Friday 8 December 2023

Yesterday and yesteryear

Chris and Barry helped Nick mow a decent section of the seawall end of the heliport site yesterday to facilitate roosting when birds displaced from the seawall by wave actions. The conditions were atrocious yet they persisted to get most of the job done in a torrential downpour and strong winds.  Thanks very much for doing this.  There is a small amount of raking needed - if anyone is able to do this please contact Pete. 

There was about 12 snipe and otherwise just a Greenfinch flock

This is one of Howard's shots from earlier this week
It is looking over the Near Naze towards the south Lakes
It's a slow news day today, so I thought I would share a slightly older picture of the same area.
This is me and my Dad on the north side of Half Moon Bay c1955 (I'm the shorter one - Malcolm) 
I was beginning to learn about what lives on the shore, although in those days it was only once a year.
Along the horizon on the right is the old tanker jetty where the ammonia tankers unloaded.
The seaward end of this jetty is still marked by the two buoys out from the north sea wall.
Behind that is an old steam ship heading out from the harbour.
On the horizon to the left there is a latticework tower, that is the Skeleton Lighthouse.The latticework
has long been removed but its stone base is still on the Near Naze. It is that  stone base pictured in
Howards shot above, you can still see the metal struts that once supported the Skeleton lighthouse.

Back to today....
Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
Just a quick check of the two main ponds, both now ice free, but the "no swimming" pond is 1m above its normal maximum height. The water level is maintained by a sensor and pump and each winter it seems reluctant to kick in for the first time. At the moment it is much too deep for the dabbling ducks and there was no divers today either.
The main pond was only sparsely populated too
Mute Swan pair plus 8 immature 
Gadwall 2
Moorhen 2
Coot 3

South shore (MD)
Just a walk along the south sea wall.
Shelduck 60
Wigeon c300 - they like to freshen up in the freshwater runoff at Red Nab. You can see where the expression "water off a ducks back" comes from.

North shore (MD)
Pale-bellied Brent geese 11 at least out from the play area, seen from Whinnysty Lane