Friday 31 March 2023

Another, bigger, Goosander surprise

A light SE to east wind. Overcast with a few very light showers.

Saltmarsh to Red Nab 08:00-08:30 (MD)
Shelduck 6
Wheatear 3 on foreshore 
Rock Pipit 1 on Red Nab
Meadow Pipit 3 over to north
Linnet 2 on foreshore 

Middleton Nature Reserve 08:45 - 10:15 (MD)
I went to check if the female Goosander was still on the "no swimming" pond, but first a check of the main pond located
Goosander 2 - a male and female together. The Coot weren't happy about it, but this one got a mouthful!
I did think this female had a more pronounced pale chin than yesterday's bird.

It was getting busier by this time and they headed off to the east

But the female on the "no swimming" pond was still there. So three Goosander, I think this is an unprecedented inshore record for the recording area.
The "no swimming" pond bird seemed more comfortable and relaxed today

Mute Swan 5 juvenile plus two breeding pairs.
Mallard 6
Teal 2 on Tim Butler pond
Coot 10 - the main pond birds still arguing over territory, but more threats than conflict today.

Cetti's warbler 4 at least singing -the only other warblers heard were Chiffchaff 
Sand Martin 1 NE
This male Bullfinch seemed out of place, resting alone on some light willow scrub
at least 70m from the nearest trees they often frequent

Sparrowhawk 1 high drifting north
Kestrel 2 NE
Roe Deer 1
I bumped into Alan, he was just checking a moth trap, as well as moths there was this nocturnal parasitic wasp. I'll not attempt to identify it, but these shots should be good enough for anyone who wishes too.

As Alan said, it's amazing that the thin waist can support the abdomen 

Heysham Nature Reserve (MD)
Raven 1
Chiffchaff, there was no location on the reserve where you couldn't hear one singing. No other warblers heard though
Roe Deer 2
Peacock butterfly 1
Small Tortoiseshell 1
Small Tortoiseshell 

A week ago I said the Snakes Head Fritillary will be looking splendid by now. And splendid they do look!

Snakes Head Fritillary - the pale flowers probably an indicator of the likely cultivated
origin of this colony, although they have been naturalised here for at least 20 years

North Shore
Red-Throated Diver 1 in the low water channel north of Heysham Head this afternoon - ref Pete.