Saturday, 16 October 2021

Not bad, despite the drizzle

SE light breeze, very low cloud occasionally turning to drizzle.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Ringing report from Alan:

After a night that was clear until around midnight and then clouded over I was expecting that there might be few birds present this morning.

The catch turned out to be rather poor however. It was calm with a very slight drizzle at times and very few birds were moving around the reserve. No Grey Wagtails seen and only single figure numbers of Redwing roaming about.

Wren 1

Robin 1

Song Thrush 1

Cetti's Warbler 1 retrap

Chiffchaff 2

Goldcrest 1

Blue Tit 3

Bullfinch 1

Lesser Redpoll 5 (all adult except for one)

Vis report from Jean:

Only a little bit of vis today at Middleton 07:00-09:00

Pink-footed Goose 110 NE, presumably from the roost at Pilling, 55 S 

Jackdaw 28 S, 103 N

Rook 5 S

Redwing 5 S

Mistle Thrush 3N

Song Thrush 3 NW, 4 grounded

Blackbird 6 grounded then 2 S

Chaffinch 5SW

Goldfinch 5 W

Reed Bunting 2 SE

Skylark 2 SE

Grey Heron 1 NE

Pied Wagtail 2

Linnet 2 SE

Siskin 1 heard but probably more

Chiffchaff just 1 heard on the reserve

Coal Tit 1

Bullfinch 2 heard - probably local

I just did a quick check of the two main ponds (MD)
Mute unchanged 
Moorhen 8
Coot 1 on main pond - new in
Mallard 10 on main pond
Gadwall 27 all on "no swimming" pond, unusually for this autumn when their numbers increase, no accompanying Mallard or Wigeon.
Teal 2

Red Nab to saltmarsh area high water 09:15 (MD) 
Wigeon 80+ on Red Nab
Shelduck 82
Pink-Footed goose c80 seen heading north, many more heard just above the low cloud.
Rock Pipit 2
Meadow Pipit 1 grounded on foreshore 
Stonechat 1 female or first winter on foreshore near Red Nab. It was being harassed by a Robin, but seemed determined to stick around.
Robin and a Stonechat 

Linnet 50+ feeding on saltmarsh - a marked increase, more on this tomorrow after I've had a closer look at what they are feeding on. 
Lapwing 64
Carrion Crow 24 together on beach just out from the saltmarsh.

The remaining records are waders out from the saltmarsh. There were a lot close in and many more passed by towards Potts. Unfortunately, visibility was poor with the drizzle and a number of walkers out with their dogs was a constant threat.
Bar-Tailed Godwit 53
Grey Plover 15
Knot 250
Dunlin 1,300 resting plus c200 feeding
Sanderling 2
Also present but not counted, Oystercatcher, Curlew and Redshank 

This clip is just to show where we are, and what was going on. There are Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Grey Plover and Knot, then I pan up to show the foreshore behind.

The tide was going out now and allowing easier access to the beach, but to be fair I had longer with the birds than I had expected, but an approaching dog finally spooked the feeding birds, at least allowing an in flight clip.

All that remained was a large (1300) resting flock of mainly Dunlin, this is where the winter plumage Sanderling were. Both at the back of the flock, partly obscured and head firmly tucked under their wings. I knew the walkers would soon spook these too, so I focused on one of the Sanderling, hoping for a clear head shot before they moved off. But it was the last bird to react!
Sanderling top centre 
 This is a still from the clip below and the best view provided before they all took off.
If you watch in slow motion you can see it was the last bird to take off, but no detail possible.