Friday 19 January 2024

Not a great deal today

Just a light (-0.5°C) overnight frost, but much of the frozen water remains frozen. A mainly dry day with sunny spells. A fresh west wind.

Heysham skear - low water 12:00 (MD)
The west wind might have brought in the warmer weather, but it still felt bitterly cold! We are back to neap tides and only the inner and middle skear exposed. Very little seen on the sea, just a few Cormorants and
Eider 6
There seemed to be more waders, but largely as the outer skear wasn't available to them today.
Oystercatcher 2000
Curlew 50 (although the north of the inner skear where they tend to congregate wasn't checked).
Redshank 100
Knot 400
Dunlin 20
Turnstone 50
Ringed Plover 24
Grey Plover 2
This shot shows just how well camouflaged Grey Plovers are in this terrain 

This shot showing the distinctive black "arm pit" of a Grey Plover is actually from yesterday 

Imperial Rd (MD)
Still,a number of waders feeding in the field to the east of the road:
Oystercatcher 2
Curlew 15
Lapwing 29

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
Just an evening check of the two main ponds.
Jackdaw 100+ milling around pre roost
The "no swimming" pond was completely frozen and bereft of wildfowl
There was quite a decent sized area of open water on the Main pond.
Mute Swan pair + 7 immature 
Mallard 25
Gadwall 2 male
Coot 5
Moorhen 2

This immature mute appeared to have been driven onto the ice.

It took it ages to make its way back to a secluded area of open water.

It seemed very pleased to be back in the water, but as soon as it was back the mute that I suspected of chasing it off in the first place made a bee line for it. Things didn't look good!
But it was just to say, "welcome back". I do like a happy ending!

Just out of the recording area, Glossy Ibis reported behind Middleton Parish Hall 13:45 but not seen when checked at 14:30 or 16:15.