Sunday 8 October 2023

One Little gull left

A very light east wind in the morning freshened slightly after lunch and became more variable. Overcast with some weak sunshine, but it was very warm.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Report from Jean:
Pete and I were at Middleton NR this morning for a change. There wasn't much visible migration (unlike the east coast where thousands of Redwings were piling over), just the following:

Pink-footed Goose 51 south
Chaffinch 9 SE
Linnet 1 SE
Meadow Pipit 1
Song Thrush 2 N, 1 NE
Grey Wagtail 10 south (5 of which were caught and ringed)
Carrion Crow 2
Jackdaw 14 south
Pied Wagtail 1

Ringing was steady throughout the morning. 
Grey Wagtail 5  - these had colour rings added
Pied Wagtail 1
Goldcrest 5 (plus 2 recent retraps)
Reed Bunting 5
Chiffchaff 3
Cetti's Warbler 1 (plus a retrap from 2022)
Robin 2
Wren 4
Long-tailed Tit 1 (plus 2 retraps, one from 2020 and one from this year)
Blue Tit 7
Great Tit 5

There were at least 4 Cetti's Warblers singing on the reserve and 2 or 3 Water Rails squealing

South Shore
From Andrew Cornall early afternoon 
Rock Pipits 2
Little Gull 1 CY on number 2 outflow 
Also seen by Alan Physick later in the afternoon
A nice phone camera record shot by Alan

I had a walk early in the morning (MD). The only birds on the outflows then were a handful of Black-Headed gulls. This Great Crested Grebe was milling around in the harbour.
Wigeon 3
Early on the dew covered Ocean Edge grass, Linnet (50+) and Goldfinch (c25) were feeding on the seeds of the small pink flowers. The flowers are small enough, goodness knows how tiny the seeds must be. But they must be tasty!

Even a Wood Pigeon was at it

It's a pretty and quite distinctive flower, but not one I am familiar with, and I can't find it in my
book. So unless someone can advise we will have to stick to "small pink flowers"
N.B. The soil here is effectively sand with a thin layer of humus on top. 
The grass is regularly mown, so they may be stunted as opposed to naturally tiny.

Heysham skear- low water 14:00 (MD)
"Low" water was 3.7m, it barely exposed the inner skear, at least it concentrates the shore birds.
Great Crested Grebe 10
Red-breasted Merganser 9
Eider 2, presumably some distant specks were more
Shelduck 11 flying south
Little Egret 41
Oystercatcher c1000
Knot c1500
Curlew 50
Redshank 80
Turnstone 20
Dunlin 2
If you stand still on the skear the feeding waders often ignore you. At one point I was surrounded by feeding Knot. Well over 1000 and I didn't see a single ringed bird. These are a few with one of the Dunlin, you can just about hear their calls.