Thursday 16 November 2023

First feeding Brent this winter period.

A dry day, largely overcast. A light south wind.

Pale-bellied Brent Geese 13 - Janet picked them up out from the play area on the north shore. Even with her mobile phone camera she got a decent record shot.
Some of the Brent geese out from the play area
Janet saw them fly off to the south, almost certainly Red Nab bound, so I headed there (MD)
I got there just in time to perch myself on a rock and watch the tide bring the Brent in closer. Initially I thought 4 were dark-bellied. For the (very good) reason that their bellies were dark! But all the dark-bellied birds were first calendar year and in association with adult Pale-bellied. Clearly they were young Pale-bellied still in juvenile plumage.
Adult Pale-bellied Brent right with two juvenile 

Not all the young birds still had dark flanks.
This one (right) already moulting to first winter

This pair of adult have three youngsters, and see off another approaching family.
They seem to have had a better breeding season than last year, when only a few immature birds were seen here.
The gutweed here is still long and lush and the Brent didn't need to leave the water to feed, so only a few showed their legs. None of those were ringed.

They stopped feeding before the gutweed was inaccessible, presumably sated, and drifted off south.
They were happy to reform as a group when they were no longer feeding

Pink-Footed goose 268 in three skeins heading south towards lunchtime 

Also on south shore (MD, KE)
Shelduck 6 
Wigeon 160
Wigeon, coming in to land by No.2 outflow

Red-breasted Merganser 1 male
Male Red-breasted Merganser

No Little gulls or terns seen today (not exactly a surprise)
Rock,Pipit 2
Grey Wagtail 1 on Red Nab

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
Just a quick look at the two main ponds on my way home.
Mute pair plus 8 cygnets reunited on the main pond
Gadwall 14
Mallard 6
Tufted Duck 2 male.
Coot 10
Moorhen 4
Water Rail 1 squealing
This clip begins with a skein of Pink-Footed geese heading over (included in the above count), then pans down to the ducks on the "no swimming" pond.

Finally, Janet took these shots of two snoozing Foxes on the Barrows (above the old go-kart track)

Presumably youngsters having their afternoon nap.