Thursday 8 September 2022

Osprey doesn't leave empty taloned today!

The wind swung round from the east in the morning to north by evening. After a dry start there was rain mid morning, but a bright evening for a change.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Report from Jean:

Middleton NR was just on the cloud edge all morning with blue sky to the west and dark grey rain clouds to the east and almost overhead. At 10am the rain cloud was overhead and birds headed for cover in the bushes which is when a flock of Chiffchaffs was caught. Luckily the 'rain' at first was only very light and it was possible to wrap up the nets while they were dry. It was just in time because at 11am proper rain occurred but we were in the shelter of a car by then.

Vis before the (proper) rain:

Swallow 47

House Martin 6

A late SWIFT 1

Grey Wagtail - 26

Chaffinch 2

Linnet 1

Meadow Pipit 23

Goldfinch 13

Skylark 1

Goosander - 4 in one flock heading south

Gadwall 4


Grey Wagtail 13

Chiffchaff 8 (2 retraps)

Blackcap 1

Sedge Warbler 2

Reed Warbler 1 (a retrap)

Lesser Whitethroat 1

Meadow Pipit 1

Long-tailed Tit 2

South shore - high water 10:30 (MD)
No sign of the Kingfisher this morning 
Wheatear 8
Rock Pipit 3
Meadow Pipit c8
Swallow 2 south
Osprey 1 - the tide had barely reached the saltmarsh, even so it was hovering and diving towards the saltmarsh, unfortunately I was still at Red Nab. I "scampered" along the foreshore, stopping periodically to film a clip. All the birds were having a go at it, this compilation shows gulls and Carrion Crows mobbing it and Meadow Pipits (I think) zipping past.

By this time the rain had started and I was using my old (nearly worn out) camera, so struggled keeping it in focus for long. This clip shows it diving and then pans out to show location. At this point I was about half way along the foreshore. Even so enough detail was seen to see that it was an adult and not ringed.

This clip ends with its final, successful, dive. Unfortunately, I was still just too far from the slipway to see the water, perhaps as well as I lost focus during the dive anyway!

This last clip is only poor quality, but I'm posting it anyway as I like the Osprey's "shudder" to shake off the water. It is heading south with its catch, almost certainly a small Grey Mullet.

Twenty seconds later I reached the slipway and could see where it had been diving. The creek on the left hand side. We are moving back to spring tides now, and this will be be the first time in almost a week that the water will have reached this far. Plenty of time for mats of algae to form along the creek sides. A mullet shoal must have moved in to feed on it.
Grey Mullet would have been feeding in the creek on the left.
They still will be in this shot, but one less!

If the Osprey is still around and hasn't already caught something, there is a reasonable chance of an encore tomorrow. The tide will reach this creek between 09:30 and 09:45.

Heysham skear - low water 17:30 (MD)
Great Crested Grebe 5
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Eider 1
Mergansers and an Eider

Little Egret 6
Waders: Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone plus
Ringed Plover 13
Dunlin 2
Knot 2

Black-Tailed Godwit 1 (they have been very scarce here in recent years)
Black-Tailed Godwit with Oystercatcher