The first birds of the Autumn turned up in the harbour area on around 9th October this year. Since then numbers have built up, but are quite mobile and perhaps more unsettled compared with earlier years. Larger numbers seem to be frequenting Ocean Edge foreshore than the harbour feeding area, although much movement back and forth occurs throughout the day. Increasing vegetation on the north harbour wall mounds may be leading to more natural seed for the birds, less dependency on the nyger and hence less certainty of finding the birds on the seed.
Today, 63 were counted on OE and then in early afternoon, after the nyger seed was replenished (the morning supply having been eaten by rabbits and feral pigeons - and probably Twite too!), 14 were on the food (of which 5 were unringed).
So far, 41 new birds have been ringed during October and November and two controls caught, both of which had been ringed in early autumn at Machrihanish Bird Observatory.
A catch at Askham-in-Furness today included a Heysham bird ringed only 14 days ago at Heysham. This would suggest movement across the bay occurs in both directions at this time of year. Similar movements were recorded from Heysham to Askham and to Walney at this time last year.