Friday 5 March 2021

Long-Tailed Ducks

The very light N to NNE breezes continue, mainly overcast. Although overcast, the visibility was superb today.

Heysham skeer - low water 10:00 (MD)
Long-Tailed Duck 2 female/immature - yesterday, Pete managed a brief view of 2 - 3 small ducks feeding a long way out across the bay, they could have only have been this species. Later Foulney reported 3. So this morning I was looking out for them, and dropped lucky!
I was on the skeer and saw two small ducks flying around near the green marker post. Too distant to check details with my x10 binoculars so immediately used my camera set at x30 to video them. Just as well, they didn't come any closer.
I lost focus twice in the clip so split it into two sections
At the end of this second clip they were heading west, I lose focus here and cannot relocate them with my binoculars, presumably they continued west out into the bay. They were flying very quickly!
These are some stills, zoomed in from the videos.

Red-breasted Merganser 9
Great Crested grebe 8
Eider not counted, but looked similar to yesterday 
Pale-bellied Brent goose 12 - I was pleased with these, yesterday I posted a picture showing that some of the isolated pools amongst the honeycomb worm beds still held reasonable amounts of sea lettuce. 
Today all 12 were feeding in one of them

Middleton Nature Reserve (JP)
Lesser Redpoll - quite early movement 

Brown Rat - it's not just the birds that take advantage 
Of the seeds left by visitors

Two Canada geese on the main pond

Finally, Kevin took advantage of today's remarkable visibility to take these images from the lighthouse area on the south wall:

The visibility today was exceptional and, by tweaking the contrast, I was able to show the mountains of Snowdonia (the highest one being Carnedd Llewellyn, I think) quite clearly. 

You can even make out some detail on the left

Also some shots across the bay:

Scafell Pike (you can make out the submit cairn)

Piel Castle

BEA Systems building

the Hoad Monument near Ulverston

the shipyards in Barrow

All the above photographed with Kevin's small lens camera!