Brent, one off a half century

Mild WSW light wind, mainly overcast, but it remained dry.

North shore
Pale-bellied Brent 49
They were well scrutinised today by Tim Woodward and Kevin Singleton.
In the late morning Tim went to check what yesterday evening's birds could have been eating:

I went to where we estimated that they were last night. There are some fairly substantial clumps of weed around but it’s not widespread

It may not be widespread, but this gut weed is like a banquet compared to any
other area around here, no wonder they sneak in under cover of darkness (MD)
At that point there were 40 Brent out from the play area. Later in the afternoon when Kevin checked, they had grown to 49. These are some of his pictures:




Tim returned in the evening to check their movements at dusk, unfortunately somewhat thwarted by some "late" dog activity.

45+ were down by the playground until just after 16.10 when flushed by a dog. All previous times I’ve seen them put to flight they’ve landed pretty close by, but this time they flew 600m and landed on the water in the armpit of the Skear. 20 minutes later there were only three still in the water, the rest were a few metres away on land. At 16.40 they took to the air and initially headed towards Morecambe, but switched direction and landed in the water maybe 50-100m from shore. No dogs seen to be involved. 16.50-16.55 they were just visible through binoculars- some in the water at the end of the spike of the Skear and some on the Skear itself. At this point I ran out of light!

Little Egret in the same area - picture by Kevin

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
When I checked the east side on Tuesday I couldn't locate any winter thrushes, so today I checked the west side too. The only thrushes seen were Blackbirds and probably no more than typical resident numbers. The Hawthorn berries are pretty much stripped from the trees, but there is still some to be found if we get any cold weather displacement.
Mute Swan 7 adult 9 juvenile 
Moorhen 11
Coot 2 - a new(?) bird on Tim Butler pond - this is it leading the lone Mute. It looks like the tug towing the Fighting Temeraire up the Themes.