Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Brents behaving.......for a change!

A fresh WNW wind gradually made its way round to north by evening. Mainly bright with occasional light showers.

South shore morning ebbing tide
From Shaun:
Kingfisher showing well and feeding on Red Nab
Wigeon  136
Shelduck c50
Lapwing 31
Grey Heron 1
Little Egret 4
Little Egret, looking particularly Gandalf like
Rock Pipit 1 on foreshore

North shore
Pale-bellied Brent goose 33
I just had a quick look in passing from Knowlys Rd at 10:30. Only 4 visible near the children's play area.
Later, when Shaun checked there were 28, none with colour rings.
I walked passed the children's play area at 14:15, initially the Brent were spread around the rocks further out from the area that I showed yesterday (MD). The good news is that there is also plenty of gut weed there too, but not ideal for the Brent when the tide is out as most of it is on the rocks and mud (i.e. not floating in pools which makes for easy grazing). They must have been recently spooked as they quickly made their way back to the same area as yesterday, where there are plenty of pools. So, even more good news, they are now not leaving the general area when spooked by walkers, although I suppose a particularly tenacious dog would force them further.
This clip shows one small group heading back, you can see one of the Canadian ringed birds already feeding  (only one showing here, but both were there and the first to return - these are obviously very experienced birds for the area)

A dog walker had already passed without bothering them, so I knew I was ok on the beach near the sea wall. Yesterday, I said this is the area where ground water seeps out, perhaps an understatement at the moment. This clip shows just one of several "springs" of ground water, feeding the gut weed and ultimately the Brent with essential minerals.

As I left the area, 26 Brent were feeding, there were four additional birds on the water in the skear corner. They had gone on my return and by 15:45 there were 33 feeding at the children's play area. 
One of today's birds was the first juvenile that I have noticed this year, you can see it in the middle of the shot below.
First winter Pale-bellied Brent centre, with the pale wing bars.

Other stuff:
From Shaun
Shag 1 juvenile feeding off Heysham Head
Red-breasted Merganser 14
Eider 154
Great Crested grebe 3
There was a flock of feeding Knot today c500

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