Thursday 1 June 2023

Things almost went to plan

Hot and sunny again with a freshening east wind.

South shore (MD)
I went onto the shore out from the saltmarsh as the tide was rising. There were no small waders feeding today, but some did fly north.
Sanderling 14 - 2 flew low along the waterline before gaining height to fly over the Power Stations. Another 12 were further out and remained low over the sea and probably past the end of the south wall roundhead.
Mute Swan 1 immature north
Shelduck 2
Curlew 28
Mediterranean gull 2 - 1 adult, clearly the one described by Pete Crooks on Monday, plus a 1st summer bird, resting on the mud just out from the saltmarsh.
Adult and 1st summer Mediterranean gulls, with a Black-Headed gull behind

The adult had a metal ring, but impossible to read any detail 

Wheatear 1 on the foreshore 
A late but lean Wheatear
Yesterday Pete noted several large pink jellyfish stranded on the shore out from Ocean Edge. Today there were at least 30 in our section of the shore and more further south.
One of the thirty or so large Barrel Jellyfish stranded on the shore (that's my size 9 wellie)
There were also several smaller Moon Jellyfish 
Although Barrel Jellyfish look threatening, and they must have some venom in their tentacles,
but their tentacles are short and easily avoided and any "sting" isn't normally painful.
Moon jellyfish are pretty much harmless to humans, but always best to avoid any jellyfish.
Although I feel that I'm preaching to the converted!

Heysham skear mid afternoon (MD)
I went down early just as the skear was becoming exposed so that any waders would be concentrated. And so they were:
Curlew 17
Dunlin 4
Sanderling 44 - 41 in the main group plus another group of 3. These are some of the Sanderling and Dunlin waiting for the feeding areas to become exposed.

This is them setting off to feed.

Mainly Sanderling with 3 Dunlin

When they were feeding I spotted that one of the Sanderling was ringed, but couldn't see what sort of ring. So I positioned myself in the direction I expected them to head, and sure enough it headed towards me.

Only to discover that it was just a metal ring

Eider 1 male
Great Crested Grebe pair
Red-breasted Merganser pair
Common Tern 1 - trying to have a rest

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Nikon have loaned Janet a camera while they continue to repair her own. Not as high a specification as Janet's, but somewhat better than a mobile phone camera.

Small Heath

Four-spotted Chaser
I just did a circuit of the main pond to see if the east wind has brought any Red-Veined Darters in (MD). I couldn't find any but as well as several Four-spotted chaser there were:
Emperor 3
Broad -bodied Chaser 2
Black-Tailed Skimmer several
Male (top) and female Black-Tailed Skimmers
Mute pair plus 9 cygnet 
Mallard 4 male 1 female
Coot 2 adult I large chick
Moorhen 1
Little Grebe 1 trilling
Cetti's Warbler 2
Reed Warbler 1
Reed Bunting 1
Common Sandpiper 1 - the bird zipping across the frame is the Moorhen

Last summer we fixed a stripped down Sycamore sapling in the NE corner of the pond, hopefully to eventually attract use by a Kingfisher. No reports of it being used yet. Based on the materials used, I estimated it should last 2 - 3 years, we could then replace it, if it had started to be used. But I passed close by today and it is sprouting fresh growth! If it is also growing roots it could become self sustaining. 
Perching post in the NE corner of the main pond

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