Thursday 25 May 2023

A more subdued day

A light west wind, plenty of sunshine again.

Heysham Skear - low water 10:10 (MD)
We are back to neap tides again, which means they don't go out (or come in) very far. These can be good tides if there are lots of Sanderling around as there is no outer skear exposed for them to hide on. But it wasn't to be today.
Eider 1 male
Great Crested Grebe 4
Little Egret 3
Grey Heron 1
Oystercatcher c100
Curlew 5
Sanderling 1 possibly 2 feeding on the honeycomb worm reefs on the north side.
Turnstone 12
Ringed Plover 1
Both the Turnstone and Plover were quite close in on the inner skear, they both react by remaining perfectly still as you approach and trust to their camouflage. It is quite effective, there are five Turnstone in this shot (I haven't pre-sized the shot as you may need to open it to see the birds)
Five Turnstone

Unfortunately, the tactic doesn't work so well when you're up to your ankles in water.
Ringed Plover

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
I had a walk around in the afternoon 
Mute Swans and two female mallard with 9, 8 & 8 young respectively on the main pond. But today, for some reason, the male Mute took exception to the young Mallard. In this clip, he had separated one chick from its mother. She made sure the other chicks were safe in the reeds, then flew out to draw the Mute away from her other chick. It worked. Even so the chick had to dive and swim underwater for some distance. I've not see Mallards dive before. The clip begins with mum drawing the Swan away, the chick resurfaces during the clip.

Male Mallard 4 (they were no help!)
Coot 3
Little Grebe 1 trilling in SW corner of main pnd

Eight species of warbler heard again, although I didn't hear the eight (Reed Warbler) till I got back to my car at the main pond.
Cetti's warbler 7 and that's assuming only one each on the two marshes and the "no swimming pond"
Reed, Sedge, Willow, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Lesser and Common Whitethroat.
Chiffchaff singing with Blackcap in the background.

Brimstone 1 male
Large White 3
Orange Tip 2 males
Comma 2
Speckled Wood 2
Small Heath 2

Burnet Companion moth 6

Common Bluetail, Common Blue, Azure Blue and Large Red. Lots of each
Common Blue damselfly

Azure Blue damsefly

Black-Tailed Skimmer 3 female/immature 
Broad-bodied Chaser 5 male 2 female
Four-Spotted Chaser 8
Four-Spotted Chaser
This Broad-bodied Chaser was ovipositoring.