Friday, 5 November 2021

Good coverage, plenty of birds, especially thrushes.

 Calm early on with whatever air movement there was from SE. Later a NW breeze picked up. Very low cloud/drizzle till 10:00 then some sunshine with the odd shower.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Jean did a quick, but productive check:


Blackbird 19 grounded

Redwing 40 grounded

Fieldfare 9 grounded

Song Thrush 7 grounded

Mistle Thrush 2 grounded

Skylark 2 east

Woodpigeon 6 north

Reed Bunting 1 present

Cetti’s Warbler 1 singing on the west and 1 on the east of the track

Water Rail 3 present

Goldcrest 2 present

Shaun did a thorough check later, although he describes it as a "trundle", obviously there will be some overlap with the above birds that were not moving through.

Had a trundle around (10:00-12:00).

Quite a few thrushes milling about/feeding - mostly on the western side of the reserve. 

Fieldfare c65 (including a group of c45 that dropped in at 11:15).

Redwing c130

Blackbird c75

Song Thrush c10.

Gadwall 29 on 'Non-Swimming Pool' plus a pair of Teal and 2 Little Grebes

Also, a pair of Gadwall on the 'Main Boating/Swan Lake' plus a Grey Heron

Water Rail 2 squealing in Central Marsh

Sparrowhawk fem/imm - quite active

Cetti's Warbler three singing

Blackcap male close to 'ringing area'

Brambling 2 heading southeast

Siskin 4 in trees near Yellow Gate/Golf Course then East

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Jean also managed a quick check here 09:50 - 10:10

Blackbird 18 feeding on berries

Carrion Crow flock of 26 present

Woodpigeon 18 south

Collared Dove 2 south

Chaffinch 2 south

Chiffchaff 1 by the fire pond

Goldcrest 1 

Brambling 1 in the trees near the boardwalk 

Heliport High water - ref Pete

Knot 2,000 

Greenfinch 40 feeding on recently cut seeds

Red Nab and saltmarsh area  09:00 - 11:00 (MD)
Wigeon 60+
Rock Pipit at least 5 - 1 each on: sea wall near No.2 outflow, Red Nab, foreshore, rocky outcrop and pebble beach SE of saltmarsh. On return 3 were battling on foreshore.
Greenfinch - it was strange seeing the mustard behind Red Nab deserted, there are still some seed pods on the plant, presumably not ripe enough yet. There was  flock of 27 along the foreshore and another, or possibly same flock of 31 feeding on brambles on east side of saltmarsh.
Song Thrush 2 on saltmarsh 
Whooper Swan 7 (4 adult + 3 juvenile) south  09:30. The low cloud meant that they were low and close to the coast, unfortunately by this time the breeze had freshened and you can't hear them calling.

The 10m high water covered the saltmarsh flushing:
Common Snipe 7
Jack Snipe 2
Jack Snipe - unmistakable profile,
 a rubbish picture, but better than I normally manage.

Heysham skear
Had a quick check 4 hours ebb. On these spring tides the water ebbs quickly. A lot of the birds, typically Knot and Curlew just wait till the tide exposes the area they want. Others take advantage of the quickly draining water to hunt for shrimps, small fish and the dwindling numbers of crab. This clip is just to give a flavour of the feeding activity as the water ebbs.

Eider 97
Great Crested Grebe 6
Red-breasted Merganser 6 (the family group in the above clip)
Little Egret 14
Oystercatcher c1,000
Turnstone c30
Redshank c50
Ringed Plover 18
Knot c2,200 one flock of 1,900 plus several small flocks
Curlew 160 were waiting on the beach as the tide ebbed, these are just a few of them
Some of the Curlew waiting for the tide to expose their favoured feeding area on skear.