Monday, 9 May 2022

The early bird...........probably should have been a bit earlier!

The quite fresh wind initially from SE later moving to south. Plenty of sunshine till late morning then overcast. Steady rain starting by early evening.

Seawatch report from Pete:
Sea HeySham north wall 0650-0800.  
Most in the first 25 mins - should have started earlier: 
1 Little Tern
2 plus 6 Manx Shearwater
51 outbound Sandwich Tern (no bloggers)
5 Gannet
14 Guillemot
11 Razorbill
15 Common Scoter
5 Kittiwake
Nice to get Razorbill and Guillemot all in identifiable range.  Tomorrow hopefully multiple skuas

South shore late morning (MD)
Wheatear 2 male and female, both large birds (larger size at this time of year suggesting "northern" birds)
Female Wheatear 

Linnet 6 each on saltmarsh and near lighthouse 
Rock Pipit 3 - 1 on Red Nab, 2 near the lighthouse.

Middleton Nature Reserve - mid afternoon (MD)
I managed a full circuit, hoping to see some insects, but the sun steadfastly refused to shine.
Mute Swan - oh dear, this isn't good...... on the outward leg there were two adult on the main pond, the female sitting. Another two adult near the nest site on the "no swimming" pond, and a single adult on the Tim Butler pond. But the "no swimming" pond pair have hatched their chicks, and the male had decided that he wanted to return to the main pond. On my return the aggressive male had the main pond male pinned down, while his mate waited with her cygnets. The main pond female was still sitting, but I doubt the aggressive male will tolerate her for long. 
The "no swimming" pond female with her cygnets (at least 7) now on the main pond.
I'll spare you the images of the main pond male being attacked by the aggressive male
Moorhen 5
Coot 5 adult plus 2 young chicks - as fluffy balls of feathers go, you have to say that Coot chicks spectacularly fail to be "cute". Mum really puts them through their paces here.

Gadwall 1 male on Tim Butler pond
Mallard 6 male on the Main pond plus 1 female with at least 7 chicks on Tim Butler pond. She was watching them carefully and encouraging them to remain in the cover of the reeds, hopefully these chicks will not go the way of the early clutch on the main pond. 

Little grebe 1

The warblers weren't overly vocal but I did manage to hear:
Willow Warbler 4+
Chiffchaff 4+
Reed Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler 4
Cetti's Warbler 2
Blackcap 2
Common Whitethroat 1

Insects were even thinner on the ground
Speckled Wood 4
Orange Tip 1 male
Large Red Damselfly 2
Large Red Damselfly

This moth had managed to land upside down on a pool.

I didn't watch it struggle for long. It was easy to rescue. Turned out it was a Mother Shipton. It quickly shook off most of the water, and I left it in vegetation, away from the pools to completely dry.
Mother Shipton moth

Finally, this Herring gull was looking for nesting material, when it hit the jackpot!
"Never mind the quality........feel the width!"

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