Tuesday 31 January 2023

Wash and brush up

The fresh SW wind was even colder than yesterday, but it remained dry till late afternoon. The wind is increasing and the rain heavy as I type. 

South wall (MD)
Lapwing 154 out from the saltmarsh 
Shelduck 49
Wigeon c60. They were sheltering from the wind on the rocks of the lee side of No.2 outflow. They normally rest on the water in the channel here.
Wigeon and gulls sheltering from the cold SW wind

No Rock Pipit again, perhaps they too are sheltering from the wind, there are plenty of sheltered ares within the Power Station grounds.

Kittiwake 23 - 3 adult plus a first winter on No.1 outflow. 3 adult plus 16 first winter in the harbour

North shore
Late morning - Janet was exercising a friend's dog in the public field near the play area. She took this shot of Pale-bellied Brent geese looking for somewhere to land on the rocks.
45 Pale-bellied Brent geese over the play area rocks

I went down to check the skear at 14:00 - low water (MD)
Pale-bellied Brent goose 67 minimum 
Dark-bellied Brent goose 1
I went out from Four Lane Ends (Whinnysty Lane), which meant I had to cross the rocks. The bulk of the Brent Geese were further south, but a small group was just north of me. So, head down, I walked away and manage to pass them without disturbing them. This gave me the advantage of the sun behind me and being quite close. So I took a couple of shots.

While I was on the skear I kept looking back to the play area, a couple of times there was a group in flight, but they quickly landed again. Then, at low water 68 landed on the sea just behind me.
They may have been disturbed, or they may have decided that it was "the time", either way they made their way into the skear corner. There is no food for them here this year, but the fresh water does reach the sea here. Many drank and all of them washed in the brackish water (both the wind and the tide now, holding the fresh water in the corner).

The above clip begins with this Dunlin with the Brent, I was a bit surprised
how big it looked! It just shows just how small a goose Brent are (MD)
After  a wash and brush up, they rested a while. This is the dark-bellied bird. It seemed to be the one who decided that it was time to head back. They waddled to the shore then flew back to the rocks. It wasn't possible to see if any Brent had remained amongst the rocks.

Dark-bellied Brent centre

Knot c750 - when a wave passes through the flock, as it does early in this clip, it normally means that they are under attack, but I couldn't see a raptor and they quickly settled. If it was an attack it must have been quick and successful, as they soon settled again.