Saturday 2 January 2021

It started, not too bad

Another overnight frost with a light dusting of snow. The sun came out in the morning, then a very heavy, but fortunately short snow storm at lunchtime. After that it threatened snow again a couple of times. So I chickened out and stayed at home in the afternoon (MD).

Heysham skeer 08:30 1 hour after low water.
Eider c 70 drifting past on the flood tide.
The mature male Eider are in full breeding plumage.

Great Crested grebe 2
Red-breasted Merganser 3
These two Merganser regularly search this pool in the middle of the skeer, and I suspect they are the same pair that feed in the pool at Red Nab. They will be after small crabs.
Note the Oystercatcher, bottom left, carrying a smallish mussel around, in case it can't find a larger one. They can't open the full sized mussels, there must be an optimal size to provide maximum return for a reasonable effort. The mussels don't actually require much "catching" but do anchor themselves quite effectively to the skeer and to other mussels, so do require some effort to prise free.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Just a quick check of the two main ponds. Both areas of open water are still being maintained, but no sign of either the Shoveler or Teal today. All the rest as Thursday.