Thursday, 30 December 2021

Brent numbers increasing again.

A fresh SSW wind all day. Very low cloud in the morning with some light showers. The rain becoming heavy and persistent by the afternoon.

South Shore mid morning
Lapwing 232 on mud out from the saltmarsh 
Common Snipe 5 seen in the sea grass patches just out from the saltmarsh, there were almost certainly many more, but they are difficult to spot and I didn't want to disturb the Lapwing by getting too close. These images were taken on Tuesday when I managed to locate 18. Not great shots but do show where to look, even so, you have to believe they are there before you can spot them (a bit like Fairies! MD).
Just 1 Common Snipe visible here

There are 3 Common Snipe visible in this clump
They remind me of Pheasants, their camouflage is so good that if, in the correct terrain, they remain motionless you invariably wouldn't see them. But long before you get close to them, they take flight. In contrast, Jack Snipe totally trust their camouflage and you almost need to tread on them before they take flight.

Shelduck 78 on mud out from foreshore 
Wigeon 201 - today the tide was ebbing and they flew from Red Nab to the channel along No.2 outflow. It was raining at this point, so again a clip from Tuesday. On this clip, the tide was rising and they were trudging their way towards Red Nab. These are only some of Tuesday's Wigeon.

Rock Pipit 3 (1 on Red Nab plus 2 together on sea wall)
No sign of any Shag in the harbour 

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Just a quick look on the way home:
No sign of the Pochard today, which is a shame, I was hoping it would hang around till Saturday! Perhaps it will return.
Mute Swan the 2 new adults were still on the main pond, separate from but not bothered by the 6 cygnets. 2 adult plus 3 cygnets on the "no swimming" pond.
Mallard 4 on main pond
Gadwall 39 (24 on main pond)
Wigeon 2 (pair)
Tufted Duck 4 male
Teal 2 (pair)
Shoveler 1 mature male
Coot 1
Moorhen 8

North shore
Brent Geese 
Report from Pete Crooks:

34 Pale-bellied Brent Geese (including the two regular Canadian colour-ringed birds) and 

2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese close to the promenade off Whinnysty Lane at 3.00 pm.

I had a look from the promenade a little later, even so it was almost dark with the heavy rain. Unfortunately just as I arrived a particularly boisterous dog managed to flush everything, from both sides of the play area, resulting in a flock of 45 Brent geese. Most were Pale-bellied, it was not possible to pick out any dark-bellied as they flew further out, with their backs towards me. Brent numbers here tend to peak on the neap tides, we are moving back towards spring tides now. Anyway, it should  be better viewing weather tomorrow afternoon. (MD)