Thursday 23 February 2023

It was a lovely day.....

A light overnight frost. Almost breathless early on then a light NW breeze freshened slightly. Sunshine all day.

First a few of the brilliant shots Howard took of yesterday's colour ringed Knot. Definitely worth opening to really enjoy.

Heysham skear - low water 08:00 (MD)
It was a beautiful morning to be on the skear.
Pink-footed goose 3 skeins SE totalling 170. 2 skeins north totalling 96. Both directions looked like local movement. These are some of the north bound birds, directly over my head.

Eider c40 but almost certainly more in the outer channels - these are 4 flying in.

When the tide begins to come in the crabs come out from under the mud to feed. I'm surprised there are any left the speed the Eider catch and eat them!
Great Crested Grebe 2
Red-breasted Merganser  12 - this is a feeding party, mergansers also take crabs.

These three males had something other than feeding on their minds. 
Did you spot the gull with a starfish?

Little Egret just 1 again - I didn't see it catch anything, they don't seem to bother with the crabs, despite this Redshank showing how it's done.

I managed a nice shot of it flying off disgruntled 
Waders - many more than what's recorded here were on the outer skear and beyond: Oystercatcher c1,000, Knot 50, Dunlin 10, Curlew 20, Redshank 100+, Turnstone 50+

Skylark 1 over to north.

A new reef has formed/grown. It looks to be out from Half Moon Bay and is covered in honeycomb worm beds. Reefs like this attract small fish, so should in turn attract small fish eating birds. Not at low water like this, but when the reef is underwater.
This large reef seems to be halfway between the skear and the North wall buoys
I'll check the location properly tomorrow 

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
There were just the 5 immature Mute Swan on the main pond. 2 adult were on Tim Butler, but I don't think they were the ones normally on the main or "no swimming" ponds.
Mallard 9
Gadwall 8
Pochard 1 male
Teal 2 on "no swimming" but several heard on Tim Butler pond
Coot 6
Moorhen 6
Snipe 1
Woodcock 1
Roe Deer 1 male

It is still February, but it did feel like spring today. This Dunnock was singing.
A queen Bee sp flew by, and......
 Primroses in full bloom