Spring just round the corner?

29th February 2012 – overcast S1
A group of 8 Shag were seen along with small numbers of Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver and Razorbill.
Grounded Migrants
A trickle of movement has been noticeable in the last few days with small numbers of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Greenfinch and Chaffinch logged.
Wildfowl and Waders
The female Scaup and Long-tailed Duck and the flock of 35 Barnacle Geese are all still in residence. At least 4 Greenshank were seen.
Single Short-eared Owl and Little Owl were logged.
Foreign recoveries are few and far between so a Willow Warbler controlled at South Walney on 25th April 2010 that had previously been ringed at Polderweg, Vlieland, THE NETHERLANDS (544km E) on 27th August 2008 is especially pleasing.

A couple of Sedge Warbler returns have recently been received. A young bird ringed at South Walney on 18th August 2011 was controlled at Lytchett Bay, Devon (375km SSE) on 24th August 2011 - just six days later. While an adult controlled at South Walney on 23rd April 2011 had previously been ringed at South Milton Ley, Devon (421km S) on 9th August 2010.

A Great Black-backed Gull ringed as a chick at South Walney on 17th June 1988 was found dead at Cockerham Sands, Lancashire (25km ESE) on 15th July 2010 - 22 years and 28 days after ringing and becomes the oldest Great Black-backed Gull to be ringed by the observatory. The pattern of occurrence of recoveries for this species suggests that few venture far from their natal colony.

One of the staple species caught on the island; a couple more interesting Greenfinch recoveries have been received. A young female ringed at South Walney on 1st October 2011 was found dead at Southport, Merseyside (45km SSE) on 25th October 2011 and a male ringed at South Walney on 2nd October 2011 was controlled at Over Kellet, Carnforth, Lancashire on 22nd October 2011.

A trio of interesting Goldfinch returns have been received. A male controlled at South Walney on 25th March 2011 had previously been ringed at Rawcliffe, Lancashire (29km SE) on 10th November 2010, while two young birds trapped and ringed at South Walney during autumn passage on 16th October 2010 were controlled at Baldwins Hill, East Grinstead, Surrey (397km SE) on 21st February 2011 and at Calf of Man, Isle of Man (105km W) on 28th March 2011 respectively.

A Canada Goose controlled at South Walney on 21st September 2010 had previously been ringed at Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria (40km NNE) on 27th September 2009, perhaps it had heard of the proposed cull to take place on Windermere.