Pomarine Skua

19th January 2015 – bright and frosty/calm
Offshore
An evening check over the sea revealed a juvenile Pomarine Skua moving out of Morecambe Bay along with 22 Shag, 3 Red-throated Diver, 2 Razorbill and a Kittiwake.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 2 Long-tailed Duck and 2 Scaup remain in residence.
Miscellaneous
At least 100 Twite flock remain and both Barn Owl and Little Owl hunted at dusk..

Snow Bunting

18th January 2015 – early fog and frost E1/2
Offshore
A check over the sea as the fog cleared produced 10 Shag and 4 Red-throated Diver.
Diurnal Migration
Groups of 44 Pink-footed Geese and 2 Whooper Swan headed south and a Snow Bunting flew over.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 2 Long-tailed Duck and 2 Scaup remain in residence and waders included 8 Greenshank, 5 Purple Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit.
Miscellaneous
A Water Rail was flushed out into the open by the frosty conditions.

Winter specialities remain

17th January 2015 – sunshine and hail W5/6
Offshore
A check over the sea produced 12 Shag, 10 Kittiwake, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Razorbill.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 2 Long-tailed Duck and 2 Scaup remain in residence amongst 33 Goldeneye and waders included 2200 Knot, 10 Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit.
Miscellaneous
At least 32 Little Egret remain and the Twite flock held 100 birds.

Wildfowl and Waders

16th January 2015 – sunshine and snow showers NW5/6
Wildfowl and Waders
A flock of 45 Barnacle Geese dropped in. The 2 Long-tailed Duck remain in residence amongst 26 Goldeneye and were joined by 2 female Scaup. Waders included 2 Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit.
Miscellaneous
A flock of 60 Twite were logged and a Little Owl sheltered from the wind.

Bird Racing

11th January 2015 – overcast W7/8 rain later
Offshore
The sea provided little other than 7 Shag.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 2 Long-tailed Duck continue in residence and waders included Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Jack Snipe.
Miscellaneous
The observatory again competed in the annual Cumbria Winter Bird Race and notwithstanding gale force winds and then a monsoon managed to amass 97 species, of which, 52 were seen on the island.

Long-tailed Ducks see in the New Year

4th January 2015 – overcast SE2
Offshore
A check over the sea produced 10 Shag, 2 Red-throated Diver and single Kittiwake and Guillemot.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning saw 4 Redwing grounded.
Wildfowl and Waders
The 2 Long-tailed Duck remain in residence amongst 31 Goldeneye and waders included 6 Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit.
Miscellaneous
At least 40 Little Egret remain and the Twite flock held 220 birds. Unusual wintering birds included 20 Tree Sparrow and a Grey Wagtail.

Excellent ringing year draws to a close

31st December 2014 – overcast/rain later SSE3/4
Offshore
An early morning check over the sea produced 14 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver, 5 Shag and a Guillemot.
Grounded Migrants
The overwintering Chiffchaff remains in residence.
Wildfowl and Waders
The female Long-tailed Duck continues to linger amongst 32 Goldeneye. Waders included 8 Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit,
Miscellaneous
Additional sightings included 40 Twite.
Ringing
As usual a quiet end to the year saw just 83 birds of 9 species handled. Individual totals were as follows (recaptures in brackets). Goldfinch 4 (39), Blackbird 3 (11), Chaffinch 2, Reed Bunting 2 (2), Robin 1 (5), House Sparrow 1 (5), Song Thrush 1 (1), Chiffchaff 1 (1), Dunnock (4). However, the year saw an above average 3364 birds of 46 species ringed – a total only surpassed by the 3463 of 50 species ringed in 2011.

Further Shag influx

29th December 2014 – bright and sunny, early frost/calm
Offshore
Another dawn check over the calm sea revealed a flock of 30 Shag along with a Great Northern Diver and 6 Common Scoter.
Grounded Migrants
A few Redwing and Fieldfare were further evidence of small scale cold weather movement.
Diurnal Migration
A further 140 Pink-footed Geese headed north.
Miscellaneous
Additional sightings included 200 Twite, 2 Raven, 2 Water Rail and a Little Owl.

Shag influx

27th December 2014 – overcast/showers/calm
Offshore
A dawn check over a calm sea revealed a gathering of 27 Shag, 5 Red-throated Diver and a huge raft of 5400 Eider.
Grounded Migrants
Two Redwing provided further evidence of cold weather movement.
Diurnal Migration
A flock of 6 Whooper Swan headed south.
Wildfowl and Waders
The female Long-tailed Duck and 42 Barnacle Geese remain. Waders included 3000 Knot and 4 Purple Sandpiper.
Miscellaneous
Additional sightings included 9 Twite and a Merlin. At least 8 Tree Sparrow continue to winter.