Founded in 1964, the work of Walney Bird Observatory is funded entirely by membership subscription. Since 1965 it has been an accredited member of the British Trust for Ornithologys bird observatories network which operates across Britain and Ireland. Bird Observatories are at the forefront of conservation, monitoring bird populations through the medium of census work, daily recording of migrants and ringing.
Another excruciating morning spent looking over the sea. Morning observations as the rain cleared to showers (1030-1230) produced just 23 Common Scoter, 14 Pintail, 5 Red-throated Diver and 4 Gannet.Posted byWalney BOat14:12A spot of seawatching!29th September 2021 overcast/frequent showers WNW4/5/6
It can be a frustrating time looking over the sea in the windy conditions that often dominate at this time of the year, and so it proved today. Early morning observations (0730-1030) produced just 500 Common Scoter, 23 Red-throated Diver, 10 Razorbill, 10 Gannet, 3 Brent Goose and single Great Skua and Mediterranean Gull.Posted byWalney BOat14:07New Ringing Cabin27th September 2021 heavy rain W2/3
After the welcome news earlier in the year of a successful grant application from the British Birds Charitable Trust. The first phase of the replacement of the observarory ringing cabin has now been completed. After c200 manhours the cabin has now been erected and weatherproofed. Phase 2 which will involve the installation of services and the internal fitting out will begin later in the year once autumn migration is completed. Thanks to all who helped in the first Phase.
Posted byWalney BOat13:40First Whooper Swans of the autumn26th September 2021 overcast/murky/rain clearing S2
Please note, after investigation, the report of a Blue-winged Teal is now considered to be erroneous.
A couple of Shag were the only interest in the early morning checks over the sea.
A flurry of activity which produced 410 Meadow Pipit, 73 Pied Wagtail, 11 Grey Wagtail, 11 Chaffinch, 7 Reed Bunting and 5 Pink-footed Geese was quickly subdued by the rain moving in.
The first 2 Whooper Swan of the autumn were recorded.
A Merlin was the best of the rest.Posted byWalney BOat09:27Brent Goose numbers continue to build25th September 2021 overcast/murky/drizzle at times/calm
The early morning checks over the sea (0700-0800) produced just 19 Common Scoter, 8 Shag, 5 Gannet and a Red-throated Diver.
A few birds on offer with 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat and single Goldcrest, Blackcap and Wheatear.
Passage continues to stall with only 270 Meadow Pipit, 60 Skylark, 45 Pink-footed Goose, 40 Swallow, 23 Grey Wagtail, 21 Pied Wagtail, 8 Reed Bunting, 8 Chaffinch, 6 Greenfinch, 2 Siskin and a Sand Martin moving in the calm conditions.
The Brent Goose flock continues to build with 142 pale-bellied birds recorded.
The Hooded Crow is still in residence.
Two Otter and 2 Harbour Porpoise were seen.
A few Red Admiral are still on the wing and the moth trap provided 23 moths of 14 species with Ashy Button new for the year.Posted byWalney BOat17:18Just a few seabirds24th September 2021 overcast/drizzle at times SW 3/4
The early morning checks over the sea (0730-0930) produced 260 Common Scoter, 65 Gannet, 36 Red-throated Diver, 6 Razorbill, 2 Arctic Tern, 2 Guillemot and a Great Crested Grebe.Posted byWalney BOat17:09Brent Goose numbers begin to build23rd September 2021 overcast WNW3/4
The early morning checks over the sea (0730-0930) produced 770 Common Scoter, 54 Gannet, 42 Red-throated Diver, 15 Razorbill, 6 Shag, 5 Guillemot, 3 Kittiwake and an Arctic Skua.
Again very little on offer in the conditions with just 2 Chiffchaff logged.
The Brent Goose flock continues to build with 111 pale-bellied birds recorded. Additional sightings included 500 Sanderling and 34 Pintail.
The Kingfisher is still in residence along with the adult Mediterranean Gull.
A colour-ringed Great Black-backed Gull marked as a pullus at South Walney earlier in the year was seen at Sandside on the Kent Estuary on 22nd September 2021.Posted byWalney BOat17:18Kingfisher and Hooded Crow22nd September 2021 sunny spells W3
The early morning checks over the sea (0730-0930) produced 460 Common Scoter, 88 Gannet, 26 Kittiwake, 18 Red-throated Diver, 9 Razorbill, 4 Manx Shearwater and a Red-breasted Merganser.
Again very little on offer with just 2 Blue Tit logged.
Waders included 10 Greenshank and 3 Black-tailed Godwit
The Kingfisher is still in residence along with the long-staying Hooded Crow.
A colour-ringed Cormorant had been marked at Hale Duck Decoy, Cheshire on 26th May 2021.Posted byWalney BOat19:52Kingfisher still in residence21st September 2021 overcast WNW2
An early morning check over the sea (0715-0815) produced 340 Common Scoter, 10 Red-throated Diver, 9 Gannet, 5 Shag and a Razorbill.
Again very little on offer with just 3 Chiffchaff and 2 Wheatear logged.
Generally quiet with just 550 Meadow Pipit, 37 Pied Wagtail, 12 Skylark, 11 Grey Wagtail, 6 Swallow and 3 Reed Bunting recorded.
Brent Geese continue to arrive with 68 pale-bellied birds seen. Additional wildfowl included 1160 Wigeon, 25 Pintail and 5 Shoveler while 5 Black-tailed Godwit were the best of the waders
The Kingfisher is still in residence and an adult Mediterranean Gull was recorded.
The moth trap attracted 22 moths of 13 species with Red-line Quaker new for the year.
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Walney Bird Observatory Ringing Website
Bird Observatories of Britain and Ireland
Walney Island is one of the finest if not the finest bird watching venues in Cumbria and Northwest England. The island hosts a renowned Eider and gull colony during the breeding season and the winter months provide a wildfowl and wader spectacular. Migrants aplenty appear during both passage periods when the island has a proven pedigree for attracting rare and unusual species.
Walney Bird Observatory is the lead authority regarding the birds of Walney Island. Although ringing activities are, in the main, based at South Walney Nature Reserve the observatory collates bird records from across the whole island and produces an annual report.
North ScaleAround 300 species of bird have been recorded on Walney Island since the foundation of the bird observatory in 1964 and a recent survey has found that around 70 species are currently breeding within the area. To date, the observatory has trapped and ringed almost 140 species on the island.Annual TotalsTotal number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2010 =185
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2011 =181
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2012 =185
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2013 =182
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2014 =180
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2015 =172
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2016 =178
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2017 =177
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2018 =178
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2019 =174
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2020 =175
Total number of species recorded on Walney Island in 2021= 170Annual Subscription RatesSingle: 15.00Family: 20.00A third grade of membership is also available to people who do not visit the island frequently but wish to support the observatory and its aims and receive a copy of the annual report.Friend: 7.00.Recent PublicationsThe 2020 report has just been published and contains a Bird and Ringing Report along with details of the Dragonflies, Butterflies, Moths and Mammals recorded on the island during the year. Available from the Membership Secretary for just 6.00 plus postage and packing.ContactsWALNEY RECORDER
Ringing LatestA Black-headed Gull colour-ringed at Phisligar, North Ronaldsay on 19th June 2016 was seen on Walney Island on 15th December 2019.
A Knot colour-ringed at Griend, THE NETHERLANDS on 14th August 2018 was seen on Walney Island on 2nd December 2019.
A Cormorant colour-ringed at Mageoerne, DENMARK on 1st May 2012 was seen on Walney Island on 19th November 2019.
Brent Goose numbers continue to build
The first Brent Geese have returned
Diurnal migration finally kicks off
Red-throated Diver begin to move through
First Pink-footed Geese of the autumn
First Red-throated Diver of the autumn
Curlew Sandpiper still in residence
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