Thursday 20 October 2022

Who switched off the light?!

In contrast to yesterday the cloud cover was very low and the winds very light, mainly from the east. Overnight rain, but reasonably dry till mid morning when light fine rain started, then became heavier. The upshot was that it felt dark all day.

Heysham Nature Reserve 
It was barely light when Shaun started at 07:40, and not a lot was happening. But, as ever, he managed to eek out some good records:
Yellow-browed Warbler one with three Goldcrest by the pond on the dog walk path. Only briefly, before the morning dog walkers moved them on.
Blackcap 1 male with mixed tit flock in the Nature park
Treecreeper 2 along the reserve boundary with Moneyclose Lane

I had a walk around the reserve(MD), but could only add
Chiffchaff 1 near pool at top of hill above the office.
Grounded thrushes along the western side.
Blackbird c30
Redwing c30
Fieldfare 2
Later Shaun reported them drifting off.

Pete checked from 10:45:
33 Blackbird, 2 song thrush and a redwing moved south through the bushes past office in 1.5hrs.  
Only overhead was two Mistle Thrush SW and 5 Chaffinch south 

South shore (MD)
Just a quick morning check from saltmarsh to Red Nab
Linnet 75 on saltmarsh 
Lapwing 60
Shelduck 15
Wigeon 5

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
Just a quick check of the two main ponds in the afternoon 
Main pond - just 1 Moorhen

No Swimming pond
Mute 2 adult, just 6 cygnet seen
Gadwall 8
Teal 11 at least
Moorhen 2
Little grebe 1
Just a couple of clips to prove that it really was gloomy. First 6 of the Teal and a male Gadwall.

Winter plumage Little Grebe

Finally a splash of colour! These shots of the Red Nab Kingfisher are from last Thursday, Mark Jones sent me them a few days ago. I was going to use them the next time the Kingfisher was reported, but it hasn't been seen since! Anyway, they are of interest, and not just for their excellent quality.

The red on the lower mandible clearly shows this bird to be a female, but all my sightings and other photographs have all shown what appears to be a black lower mandible. As does Mark's third shot, he is pretty confident that it was the same bird, but this time out of the direct sun.
So, something to check for next time it's spotted. By the way, without checking any date stamps, I could tell this shot was not recent. The only fish in this pond are left by the high spring tides, they are quickly mopped up by the Egrets (and Kingfisher) and so only small fry (not worth hunting for) remain till the next spring tide.