Wednesday 1 November 2023

Little gulls join the terns and November dragonflies!

A strange day weather wise. Heavy overnight showers then heavy rain again from late morning till mid afternoon. Before and after the midday rain it was really quite pleasant and sunny. The initially light east wind freshened throughout the day and shifted to the south.

Common Darter 4 at least. Janet saw at least three on Middleton Nature Reserve plus this one I saw in the Nature Park.
Female Common Darter, catching the November sun

Also on Middleton Nature Reserve. 
Common Snipe 2
Pheasant 1

South shore (MD)
For once my timing was impeccable, a morning and late afternoon walk managed to miss the rain, and quite a lot to be seen.
This morning:
Shelduck 30
Wigeon 46
Rock Pipit 4
Meadow Pipit 2
Long-Tailed Tit - a mobile flock had reached the end of the Nature Park and ended up on Red Nab before doubling back. 7 seen heading back but probably missed some.
One of seven Long-Tailed Tits briefly in the "bush" near the steel bollards at Red Nab

Blue Tit 4 - 2 also on Red Nab, possibly arrived with the Long-Tailed Tits, 2 more flew east along the sea wall
This is slightly unusual, Robins don't normally tolerate Dunnocks (or anything else for that matter!)
But this was just after the morning rain had ended and the Dunnock looked particularly sodden

Arctic Tern 1 juvenile and Common Tern 1 juvenile on No.2 outflow (although the Arctic wasn't there on the way out)
Juvenile Common tern having a rest on the outflow railing

For comparison, this is David Kaye's shot of the resting juvenile Arctic tern
Taken on Sunday

The freshening SE wind meant that they could fly more slowly against it, making them easier to follow. This is the Arctic.

In the afternoon the heavy and prolonged squall had brought in
Little gulls 4 - one adult plus 3 first calendar year feeding on No.2 outflow.  Both Terns were still there although, this time the Common Tern wasn't there on the way out.
This clip begins with the juvenile Arctic Tern but quickly switches to following two of the 1st calendar year Little gulls.

This is the adult Little Gull

First calendar year Little Gull

Adult Little Gull
Great Crested Grebe 1 feeding in the harbour