Monday, 17 October 2011

560 Brent - 118 juveniles, Bull Island

Sunday morning was a beauty, blue skies and sunshine, so I was out my front door before 9am and back over at the Bull by 9.30am.
Main aim - to try and see the female Blue Winged Teal which has been hanging out to the left of the Causeway with the Shovelers.

Because it was early and the tide was still out, I decided to walk along the Alder marsh.
But before I set off, I noticed a few more Shelduck on the mud than were there yesterday.
A few weeks ago there were none at all, but as I stood there, I saw 20, then 40, then 60, so I decided to do a full count and counted 306!
Never before have I seen that many Shelduck.
Emailed the unusual total to Helen and she replied that herself and Sinead had spotted them yesterday after the iwebs count and figured that they had most probably just landed from Netherlands/ Wadden Sea because they weren't there an hour earlier!

Once I was along the alder marsh walk I saw a few Brent feeding on the Saltmarsh grass.
I counted 560 total including 118 juveniles - and I took footage!
I wanted to capture the sound of the geese, but on playback all you hear is the wind - but anyway, I also wanted to show how many juveniles were in the flock (the ones with whitish stripes on their backs are the youngsters).

Quite a difference from last year when there were hardly any juveniles in the flocks.

Brent Geese flying from one flock to join the main flock, Bull Island.

I waited a while to see if I could spot any tags on the Brent, but the grass was too long to see any.
Walking along, I wondered if I would see the Buff Bellied Sandpiper seen down this way, but I didn't.
Found out later I had got the location of where the 'Point' was wrong. I thought it was in front of the golf house, in fact it's way past there and nearer to Sutton - I didn't even know you were allowed to walk that far.

After a while I headed back to the main causeway, crossed over and walked the Salt marsh towards the wooden bridge.

Wheatear, Saltmarsh, Bull Island

I think this shot is cool! I got about 60 shots of this Wheatear, it was completely unphased by me being there. This is like one of those romantic dream images they use in magazines.

Same Wheatear, it actually did a lot of 'nothing' and standing around. Takin it easy like Sunday Morning.

Flock of c.200 Linnets and Goldfinch, Saltmarsh, Bull Island

Little Egret, Bull Island - saw 5.

Tide was rising and I scanned the flock of waders for Curlew Sandpiper, didn't see it.

Black Tailed Godwit, Bull Island.

18 of the 306 Shelduck, Bull Island.

Teal - didn't see the female Blue winged - but just look at that green speculum!

Also managed a shot of the Kingfisher! By fluke too, I was looking at the Heron and noticed it was perturbed, then saw the object of its irritation!
Great morning out at the Bull.