Chats, Thrushes, Flycatchers and Tits

Robin Breeds in the area. A common autumn night migrant.On some mornings in September birds seem to be calling from every hedgerow.
Bluethroat* Vagrant. There is an accepted record dating back to 1958, believed to be from the Potts Corner area.
Whinchat A migrant through the area. Most often seen perching on the farmers fences along the inner edge of Middleton salt marsh.
Stonechat Most often noted as a very early spring migrant (usually March) sometimes in small parties. Also seen in late autumn. The favoured spot is in the bushes at the end of the point.
Wheatear Common migrant, sometimes arriving in double figure parties. Spring passage starts in mid March (males arriving first.) and continues into May. The later birds are often of the slightly larger Greenland race. Autumn passage extends from August through to early November.
Redstart Scarce passage migrant from mid April.
Blackbird Common breeding bird. Numbers are swelled in autumn by migrants.
Ring Ouzel Scarce passage migrant and rare winter visitor. One was seen 28-29th Jan.'96 initially feeding with a large fall of winter thrushes (pushed off the fells by snow.) and later seen feeding in back gardens.  One spring '98.
Fieldfare Predominantly a late autumn migrant, with some mornings revealing quite large falls, with visible migration taking place until a couple of hours after dawn. Flocks totaling up to 400 have been seen. Hard weather can push birds onto the usually unfrozen fields at the point during winter. There is a usually small, return migration, sometimes noted in March.
Song Thrush Could be noted at any time of the year. Formerly bred at Potts Wood.
Redwing Very similar status to Fieldfare but with only 10-20% of the no's.
Mistle Thrush Occurs in greatest no's. during late Oct. migration. Regularly seen in winter, less so in summer. Not thought to breed in the area.
Spotted Flycatcher Regular passage migrant, sometimes occurring in small flocks, especially in late spring.
Pied Flycatcher* Scarce passage migrant.
Long-tailed Tit Occasional flocks reach the point, but seem to be reluctant to cross the open water of the Lune Estuary, often returning from whence they came.
Coal Tit Scarce autumn migrant.  (most often with Blue Tit flocks.)
Blue Tit Several pairs breed locally. In autumn up to 50 per day, moving south in October in quite common. They usually fly at low level, gathering in the bushes at the point, before finally gathering the courage to cross the river.
Great Tit Similar status to Blue Tit but in smaller no's. Southbound individuals totaling up to 20 birds per day do occur. These probably originate from the Lune flyway as similar no's have not been recorded at Heysham.
Northern Grey Shrike Vagrant. One was seen in December '91, possibly the wide ranging bird resident at Freeman's Wood, Lancaster, at this time.

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