Friday 11 February 2022

Not much, but a hint of movement

A cold SE wind and clear skies resulted in an overnight frost. The cloud cover quickly increased but still plenty of sunny spells. The wind had moved to SW after lunch.

South shore - mid morning ebbing tide
Wigeon c150 - Red Nab was clear of water, these neap tides barely reach it, but the Wigeon were in the channel along No.2 outflow
Shelduck 38 - bizarrely these have been feeding on the mud till these neap tides. There was no other wildfowl on Red Nab today, but it was "right" for the Shelduck to feed here. I did notice that they were taking a sip of water regularly from the pools, and possibly using it to wet the gut weed. This may give them an advantage over the shorter necked Wigeon for feeding here when the weed is "dry", but doesn't explain why they tend not to feed on the rocks when the feeding is easier.
Rock Pipit 6 (saltmarsh, 2 on Red Nab, sea wall, ringed male at lighthouse and male displaying near waterfall)
Again, no Shag seen in the harbour
Skylark 3 together flew south over Ocean Edge at 11:00.

North shore
Pale-bellied Brent goose 25 - 9 out from the play area plus 16 along the skear edge in the SE corner. They are still finding some broken weed, plus there is signs of the gut weed growing again here, although it is far from "lush". I noted last year that within a couple of weeks of the Brent leaving there was gut weed all around the skear.
It doesn't look exciting, but this is what they prefer to feed on. It is a piece of sea lettuce broken from its bed by the weekend storm. This piece was along the beach and quite isolated, but the wind and the tide will concentrate whatever there is into the skear corner.
Sea lettuce fragment left on the beach by the ebbing tide.
This is what the Brent in the skear corner are after.

Eider 72 counted close in to the skear
Oystercatcher c2,000
Knot c1,000
Also: Curlew, Redshank and Turnstone - no Dunlin seen today

Possibly more to come, but probably not.