Thursday 18 January 2024

Ibis still around and plenty of mammals

It got down to -5.7°C overnight but shot up to 3.5°C by 14:00! Sunshine all day with a light breeze that ended up from the west, promising "warmer" weather to come.

North Shore (MD)
Pale-bellied Brent goose 55 out from the play area. Similar numbers on Red Nab in the evening.

Heysham Head wooded area
There were lots of Thrushes feeding amongst the leaf litter, but as soon as I arrived three large manic dogs cleared the area. These are minimum numbers
Blackbird 9
Song Thrush 1
Redwing 6
Redwing catching the morning sun, but still with its feathers 
fluffed out to protect against the cold.

The Song Thrush was the only one to return to the ground, despite the noise of a chainsaw in the background.

These three Foxes were in the horse paddocks by Knowsly Rd. It appears to be a female with at least one male with amorous intentions. I'm not sure if being sprayed with urine is a good or a bad sign!

Imperial Rd (MD)

The field where the Ibis and Curlew had been feeding was white with frost and presumably frozen. It was being patrolled by a fox again, but it clearly had a problem with at least one of its legs and would be unlikely to post a threat to any healthy bird. Still, it marked out its territory and continued on its way.

Heysham Nature Reserve (MD)
Just a short afternoon check.
Jay 1
Roe Deer 1
Fox 1 - another with a bad leg, but this time a front leg. It is the time of year when foxes mate, so presumably their obvious presence today is all about attracting a mate or repelling unwanted competition or suitors. This male also marks out his territory.

South shore (MD)
Just the saltmarsh to Red Nab checked:
This is  a Peregrine Falcon chasing a gull at Ocean Edge entrance. Sometimes the young ones practice their skills by spooking the gulls, but this seemed more determined. Only managed to get the last couple of seconds as I had to unpack my camera, but it had been hounding the gull for at least 30 seconds (makes a change from fox videos).

Jack Snipe 2 individuals accidentally flushed as I walked around the saltmarsh edge. I wouldn't normally expect them to be there, the tide was nowhere near and the saltmarsh itself wasn't frozen. Both birds relocated on the marsh.
Rock Pipit 2
Reed Bunting 7 probably 8
Dunnock 3
Robin 2 + 3 on foreshore 
Wren just 1 today. 

Grey Seal 1 male just out from the foreshore. There can't be more than 1m of depth here at this point.

Just out of the recording area
Middleton Parish Hall - Pete advised that the Glossy Ibis had been reported there for the first time since Monday. I was out and about so I checked it out (Malcolm). Sure enough it was in the field next to the horse paddock and looking well and healthy. It had a preen then a doze (albeit with one eye open), despite a  Cockerel constantly crowing. I suspect it thought it was a rival.
By this time (14:30) the sun had thawed the frost off the grass and presumably the ground was again soft enough for it to catch worms, it certainly didn't look to be starving.

Heysham Moss Nature Reserve
Janet checked late morning
Treecreeper 2 at least, feeding high in the trees where the sun had warmed them up a little.

Long-Tailed Tit


Grey Squirrel 

Roe Deer 7 at least (I can't recall a higher single location count than this (MD))
At first there was a group of three, then further on in the opposite direction to where they ran I spotted four more.

Four Roe rumps

Roe deer doe

Roebuck, you can see his velvet covered antlers forming

Doe and buck