Thursday, 23 December 2021

As promised......something different

Light SE wind, quite a lot, and quite heavy rain in the morning, but mainly fine in the afternoon.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Just a brief check of the two main ponds (MD)
Mute 2 adult plus 9 cygnet, again split into 6 cygnet on the main pond with the 2 adult and 3 cygnet on the no swimming pond. The mute normally either try to chase you off or come begging to be fed, but these blithely ignored me and were just chuntering to each other. I do like it when wildlife, or in this case semi wildlife, ignores me. I didn't even warrant a second look!
Gadwall 37 a new high count for this year, I think
Mallard 13
Tufted duck 4 males (3 on "no swimming" plus 1 on main pond)
Wigeon 2
Moorhen 6
Coot 1

Brief as my visit was, I still managed a soaking, so I just did a quick check of the Brent near the play area before heading home.
Pale-bellied Brent goose 21 close in by the children's play area, including the Canadian ringed pair.

Red Nab and saltmarsh - high water 13:30
Wigeon 150+
Shelduck c30
Pale-bellied Brent goose 24 - almost certainly including the 21 from this morning.
Common Snipe 26 flushed from saltmarsh - this was a bit unusual as the water only just reached it, but one lot of 5 and another flock of 21 took flight, although the latter returned to the same area they originally lifted from.
Rock Pipit 1
Kingfisher 1
Kingfisher on a favourite fishing rock, note the guano behind it. I'll show the location later.

This is a nice height (8.7m) to watch the birds on Red Nab at high water, although just a bit high as most of the birds moved on before high water, tomorrow's tide at 8.5m should be better. These are just a couple of clips to show the activity not far out from the sea wall.
This first one is just a few of the Wigeon

This clip shows some of the Brent feeding with the Wigeon. It shows just how small a goose the Brent are compared to the Wigeon, which are only a middling sized duck.

Back to the Kingfisher. This is its favourite fishing spot, just at the entrance to the freshwater culvert. The droppings behind it are its, I could show you a clip of it contributing, but I thought you would prefer to take my word for it. Unfortunately, I didn't see it catch any fish today.

It is clearly very familiar with the feeding opportunities on Red Nab. As soon as the tide reached the large western rocks, it moved over to fish from the largest one.

Finally, I promised something different. This is new for me, and I suspect for many of you too, although it may be a common sight where Kingfishers are regular, I don't know, but it's definitely different for here. Like most predatory birds, Kingfishers get rid of their indigestible waste by producing pellets. This clip shows it expelling one, quite some distance (MD).
So it's clearly feeding well, a rock covered in guano and a waste pellet!