Friday 8 October 2021

Still plenty of Meds

SSE breeze and sunny, pretty much all day.

Pete and Jean managed a check this morning. Report from Pete:
Mediterranean gull 19 - Red Nab or adjoining mudflats including a too distant to read white Darvic adult and one legged 2cy!
From Heysham Head
Great Crested grebe 16 (including groups of 7 and 5)
Red-breasted Merganser none seen (1 later as the tide was making)
Eider 62

I walked from the skear corner to the children's play area, to see what feeding opportunities there are for the Brent Geese this winter. The answer wasn't good (MD). There is virtually no weed around the skear and just a few small isolated patches along the rocks leading to the play area. At the play area itself there is no gut weed!
These are the, currently, barren rocks out from the children's play area.
This area is normally lush with gut weed at this time of year
I suspect the problem may be a result of the long dry spell we had in late summer. The gut weed seems to thrive in areas fed by the ground water seeping onto the shore. There is plenty of ground water reaching the shore now, but I suspect it may be too late for this winter. I'll keep an eye on things. Hopefully their other feeding locations have fared better.

Pink-Footed goose 28 and 45 low to north, presumably to feeding grounds.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
I had a very pleasant walk around, but the "best" record was from the bottom car park just as I arrived.
Mediterranean gull 1 adult, was flying high over the main pond with a couple of Black-Headed gulls. I think there was an odd flying ant about.
Mediterranean gull

After a while it came down to the main pond for a spruce up.

Mute Swan 2 adult, 9 cygnet 
Mallard 10
Gadwall 17
Moorhen 10
Little grebe 1
Water Rail 1 making contact calls at Tim Butler pond

Migrant Hawker 1
Common Darter 7+

Speckled Wood 2

This is a self (or more likely Jay) seeded Oak seedling, just about to lose its first leaves. There are no Oak trees on this side of the reserve. There are some small trees on the southern section of the reserve, but I had thought them too immature to produce acorns, obviously that is not the case.
First calendar year Oak tree, about to moult to winter plumage.
It's in an area not regularly trampled, although the Roe Deer do sometimes sleep nearby (you can see the flattened grass where they lay). So hopefully it will continue to prosper. For me, this was the best sighting of the walk (MD).