Wednesday 31 January 2024

Little gulls, hand outs and leftovers

A fresh SW wind became very strong in the afternoon. The inevitable rain managed to hold off till 15:00.

First an update from yesterday:
Mediterranean Gull 1 adult following ferry out of port yesterday pm - thanks to Jen Coates and Mark Fanshawe.
Mediterranean gull by Jen Coates

Heysham skear - low water 08:45 (MD)
The wind wasn't so strong at this time, but it cold!
Very Little on the sea:
Eider 16
Pale-bellied Brent goose 11 - there is virtually nothing for them to eat on or around the skear, there were two groups 5 and 6. The 6 were just drifting around on the north side, the group of 5 had been on the western edge, but flew to the SE skear corner just as the tide started making.
Pink-Footed goose c300 in 4 skeins, high to the north
Oystercatcher 2500
Knot 1,500
Curlew 30
Redshank just 15 - most seem to be on the south side of the harbour.
Turnstone 100
Ringed Plover 25
Six Carrion Crows on Conger rock

South shore - mid afternoon at the height of the SW wind but before the rain (MD, AP)
Pale-bellied Brent geese 36 (14, 3 and 19) were feeding on Red Nab
Wigeon 200
Little Gull 2 adult - I went along the wall first (MD) and just saw the one feeding between No.2 outflow and Red Nab. Alan was just setting off as I was heading back, the first gull continued to feed near No.2 and Alan picked up a second between the outflows.
This is the first Little gull, looking back towards Red Nab. Quite early in the clip, you can see the group of three Brent geese setting off to the south.

Adult Little Gull

Rock Pipit 2 - one each Red Nab and Saltmarsh 
Also on saltmarsh 
Reed Bunting 2 
Skylark 1 
Common Snipe 1

Nature Park:
Janet put out some more of her peanut chips near the white barrier:
Great Tit

Blue Tit

Coal Tit
The birds arrived very quickly for the feast so Janet tried to tempt them to hand, but only a Robin was brave enough.

There were several Robins, this one was looking the worse for wear, at least it won't have an empty stomach tonight.

Grey Squirrel awaiting its turn

I walked past the barrier this afternoon (MD). There was no obvious food around. But this flock of 10 Long-Tailed Tits were finding plenty of leftovers. One of these has a bad leg and is using its wings and tail for additional support.

Just out of the recording area - Middleton Parish Hall
Glossy Ibis in the horse paddock behind the Hall at least till late morning.