Monday 27 September 2021

Wet and windswept

A strong SW wind, prolonged showers in the morning became shorter, but heavier in the afternoon, with sunny spells in between.

Red Nab and Saltmarsh area - high water 15:40
Pete had a quick check at lunchtime:
Mediterranean gull 6
Kittiwake 2 adult

By high water there was no sign of any Mediterranean gulls on Red Nab, but the first Wigeon here this autumn.
The first of, hopefully, many Wigeon on Red Nab

Shelduck 1
Kestrel 1 hunting around saltmarsh 
Little Egret 6
Rock Pipit 1

We are back to the neap tides being too low to cover the mud out from the saltmarsh. There were lots of waders today, best estimate on those close to the saltmarsh:
Redshank c50
Knot 2,000+
Dunlin c1,000
Grey Plover c100
There were many more nearer Potts corner
This Grey Plover was the closest wader to the saltmarsh, it looked like it had
been blown there and was bracing itself against the wind.

Although the tide at 8m was not high enough to cover the mud, the strong SW wind blew a thin film of water up the beach. These two Grey Plover made light of the wind, standing on one leg, as this species is wont to do.
Grey Plover

It is strange how some birds are more comfortable in a wind than others. I suppose it is partly down to experience. This clip shows Knot, Grey Plover and Dunlin. Most are fine and it's not even obvious that they are standing in a strong wind. However, the Knot at the start of the clip struggled to brace itself. (MD)

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Just a quick check of the two main ponds on the way home.
Mute 2 adult with 9 cygnet 
Moorhen 7
Mallard 6
Gadwall 7
Teal 4
Little grebe 1 in winter plumage 

I was going to entitle today's post "water off a duck's back". A heavy shower started while I was checking the "no swimming" pond. The good thing about being under a tree is that it takes a minute or so for the rain to filter through, the bad thing is that it then continues long after the shower finishes. It was time to leave! This clip shows two of the Gadwall and three Teal.