Saturday 12 February 2022

A good one of two!

Quite fresh SSW wind with rain pretty much all day.

Pete and Jean managed to check the south side sea, but nothing on the outflows or behind the ferry.
Black Redstarts 1 + 1. A brief glimpse in passing of the Power Station bird, before it disappeared behind several fences within the Power Station. If you want to see a Black Redstart, much better to check out the Sandylands bird (better in that it is not in a security sensitive area and generally easier to find). This is Pete's description of today's sighting location: by plastic gnome north of blue house, Sandylands, then flew to sea defence rocks.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Mute Swan 6 adult 7 second calendar year 
Moorhen 8
Coot 2
Mallard 13
Gadwall 30 (numbers reducing)
No sign of the Wigeon pair
Shoveler 3 (2 female 1 mature male)
Tufted Duck 2 male

North Shore low water
It had rained on and off all day, but it really made and effort this afternoon and lashed it down all the time that I was out on the shore (MD)
Eider c120 - this is the largest group, the benefit of a strong wind is that you can keep your camera "dry" with your back to the wind. (Not an overly exciting clip, but there was little to choose from today!)

Great Crested Grebe 2 - this clip is slightly more interesting, but unfortunately rubbish quality. The grebe has just caught a reasonable sized fish. But note how easily it is swallowed.
Although the fish looks large in relation to the grebe, I think it is only a large Whitebait. The only other fish that colour here would be a small Bass, there are a few still around in winter, but a Bass that length would be much too round to swallow so easily. Whitebait are very thin cross section, there was one on the beach here yesterday, I had presumed that it could have only become stranded, on such a calm day, if it had been disoriented by being chased by something. This is yesterday's Whitebait.
Yesterday's stranded Whitebait, smaller than the one today's grebe caught. Presumably
 it ended up running aground after being chased. A gull will have  found it soon after this. 
Red-breasted Merganser 2 (pair)
Red-breasted Mergansers

Waders, again mainly Oystercatchers. 
Curlew - A flock of 20 lifted from the skear and flew off inland to the east.
Also in small numbers: Redshank, Knot, Turnstone and Dunlin

Pale-bellied Brent goose 18 minimum - just a check from Knowlys Rd on my way home.

The forecast tomorrow is for more rain......I can hardly wait!