Sunday, 26 November 2017

Long-tailed Duck

Some tricky conditions - weather and sea - to do a fairly lengthy low tide check before the eyes had had enough and a large squall enveloped the whole area.   However, what was seen suggests that as soon as we get any calmer seas, grilling of the low tide stuff from Heysham Head or north wall VPs could be well worth it.

North harbour wall
Long-tailed Duck - immature actively feeding about 300-400m further out than the yellow buoys before presumably drifting out whilst spending time trying to relocate the bird at the bottom of this posting
Eider - impossible to count but a rough block estimate saw  at least 1000
presumed Common Scoter  - 5 very distant in flight - landed on water and 'disappeared'
Great-crested Grebe - 2
Red-throated Diver - two distant birds together
Grebe - the reason for a lengthy stay - only seen once for about 4 seconds but only side on for about 2 of these - obviously would like another look but couldn't find it again after it dived and the weather turned pear shaped (suggestive of Red-necked - not a Slav or Great-crest (or RBM!))

Saturday coverage

Saturday Middleton

Checked out MNR again this morning. Quite a lot more activity, but nothing other than residents.
Blue and Great tits have joined the LTT feeding low on the branches of willow in flooded western marsh. Literally picking off the invertebrates that have climbed up to avoid rising water.
The Mute have spread out, but all 6 accounted for (including 1 x1cy on flooded central marsh with 4 Mallard.
The only other ducks were the Teal on Tim Butler. Counted 56 in one short flight, while others were still calling from pond.
At least 3 Water Rail calling.

Heard Cetti's singing from three locations (at least 2 birds): western scrape, east edge of fence pond (possibly the same bird) and NE corner of central marsh.

Checked the drainage situation of fence pond. The brick culverts are well below the water level, but no sign of water movement in either direction. I think it is just the very high water table that is preventing the marshes draining, rather than a blockage