Thursday 22 December 2022

Things seem to be returning to "normal"

Light variable breeze. Showers mid morning and lunchtime, reasonably dry at other times.

Just my stuff so far (MD)
Middleton Nature Reserve 
A quick check in the morning, the "No swimming" pond level is dropping, just 25cm above normal. The level here is maintained by a level sensor and a pump to remove excess, presumably the pipelines were frozen. I expect the pond to be at normal level at time of writing.
No sign of the Goldeneye 
Gadwall 6
Tufted Duck 2 male
Teal 2 (pair)
Water Rail two squealing 

Saltmarsh to Red Nab - high water 10:00
Wigeon similar numbers to yesterday, but already leaving the saltmarsh area and heading towards the estuary.
Common Snipe 7
Jack Snipe 1, possibly 2
Skylark 1
Reed Bunting 8 - don't think they have been around all the time. There are six in this clip.
Rock Pipit 2 (saltmarsh and foreshore)
This clip is the shoreline between the foreshore and Red Nab, just Turnstone and Redshank feeding, but I took it mainly to capture the sound of the waves gently breaking on the pebbles.

Heysham skear towards low water in the afternoon 
The skear looked and sounded more like it normally does today, partly as the higher tide was draining quickly leaving plenty of, noisy, feeding opportunities.
Shag 1 immature 
Shag with a couple of Herring gulls

Great Crested Grebe 5
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Pale-bellied Brent goose 5 feeding half way up the shore.
Eider 82 - some were feeding but most were displaying. I'm always disappointed that my camera fails to capture their display calls.

Probably the big difference today was that there were obviously loads of tiny shrimps draining with the tide, they would have moved to deep water through the cold spell. Both the gulls and waders were taking advantage, these are mainly Redshank which were well over 150 today.

Still not many Curlew or Turnstone. Just 4 Dunlin and no Knot.
Bar-Tailed Godwit 10 on the shore tideline