Sunday 21 November 2021

Solitary Brent knows the ropes

 A very cool NW wind, sunshine all day.

Pale-bellied Brent goose 2 - Contrary to today's title, Pete Crooks saw two out from Knowlys early morning when the tide was still low. But this was the only multiple sighting of the day.
10:30 - 1.5 hours before high water this individual was just out from Red Nab. This is the first record on Red Nab this winter and I can't recall seeing a single Brent here before. But it seemed to know what it was doing, there is gut weed available on the outer rocks of Red Nab, but it is cropped close by the Wigeon. This bird was biding its time.

11:40 - it was still on Red Nab, but now close to the sea wall feeding on the slightly longer gut weed, now floating in the rising tide. I don't know how long it remained on Red Nab, possibly throughout high water. 

15:10 What I took to be the same solitary bird was floating on the water on the south side of the skear, directly above the rocky area with some gut weed patches. By 15:15 it was reaching down and feeding on the gut weed.
15:30 The rocky area was now exposed, this is the Brent amongst the Oystercatchers

It was still feeding here when I left at sunset (16:00!). I suspect that this was not one of the two seen earlier by Pete, but it obviously knows the area from an earlier visit, strange that it was alone. I wouldn't be surprised if it were on Red Nab again tomorrow lunchtime (MD)

Other stuff:
South Shore
Wigeon c100
Shelduck 44
Knot c600 Red Nab
Common Snipe 15 flushed from saltmarsh, just after the tide reached it.
Rock Pipit 1 on Red Nab
Song Thrush 1 on saltmarsh 
Greenfinch 15 on saltmarsh 
Guillemot 1 in harbour near waterfall 
Guillemot doing its Penguin impression

As I walked down from the lighthouse, the Guillemot was feeding, but by the time I'd reached the waterfall area it was just preening.

Heysham "skear"
It was such a lovely afternoon that I couldn't resist a walk on the shore, the inverted commas reflect that darkness fell before the skear was really exposed (MD).
Apart from the Brent there were:
Eider c90
Oystercatcher c2,500
Knot c2,000
Turnstone c40
Curlew c30
The low bright light was adding a warm colour to the birds, these clips are no different to ones I've shown before, apart from the unusual light.
Eider flying in from the north of the bay, the distant hills are not really covered in snow!

Eider taking to the water, the females looking a very warm brown in the nearly setting sun.

Finally, Howard managed to read several more Knot on the Heliport wall, despite some disturbance from dog walkers. He also managed this shot, please open it to fully appreciate (it reminds me of the shot of Vinnie Jones and Gazza, although the Knot is getting off lightly!)
an aggressive Oystercatcher on the wall today with Knot on the receiving end.