Thursday 17 December 2020

Brent on half day return....

The wind varied from SSW to SSE, sunshine in the morning but turning to rain by mid afternoon.

It was a nice morning for a stroll along the south wall, but at one level, there wasn't much to see. Although in reality there were lots of birds around. 
Janet took these pictures of all the birds that can almost always be seen. It's normally best about 2 hours either before or after high water, when the birds are nearer the sea wall.
All today's pictures are best viewed by opening them.
Some of the 150+ Wigeon waiting for the tide to reach
their feeding areas on Red Nab

A nice shot of some of the Wigeon flying to Red Nab

Redshank and Turnstone roosting on No.1 outflow. 
If the tide covers the outflow they move on to the sloping sea wall

Curlew and Oystercatcher near the outflow
but both these can be seen everywhere!

Grey Heron - this one routinely feeds in the channels by No.1 outflow.
It then roosts on Red Nab, as here.

Also today:
Rock Pipit 1 on Red Nab
Mistle Thrush 1 on foreshore.

Report from David Talbot
Jack Snipe 6, possibly 7
Common Snipe several flushed early by the tide

Knot ring reading was disrupted with the arrival of this male Sparrowhawk 
Stunning picture by Howard 
A Peregrine was also doing the rounds

North shore 3 hr before high water
This is what today's title refers to. The previous three visits by Brent geese this winter I described them as "day trippers". Today they had been and gone by 10:15.
Pale- bellied Brent 6 were on the water between the corner of the skeer and the children's play area at 10:00. Presumably they had been been feeding in the corner before the tide moved them on. I expected them to drift along till they reached the gut weed out from the children's play area (as previous years), but instead they took flight and disappeared to the west.
Fortunately I took this short video before they flew. I was a long way away and was expecting better views, but it's not too bad.

Middleton Nature Reserve - mid afternoon 
Gadwall 31
Shoveller 4 (3m+1f)
Tufted 2 m
Mallard 2
Common Snipe 10 flushed from the marsh areas. This is in contrast to yesterday when none were flushed, but today's visit was at a time when the tide was still covering the saltmarsh.