Monday 17 January 2022

Where's the Groucho Marx convention?

Another day of calm to very light variable breeze. High cloud for most of the day.

Red Nab and saltmarsh area towards high water 
Pale-bellied Brent Geese 34 located on Red Nab, there were probably more
Wigeon c160
Shelduck 115 - most to the south of the saltmarsh 
Curlew 180 - also south of the saltmarsh 
Common Snipe 6 flushed by the tide from the small pockets of saltmarsh grass south of the saltmarsh  
Redshank c50
Lapwing 4

Heysham skear - late afternoon on ebbing tide
Eider c80
Red-breasted Merganser 2 (pair)
Great Crested Grebe 4 (2+2) - they are starting to move to summer plumage (at least the one on the right is)

Knot, a big increase in numbers today, at least 2,500

Pale-bellied Brent 37 - as per Friday evening they were "feeding" along the inner skear. The inverted commas are because I am not sure that they are actually feeding here, possibly just collecting grit/broken shells for their gizzard (MD). I haven't checked this area for over a week, but when I last looked there was hardly any weed. I took this clip of a few of them today, from quite a distance in the fading light. Unfortunately it isn't possible to see what they are picking up, but the area does appear to be weed free.  I'll check again, next time they are elsewhere.

Once again the sun made its only appearance just before sunset. No wind today, so I took this short clip to share the beauty and sounds of the skear on an evening like this. It's a Cormorant on conger with mainly Oystercatcher and Redshank on the skear.

Just out of the recording area:
Heysham Moss Nature Reserve (MD)
I had a nice peaceful walk around in the afternoon. I had expected some wildfowl and snipe among the peat bog, but nothing. There were plenty of small birds in the wooded area, Tits, Goldfinch, Robin, Dunnock and Wren.
This Dunnock wasn't happy about a mixed tit flock passing through its patch

One of the reasons I went to the Moss today was to try and establish just how many Roe Deer there are in this area. Although the Moss is just out of the recording area, it is just across the bypass from Imperial Road where I saw the three Roe Deer yesterday. I wasn't disappointed, one deer cut across my path, too quickly to see if it had antlers and its rump was not visible. But there was a second one following, its white rump patch is just visible amongst the branches on the right, you'll see it when the deer moves. The clip shows two things, no sign of antlers an no tail like white tuft on the white rump. So a buck, but only a young one, so presumably the first deer would have been mum.
Unfortunately, all it tells us is that there are at least three bucks in the area, the one with well developed antlers, one with small antlers and this one with no antlers. These two deer, could be the same two that I saw with the buck yesterday.
My reference book says that Roe Deer, both sexes, have a dark moustache stripe. I'd have gone for, comedy false moustache à la Groucho Marx!
Roe Deer showing its distinctive moustache