Sunday, 14 February 2021

The cold abates

It didn't freeze last night, but it was not warm enough to melt the pond ice. The SE wind became quite strong, but nothing like as cold as it was yesterday. Some rain showers during the afternoon.

Heysham skeer - low water 07:30
I was a bit late and the tide was already making quickly, not a lot to see
Knot c1,000
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Eider 24 quite close in. 
Some of the Eider, you can see them displaying, but unfortunately you can't hear them due to the wind noise.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
The only open water was on the main pond:
Gadwall 8
Mallard 6
Coot 2
Moorhen 2
The mute have moved to the "no swimming" pond, despite it still being ice covered.
The, slightly younger, juvenile from the other breeding pair is still being tolerated,
it's the one on the left. We'll see what happens when all the water is open again.
Water Rail 2 calling from central marshes.

Mediterranean gull 1 on Knowlys Rd horse paddock at high water

Rock pipit 1 around Heliport wall.

This is from the other day, when the sun was shining. I come across these two or three times a year, and I've never really satisfied myself what they are. This one was on the skeer.
It is rubbery and appears to have no "structure". The only thing I can come up with is that it is the stem (stipe) of Oarweed. This is a type of kelp, which is an algae.  The dimensions are right, but it should have an anchor grip at one end and fronds on the other. Perhaps they have been broken off, but there is no obvious sign of a break. Also the kinks don't seem right, and the few I find are always like this.
If anyone knows for sure what it is, or even an alternative suggestion, please let me know. My e-mail address is on side bar, or just leave a comment. Thanks, Malcolm