Tuesday 29 June 2021

Mullet there for the taking

Almost still again first thing but again the breeze freshened from the west, by evening it was quite brisk. Some cloud, but plenty of sunshine.

Heysham skear - low water 10:15
Great Crested Grebe 7
Curlew c40
Little Egret 11
Grey Heron 2
Quite a striking shot of a Grey Heron

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Ringing report from Alan:

John's ringing session yesterday morning produced 21 birds of various species featuring the first real catch of a few juvenile warblers.

This morning was on another level with 63 captures from my three nets. Juvenile Blue Tits, Common Whitethroats and Long tailed Tits made up the bulk of the catch. The conditions were fairly similar on both mornings, perhaps with less clear sun today.

Dunnock 2

Song Thrush 1

Cetti's Warbler 1

Grasshopper Warbler 3

Sedge Warbler 1+1 Retrap

Reed Warbler 1 Retrap

Lesser Whitethroat 3

Common Whitethroat 14

Blackcap 1

Chiffchaff 4

Willow Warbler 2

Long-tailed Tit 7 + 5 Retrap

Blue Tit 15

Great Tit 1

Chaffinch 1

I tried to do a full check of wildfowl (MD)
Mute Swan two pairs with 9 and 2 cygnets 
Coot 6 adult 1 immature - this is the immature bird just starting to develop adult features.
Moorhen 5 adult 1 immature 
Mallard just two adult seen but I expect the 10 young birds plus the female with 10 small chicks are still around.
Gadwall 1 female 4 chicks
Gadwall with chicks

Little grebe, two immature birds on the "no swimming" pond, plus two adult with at least two small chicks (second brood) on Tim Butler pond.
This is one of the immature Little Grebe 

This clip shows the pair on Tim Butler pond taking food to at least two chicks hiding in the margins. 

Grey Heron 1
Cetti's warbler 2 - again the "no swimming" pond and central marsh males singing, but not as frequently as recently.

Dragonflies included:
Four-Spotted Chaser
Broad-Bodied Chaser
Black Tailed Skimmer
Brown Hawker
Hawker sp - likely Southern

Small Heath
Common Blue
Small White
Speckled Wood
Large Skipper

Mother Shipton

While we are on moths, Kevin had this nice one in his light trap yesterday 

Blackneck moth. 

These are very local and not very common in Lancashire.

South wall -early evening 
Rock Pipits
1 feeding near the waterfall, not seen one here for a while.
3 near the lighthouse (male, female and juvenile). The female is still taking food to the nest hole.
Can't say I'd fancy this snack!

Grey Seal 1 between the outflows

These are Grey Mullet, this is just below the sea wall between Red Nab and No.2 outflow. They are only young fish c25cm long. There must have been over a 1000 in several shoals. They are not gasping for air, they are feeding on algae dislodged from the sea wall. They normally do this when the tide heights are increasing, each tide dislodging algae from further up the wall. The tide heights at the moment are decreasing, but it was a lot choppier than of late today, so presumably more algae was being stripped from the wall. A few were jumping out of the water, probably under threat from a large bass, but they had not been spotted by the cormorants (MD).