Thursday, 6 May 2021

Osprey double

A WNW breeze freshened slightly and moved to NW. mainly sunny in the morning but showers in the afternoon.

Report from Pete:
Osprey 2 - one very distant north at 0735. Another first seen heading north over sunny slopes, then Battery/Aldi at 09:10
 Sea 0700-0830: 
4 Common scoter, 
1 Red Throated Diver 
4 Whimbrel
1 Gannet  
2 Guillemot
9 Sandwich tern
1 Common Buzzard across bay then ESE
45 Dunlin (two flocks) north across Bay
About 10 Dunlin roosting red nab

South shore:
Wheatear 1 on Ocean Edge foreshore 
Shelduck 4
A couple of sitting ducks.
This is the mud out from Ocean Edge, it doesn't get wet on these neap tides.

Curlew a flock of 14 was also resting on the mud before flying off to the north.
Whimbrel at least 8 mainly individuals 

Janet took some nice shots today, as always with high resolution images you should open them to see the detail.

Two shots showing upper and lower wing detail of a Whimbrel 

This male Rock Pipit was displaying near the waterfall,
other shots clearly show that it is not the ringed bird.
So at least two males in this 100m length of harbour wall.

Heysham skear - low water 15:30
Eider just 16 seen
Red-breasted Merganser 2 (male and female)
Whimbrel at least 3
Now the seed mussels are forming, the Herring gulls gather to feed on them. I've no idea why the very closely related Lesser Black-Backed gulls seem not to (MD). At the current seed mussel size, the gulls don't even bother to open them, just prise them off their anchorage and swallow them whole. Today there was c200 birds a few 1st and 2nd summer, but most in adult plumage, they graze the mussels, like so many sheep in a field. In the coming weeks, the Herring gull numbers are normally swollen with more young birds, presumably just learning how to harvest this food crop.
These are a few of today's birds feeding:

This is a still from the above clip, you can see the middle bird swallowing a seed mussel.

Middleton Nature Reserve
There are some very nice stands of Cowslips around the scrub just west of the water treatment plant.
Not just appreciated by me. I think this is a Common Carder Bee, if you know differently, please advise.