Sunday 13 March 2022

First Wheatear, plus other good stuff

The SE wind continues (ends tomorrow), high cloud with some sunshine and the odd light shower.

I had very little today, fortunately Shaun and Jonathan had a good look around covering most of the recording area. Report from Shaun:

Shag juv roosting on Wooden Pier.

Whooper Swan group of c70 on sea distantly off Red Nab.

Brent Geese 47 (including CR birds) north side of Heysham Head (later 54 in skear corner (MD))

Shelduck 86 with 160 Wigeon Red Nab.

Great Spotted Woodpecker pair HNR and also heard at MNR.

Rock Pipit 2 on Red Nab and 2 around Lighthouse.

Wheatear male Ocean Edge foreshore then headed east towards MNR (first record this year)

Stonechat female MNR.

Water Rail 1 calling from Main Reedbed (Western Marsh)

Chiffchaff 3 singing HNR and 3 singing MNR near Lower Car Park. Additional group of at least 12 actively feeding (and mostly silent) along footpath and in scrub north side of the Boating Pond. 

Plus 2 Goldcrest.

Treecreeper pair at HNR entrance gate (not common here in winter/spring)

Some of the Shelduck grazing the very green Red Nab

It is interesting that Shaun and Jonathan saw the colour ringed Brents. They have not been seen since mid February, the rings that is, I'm sure the birds will have been. I had a look on the skear at low water (MD). As the tide was ebbing they were just resting, scattered around the skear. They were difficult to spot as many were actually sleeping, and looking like rocks from any distance. This clip is a typical scene, there are six sleeping birds, with just one "alert".

Somehow I managed not to disturb any, then as soon as the tide started coming in, all the dispersed birds started making there way to the skear corner. I assumed that they would be feeding in the corner on broken weed brought in by the incoming tide. But no, they all made their way up the shore to feed on the sea lettuce now emerging in the shallow pools. No idea why the incoming tide triggered this, they could have fed there earlier. This is them making their way op the shore from the skear corner.

Some of the Brent making their way to the skear corner.
If anyone is unsure regarding the "blue building on Sandylands"
where the Black Redstart has over wintered, this is it.

Also from the skear
Eider just 10 (these very low tides do not go out far)
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Waders included: Oystercatcher, Knot, Redshank, Turnstone, Curlew and Dunlin