Friday 10 February 2023

Plenty of snipe, but for the wrong reason!

A fresh SW wind, rain all morning but a largely dry but overcast afternoon.

I don't know what happened yesterday with the video links. When I initially published the post the blog wouldn't allow me to open any of the clips. When I tried later it seemed to be resolved, presumably a bug in the system somewhere. I hope it is working correctly for everyone now.

I didn't get out till almost high water in the afternoon (MD), so missed any Brent that may have been on Red Nab. Still 200+ Wigeon around and a few Shelduck.

Reed Bunting 5
Reed Bunting - this is actually one of yesterday's shots when the sun shone!
Rock Pipit 1
Common Snipe 60 - 15 were lifted by the tide, which is all I would expect with this height tide which just covers the outer fringes of the marsh. Then two flocks flew over from the north c15 and c30 circled and left towards Middleton Nature Reserve. Unusual, but later Howard explained that a couple of guys practicing casting at the Near Naze had lifted everything, including the snipe. 
Some of the Snipe passing over the saltmarsh 

Middleton Nature Reserve 
I had a good walk around, with the intention of locating any winter thrushes (MD). The only thrushes seen were 4 Blackbirds!
Mute, Coot, Moorhen and Mallard as yesterday.
Gadwall 8
Teal 4
Pochard 1 male
I went all arty!
Little Grebe 2 trilling - heard only - one on both the main ponds
Water Rail 1 squealing
Woodcock probably 3 - definitely 2 which I accidentally flushed. A third bird was flushed by a dog some distance away and almost certainly a different bird.
Great Spotter Woodpecker 1 male 
Also heard drumming

There were two mixed tit flocks moving around one with 20+ Long-Tailed, 6 Great and 6 Blue Tits. The other with c16 Long-Tailed, 2 Great and 4 Blue Tits. In the next two clips I am in the middle of the larger flock. Wildlife, generally tends to tolerate my presence, and the Long-Tailed and Blue Tits did, and went about their business of feeding. But these Great Tits told me in no uncertain terms that they wished me to move on
I duly obliged and left them to it
Goldcrest 2 - one with the larger tit flock

Later Mark Jones had a short, but productive walk:
Just managed to get out to Middleton NR for the last hour today there was a cormorant fishing when I arrived but it quickly left, the swans were split between the 2 lodges (main and "no swimming" ponds).
On my way up the path I saw a flock of goldfinch feeding in the alder but heard a siskin the light was bad but I just managed to get a record shot.
Siskin (top) and Goldfinch - Siskin are now quite an uncommon sight feeding in the recording area.


Finally, this last record is some way out of the recording area, but definitely visible from it. Picture and report from Kevin Eaves.
This is a photo of the comet that has featured in the news recently. It's on its way out to the deep Solar System, and has passed its closest point to earth. I managed to capture this image with a Unistellar telescope from my Heysham home. The comet last visited the inner Solar System around 50,000 years ago, and its close encounter with the Sun and other celestial bodies may have altered its orbit so that it could never come this way again.
Definitely worth opening this picture to enjoy the detail