Monday, 25 October 2021

Today was about dodging the showers.......unsuccessfully!

WSW winds plenty of sunshine, but some very heavy and localised showers. 

Heysham skear - low water 09:00 (MD)
The sun was shining and barely a cloud in the sky when I set off, so didn't bother with my waterproofs (big mistake!).
Little Egret 11
Eider 4
Knot 18 (plus the regular Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank and Turnstone)
Great Crested Grebe 2
Red-breasted Merganser 14 - I took a couple of in flight shots for comparison with yesterday's Goosander.

Red-breasted Mergansers
I'd reached the point on the skear furthest from my car, the sun was still shining, but the heavens opened! 

It had stopped when I got back to my car, so I thought I'd check Ocean Edge foreshore to see if the downpour had grounded anything, but when I got there I wasn't sure that it had even rained there.
Rock Pipit 3
Greenfinch 3
Kestrel 1
Mediterranean gulls 2 - 1 adult plus 1 2nd calendar year resting on mud.

Heysham Head - high water 14:30
A shower had just finished when I set off, this time in full waterproofs. This proved to be another mistake, albeit a fortuitous one!
It was a very pleasant walk around the head, the sun shone all the time. Unfortunately I'd seen nothing, and I was getting very hot. I'd just checked the pebble beach below the high cliffs and couldn't even find the normally regular Rock Pipit here. The tide was in, the only way off was up a steep incline, so I decided to strip off my waterproofs and pullover first. Then, just as I was setting off I heard the Rock Pipit, it was agitated, another quick look around revealed why, a Stonechat on its patch. I'd have missed them both if I hadn't stopped to remove excess clothing.
Greenfinch 3
Rock Pipit 1. 
Stonechat 1 male. It was quite mobile feeding at the top, middle and bottom of the cliff face. I don't know if it had just come in or if I'd missed it first check. I might have another look tomorrow to see if it is still around.
Male Stonechat 

This from Kevin:

A Pink-footed Goose on Ocean Edge. I think it must have been sickly or injured because it didn't fly away. It looked like someone may have picked it up later and put it in the boot of their car. Hopefully taking it to a wildlife rescue place.