Wednesday, 17 February 2021

No hat or gloves!

As the title suggests, the warmer SSW winds continue, with some sunny spells making it feel comparatively warm.

Heysham skeer
Just a quick look at low water (09:00)
Eider 100+
Pale-bellied Brent goose 15. There were two groups (2 & 6) feeding on the mud on the south side plus 7 more on the water on the north side. There is very little weed to feed on now around the skeer.

I don't know if this young gull's instincts tell it that dropping a mussel from height is a way to open it, or if it has been watching the adults do it. Either way, it's missed the bit where you drop it on a hard surface. It was dropping it on to spongy mud, it may as well have dropped it onto a trampoline!
It was still at it five minutes later. Technique looks good though, so I'm sure it will get there. By the way, the regular Carrion Crows also open mussels by dropping them onto the skeer stones, I'm sure they have learnt by watching the gulls.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
I did a full circuit today, it was nice to walk around without my hat and gloves, shame it was a bit noisy with necessary landscape work underway.
Main pond:
Mute 8 adult 4 juvenile 
Gadwall 2
Mallard 2
Coot 2
Moorhen 2

No swimming pond:
Mute 2 adult
Gadwall 6
Mallard 3
Coot 4
Moorhen 2

Tim Butler Pond:
Gadwall 2
Teal heard calling but only 2 seen, suspect several more
Coot 2
Moorhen 4

Fence Pond:
Gadwall 12
Grey Heron 1

Western scrape:
Teal 5
Water Rail 1

The landscape work near the western scrape made the ducks flighty
Some of the Fence pond Gadwall doing a circuit 

The western scrape Teal had enough and moved on.

Mediterranean gull 1 on horse paddock by Knowlys Road. 

These excellent pictures from Kevin Singleton - thanks
Same bird that uses the lamppost.

The Oystercatchers have not returned to the cricket field, yet.