Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Brent behaviour changing

A strong SSE wind all day, possibly easing slightly in the afternoon. High cloud with some sunshine. Rain started just before dusk.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose 35 - at low water there were 25 around the skear, a group of 20 and another of 5. But neither group was feeding, the 20 were just resting and preening in the skear corner. The 5 just resting on the calmer sea on the north side. Presumably, the longer days and greater availability of weed (it is growing quickly now) provides them the opportunity to rest and conserve their energy for their long migration flight. These are some of the birds in the skear corner. I've never seen them just sat on the mud like this (MD)

In the afternoon a flock of 35 arrived towards Red Nab. 12 behaved typically and flew to the freshwater stream for a drink and a freshen up. But the rest seemed to be unfamiliar with the area, they landed on the beach and went to the water's edge for a drink.

The freshwater stream does feed into the sea here, but the water must be very saline. But they did appear to be drinking. Very unusual, particularly as just 100m across the beach the stream will be fresh.

The light was very frustrating, it was directly behind the birds, making many look like dark-bellied. I had to go on the shore to be able to look back at them to make sure. They were all pale-bellied. After they had a drink, they took to some vigorous bathing. This clip shows some of them, and the effect of the strong light behind them, you can't even make out the white crescent on their necks.

These are four of the birds from the above clip, as they flew to Red Nab

Also from skear this morning:
No Great Crested Grebe or Red-breasted Merganser seen
Eider c150
Wigeon 9

Also from south shore this afternoon:
Shelduck 50
Wigeon 250
Shag 1 2nd calendar year on wooden jetty
Rock Pipit 1 on Red Nab

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