadly it was extremely wary and not keen to go in. What did go in the trap was a Hairy Dragonfly, the third record for Spurn. I was pretty buzzing when I saw it settled on the woodwork of the catching area. I held it for half an hour for people to come and see, before letting it go. The first time I have found a rare dragonfly at Spurn, so I was pretty excited about that.
June finished with a real bang. On the morning of the 29th Jonnie found a cracking Squacco Heron on Kilnsea Wetlands on the way back from his night-shift on Beacon Ponds. Paul and I had got up early to try and catch the Marsh Warblers, but had once again failed, so I had gone back to bed. Next thing I knew my phone was buzzing like crazy. When I checked I saw the messages about the heron. We raced up in the truck and got excellent views of the bird perched at the back of Kilnsea Wetlands. An awesome British and Spurn tick. It became more mobile during the day, and it flew past me at several points during the day.

Species List:
Spurn Bird Observatory: Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Grey Partridge, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Gannet, Cormorant, Peregrine, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Lapwing, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Curlew, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Swift, Barn Owl, Little Owl, European Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Robin, Wheatear, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Dunnock, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting,

Thursday, 31 May 2018

May at Spurn


After what feels like a global tour I finally returned to Spurn. Because of writing numerous trip reports and working basically full time in the Crown I have had very little time to get out birding, and even less time to write it up for my blog. Here follows a quick summary of all the things that happened at Spurn between my return for May.
May started extremely well. On my first day back I twitched a pair of Temminck’s Stints on Kilnsea Wetlands. This was the first time I have seen this species in Britain, and was one of my biggest tarts on my British list. Sadly they remained on the far side of the wetland, and I took no photos of them, but still excellent to finally see here.
On that same afternoon a slow wander around Holderness Field produced an odd yellow wagtail with a noticeable dark cap. My initial suspicions were that it was a female blue-headed, but after referring to literature and asking the question on Twitter, it was clear that the bird was actually a female Grey-headed Wagtail, which is much rarer and far more exciting. It’s just as well, as I then dipped a male Grey-headed Wagtail on Kilnsea Wetlands that afternoon.
-Grey-headed Wagtail
On the 26th May a walk round the Triangle coincided with the finding of a Marsh Warbler at the Warren, so we called in for a look at that as part of my pre work walk. It was distant and not vocal, so aside from the fact it had been heard singing earlier in the day, there was not a great deal to go off. An Egyptian Goose also flew over the triangle, which is only the second one I have ever seen.
The 29th came and with it came thick fog and a young male Golden Oriole, still quite green but with hints of yellow peeking through. It moved up and down the canal in the fog but sadly never went anywhere near the Kew nets that I had open with a tape on. As with the last bird I saw here two years ago it was extremely mobile and never sat for a decent photo.
On the 30th May I got my second Spurn and British tick in my return when a Savi’s Warbler was found at the south end of the Canal Zone. I was surprised when I was able to get field views, albeit pretty poor views, but in the evening of the 31st Paul and I went out with a net to try and catch it. We caught it almost immediately, and it was found to be extremely healthy with a fat score of 4. It was no surprise that it was not seen the following day.
-Savi's Warbler
During my time not at work we have had the nets open and have caught a number of cool species besides the Savi’s Warbler, including Wheatear, Spotted and Pied Flycatcher. We targeted other species as well, including the Golden Oriole and Marsh Warbler but sadly we were less successful on that front. 
-Wheatear

Species List:
Spurn Bird Observatory: Brent Goose, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Grey Partridge, Pheasant, Fulmar, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Gannet, Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Lapwing, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Curlew, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Temminck’s Stint, Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove, Cuckoo, Swift, Kestrel, Peregrine, Golden Oriole, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Robin, Pied Flycatcher, Wheatear, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Dunnock, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting,

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Canada; Long Point Complete Species List

BIRDS
Canada Goose
Branta canadensis
Trumpeter Swan
Cygnus buccinator
Wood Duck
Aix sponsa
Gadwall
Anas strepera
Mallard
Anas platyrhynchos
Green-winged Teal
Anas crecca
Greater Scaup
Aythya marila
Lesser Scaup
Aythya affinis
Surf Scoter
Melanitta perspicillata
Long-tailed Duck
Clangula hyemalis
Bufflehead
Bucephala albeola
Common Goldeneye
Bucephala clangula
Hooded Merganser
Lophodytes cucullatus
Common Merganser
Mergus merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Mergus serrator
Wild Turkey
Meleagris gallopavo
Great Northern Diver
Gavia immer
Pied-billed Grebe
Podilymbus podiceps
Red-necked Grebe
Podiceps grisegena
Double-crested Cormorant
Phalacrocorax auritus
Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias
Green Heron
Butorides virescens
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura
Osprey
Pandion haliaetus
Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Northern Harrier
Circus cyaneus
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Accipiter striatus
Broad-winged Hawk
Buteo platypterus
Red-tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis
American Kestrel
Falco sparverius
Merlin
Falco columbarius
Peregrine Falcon
Falco peregrinus
Common Gallinule
Gallinula galeata
American Coot
Fulica americana
Sandhill Crane
Grus canadensis
Semipalmated Plover
Charadrius semipalmatus
Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus
Killdeer
Charadrius vociferus
Spotted Sandpiper
Actitis macularius
Solitary Sandpiper
Tringa solitaria
Lesser Yellowlegs
Tringa flavipes
Ruddy Turnstone
Arenaria interpres
Sanderling
Calidris alba
Least Sandpiper
Calidris minutilla
Dunlin
Calidris alpina
Long-billed Dowitcher
Limnodromus scolopaceus
Wilson's Snipe
Gallinago delicata
American Woodcock
Scolopax minor
Bonaparte's Gull
Chroicocephalus philadelphia
Mew Gull
Larus canus
Ring-billed Gull
Larus delawarensis
Herring Gull
Larus argentatus
Great Black-backed Gull
Larus marinus
Caspian Tern
Hydroprogne caspia
Black Tern
Chlidonias niger
Common Tern
Sterna hirundo
Forster's Tern
Sterna forsteri
Rock Pigeon
Columba livia
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Coccyzus americanus
Chimney Swift
Chaetura pelagica
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Archilochus colubris
Belted Kingfisher
Megaceryle alcyon
Red-headed Woodpecker
Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Melanerpes carolinus
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus varius
Downy Woodpecker
Picoides pubescens
Hairy Woodpecker
Picoides villosus
Northern Flicker
Colaptes auratus
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Contopus virens
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Empidonax flaviventris
Alder Flycatcher
Empidonax alnorum
Least Flycatcher
Empidonax minimus
Eastern Phoebe
Sayornis phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Myiarchus crinitus
White-eyed Vireo
Vireo griseus
Yellow-throated Vireo
Vireo flavifrons
Blue-headed Vireo
Vireo solitarius
Warbling Vireo
Vireo gilvus
Philadelphia Vireo
Vireo philadelphicus
Red-eyed Vireo
Vireo olivaceus
Blue Jay
Cyanocitta cristata
Black-billed Magpie
Pica hudsonia
American Crow
Corvus brachyrhynchos
Purple Martin
Progne subis
Tree Swallow
Tachycineta bicolor
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Stelgidopteryx serripennis
Bank Swallow
Riparia riparia
Cliff Swallow
Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
Barn Swallow
Hirundo rustica
Black-capped Chickadee
Poecile atricapillus
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Sitta canadensis
Carolina Wren
Thryothorus ludovicianus
House Wren
Troglodytes aedon
Marsh Wren
Cistothorus palustris
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Regulus calendula
Eastern Bluebird
Sialia sialis
Veery
Catharus fuscescens
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Catharus minimus
Swainson's Thrush
Catharus ustulatus
Hermit Thrush
Catharus guttatus
Wood Thrush
Hylocichla mustelina
American Robin
Turdus migratorius
Gray Catbird
Dumetella carolinensis
Northern Mockingbird
Mimus polyglottos
Brown Thrasher
Toxostoma rufum
European Starling
Sturnus vulgaris
American Pipit
Anthus rubescens
Cedar Waxwing
Bombycilla cedrorum
Blue-winged Warbler
Vermivora cyanoptera
Tennessee Warbler
Oreothlypis peregrina
Orange-crowned Warbler
Oreothlypis celata
Nashville Warbler
Oreothlypis ruficapilla
Northern Parula
Parula americana
Yellow Warbler
Dendroica petechia
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Dendroica pensylvanica
Magnolia Warbler
Dendroica magnolia
Cape May Warbler
Dendroica tigrina
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Dendroica caerulescens
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Dendroica coronata
Black-throated Green Warbler
Dendroica virens
Blackburnian Warbler
Dendroica fusca
Pine Warbler
Dendroica pinus
Kirtland's Warbler
Dendroica kirtlandii
Palm Warbler
Dendroica palmarum
Bay-breasted Warbler
Dendroica castanea
Blackpoll Warbler
Dendroica striata
Cerulean Warbler
Dendroica cerulea
Black-and-white Warbler
Mniotilta varia
American Redstart
Setophaga ruticilla
Prothonotary Warbler
Protonotaria citrea
Ovenbird
Seiurus aurocapilla
Northern Waterthrush
Parkesia noveboracensis
Common Yellowthroat
Geothlypis trichas
Hooded Warbler
Wilsonia citrina
Wilson's Warbler
Wilsonia pusilla
Canada Warbler
Wilsonia canadensis
Eastern Towhee
Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Chipping Sparrow
Spizella passerina
Clay-colored Sparrow
Spizella pallida
Field Sparrow
Spizella pusilla
Vesper Sparrow
Pooecetes gramineus
Savannah Sparrow
Passerculus sandwichensis
Grasshopper Sparrow
Ammodramus savannarum
Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia
Lincoln's Sparrow
Melospiza lincolnii
Swamp Sparrow
Melospiza georgiana
White-throated Sparrow
Zonotrichia albicollis
White-crowned Sparrow
Zonotrichia leucophrys
Summer Tanager
Piranga rubra
Scarlet Tanager
Piranga olivacea
Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Pheucticus ludovicianus
Indigo Bunting
Passerina cyanea
Bobolink
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Red-winged Blackbird
Agelaius phoeniceus
Eastern Meadowlark
Sturnella magna
Common Grackle
Quiscalus quiscula
Brown-headed Cowbird
Molothrus ater
Orchard Oriole
Icterus spurius
Baltimore Oriole
Icterus galbula
House Finch
Carpodacus mexicanus
Pine Siskin
Spinus pinus
American Goldfinch
Spinus tristis
House Sparrow
Passer domesticus

MAMMALS
Virginia Opossum
Didelphis virginiana
Little Brown Bat
Myotis lucifugus
Eastern Chipmunk
Tamias striatus
Eastern Cottontail
Sylvilagus floridanus
Eastern Grey Squirrel
Sciurus carolinensis
American Red Squirrel
Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
Prarie Deer Mouse
Peromyscus maniculatus
Meadow Vole
Microtus pennsylvanicus
Muskrat
Ondatra zibethicus
Striped Skunk
Mephitis mephitis
Raccoon
Procyon lotor
REPTILES
Eastern Garter Snake
Thamnophis sirtalis
Northern Map Turtle
Graptemys geographica
Aligator Snapping Turtle
Chelydra serpentina
Midland Painted Turtle
Chrysemys picta marginata
AMPHIBIANS
American Bullfrog
Lithobates catesbeianus
Northern Leopard Frog
Lithobates pipiens
BUTTERFLIES
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
Silvery Blue
Glaucopsyche lygdamus
Spring Azure
Celastrina ladon
American Painted Lady
Vanessa virginiensis
Red Admiral
Vanessa atalanta
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Papilio canadensis
Spicebush Swallowtail
Papilio troilus
Dreamy Duskywing
Erynnis icelus
Clouded Sulphur
Colias philodice
Cabbage White
Pieris rapae
DRAGONFLIES
Common Green Darner
Anax junius
DAMSELFLIES
Orange Bluet
Enallagma signatum