Friday 18 December 2020

Jack Snipe still abundant

The wind was mainly SSE. Light rain on and off all day.

Jack Snipe at least 5 on foreshore between Red Nab and the saltmarsh. Long before high water (ref Pete).

Heysham Skeer - low water 08:10
Eider 28 close in, more further out
Wigeon 1 - not regular here
Great Crested grebe 6
Red-breasted Merganser 1
Little Egret 4
Knot c2,500
The Brent Geese did not come over to feed in the corner today - perhaps tomorrow 

The honeycomb worm colonies that formed this year, when the skeer was stripped of its seed mussels by the early summer storms, are now eroding. The low beds are now providing opportunities for the waders to feed, in the diminished crevices.
 This picture shows a portion of the new low beds.
A more mature colony can be seen top right.

This clip shows Knot coming in to feed on these low beds
Unfortunately, unless this first season growth is stripped by winter storms, the colony will consolidate next year. The only birds that regularly feed on the mature colonies appear to be Carrion Crow

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Not actually checked today. This video is from yesterday, it demonstrates the change in behaviour of the three male Shoveller, with the arrival of a female. The dominant male was keeping the other males well away from the female (she enters stage left).
The background noise is the rain!

The Norwegian ringed Oystercatcher is still being regularly seen on the cricket field (ref Janet)