Monday, 22 November 2021

Gadwall numbers continue to increase

Overnight frost left thin ice on the shallowest pools. The very light breeze varied from NE to NW with some calm periods in between. Sun for most of the day.

Heliport area
Unfortunately, a very active Peregrine Falcon flushed the Knot from the sea wall. Today's tide was the last in this set of spring tides. The next set starts in 10 days and are higher, so hopefully further opportunities for the ringed Knot to be read.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
I had a short walk around (MD)
Mute Swan 2 adult plus 9 cygnets 
Moorhen 11
Mallard 14
Gadwall 38 - I think this is the highest count this year and equals the peak for 2020. 32 on the "no swimming" pond plus 6 on the main pond.
Wigeon 2 - this pair were feeding with the three pair of Gadwall on the main pond. This clip has the Wigeon pair on the left with a pair of Gadwall on the right. The drakes are easy, the bills on the ducks are the best separator.
Little grebe 2 on "no swimming" pond

Thrushes - a few more feeding on Hawthorn berries today.
Song Thrush 2
Blackbird 37
Redwing 28


Grey Wagtail 1 - finding small insects 

As ever when there are lots of birds, the bird predators turn up (as per Peregrine on Heliport this morning). 
Here a more modest Sparrowhawk 
Juvenile Sparrowhawk 

Red Nab
Just a quick check on the way home. No sign of the Brent goose today, but the tide had only just reached the outer rocks.
Wigeon c150
Shelduck 127 - most on mud out from the foreshore 
Grey Heron 1
Little Egret 3
Greenfinch, just a couple flitting about

Finally, just a couple of images to show how much the light, particularly low winter sun, and location affect the appearance of a bird. This clip is the Grey Heron resting on the peninsula of the main pond at Middleton. The ripples of light reflecting across its back give it a very serene appearance.

In contrast, the Grey Heron resting on Red Nab rocks had its back to the light, and looks, for all the world, to be straight out of a Dracula movie! 
Grey Heron on Red Nab, looking very black!
Oh..... is that a 1971 type Grab Hopper Dredger in the background

No comments: