Thursday 11 January 2024

Outmanoeuvred by the Ibis.........again!

Overcast and reasonably mild. A light NE breeze.

South shore - high water 11:00 (MD)
Pale Bellied Brent geese 17 - these flew to Red Nab in a line directly from Walney, not from the north shore.
Pale-bellied Brent geese dropping down on to Red Nab having flown from the west side of the bay
Today's high water was 9.2m. This would normally flush the Brent from Red Nab, but the flat sea and very high atmospheric pressure meant that it didn't reach as high as it would do normally. The gutweed is now very short and there was no one around (I don't count), so the Brent took advantage to feed closer inshore at high water. This clip shows the ideal feeding conditions for them, the gutweed is short but floats when covered in water, making for easier grazing.

This clip shows just how short the gutweed is, and how close the Brent were to the sea wall.

Shelduck 60
Wigeon 200
The tide only just reached the saltmarsh edge.
Common Snipe 28 and 21 of those were flushed from the marsh grass that now runs more or less as far as Potts Corner.
Reed Bunting 1
Linnet 1 
Rock Pipit 1

Grey seal at least 1. One was seen some distance out, highlighted by a group of gulls waiting for it to surface. Then later, it or another (looks like a male) was feeding in No.1 outflow.

North shore
Alan Physick checked the north sea wall
Rock,Pipit 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Peregrine Falcon 1

Howard did well and managed to read 11 colour ringed Knot. These are examples from three different schemes

Glossy Ibis - initially feeding just outside the recording area around the horse paddock behind Middleton Parish Hall. Shaun watched it till it flew off (also 13 Redwing feeding in the field). It was later tonight, almost 16:30 and quite dark. It took a line that would have taken it right over my (MD) head if I had been on the hill on Middleton Nature Reserve, and towards the harbour if it continued. But myself and Alan Physick were stationed in the Business Park on the other side of the road. If it doubled back at all it didn't get that far. Possibly it chooses different roosts in different weather conditions, it was definitely much milder this evening. The game is still afoot!