Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Mass exodus

The fresh breeze started SE but moved to south then SSW and freshened. A few light showers becoming heavier by evening.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Ringing report from Alan:

John and I set nets this morning and caught a reasonable 35 birds between us. Conditions were overcast and a little breezy but no rain:

Wren 2 +1 retrap

Blackbird 1 retrap plus a single nestling being fed by its parents in a nest on the east side.

Sedge Warbler 2

Reed Warbler 1

Lesser Whitethroat 2

Common Whitethroat 9

Garden Warbler 4

Blackcap 2 + 1 retrap

Chiffchaff 2

Willow Warbler 5 + 2 retrap

10 Swifts seen moving southwards but just a single Swallow.

Janet found some fresh droppings on the edge of the main pond. These are located on top of old droppings that are now reduced to a collection of fragments of crayfish shells. Once again the main suspect is Otter, but neither of us are experts on Otter spraints. If anyone wishes to see the picture Janet took today please either contact Janet directly or myself (MD email address on sidebar ).

South shore mid morning

Wheatear 3

Rock Pipit 4 - 2 on foreshore plus 2 on sea wall

Mediterranean gull minimum 10 - 6 on beach near wooden jetty at least 3 juvenile feeding on outflows and seen from several locations along shore. As was this immature bird.

2cy Mediterranean gull (MD)

Bar-Tailed Godwit 1

Willow Warbler 1 in scrub near waterfall

There were 6 Linnet and 4 Goldfinch feeding on thistle seeds near the lighthouse. I can, and do, sit in my armchair and watch Goldfinch feeding on sunflower seeds from the feeder just outside the window, but it is somehow much more satisfying watching them feed naturally on seeds. This young Goldfinch seemed to be proficient in quite difficult conditions.

Grey seal 1 - shame one didn't show for the party from LDBWS yesterday.

Today's title refers to, what must have been, the entire population of north side Oystercatcher (at least 3,000) flying past the roundhead in less than 2 minutes. Something had seriously spooked them. It was 10:20, the tide had only been coming in for 90 minutes so they would have still been on their feeding grounds on the shore. So either a large bird of prey or something man made, e.g.  the RNLI hovercraft moves everything when they test it.

This is just a flavour of the movement.

Some, but not all, settled on the beach out from Red Nab, smeared over a few hundred metres.