Friday 17 November 2023

Little Auk crowns an interesting day!

A fresher SSE wind. Early morning rain stopped about 09:00, it then remained dry all day with some sunny periods.

Little Auk 1 - spotted by Janet Packham on the rising tide mid morning. It was flying low and fast out from No.2 outflow in the middle of the south sea wall. Heading in the direction of the Lune estuary. Fortunately Janet had her camera, and it was fitted with a zoom lens. Even so, she had to be quick to get these excellent shots.

Little Auk - the last one seen in the recording area was December 2014
Pete advises that it could linger. Fingers crossed!

Pale-Bellied Brent geese 16 - a day in the life.... I checked the shore out from the play area on the north side as the tide was approaching the rocks (MD). There were 15 out from the rocks, they were feeding, but hardly enthusiastically.

They flew off to the south before the tide reached the rocks, and long before it would reach Red Nab.
When I got to Red Nab they were all drinking and bathing in the freshwater run off. They were certainly bathing enthusiastically! Watch the Oystercatcher at the end getting an unwelcome shower.

I left them to it, but Janet saw them leaving towards Potts Corner as both the tide and some dogs encroached. I had a walk along the wall this afternoon, the Brent were already back feeding on Red Nab as I walked out. When I was returning it was already getting dark (16:10), I could see them leaving the rocks and moving to the mud. They were obviously preparing to leave. 16 flew off and headed west, presumably to the other side of the bay for the night.

Little Gull 1 elusive adult - I'd checked as far as No.2 outflow in the morning. There was no sigh of it then. But it was present when both Kevin, then later Janet were at No.2 outflow.
Janet's shot of the Little gull

It wasn't there again when I went out in the afternoon. On the return leg one turned up, did one sweep of the outflow then settled on the mud for a preen. It seemed to have a darker head than Janet's bird, but the light was fading quickly.

Other stuff from the south shore:
These 8 immature Mute plus at least 1 adult were circling. Possibly the Middleton Nature Reserve birds taking flying practice (I've removed the sound as some passing dogs were barking).

Woodcock 1 - first autumn record, and an unusual but welcome one. It was on Red Nab, presumably grounded by the early rain. It allowed me a good shot (MD)
Woodcock as you never normally see them. Just after this shot it flew
to the middle of Red Nab, unfortunately landing out of sight

Great Crested Grebe - the harbour bird was in a mind to display its plumage.

Wigeon not counted but similar numbers to recent.
Shelduck 14
Pink-Footed goose 1000+ as I was coming through the Nature park on the way back this afternoon they were returning from their feeding grounds to their Fylde roost. Two very large groups passed directly over. This is just part of the first wave.