Monday, 30 January 2023

The same mix, but still of interest

Another mild day despite a bitterly cold west wind. Plenty of sunny spells.

South shore - lunchtime dog walk (MD)
Shelduck 96
Wigeon only c50 but the tide was out
Grey Plover 1 near wooden jetty
Kittiwake 22 - two adult and four 1st winter on the outflows. Another two adult and at least fourteen 1st winter in the harbour. There were at least two 1st winter behind the ferry, but couldn't be sure that they were new birds.
One of the adult Kittiwake on the outflows
This first winter Kittiwake behind the ferry already has a largely yellow bill

This first winter Kittiwake is more typical with a solid black bill

There is a honeycomb worm bed developing in front of the roundhead sloping wall. Always worth checking for Purple Sandpiper, but today only Oystercatcher and Turnstone 
The waders, or gulls for that matter, don't eat the worms, which will be safely resting several centimetres below the top of their tubes. But they find other invertebrates between the crevices.

This female Eider was just out from the roundhead too. She has a crab, and I suspect that she has already removed its claws, as she dives when the gull pounces and when she returns to the surface she has swallowed the crab.

Unusually, no Rock Pipits seen or heard today

North shore (MD)
Just a brief evening check of the rocks out from the play area.
Pale-bellied Brent goose 54 at least. They were feeding along the edge of the rocks as the tide reached them. This makes for easier grazing of the gutweed and sea lettuce. But this one finds a piece of brown seaweed (algae), it looks tempting, but is eventually discarded.

These were part of a group that were feeding amongst the more inshore rocks, 
but flew to the outer ones when the tide reached them

They were easily visible from the promenade as this clip demonstrates 

There was a large resting flock of Black-Headed gulls amongst the rocks, including one with a green darvic ring. Another 30 seconds and I would have been close enough to read it, when this commotion started above and they all took flight. I don't know what this Black-Headed gulls had, but the large gulls wanted it!
It managed to get away with its prize. The shot below is just a still from the clip.

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