Saturday 15 August 2020

Quite a lot going on - if you have varied interests.

Hot and largely sunny, gentle breeze predominantly from east, but it, perversely, briefly switched to west during a quick early afternoon check of lighthouse area.

Middleton Nature Reserve early - mid morning (JR. PM)
Visible migration during ringing session:
Tree Pipit 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Goldfinch flock of 12 purposely SE
Swallow 20

Ocean Edge shore 09:00 - high water (MD)
These neap tides do not cover the mud flats. A large flock of gulls roosted just out from the saltmarsh.  All the local gulls were represented: Great and Lesser Black-Backed, Herring, Common, Black-Headed and Mediterranean (at least 12, almost certainly many more. I only had x6 binoculars and didn't go too close)
There are least 850 gulls here
There was more activity at the water's edge, out from the foreshore.
Bar-tailed Godwit 19
Two of these in fading summer plumage the inner two probably immature
The godwits eventually flew south towards Potts corner
           If any of you are flat earthers, don't worry,
    the more distant wind turbines are not sinking into the sea.
There, really is, a simple explanation.......

Sandwich Tern - small group of 10 with three juveniles starting to moult into winter plumage.
This shot includes the three juvenile 
The second bird from the left is ringed.

Lighthouse area (MD)
A quick check at 14:00 saw the breeze briefly switch to westerly. No insects coming in, but a lot of Small Tortoiseshell around.
A second check at 17:30. Lots of Small Tortoiseshell coming in off, but no dragonfly seen.
Mediterranean gull 15 feeding on sand mason worms on the beach near wooden jetty
This one has just got one.
They hold them between tongue and mandible.

All the birds were flushed from the beach and the surrounding area by the RNLI  Hovercraft. It was responding to a callout, but I don't know for what or or what the outcome was.
Let's hope it ended well - I've not seen any missing persons alerts.

This is a Lion's Mane jellyfish in the harbour. Quite a small one, the bell diameter about the size of a large dinner plate. The stinging tentacles reach up to 3m. The official description is that they have a "powerful sting".........I've been stung - it hurts!
Don't touch!

This is something you don't see every day. This is the pond on the path to Red Nab. The water snails were "crawling" upside down on the water surface.
I'm not sure what the white particles that they were feeding on were, but you could see them going into the snails mouth.

They don't just drift with the water, but activity "crawl" under the water film. Science is only now starting to understand how.
I still don't know how they do it!