Tuesday 2 January 2024

Canadian Brents return and the Ibis still about, but occasionally elusive

 Mainly dry in the morning but rain for most of the afternoon. A south wind moved from SE to SW.

South shore 
Shag 2 in the harbour area. There was one on the wooden jetty when I checked (MD). But Mike Stocker and June located 2 a little later.

Pale-bellied Brent goose 46 (thanks to June for the accurate count). These included the red/blue ringed birds that have been seen here each winter since 2019. I thought that they had two first winter birds with them, but there is only one in this clip. Perhaps the other is just out of frame, or I may have been mistaken, I was, literally, focusing on the rings. The letters are VT and VD, I always remember that VD is the male (D for dad). So the first winter bird is with dad at the start of this clip.

This is the male stretching his wings.
Very impressive wings as they have carried them many miles since they were ringed, as a pair of breeding adults, in the Canadian arctic in 2014. Their data is now in the Irish colour ringing scheme database, but it is currently only showing the early history, even so it does provide a nice graphic of the distance they travel twice each year!
Bear in mind this line just shows the shortest distance between the two areas. The reality will likely 
be much further. It's a long way to fly to find your way back to Red Nab!

Rock Pipit 4 - one on Red Nab, two together along the sea wall and one from the lighthouse area flew to the wooden jetty.
This in one of the two along the sea wall.

This is probably the first post entry for a slug, but it is a bit of a puzzle. It's a Leopard Slug,
no puzzle there, but it was right on the end of the sea wall and dead. Possibly some
bird or other had found it somewhere decided it wasn't to its taste and dropped it again.
But it seems strange to be dead with no sign of injury, more likely, it had got there itself
then the salty sea spray dehydrated it.

Just out of the recording area - Middleton Parish Hall.
The Glossy Ibis is still around but was more mobile today.
When Mike and June checked it was briefly showing well in the horse paddock behind the Hall, then disappeared behind the houses. When Janet checked it took her a good while to be able to get clear views, and even then only by looking through gaps in fencing.
Green Sandpiper was in the field closer to Middleton Rd. Located by Mike and seen by others later.

Eventually Janet managed some excellent shots through the fence.

In this shot you can see water droplets slewing off its bill tip