Wednesday 6 December 2023

Loads of ducks

A heavy overnight frost, the last for a while. Also last for a while was a dry sunny say. The light east breeze just starting to freshen slightly as it drifted to SE.

North shore (MD)
Just two quick scans from Knowlys Rd.
Pale-bellied Brent geese 23 in the skear corner in the morning but only 13 seen near the play are in the afternoon 

Janet was spotting metal ringed birds around Heysham Head.

Female Kestrel with metal ring
Alan advises that: The only one ringed by us recently (since 1996) was October 2015.
It is technically possible that today's is that one but pretty unlikely. Typical lifespan is 4 years
 but one has been caught 15 years and 11 months old back in 2003 (but not locally).

This Blue Tit was in the Glebe Garden

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
A quick check of the main pond in the morning. The Black-Headed gulls were again stood on the ice, none with colour rings.
Black-Headed gulls plus a Herring Gull on ice

Most of the Mute were on the open water by the feeding area, but the bulk of the ducks were in another more central hole in the ice.
Mallard plus 5 Gadwall and 3 Coot

South shore (MD)
Just my walk along the sea wall
Shelduck 139 - some feeding quite close tho the shoreline.
The above clip is one of only a few of today's posted clips where you can't hear or see Wigeon. They were everywhere, unfortunately well spread out and quite flighty as the tide was out. Probably as many if not more than yesterday. The two biggest groups totalled 340 and there were many more than that.
These are a few feeding on gutweed off the sloping wall. I often see one or two here, but more today.

Grey Heron 1
Little Egret 4 - this one is chasing another from its patch. 

Bar-Tailed Godwit 4 initially feeding on the beach next to the wooded jetty then moved between the outflows when the tide moved them on.

It doesn't go empty billed for long. Here it catches either half a Sandmason worm or a small ragworm.

This Curlew definitely catches a Sandmason worm. It's hard to imagine the sensitivity of its bill and tongue to be able to feel such a thin worm in such deep mud.

This Oystercatcher also has a Sandmason worm.

Grey Plover 2 - both Grey Plover and all four Bar-Tailed Godwit in this clip.

Knot - just 2 again, feeding here with Redshank 

The only other waders were a handful of Turnstone and a solitary Lapwing.

Peregrine Falcon 1 - here it is buzzing Red Nab in the hope of lifting something, but nothing this time.

It headed back and landed on an old scaffolding frame, and was still perched there when I left.