Friday 26 November 2021

Time to hunker down!

The strong overnight west wind eased slightly and shifted to NW. it became strong again by evening and forecast to become very strong overnight. Surprisingly, it remained dry today, with quite a lot of sunshine.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Just a brief check of the two main ponds showed little change.
Mute 2 adult plus 9 cygnet 
Moorhen 5
Mallard 10
Teal 1
Gadwall 36 (34 on "no swimming" pond plus 2 on main pond.
These are some of the Gadwall, still having to upend to reach the weed.

South shore
A walk along the sea wall at low water, isn't the best time to visit, but it was the only time I had (MD).
Greenfinch 10 near Red Nab
Shelduck 121 feeding on mud out from Red Nab
Wigeon, just a few starting to gather near No.1 outflow, c40
Mediterranean Gull 1 adult on shore near No.2 outflow - this first clip is just to show the location plus the amount of gulls currently feeding on No.2 outflow (there were none feeding on No.1).

The drain it is in, is fed by the freshwater culvert from Red Nab, and although it will be brackish at this point, it is still better than bathing in sea water.

By the time I was heading back, it had switched to the unsheltered side for a blow dry!

Mediterranean gull, with Black-Headed gull in foreground 

North shore
Just a quick check of the Children's play area in the afternoon, failed to locate any Brent Geese, not a surprise, they tend to stay on the west side in harsh winds. Plenty of waders trying to avoid both the wind and the increasingly close walkers.
Oystercatcher c2,000
Knot c400
Redshank c100
Dunlin 20
Turnstone 20
Grey Plover 1
Ringed Plover 10
If you look closely at the Knot at the start of this clip, you can see  one with a yellow flag (you may need to watch in slow motion). I had thought there were two with white rings too, but probably just a trick of the low light.  No chance of me reading rings at this range in these conditions.

Unfortunately, they were all flushed by a blissfully unaware walker just after this clip