Wednesday 27 October 2021

Good weather for foxes!

 The wind underwhelmed, it blew hard during the night and pretty hard during the day, but there was only a bit of west in it, SSW at best. The rain on the other had didn't disappoint, it lashed it down all day.

I just managed a couple of short visits to the south shore (MD). Nothing seen on the sea and little inshore.
Just the normal Oystercatcher, Curlew and Redshank. 
Wigeon c40
There were plenty of Black-Headed gulls on No.2 outflow, but none on Red Nab, perhaps related to the following.

Foxes are generally hated by farmers. If one gets into a chicken run, it doesn't kill one and take it off, it tries to kill all the chickens. The commotion generally stirs the farm dogs and the farmer, so the fox is invariably scared off leaving a run full of dead chickens. This seems wanton, but the fox's instinct is to kill as much as it can, while it can, before taking it's kills somewhere to stash,  till it or it's family can eat it. This is the same instinct that drives a pet dog to burry excess food for a later time. In nature chickens aren't corralled, so most would have time to escape. But even in the wild there are sometimes opportunities to make multiple kills, and last night was one of them.
There were two headless Black-Headed gulls in the lee of the foreshore, this is classic fox kill. The severe wind and rain last night must have seen the gulls roosting here. Why they didn't all fly off when one was killed I don't know, perhaps they did and then returned. There were likely more than the two gulls killed, once the spree was over, the fox would have set about taking the gulls away to stash somewhere, only stopping when it felt unsafe, probably when I turned up at first light. It would have returned later or this evening for the remaining two gulls, nothing will be wasted.
A further dead Herring gull on Red Nab might have been coincidental, it was too far out to inspect for injuries.

The only other record I have for today is Pink-Footed goose, decent size low flock south, just after dark.