Thursday 30 November 2023

Unexpected Jack Snipe

Another frosty night but not quite as cold. Another calm and sunny day. What little breeze there was came from the NE

Middleton Nature Reserve (JP, MD)
Both me and Janet checked the gulls on the main pond ice, none had colour rings again, but they are quite mobile and always a decent chance of one turning up here.
Janet took advantage of today's lightning to take these nice shots:
Mallard are often overlooked as they are so familiar, 
but the drake is a particularly handsome bird

Female Mallard, also looking smart


Grey Heron

The visitors to the Nature Reserve constantly maintain feeders around the feeding area of the main pond. Unsurprisingly, today it was particularly busy.
Some of the characters on this Blue Tit's ring are legible. Unfortunately not enough.

Blue and Great Tits

Coal Tit

I checked the "no swimming" pond. No Wigeon today and Gadwall numbers down to 22. Still 4 male Teal.
Some of the Gadwall and a Redshank, in reflective mode. There was some free water
on the pond, but this is all ice, the more reflective surface has a thin covering of water

The Teal also chose to rest where there was water over the ice or, more likely,
 it is just their weight sinking the ice slightly 

South shore (JP, MD)
I checked from Red Nab to the saltmarsh towards high water. A little later Janet went along the sea wall from Red Nab.
Pale-bellied Brent goose 23 at least - there were 8 feeding on Red Nab when I arrived, they were joined by another group of 8. This is some of them feeding alongside Shelduck.

When Janet reached Red Nab the 16 had moved on, but another group of 7 came from the north side and flew past Red Nab towards Potts Corner.
Pale-bellied Brent geese

There are normally Turnstone to be found along the wall, these are some particularly nice shots:

This one managed to turn a particularly large stone.
These shots from Jeff Gorse earlier in the week

These in flight shots by Janet today:


Lapwing 75
Some of the Lapwing with a few Redshank 

Common Snipe 6 - the tide didn't get much higher than the above shot and there were no waves so the few snipe seen were just moving away from the water's edge.
Two Redshank, a Curlew and a Common Snipe in this clip shows just how sedate the movement from the incoming tide was.

Common Snipe and Redshank

Jack Snipe 1 - seeing one was unexpected, their presence was pretty much assured, but they are not normally flushed by this height of tide, and when they are, they almost always land on another section of saltmarsh. But this one lifted off the water's edge and flew right over my head towards Middleton Nature Reserve. Great views but too quick for a shot!

Dunnock 5 - at least 2 more than the usual here.