Tuesday 6 February 2024

Some think it is spring......they may be disappointed!

Strong overnight SW winds quickly eased in the morning and gradually shifted to NW. The early heavy rain also eased by late morning leaving a dry afternoon.

South shore
A check first thing along the sea wall saw no sign of any seabirds being blown in.
Rock Pipits 5 - 2 along the sea wall and 3 on the harbour wall above the favoured nest site near the lighthouse.

Pete watched the lunchtime ferry in
Kittiwake 1 adult behind ferry (also 1 yesterday)
Shag 1 sub adult in the harbour

Middleton Nature Reserve (JP, MD)
Just the two main ponds checked.
Mute Swan pair plus 7 immature. The adult were on the "no swimming" pond and the juveniles were not welcome. One was checking out last years nesting site.
Mallard 18
Gadwall 5
Tufted Duck 1 male
Coot 6
Moorhen 4
Little Grebe 1
Male Gadwall

Mallard and Little Grebe

Male Tufted Duck

Long Tailed Tit

Imperial Rd (MD)
Greylag goose 46 - feeding in the field just to the east of the road, many were partially obscured by the hedgerow along the road.

Greylag Geese

This clip is from further along the road looking back, even so some are still obscured. You can see vehicles travelling along the bypass (Bay Gateway).

The grass looks to be lush, there were also two Mute Swans happily feeding on it.

Stock Dove 1 north

Roe Deer 3 - this clip begins with a young buck. He is joined by an adult female (Mum) and then a second young buck (brother).

North Shore
Pale-bellied Brent goose
Record and shot from Kevin Singleton 

We have now received the full history of the ringed Knot seen on the skear on Saturday. Turns out to be slightly unusual.
These comments from Rose Maciewicz, one of the scheme managers:
A very interesting history.  Note from the German Observer
 ‘Red Knots are regular migrants in the German Baltic Sea coast although there are very few in May and June, more common in autumn July-September but they are seldomly higher than double-digit counts. Some birds can sometimes still be found until the winter.’  
You can see it had more sense in 2023 as it went to Snettisham.  Maybe it was blown off course in August 2022 upon its return from the breeding grounds, or maybe it only went to Iceland/Norway to stage and then came back early but went to Germany; or maybe it just wandered around in the summer of 2022 as a 3CY.  We will never know.

The Rock Pipits and the Mute on Middleton Nature Reserve seemed to be at least thinking about nest sites. The grass is certainly growing as if it's spring, and the frogs are already spawning in my garden pond (Malcolm).
As well as the spawn, there are three male frogs in this shot,
eagerly anticipating the arrival of other early females
Unfortunately, even in these mild winters there is more than a good chance that the pond will freeze over again before the tadpoles hatch.

Just out of the recording area - Middleton Parish Hall.
Glossy Ibis 1
Green Sandpiper 1
In the horse paddock behind the Hall