Wednesday 10 August 2022

Scoter and Eider creche back on skear

Light variable breeze eventually settled WNW. Hot sunshine all day

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Report from Jean
Ringing this morning - only caught 1 Blackcap, 1 Robin, 2 Blackbirds and a Greenfinch (all juvs except for one female Blackbird). 

Vis: one Swift. 

On reserve ad and juv Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and a Jay.

Heysham skear - low water 17:30 (MD)

I didn't have much time today, this was my only outing. One reason for lack of time was a trip to Kendal to purchase a new (improved) camera. So I was pleased to locate a decent target to practice on.

Common Scoter 1 male, feeding in the same location on the south side of the skear as 29th July, out from the green marker post. This is the location of the reef that formed over winter, and I did predict that it should attract diving birds, we just want something more interesting now. 

My new camera has twice the magnification as my old one, unfortunately today's tide wasn't out as far as last time, so the Scoter was twice as far out!

In this clip, it is preening with a couple of Great Crested Grebe providing a good size comparison.

This picture is a still from the clip below it. The fish behind the scoter is a Garfish, a strange looking creature with a body like an eel and a face like a Crane - it's worth a google. The splash to the left of the Garfish is its prey escaping.

Male Common Scoter with a leaping Garfish behind

This still is taken from just before the end of this clip, but it happens quickly, Garfish are extremely fast!

It's no coincidence that the Garfish, Scoter and Grebes are feeding in the same area. The reef will attract shrimps and other crustacea plus small fish, which in turn attract larger fish and other predators.

Great Crested Grebe 5
Eider 42 mainly youngsters - this clip shows some of them catching small crabs

Little Egret 5
Waders: Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone and 5 Ringed Plover