Friday 26 April 2024

Osprey, best of the day. Although unlikely to be the view of its fish!

A freshening NE breeze till lunchtime when it swung to NE. A dry day with sunny spells till late evening showers began.

First, this from Kevin Singleton from yesterday.
Whimbrel 7 out from Whinnysty Lane.
Kevin also enjoyed the spectacle of the Knot on the heliport 

A few Bar-Tailed Godwits with them
When they settled they formed a perfect circle.
Although spectacular to watch, absolutely no good if you are hoping to see ringed birds. Pete advises that about 90 minutes before high water is best for that, before they settle in such tight formation.

Seawatch this morning wasn't as impressive as yesterday - Pete
15 Sandwich Tern blogging skeer area but no passage
5 Whimbrel north 

Middleton Nature Reserve
Ringing report by Alan:

There was a heavy grass frost and clear sky early this morning and it was an unpromising start to my ringing session from 06.15.  However, things livened a little and 30 birds were caught in total.


Dunnock  1

Robin  1 retrap

Blackbird   1 retrap

Cetti's Warbler  1 retrap

Lesser Whitethroat   1 retrap

Blackcap  2

Chiffchaff  1 retrap

Willow Warbler   6

Long-tailed Tit  2

Blue Tit  1 retrap

Great Tit  2 retraps

Lesser Redpoll  9

Bullfinch   1

Reed Bunting  1 retrap


A further five Lesser Redpolls came down to the nets but were not trapped.  A small number of lone Swallows passed through northwards during the morning.

South shore (Malcolm)
I checked the waders along the waterline on the rising tide at lunchtime.
Bar-Tailed Godwit 320 were the only species, except for the odd Oystercatcher 
Shelduck 2
Whimbrel 1 on Red Nab
Wheatear 8

Osprey 1 - it had caught a large flatfish, probably almost as heavy as itself. It couldn't gain height with it. The gulls chased it along the foreshore then across the saltmarsh. It barely made it over the eastern shore and into the caravan park. Even carrying such weight it was flying quickly and was difficult to see against the foreshore rocks. Perhaps one to watch in slow motion.

Not a great shot of the Osprey, but it does give an idea of the size of its catch.

North shore (Malcolm)
I walked out quite early in the ebbing tide this evening, before the skear was exposed. There were a few Knot on the waterline so I went out beyond the waterline to check them out. The shore birds never seem to view you as a threat if you are in the water, particularly if you are still. And that proved to be the case today as c2,000 Knot came in and landed along the waterline all around me!

They immediately started feeding and were finding small molluscs, you can see one towards the end of this clip swallowing a relatively large bivalve.
The tide was ebbing quickly (we're back to spring tides now) and both myself and the birds were soon out of the water, I scanned them all and couldn't find a single ringed bird. By this time the skear was beginning to become exposed and they flew to there.

Other smaller groups also flew to the skear directly from further south. Surprisingly when I was on the skear I did manage to find one group of 50 Knot that included two orange flagged Knot over a pale blue ring (last year's hatchlings). Fortunately I managed to read them - details awaited. This is one.
Knot c2,500
Bar-Tailed Godwit 120
Dunlin c300
Oystercatcher 1,000+
Turnstone 50
Redshank 40
Curlew 2
Whimbrel 11 at least - there are three here with Knot and a Dunlin.

Eider c40
Red-breasted Merganser 9
Great Crested Grebe 2
Sandwich Tern 6 initially fishing, then resting.
Sandwich Tern

In this clip they were reacting to the calls of the other two who were still feeding.

Swallow three north

Just out of the recording area - horse paddock behind Middleton Parish Hall

Glossy Ibis still there