Tuesday 9 March 2021

Acrobatic rodents and mysterious tracks

The south wind freshened, but the rain was generally light in the morning and had dried up by the afternoon.

South shore 
A couple of nice pictures and comments from Kevin

This male Rock Pipit was singing and doing its display flight. 

Nice to see, and an interesting comparison with the Meadow Pipit.

This Great Black-backed Gull was unusually obliging and was 

sitting on the harbour wall above the Rock Pipit's nesting site, 

near the lighthouse. I hope it doesn't make a habit of it.

Middleton Nature Reserve (JP)
The two Canada geese were back again, and appeared to be in
dispute with one of the resident Coot
Until one of the juvenile Mute acted as arbitrator 
Not the only residents with territorial disputes,
these Mallard were at it too
This feeder, left, has been spotted by a Brown rat
How many generations feeding like this, before a prehensile 
tail begins to evolve?

North shore - low water 15:20
Rock Pipits 1 on Half Moon Bay beach plus 2 below Heysham Head
Wigeon - just distant heads bobbing up and down, but there were lots of them - minimum 50
Great Crested grebe - again hard to count in the choppy sea, but at least 5 close in

Pale-bellied Brent goose 6 - ref Tom Wilmer 

This is the area on Moneyclose Lane just before the caravan park. It regularly floods here and has obviously degraded the material forming the white markings. If you look at the bottom right white dash you can see a boot footprint. A large bird has similarly left its tracks along the middle.
At first I was stumped as to what could have walked so precisely, one foot in front of the other, to leave such tracks. Then I realised, only one foot (right?) had stood on the white, therefore leaving just half of its tracks. Looks like a pheasant. I don't know if the nature of the pigment (I know it includes tiny glass beads) only allows it to be seen in water, but there are no tracks before or beyond this pool. (MD)