Monday 21 December 2020

The winter solstice arrives

Very light breeze, initially from the east but variable by evening. Overcast all day with some showers.

Heysham Skeer - low water 10:30 (MD)
Eider c60
Great Crested grebe 2
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Knot c200
Pale-bellied Brent goose 12
Almost certainly the same 12 as yesterday, the Canadian ringed birds were with them. At 10:00 they were in the SE corner of the skeer, but quite a distance up the brackish drain that feeds into the corner. This shot is just to show the location at that time. The Stone Jetty and the Midland Hotel can be seen in the background. 
I've been looking at the weed here and it isn't gut weed, I think it's sea lettuce. It certainly looks more appetising than the gut weed out from the children's play area.
Another quick look at 14:00 and all 12 were on the water in between the skeer and the children's play area. They were swimming towards the play area but turned back as a dog got too close. As I was walking away I looked back and they were flying, I thought they were off, but they came back and landed closer.
The background noise towards the end of this clip is actually their wing beats, indicating just how close they came towards me.
By the time I'd got to Heysham Head at 14:30 there was no sign of them. I suspect they need to be hungrier to tackle the weed near the play area.

The "rock balancer" has been busy. I have seen a lady doing this a few times. I don't know if she did these. They are below the high cliffs at Heysham Head. Many are well above the reach of any tide till the middle of January.

I've no idea why they are created. I hope it's to make people smile, they always make me smile.

The Norwegian ringed Oystercatcher is still feeding on the cricket field - ref Howard
Looking at the state of its bill, the worms must be getting deeper!

Well, here we are, the shortest day of the year. After today, the laws of physics guarantee that the days will get longer and brighter. Lets hope that the laws of nature also allows life to get brighter for everyone.