Friday, 2 April 2021

The Willow Warblers arrive (yesterday)

A cool night followed by a clear morning with light NW breeze. The cool breeze freshened during the day, but it was quite warm in the sun.

Late report of a Willow Warbler singing in NE corner of Heysham Nature Reserve yesterday morning.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Ringing report from Alan:

Only caught two Lesser Redpolls and one Willow Warbler but wasn't expecting anything with the very frosty and clear conditions. No Meadow Pipits seen at all to the MP3 player.

A few singing Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs.  

Cetti's Warblers - at least two singing, one each side.  

A very pale bird seen against the sun towards the east of the reserve at around nine without optics was probably a Barn Owl.

Later Janet had a look around

Long -Tailed Tit

Greylag goose on the main pond

One of the Mute nests, that's the blue ringed male .

South shore

No Wigeon left, but still a couple of pairs of Shelduck 

Rock Pipits - just one brief call from one on Red Nab. The harbour birds not seen or reported, so far.

Wheatear 1 male on foreshore in the evening

North shore
Whooper swan 34 - 09:20. They came overland, crossing the sea wall c300m north of the children's play area and continued NW towards Grange

Some of the Whooper swans
There were still lots of Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe and Eider, but not the same high numbers as early in the week.

Meadow Pipits no more than c20 heard flying north in just over an hour.

Alba Wagtail - just two heard flying north

The anemones in the rock pools are now fully open.
Beadlet anemone - they are normally red like this one, but shades vary and green ones
are not uncommon. Also 3 periwinkles leaving tracks as they feed.

I dropped a broken barnacle (you can't help but break barnacles as you walk over the rocks). Apologies for the poor quality of this clip, but I was feeding with one hand and "filming" with the other.
It will take a couple of minutes, but it will move the barnacle to its mouth in the centre of the tentacles. It will then engulf the barnacle, digest what's edible then regurgitate what isn't. When I was young I kept some in a cold water marine fish tank, if they ever swallow anything nasty they can completely empty their stomach by turning it inside out! Not a pretty sight.
If your really bored, and watch carefully you can seen the periwinkles moving too.