Friday 22 October 2021

Sanderlings best of a mixed pot

West wind with heavy and constant rain till 10:30. After that the gaps between the showers became more prolonged.

First an interesting update from yesterday, provided by Phil Simpson.

Guillemot still present in Heysham Harbour Thursday to 1350 when it flew out strongly into the sun.


South shore (MD)

I started at the saltmarsh at 10:30, just as the rain stopped and the sun came out, unfortunately briefly, there were more showers to come!

Linnet 30

Greenfinch 14 

Both the above feeding on bracken seeds around the saltmarsh

Wigeon c30

Mallard 4

Little Egret 8

Grey Heron 1

Common Snipe 5

Rock Pipit 4 (2+1 battling near saltmarsh slipway, 1 near the waterfall)

Sanderling 2. Unusually for me I heard them before spotting them (heard, but I didn't know what I'd heard till I saw them). They either came from the saltmarsh or had flown overland from the north side. They flew past me and rested briefly on the waterline out from Ocean Edge foreshore. Pete said that it is getting late for passage. They didn't stay long and flew off low to south. This clip is rubbish, but they were a distance out, fortunately it is just good enough to confirm species, but you may need to watch in slow motion.

This is just a blown up still from the above clip

Mediterranean gull 1 adult/3rd calendar year was all I could see on Red Nab as I went out, but by then it was lashing down again. On the return the tide had covered the rocks.

Cormorant - there were six resting on the upstands near the waterfall, but this 1st calendar year bird elected to rest on the harbour wall.

1st calendar year Cormorant 

I knew it was going to move off, so took this clip

North shore
I had a walk from the children's play area to the emerging skear early in the ebbing tide, late afternoon (MD). By this time the showers were much less frequent but the dark skies made for some spectacular lighting!

Spectacular lighting over the skear

Early in the tide like this is good for the shore birds which tend to be concentrated, but not good for birds on the sea.
Eider 9
Great Crested Grebe 2
Red-breasted Merganser 3 - all males, although at first I thought this was a male in pursuit of a female.

As soon as the first bird took flight, it was obviously a male, so I assume the chasing bird was a mature male seeing off a younger bird (but I have been known to be wrong (MD))

This still from the above clip, as they take flight, clearly shows 
the large white wing panel on the lead bird

Later, what I took to be the young male and another appeared to be practicing displaying.

Little Egret 9

Ringed Plover c30
Grey Plover 1 - not so common on the north side
Plus Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank and Turnstone