Thursday, 2 February 2023

Good news from Canada!

The west to SW wind continues. Showers with a few short sunny spells

First we have received details of another colour ringed Grey Wagtail (see scheme details on the side bar).
Record and picture from Gordon Taylor - Thanks
Ringed here last autumn - Present at Bootle 29-31/01/2023
North shore
Kevin Singleton checked the rocks out from the play area late morning. These two were apart from the rest of the Brent Geese.
This shot shows how difficult it can be to see, let alone read, rings in this terrain 
But Kevin nailed it with this shot
VTRB and VDRB (RB is just for the red and blue coloured rings)
Ringed as breeding adults - Axel Heiberg Island Canada 02/08/14 and have been seen here every winter since 2019. This is the first record this winter, and I was thinking that they hadn't managed the round trip again, so this was good to see. This is the third winter running when they have returned without any youngsters. But there are precious few youngsters this year (I haven't seen one MD).

I didn't have much time today, so just managed a walk on the skear towards low water - 16:15 (MD)
Pale-bellied Brent geese 67 in one flock feeding out from the play area, I suspected that there were more around.
Eider 4
Knot c750 Plus Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank and Turnstone 
Were my only company on the skear, and it rained almost constantly! These neap tides don't go out very far, but to someone viewing from the shore I must have looked a long way out (I'm probably not visible when I do go a long way) and reported me to the coastguard. I didn't know of course and probably made matters worse by sitting on a rock and probably looked dejected, but I was just waiting a while to see if the Brent flew to the waterline at low water (see yesterday's post). The tide had stopped going out and I could see, not hear, that the waves had changed, but it hadn't actually started coming in yet.......Then a "race" began. I saw a large group, of Brent waiting, not feeding but facing the sea from the rocks closest to the skear corner. These are some of them
They were about 150m from the skear corner, perhaps that was close enough for them to confirm that the tide was turning, but I was expecting them to fly to the corner any minute, but the other contestants in the race took effect. Two men in high visibility clothing and helmets (the coastguard). Unfortunately they spooked the Brent and they flew back to the rocks near the play area.
I was dumbstruck! I've walked here for over 50 years and this has never happened before. It seems they were going to launch the hovercraft but it was too windy. I explained what I was doing and that I do it regularly, they asked me to notify the Holyhead Coastguard when I plan to go out again, at least then if they receive a report they can reassure the reporter and not need to activate an "emergency ". I will do that in future. The coastguard do a vital job and I would not want to waste their time again.

The only other record was a Little Egret flying south, not much, but the first I've seen here since the cold spell in December. 

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