Thursday 26 November 2020

Day trippers

Very light variable breeze during the morning, almost breathless in the afternoon.

South Shore
No sign or reports of Black Redstart
Rock Pipit 1
Lapwing 208 resting on mud out from the saltmarsh, then flew towards the estuary 
Knot 4

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Roe deer 2 - ref Janet

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Report from Jean - late morning to early afternoon.

Pink-footed Goose 26 N at midday then a similar number S at 14:30. 

On the deck:

Meadow Pipit 1, 

Grey Wagtail 1, 

Reed Bunting 1, 

Cetti’s Warbler 2 singing, 

Water Rail 2 squealing. 

Had a ringing session at the new feeding station at Middleton NR. The Blue Tits love it! Out of a total of 46 birds caught, 32 were Blue Tits.

Blue Tit 32 (half from this year and half from previous years,  the oldest being 4 years old)

Great Tit 7 (1 from this year and 6 from previous years, the oldest being 6 years old)

Coal Tit 2 (both new birds)

Blackbird 1 (an adult female ringed as a youngster in 2019)

Greenfinch 1 (ringed as a youngster in 2019)

Chaffinch 3 new adults 

All the retrapped birds had been ringed at Middleton and some had been caught each year, so they are very site faithful. Using a formula known as "Single Session Mark/Recapture Method" it suggests that the total number of Blue Tits on the site is around 240. I couldn't work it out for the other species as none were caught in the same session.

Heysham skeer late afternoon (MD)

Pale-Bellied Brent goose 4 - including two Canadian ringed birds. This is what the title refers to. There are almost 300 Pale-bellied Brent over wintering at Walney, some, particularly later in the winter, fly over to feed at Heysham. The only other sighting so far this winter was 11th November. That was a 2.53m low water, today it was almost identical at 2.57m. Both sightings in the same location, the SE corner of the skeer.

This is the clearest shot of both ringed birds together.

VDRB and VTRB ringed as an adult on Axel Heiberg island, Canada 2/08/14. This is their third successive winter visit to Heysham

Something spooked them into flight, but they just did a short circle and landed back, quite close to me (it's an advantage when the sun is behind you).

I like this shot with 5 Bar-Tailed Godwit walking past

Other stuff:

Eider 60+

When it's this calm there is no hiding place on the sea.
This is a distant raft of c50 Eider

Great Crested Grebe 6

Red-Breasted Merganser 2

Little Egret 5

Knot only c200

And finally, for the more romantic amongst you

Dredger at sunset