Tuesday 30 January 2024

All the regulars present

A nice dry and sunny day with a light variable breeze.

South Shore
Pale-bellied Brent goose 36 - they had been feeding out from Knowlys Rd before flying to Red Nab.
Shelduck 12
Wigeon c350
Janet's shot showing the Wigeon beginning to amass before moving to Red Nab

Shag 1 on the wooden jetty as the tide was nearly full

Curlew c150 - as ever a steady movement south as the tide covers the north side shore.
A typical group of Curlew heading south

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
The "no swimming" pond has returned to its normal height, and the wildfowl has started to return too.
Gadwall 8
Mallard 8
Tufted Duck 4 males (later flew to the main pond)
Teal 3 (1 male)
Coot 1
Moorhen 1
Little Grebe 1
Water Rail 1 calling
Grey Heron 1
These are the Tufted with some of the Gadwall 

Male Tufted Duck

The wildfowl on the main pond remains as of late although not as many Mallard.

Imperial Rd (MD)
Buzzard 1
Fieldfare 23 in the trees near the recycling centre gates.

North shore (HS)
We have just come to the end of another set of spring tides and Howard's efforts and perseverance has resulted in a good number of ringed Knot being read. Each set of tides provides different opportunities and obstacles. The Knot on the Heliport roost this set have been favouring standing in the grass. This clip shows them coming in and eventually setting with not one leg to be seen.

But even when settled in a more open area they are often spooked and move off.
Carrion Crows and Sparrowhawks are just two of the natural disturbers.
Ramblers, dog walkers and fishermen also often get close enough to spook them too

Then when you finally get a clear shot, the rings or flags can be damaged making identification impossible. This is an inevitable consequence of ensuring that any rings or flags are light enough not to cause the birds any discomfort, even so, very frustrating!
Oystercatcher with a white but broken flag

A Norwegian ringed Knot also with a broken flag making it impossible to identify 

Even so, Howard read enough to provide valuable information as to their 
movements and habits, hopefully going some way to ensuring that sights like
these will still be available for future generations (Malcolm)

Just out of the recording area - Middleton Parish Hall
Glossy Ibis 1
Green Sandpiper 1
Seen in the horse paddock behind the Hall by several observers today.

These shots by David Kaye show it still has at least one loose feather