Wednesday 20 January 2021

The wind eases...for now

The wind eased and moved more to west, it's forecast to become strong overnight. Rain pretty much all day again, but not as heavy as yesterday.
I regard myself as very fortunate to live within the recording area, everything I currently do is within its bounds, both my daily exercise walk and trips to the shops etc. On today's post, I've tried to show the location of the more regular birds of interest, for those of you who can also take your exercise in the area. Although, tomorrow's strong winds could change things.

Heysham Skeer - low water 10:20
The water was much less coloured today and the diving birds were feeding again.
Eider c50
Red-breasted Merganser 1. This bird was feeding next to
Goldeneye 1 male. The feeding partnership with the Merganser seemed genuine, whether it was just because they were both feeding where the food was or if there was some sort of benefit to one or both of them feeding together, I don't know.
This picture of the Goldeneye was actually on Monday, when it wasn't raining! This is looking from the skeer towards the heliport wall. It was in the same location today and should be easily visible, with decent optics, from many shoreline vantage points. Best time an hour either side of low water, easiest seeing when it's finished feeding, but it then drifts further out.

Pale-bellied Brent goose 23 feeding in the SE corner of the skeer at low water, but they were on the mud and not easily seen from distance. But at 14:15, when I was driving along Knowlys Road, they were easily visible, out from the children's play area.
23 Pale-belied Brent on the water with Oystercatcher on the mud.
This shot was taken from my car on Knowlys Rd with a pocket camera. The strong wind might put them off tomorrow, but the current neap tides continue till Tuesday, although not all with high water at a suitable time. This shot was 2hr before high water, 1.5 hr before is probably better for the upcoming tides, so viewing potential at least till Friday. Then all future neap tides with high water in the afternoon can provide, as long as the geese aren't spooked by dogs, weekends tend not to be good! Until they return to their breeding grounds in spring.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Just a quick check of the "no swimming" pond
The water level is still rising. The two Shoveler were the only ducks, but it was good to see two Little grebe again. I don't know if I've just not seen them recently or if they left during the last freeze over and have returned, or for that matter, are two completely new birds.

The yellow flagged Norwegian ringed Oystercatcher was on the fenced off football pitch next to the cricket field. Usually easily seen from the SW corner of Heysham Village main car park. This shot shows today's location, when not on the football pitch, it tends to be on the cricket field.
I also like this shot as it allows a good comparison between the brownish back
of the flagged juvenile compared to the black back of the adult in front.