Monday 29 November 2021

A fragmented day

Freezing overnight and into mid morning, despite being overcast. But as the east breeze switched to SW it started warming and light rain began after lunch.

Nothing went to plan today, every time I set off for a walk something else cropped up and foreshortened my walk. Still it was very pleasant in the cold dry morning (MD)

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Just a quick check of the main ponds, primarily to see if any of the gulls resting on the ice were ringed....they weren't.
The "no swimming" pond was completely frozen over, but the ducks and swans maintained an open patch in the middle of the main pond. That would be fine for the Mute and Mallard that are happy to waddle over the ice to the bank to be fed by visitors. But the weed here wouldn't support the Gadwall for long. Fortunately, the current freezing temperatures are over for the time being.
Some of the wildfowl maintaining an open area on the main pond.
Meanwhile the gulls are happy to stand on the ice

Gadwall 21
Mallard 11
Moorhen 2
Think they're all on this clip
I hope if we get another cold snap, they do as they did last winter and keep a patch of the "no swimming" pond open, there is so much more weed available there for the Gadwall.

South shore
Just time for a look at Red Nab and foreshore at low water.
Wigeon c100 - it's unusual to see so many on Red Nab at low water. They were feeding in the fresh water run off when something spooked them all, allowing a rough count. They only went to Red Nab rocks, but would have returned to the fresh water soon as the gut weed on the rocks was frozen to them.
Shelduck c130 feeding out from foreshore 
Lapwing 55 resting on the frozen mud
Common Snipe 1 flew from slipway
Greenfinch 2 at Red Nab
Rock Pipit 2 on foreshore 
Song Thrush 1 near slipway 

North shore late afternoon 
I had planned to walk down to waterline, but didn't have time, so just a quick check from the promenade at Four Lane Ends
Pale-bellied Brent goose 5 (at least)
Red-breasted Merganser 5 (at least)

Mild and wet tomorrow, and again I haven't much time, I'll have to plan more carefully!