Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Territorial dogfight

Very heavy and continuous overnight rain eased, but never quite stopped, this morning. Light SW winds and varying degrees of rain all day.

South shore high water 09:20
Pale-bellied Brent 7. This is the first record of them on Red Nab this winter. This picture shows five of them, these were not ringed. Unfortunately, the other two's legs were obscured, but it is very likely that they would be the experienced red/blue ringed Canadian birds.
There is lots of weed on the rocks, but perhaps the Wigeon are keeping it too
close cropped for the Brent. They flew north at 10:45.

Rock Pipit 7 (1 on saltmarsh, 2 Red Nab, 2 near lighthouse and 2 near the waterfall)
Janet took this shot of the lighthouse bird with the distinctive white feathers. Even wet they are discernible.
Let's hope that it stays identifiable and that it stays as a breeding bird.
This is an exceptional shot if you open it and see the detail.

The two birds from the waterfall area, must have moved too close towards the lighthouse male's breeding territory. So it confronted them, at a point roughly halfway between the lighthouse and the waterfall. This is what today's title refers to. I expect the bird which largely stays on the wall is the female. The "dogfight" is fast, even viewing it frame by frame they are difficult to see. (MD)
Eventually the waterfall male settled far enough back along the wall to satisfy the lighthouse bird. Later, as they made their way back towards the waterfall the male did a couple of short display flights.

Stonechat 2. A male and female bird were quickly moved along Red Nab by the Rock pipits.
Just a record shot of the male Stonechat 

A selection of the birds that you can always expect to see here at this time of year, by Janet:
A Dunnock singing its heart out! In trees before Red Nab.

Wigeon, responsible for keeping the Red Nab gut weed short cropped.

Turnstone - stone turning 

These two mature Cormorants in breeding plumage, were accompanied by two younger birds. You can only speculate about the relationship, if any.

North shore - low water 16:10
Pale-bellied Brent 22 (two groups 15 & 7)
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Eider 80+
Goldeneye 1 male

This male Blackbird was taking advantage of the waterlogged ground. It has a nice juicy Lob worm. Perhaps not one to watch if you're planning spaghetti.