Wednesday 29 November 2023

Big increase in Brents

A hard overnight frost (-2.8°C) followed by a sunny day, but the air temperature remained low. A light NE breeze.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Janet checked in the morning
The gulls (Black-Headed plus a couple of Herring) were on the main pond ice.
Always worth checking these for colour rings, none seen today.

Cetti's Warbler 1 singing 
Redwing 4 -5


Grey Squirrel, also after the Hawthorn berries

Janet located a male Wigeon, at this point on the main pond with the Mallard.
The last couple of winters we have had a pair of Wigeon in association with the Gadwall, so I went for a look in the afternoon (MD).
Sure enough it was now with the 28 Gadwall on the "no swimming" pond, no sign of a female though.

One of four male Teal

South shore towards high water (MD)
It was a lovely day, but surprisingly few walkers (none), so the birds on Red Nab had moved in with the tide and were close to the sea wall.
Shelduck 3
Wigeon 214
Pale-bellied Brent goose 43 - there were two main groups 32 and 11, but within these groups many were defending their patch to feed in smaller subgroups.

I think they are all in this clip, but they are not so easy to pick out as the strong sunlight is behind them. You can hear their soft honks as well as the Wigeon and Oystercatcher calling.

Adult Pale-bellied Brent geese

I had them to myself for about 10 minutes before the inevitable dog walkers arrived (dogs have to be exercised, I was just grateful for the unexpectedly long gap). By this time the two groups had separated 32 flew off into the sun the remaining 11 were still out from Red Nab when I left, but had moved on before Kevin passed a little later.

Great Crested Grebe 1 out past wooden jetty
Rock Pipit just 1
Robin 2 birds where there aren't normally any. One along the sea wall and this one foraging around the lighthouse