Thursday 4 November 2021

Bearded Tits best of another good day

 Light NNW breeze, pretty much sunny all day.

Middleton Nature Reserve - morning 
Summary report from Pete:

0855-1045: decent autumn birding at last: eg: 

Bearded tit Male and female calling  in sky to north east but view obscured by bush then landed central marsh reeds noisily for c25 secs then towered up high to south  (To my knowledge this is the first record for the recording area, yesterday's Dusky warbler was only the second record (again, I think MD))

1220 Fieldfare nw, 

480 Redwing nw, 

c40 Blackbird on arrival, but quickly flushed inland.

Thanks to Alan Larsen for some of thrush passage

2 Sparrowhawk high S, 

6 Brambling, 

3 Whooper, 

high flock 70 Woodpigeon, 

Green Woodpecker 1

No warbler spp other than 3 Cettis despite two LTT flocks (8 plus 11 unringed) through. 

c20 Chaffinch, 

40 finch spp, 

flock 30 jackdaw south, 

1 skylark, 

1 Reed bunting south.

Red Nab to Saltmarsh (MD)

Greenfinch c50 feeding on mustard seeds at Red Nab plus 35 doing the same on the saltmarsh 

Knot - flock c500 flying around Red Nab before feeding on mud out from saltmarsh 

Wigeon only 40 had gathered on Red Nab, but early in rising tide.

Rock Pipit 3 (2 on Red Nab plus one near rocky outcrop east of saltmarsh)

Song Thrush 2 on saltmarsh 

Redshank 50+

Lapwing 62

Grey Plover 3

One of the Grey Plover, just out from the saltmarsh 

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Just a quick circuit on my way home
No warblers seen or heard.
Redwing 40+ feeding and milling around
Fieldfare 3-6 feeding
Sparrowhawk 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Roe deer 1
Red Admiral 1

Pete also managed a couple of checks of the sea:

Great White Egret “following” IOM ferry into bay then continuing north up centre of bay

Mediterranean gull 2-3 adult following ferry.

earlier 12 plus 8 Whooper swan SW

Red Admiral 1 in off Ocean Edge 

Middleton Nature Reserve - afternoon 
I just checked the east side (MD)
Mute unchanged 
No Coot seen
Moorhen 9
Mallard 1
The water level on the "no swimming" pond has returned to its normal level, it seems to need 1m increase in height to trigger the control pump, anyway the Gadwall were back.
Gadwall 12
Little grebe 2 - 1 each on "no swimming" and main pond. This is the main pond bird, it has just caught something, and washes it down with a drink.

This is the Little grebe with its catch.
Its movements suggest small fish, rather than invertebrate
Grey Heron 1
Water Rail 1
Cetti's warbler 1 - central marsh male singing
Redwing were pretty much feeding everywhere, but the main concentrations were in the NW corner near Tradebe and around Tim Butler pond. Hard to judge accurate numbers but at least 50
Blackbird there were at least 10 new birds feeding on hawthorn near Tradebe
One of the feeding Redwing

This Rook and a Jackdaw were heading west

Finally, this is the Grey Heron, it has just caught something, but unlike the Little Grebe, it didn't go down well. It didn't go down at all! Whatever it was it obviously tasted awful, and I've seen Heron eat some awful looking stuff with glee. All I can think of is a Great Crested Newt, their skin can release poison, which for its own protection must taste nasty. I didn't think Great Crested Newts would still be in the water at this time of year, but I've looked it up and apparently, some adult remain in the water all through the year.

This is the point, just before the Heron realises that it's nasty!
It is the right shape for a large newt.