Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Rufous rain........right.

A fresh SE wind heavy and constant rain through the morning, turning to showers in the afternoon.

Red Nab to Saltmarsh - high water 11:30 (MD)
Mediterranean gulls 4 adult/3rd calendar year plus 1 x 2nd calendar year - none visible through the rain on the first visit, but on the return the tide was almost full. Three adult were just flying off leaving one adult and the 2nd calendar year on the last of the rocks.
Adult Mediterranean gull with a more typical mask than yesterday's bird

2nd calendar year Mediterranean gull with Lesser Black-Backed gull

Little Egret 6
Grey Heron 2
Wigeon 106 flew from Red Nab to saltmarsh 
Redwing 3 - they appeared to come in off over Red Nab, but suspect they were heading out and changed their minds.
Rock Pipit 2 on Red Nab
Robin 2 now defending winter territories on the foreshore - same areas as last winter, one on the corner nearest Red Nab, the other towards the saltmarsh slipway.
Linnet 45 on saltmarsh 
Wheatear 1. This is what today's title refers to. So, not an obscure Prince song, or an American singer (apologies if you got here by searching for either!). This is quite a late bird, large and rufous which is typical of the northern (Greenland) race which tend to come through late. But a morning in the heavy rain made it look even darker (it looked like a Kingfisher at distance!).
Wheatear - even more rufous in the rain
This was a very flighty bird and it took me ages to get in a position to be able to get a decent shot. Fortunately, the rain eased for a while and the fresh wind meant that I could shield my camera with my body. Even so I only managed this short bumpy clip.

Harbour Waterfall
Just a quick check from Fishers side, showed that the waterfall is currently very productive. I watched the cormorant in this clip for a few minutes, in five dives it caught four fish. In this clip it caught two in three dives. Watch it exit stage right with a small whitebait at the end of the clip. These fish are perfect Shag sized and Shag have been regular visitors in previous years.
These are a couple of stills from the above clip
Cormorant with, probably, a Weaver fish or Goby.

Cormorant with what looks like a Whitebait 

The gulls were catching too, this Lesser Black-Backed also has, what looks like
a small Whitebait - this frame is not from the above clip
After this the Cormorant flew off. Hopefully the abundance of fish here will be reflected by increased activity on the outflows. I'll have a look tomorrow.

Heysham Village bay
I stopped in passing at Knowlys Road, just to check if there were any Brent Geese. No Brent, but a distant Canada goose. I couldn't resist walking out to get a better view - just a word of caution, it is fine walking out from the Village, but stay on the rocky sections, the mud further out can be treacherous. If you were stood where this Canada goose was, you would soon be stuck! (MD)
I walked out on the rocky shore till the goose became fidgety, took this quick clip and left it in peace, it was still there when I got back to my car.