Wednesday 2 March 2022

A decent Jack Snipe count

ESE wind all day. Rain, mostly light, pretty much all day too.

South shore (MD)
10:00 - 11:00 High water at 11:05
Pale-bellied Brent geese 16 on Red Nab.
Pink-Footed goose 44 to SE
Goose sp 18 in a line low over the water heading out, possibly Greylag.
Shelduck 13
Wigeon c150
Rock Pipit 4 (2 on Red Nab plus 2 on saltmarsh). This was one of the saltmarsh birds. Sorry about the wobble, but I was balanced precariously and didn't dare move till the pipit did.

Lack of an onshore wind doesn't prevent a 9.6m tide from covering the saltmarsh, whatever the atmospheric pressure. This is what was flushed today:
Skylark 2
Reed Bunting 2
Common Snipe 26
Jack Snipe 6 at least, possibly 8
Unfortunately, it was raining steadily by this time and my few pictures aren't even as "good" as my usual grainy Snipe shots.

I didn't go along the wall in the morning, but had a quick look in the afternoon.
Eider 4 out from the harbour 
Shag, 1 second calendar year feeding at the waterfall, then it, or another in the middle of the harbour. This clip is good to show the comparison between a juvenile Shag and a mature Cormorant in breeding plumage. The Cormorant is the lead bird (apologies to birders, but many post readers are not, and I am often asked how to tell these two species apart MD)

This is why they were swimming together.......they were being chased...... a brand new Dredger (how exciting!). This is the Van Oord MAAS. Introduced 30/06/21, which probably means that it is younger than the Shag. 
So, a 2nd calendar year dredger. It was certainly much quieter than previous models.
It is a water injection dredger, which means the mud is fluidised and should drift off
with the tide, plus some through the outflows at Heysham I expect. Hopefully not too
much will end up on the Sand Mason worm beach next to No.1 outflow. We'll see.

Heliport area
Howard managed to read some colour ringed Knot from the near naze, despite the less than ideal conditions. At least one of today's birds is new to the recording area.
This is from a new ringing area for Heysham - Dundalk Bay Ireland

This one at Ainsdale England

This is from Ynyslas Point Wales