Wednesday 22 December 2021

Mainly web footed news today

Contrary to the weather charts that I saw today, the light breeze started from NW then round to NE by early afternoon. After that it drifted more to the predicted ESE. Mainly overcast with a few light showers.

Just a bit of my stuff again so far (MD)
North shore:
I thought I'd have a look at the mid point between low and high water, mainly to see what was on the water at that time (nothing!). But it proved impractical, as there was nowhere to walk without disturbing either the Brent or the waders, so just a walk to waterline and back from Four Lane Ends.
Pale-bellied Brent goose 16 - a group of 12 was making its way along the shore to the outer rocks from the play area. Another 4 flew directly in and landed on the middle rocks. These are the 12, led by the two Canadian ringed birds.

Oystercatcher 1,000+
Knot 150
Dunlin 30
Turnstone 15

Middleton Nature Reserve 
A short shore walk meant I had time to Check the Tim Butler pond as well as the two main pond. Didn't gain much just 5 Mallard and a couple of Moorhen on Tim Butler.
A bit of excitement though, I thought the Mute Swan status had changed, there were only 6 cygnets on the main pond, but the 2 adult and the remaining 3 cygnets were on the "no swimming" pond.
Moorhen 9
Coot 1
Mallard 20
Gadwall 36 ( including 8 on main pond)
Teal 2 (pair) probably more hidden from view
Tufted duck 3 males
Wigeon 2 (male and female). At first they were at opposite ends of the "no swimming" pond, but they made their way towards each other, both with the same romantic "runny nose" look!
First the female
Now the male

They eventually met in the middle. It seems strange to be so interested in these two when there are over a hundred on Red Nab. But a female Wigeon was with the Gadwall over the 2019/20 winter period, perhaps the same female as now. If so, she obviously has some affinity with the Gadwall, but has still managed to attract a male Wigeon, which also now seems to be part of one of the groups of Gadwall.
The Wigeon "pair"

The Tufted had been feeding, but I just managed to catch the last dive.

Lapwing 250 heading SE towards the estuary, at a time when the tide would have reached the saltmarsh 
Sparrowhawk 1

I'll try and find something different to report tomorrow!