Sunday, 14 November 2021

Lots of Pinks and Brent numbers increasing

Calm to light SSE breeze. Sunny spells turning to overcast by mid afternoon.

There were a lot of Pink-footed geese around today. Janet reported the fields behind Meldon/Oxcliffe roads full of noisy geese at first light. The various records below record 6,000+ heading NW to NE, the latest at 15:10 - which seems late to be heading north.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Report from Alan:

With clear skies and calm conditions, there was a grass frost this morning although it didn't feel too cold except for the hands whilst setting nets. Ringing was very slow with only 9 birds caught by ten thirty. There were 20+ blackbirds grounded around the ringing area and small groups of Redwing and the odd fieldfares moving about the reserve feeding on Hawthorn berries. By 08.30 there was less movement with ones and twos of blackbirds and redwings quietly feeding in hawthorns all around.

The highlight was just after sunrise when lines (possibly 2500) of Pink footed Geese came from the Fylde area flying NE - they filled the sky almost from horizon to horizon and sound of their calls was wonderful. A second, slightly smaller flock followed half an hour later (possibly 1500) and a further 250 + 70 followed them.


Redwing 3

Goldcrest 1

Chiffchaff 1

Single retraps each of Wren, Long tailed Tit and Great Tit.

Up to three Water Rails calling in the reeds.

Shaun managed another visit this morning:

Half Moon Bay & Heysham Head 07:30 - 10:30

Pink-footed Goose - large group of c1300 heading North and NE at 07:35 + c130 NE at 07:45

Shag juv feeding close in just off the northern tip of Heysham Head at high tide

Little Egret 11

Lapwing 84 roosting next to Helipad with some spooked and heading north

Golden Plover group of 36 heading in to the bay

Ringed Plover 4 roosting Heysham Head

Knot c900 in several flocks heading south towards harbour

Snipe 5 flushed off Helipad by a dog walker 

Peregrine pair over power station

Rock Pipit 4

Heysham Nature Reserve 10:30 - 11:30

Did a circuit from the reserve car park to the NE corner via Dipping Pond

Very few birds besides c25 Blackbird, c15 Redwing, 3 Robins and a pair of Bullfinch! 

Small Tortoiseshell 1 seen later by Kevin.

Heysham skear - low water 14:30 (MD)
Pale-bellied Brent geese 23 - initially 21 in the SE corner with 2 more feeding further up the surface water run off. Unfortunately the track the surface water takes down to the corner is the same track used by the tractors to launch and retrieve dinghies, and one operating today temporarily flushed them to the NE corner, but they quickly returned after the tractor left. I had good views of all the birds, none were ringed. 
This shot is actually from the sea wall at Rydal road. This is 30x magnification, so probably not practical for binoculars, but a scope from the sea wall will provide better views. I would not advocate Rydal road though, as if the water had been further out the geese would be out of sight, but anywhere to the south of the skear is fine.
Pale-bellied Brent feeding in the SE corner of skear

This clip is when they all went to the NE corner, you can easily see the Stone Jetty behind, so presumably the geese would be visible from there, but they don't stay there long on calm days, as there is nothing to feed on (West to SW strong winds can drive broken weed into this corner).

Eider 155
Common Scoter 1 juvenile 
Great Crested Grebe 9
Red-breasted Merganser 3 (2 male)
Little Egret 15
Grey Heron 2
Knot - yesterday there was about 1,500 smeared along the centre of the skear, just resting, not feeding. Today there were just a few flocks of 4 - 12 birds. These 4 were also taking advantage of the fresh water run off, they appear to be having a drink.

Pink-Footed goose c600 one flock to NW at 15:10, presumably they had been flushed from wherever they had been feeding. 600 is one of the smaller flocks recorded today, even so, it is quite impressive.