Saturday 4 February 2023

Better timing......better conditions.......shame about the birds!

A light SW wind, overcast all day with just a couple of light showers.

South shore - high water 10:50 (MD)
I was a bit late going down yesterday and the waders were already leaving. Today I timed it just right, 90 minutes before high water. This height tide (8.5m) is good too, not high enough to cover all of the shore but last night's tide was high enough to wet most of the mud providing more feeding options. There were several large flocks of distant waders on the wing, but the beach was deserted, and so it remained. The flying birds didn't seem to be being threatened by a raptor. For some reason today wasn't a good day to feed here after all.
Although the "beach" was deserted, there was this smallish flock of Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover and Bar-Tailed Godwit feeding along the tideline.
They weren't there for long, this clip is just a minute later, you can tell that they are going to move on as even the Dunlin had stopped feeding.

This is the beach looking back to the saltmarsh, the avian equivalent of the Mary Celeste!
But the skies were still full of waders, they seemed to be heading for the estuary, they weren't even resting on the beach out from Potts Corner.
Mainly Bar-Tailed Godwit and Knot

Nearer to the saltmarsh the Black-Headed Gulls seemed to be finding plenty to eat. I can only think they were finding seeds of some sort in the flotsam.

Wigeon 150+ Red Nab
Eider 1 female Red Nab
Shelduck 128 shore and Red Nab
Pink-Footed Goose 131 north in 4 skeins, last at 11:30
Pale-Bellied Brent goose 37 at least on Red Nab.
This is only a short clip, but there is a lot going on. First it includes Eider, Shelduck and Brent geese for a nice size comparison. One of the Bernt is a Red/Blue ringed bird, almost certainly one of the Canadian pair, it sees off a Shelduck that presumably got too close to its mate.

Kittiwake 23 - 3 adult and 20 first winter, most in the harbour.
But this first winter was patrolling between Red Nab and No.2 outflow.

And this adult was one of two around No.1 outflow

The other one of two adult Kittiwake on No.1 outflow

Shag 1 immature resting on the wooden jetty
Rock Pipit 5 - 1 each saltmarsh and Red Nab, 3 near the lighthouse including a displaying male.

Carrion Crow with white chest under feathers. This one was on the south side of saltmarsh.
There were two like this last year, this is either one of those or a very close relation

Bullfinch 3 including 1 male near Nature Park newt pond (ref Angela)