Saturday 19 February 2022

'Sno Fun!

The wind started from SE, light rain turned into sleet, then wet snow, then a full on snow storm. By lunchtime the sun had come out, the light wind from NW. it remained sunny till evening.

First, Howard managed to read some more Knot on the old heliport wall yesterday, before the storm, and human disturbance became too disruptive. These are two of his excellent pictures.

Middleton Nature Reserve (today)
Most of the wildfowl had moved on. 
Mute 6 adult 7 immature 
Moorhen 4
Coot 1
Mallard 2 (pair)
Gadwall 3 male
Tufted Duck 1 male
Little grebe 1

South shore (MD)
I checked twice today, hoping to resolve the Rock Pipit status near the lighthouse, but didn't succeed. Over the two visits I only located 4 birds, none ringed and none near the lighthouse.
I set off this morning in light rain and returned in a blizzard!
Pale-bellied Brent goose 30+ morning and afternoon - this clip is from this afternoon, it shows them on Red Nab, long after the tide had left it. Up till now they have been leaving before the water left Red Nab. I take this to mean that the gutweed is now growing faster than it is being cropped, allowing easier feeding even when it's not floating. Although they were getting ready to leave and flew to the north side, not long after this clip.

Goose sp c60 SE in the afternoon (almost certainly Pinkfoot, but high and out of hearing range)
Wigeon c150
Turnstone 24
Reed Bunting 3
Common Snipe 8
Jack Snipe 1
No sign of any Shag today
Grey Seal 1
When the snow started, I reverted to being a big kid and sought every opportunity to photograph the snow on the flimsiest pretext!

More Oystercatchers (and lots more snow!)

Male Reed Bunting

Female/immature Reed Bunting

Grey Seal - feeding again and only surfacing periodically to breathe 

Finally, this is the end section of the wooden jetty. You can see the snow building up on the backs of the cormorants. You can imagine what I looked like!