Saturday 4 November 2023

Outflow feeding patchy today

A largely dry day with just a lunchtime shower. A freshening NE wind

South shore (AH, KE, MD, JH)
I walked along the wall at low water (MD). There were just a few Black-Headed gulls feeding on the outflows. When I reached the harbour, the likely reason presented itself. The bucket dredger was operating very near the intakes for the outflows almost certainly discouraging any shoals of Whitebait. When I got back to No.2 outflow there were still only a handful of feeding gulls, but I saw Alison and Kevin arriving so waited. Good decision! Almost out of nowhere appeared.
Little Gull 2  - 1 first calendar year and what looked to be a second calendar year. This is the second calendar year/adult. It looked to have some black in its primaries, but in fact they were, at least partially, just missing feathers.

Little gull in autumn moult.
Its underwings not as strikingly dark as a typical adult.

The Little gulls left as abruptly as they arrived, but then the juvenile Arctic Tern arrived.
Kevin's shot of the juvenile Arctic Tern

By this time the tide had risen somewhat, there would have been a greater depth of water at the intakes, so perhaps more fish. Even so there were still a lot fewer other gulls than of late.
In the afternoon Josh Hedley checked the outflows and saw both the Little gulls and the juvenile Arctic Tern

Also this morning:
Wigeon 130 in the channels beside the outflows.
Little gull in the foreground with some of the Wigeon in the channel beyond.

Bar-Tailed Godwit 5 feeding on the beach between No.1 outflow and the wooden jetty.
Kevin's shot of one of the Godwits 

No pipits were seen, heard or reported today

Also from Josh this afternoon:
Shelduck 108
Chiffchaff 1 along the dog walk track