Monday 10 July 2023

Lots of ducks!

A light south wind. Overcast for much of the day, light showers in the morning, heavier ones in the afternoon.

Heysham Skear - low water 12:20 (MD)
Just a short circuit 
The Herring gulls are reduced to a few small marauding groups working the fringes of the mussel beds.
Great Crested Grebe 2 together
Red-breasted Merganser pair
Little Egret 6
Little Egret
Oystercatcher c80
Curlew c150
Redshank 11 - Redshank normally ignore me, or more likely shout at me. These two just froze, and cowered, presumably a consequence of recently leaving their breeding grounds.

South shore (MD)
Just a quick look from the saltmarsh to Red Nab towards high water
No sign of any Wheatears today
Rock Pipit 1
Mediterranean gull 8 - just 6 adult and 2 first summer seen
Eider 1 - the striking male in eclipse - he had a wash in the freshwater runoff, providing a good plumage display.

Whimbrel 1 - heard only. When it called all the gulls took to the air, then quickly landed again. It must be regarded as a reliable lookout.
Redshank 1

In contrast to yesterday, I could count the number of butterflies in the Nature Park on one hand today.
Small White 1 (no fingers required!)

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
Just a quick check of the two main ponds
Mute Swan  - there was just one cygnet in the middle of the main pond.
I thought that perhaps this was the "missing" cygnet........

.........but no, there were only seven cygnets with the two adults on the "no swimming" pond
Gadwall 10 - I thought I'd resolved the puzzle over the extra Gadwall, there were two groups feeding on the "no swimming" pond, 7 and 3. I initially assumed these to be the two females with her broods, and I think the 7 are. But the other 3 could just be 3 females, it is more difficult now the young are growing.
This is the brood of 6 with Mum watching on.

These are the 3 female/immature 

Mallard 36 - again mainly youngsters. 25 on the main pond 11 on the no swimming pond
Little Grebe 2 adult