Saturday, 13 February 2021

An icy blast

Another overnight heavy frost. Overcast all day, the ESE wind was bitterly cold, but things should start "warming" up tomorrow.

After a Grey Wagtail was reported for the second winter at Yeovil, we discovered an admin error and it was in fact the same bird as breeding in Roxburgh in 2020.  In contrast to this extensive movement, we had a report today of one of last autumn's birds wintering at Bolton-le-Sands, 9 or so km to the north- east:

ARB7399 M/O K/B

Ringed:  Middleton NR SD414512 whilst on NW-SE vis mig 14/9/19 as a 1CY

Seen: Ninesprings CP, Yeovil ST557153. 19/1/20   345km S

Breeding male (x 3 young) Teviot Bridge, Nisbet, Roxburgh  159km NNE

Photo: Yeovil, ST550147 ‘recently’ to 11/2/21   504km S 

Thanks to Hilary Forward for the picture and Stephen Hales for help with the record.

The only other stuff I have so far is my check of the saltmarsh on the rising tide (MD):

I got there a while before the water. The intertidal mud was frozen. There was a single Bar-Tailed Godwit feeding in the bottom of the saltmarsh creek. It wasn't really practical to use my camera until I was on the eastern side, which meant protection from the wind by the high bank and being able to have my back to the wind, so I took this clip of it later, just as the tide was displacing it.

Ringed Plover c50

Grey Plover 2

Dunlin c250

Four of the Dunlin

All the waders were having to feed where the mud was not frozen. Typically in the creek and drains, but also where ground water was emerging from below the mud.

This groundwater was emerging too high up the cliff

This would normally be a pool of groundwater, too high for the water to flow, so it froze.
But you can see it emerging at the top of the picture and then flowing down to the creek.
I actually took this picture because it looked like I felt!

This groundwater is just right, seeping out from below the mud, allowing these Dunlin access to any invertebrates.

I've removed the soundtrack, I didn't want to distract you with my chattering teeth!

I was expecting the Merlin to arrive, but no sign. Perhaps it fed earlier.
I didn't want to disturb these Dunlin, plus many more further along, so I called it a day and headed back, long before the tide covered the marsh, even so 7 Common Snipe seen,
Reed Bunting 2
Rock Pipit 1. This was originally near the slipway, but then flew across the marsh to the rocky outcrop.