Monday, 4 April 2022

More Gannets and a Scoter surprise

Quite fresh WNW wind moving more west by the afternoon. Light rain intermittent in the morning becoming heavier and more prolonged in the afternoon 

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
Just a quick morning check of the two main ponds
Mute two pairs nesting
Coot 7
Moorhen 2
Little grebe 3 at least, probably more
Teal 2
Mallard 6
Gadwall 7
Common Scoter 1 female on the "no swimming" pond. This is unusual and presumably related to some overnight passage. I located it at 09:15 and it was still there when Kevin checked at 12:00. This excellent photograph is Kevin's and really should be opened to appreciate the detail - it's not often we get a chance of a close view of this sea duck.
Female Common Scoter  - Kevin Eaves
Although my shots can't compete with the above for quality, I did manage some interesting behavioural clips. In each of the clips you will see it constantly head bobbing, I don't know this species well enough to know if this is typical. In this first clip it takes a sip of water, presumably at sea they get all their water from their food. Perhaps the head bobbing is reaction to drinking fresh water, for the first time in a long while (MD). A Blackcap is one of the birds singing in the background.

It kept diving, but I'm not sure if it was trying to feed, or just avoiding the attentions of the male Mute who would otherwise have chased it off.

This one is just a general view. The "no swimming" pond male Cetti's warbler sings during the clip, I then pan out to show the location on the "no swimming" pond

Report from Pete - 
Sea watching from the back of the harbour from 1110 to about 1200 when the weather closed in:  
Gannet - flock of 6 out and different flock of 8 in (all ads), 
Red-throated Diver - 11 out including four together, 2x2, three singletons and one in could have been one of these,  
Common Scoter - drake in then u-turned and flew out, one out distantly 
A later check from Ocean Edge located 
Pale-bellied Brent goose 26
Dark-bellied Brent goose 2
On Red Nab

The Brent were still on Red Nab when I walked down the wall a little later (MD)
Two Dark-bellied Brent right

Their dark bellies more obvious when they are out of the water.
Although, the likely Russian bound, birds were not exactly welcome!
As the tide covered Red Nab all the Brent flew off together towards Potts Corner.

Rock Pipit 5 including the ringed male near the lighthouse.
Wheatear 2 on foreshore 

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