Thursday 23 March 2023

Plenty of Pipits

It rained long and hard from early morning till 09:00. After that more showers in the morning, but a dry, and later, sunny afternoon. The SW wind continues.

South shore (MD).
Same routine as the last two days, a full circuit in the morning followed by a check from Red Nab to the saltmarsh in the afternoon. 
Morning check:
It was still raining when I started, but it was easing off and many grounded birds were starting to move on.
Stonechat 5 - there were 2 males and 2 females in the NE corner of the saltmarsh, possibly including yesterday's 3 birds. The increasing height tides have pushed what was a carpet of flotsam into what is now a cliff. This clip includes a male and female Stonechat, but is really just to show the flotsam. The tides are dropping again now and won't reach this height again till the autumn, so barring storms, this vegetation will rot down and harbour all manner of invertebrates for passing, and resident bills to forage for. It stretches for 100m around the NE corner.
The fifth bird was a female near Red Nab and had clearly had a soaking!
A soaked Stonechat
Wheatear 6
Reed Bunting 1 
Skylark 1

Rock Pipits 3 - just 1 each Red Nab, Sea wall and Lighthouse (more later).
Meadow Pipit 62 - thee were 51 grounded on the grass behind the foreshore, but they were starting to move off. Another 11 flew over. This clip is some of the grounded birds getting ready to leave.
Pink-Footed Goose 20 - they initially confused me, as they flew silently, low over the sea in a straight line to the east (fortunately my shots were just good enough to confirm species)
Shelduck 2
Wigeon 45
Shag 1 immature on wooden jetty
Kittiwake 2 feeding on No.2 outflow
Linnet 2 near lighthouse 

Afternoon check
The sun was out! The four Stonechat were still in the saltmarsh corner, but no sign of the other bird. This is one of the females sorting her feathers out.

This Wren was hanging out to dry too.
Wheatear 7
Rock Pipit 8 between saltmarsh and Red Nab. One flew north from the foreshore display calling as it went
Pale Bellied Brent goose 9  - they arrived at Red Nab early in the ebbing tide and fed close in on the gutweed below the surface.

Mark Jones had a walk along the wall later in the afternoon, but the sun was still shining.
Some of the Wigeon


Female Red-breasted Merganser on Red Nab

Kevin Singleton took these shots from near the cafe
Knot, not disturbed by Kevin

Carrion Crow

Janet took this clip with her phone, of three Rock Pipit together on Half Moon Bay 
So there were at least 13 Rock Pipits today between the saltmarsh and Half Moon Bay

Imperial Rd (MD)
Just a quick drive in while passing.
Chiffchaff 3
Buzzard 2 - this is just a novelty clip, but it does show that you do not need to leave your car to see wildlife. This is one of the resting Buzzard. This is through my car window, I knew the recycling lorry was about to pass, I thought I'd see what the reaction would be......

Song Thrush, also photographed through car window

Footnote: We have received this comment (source unknown but thanks), it refers to the "mysterious fin sighting" - see post 21/03/23.
Sunfish have been known to invite seabirds to remove parasites by laying on their sides. Maybe the gulls were interested for this potential reason.