Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Kingfisher adds a splash of colour

Calm early on before a west breeze developed. Overcast with a few sunny spells and the odd light shower in the morning. The afternoon was mainly sunny.

South shore - high water 09:00 
I had a morning walk (MD)
Wigeon 102
Rock Pipit 2 on Red Nab
Greenfinch 40+ Yesterday, there were 9 searching for fallen wild mustard seeds in the very strong wind. Today there were over 40, some removing the seeds from the seed pods on the plants others foraging for fallen seeds.

These are the seed pods, it is one of the wild mustards, possibly Black
If you know please let me know (MD)

Kingfisher 1 - it was flying around Red Nab and resting on rocks when I started at high water.
Kingfisher flying around Red Nab at high water
Presumably displaced from its territory by the swollen waters, and so also presumably hungry, I expected it to hang around. There are fish to be found in Red Nab's stream and rock pools, and so it proved to be. On my return, it was fishing in the freshwater stream from the culvert below the sea wall. I only watched it for a few minutes, but it caught one small fish in that time, looked like a Common Goby. Small as its catch was, it was coveted by a Black-Headed gull, which tried to pinch it.
As I was leaving it was back on the same rock, but the tide was leaving Red Nab now and this stream will soon be too fresh for sea fish. It will have to turn its attention to the rock pools, or wait till the tide returns.

Great Crested Grebe 1 flew north
Cormorant - these were fishing in the gap between the wooden jetty and sea wall, just after the tide had turned.

Kevin had his walk at lunchtime, by that time there were only 20 Greenfinch feeding. I suppose there are only so many peppercorns a Greenfinch can eat!
But the Kingfisher was still around and still favouring the same rock by the freshwater stream.
Kingfisher waiting for the tide, and the fish, to come back.
Grey Wagtail 2 along the sea wall.

Heysham skear - low water16:00
No sign of the Brent geese this visit
Great Crested Grebe 7
Red-breasted Merganser none seen, but they tend to favour feeding on the flood tide.
Eider c60
Little Egret 14
Knot 800+
Some of the Knot with Heysham Head in the background 

Oystercatcher, Curlew, Turnstone and Ringed Plover were all, similar to yesterday, but there were hardly any Redshank. The freshwater was still running over the shore, but not a single bird feeding there (see yesterday's post for comparison). I suppose when the freshwater has flushed whatever it was flushing yesterday, it takes a while for things to return.
Similarly with the freshwater coming out of the surface water drain. It obviously wasn't as forceful as yesterday, but there would still have been big volumes going into the sea, but no gulls today, just a couple of feeding Great Crested grebe (not counted in the 7 above). I went for a closer look, not only was there no activity, it looks like there is no hinged end cap either. The shot below is when the tide would have been a similar height to yesterday's clip, although today the tide was still ebbing. There is a grill over the end of the pipe, possibly a cap behind as well, it's hard to imagine yesterday's spashback was just the waves reacting with the emerging fresh. I'll have a proper look at low water on a spring tide, but that will have to wait till next summer now, all the spring tide low waters will be in the dark over winter.
The end of the surface water drain at the same height in the tide as yesterday's turmoil