Thursday, December 23, 2010

Knott The Arctic

This morning the Knott End pack ice resembled a scene from a Spitsbergen travelogue. From the esplanade I pencilled 1100 Oystercatchers in my notebook but wasn’t entirely sure if I should be on the lookout for Polar Bears too.


The Twite flock was bigger this morning at 80+ mobile birds, unable to find the seed put out for them that now lies buried under the ice and snow. The Rock Pipit was around near the jetty again, plus a Song Thrush, a refuge from the café garden, and then 6 overflying Skylark closely followed by a single Lapwing looking for something green and unfrozen. As the tide ran in I counted 135 Shelduck on the water, plus 4 Wigeon.


Wader numbers were similar to yesterday with 60 Redshank, 30 Ringed Plover, 13 Turnstone and 35 Knot.



Ringed Plover

In places you do have to tread carefully because the cryptically feathered Turnstones can go unnoticed and fly off before they are spotted. Even their white belly is useful in the snowy terrain.

Knot, Turnstone


There were the usual gulls hanging around for a free meal from the parked cars. There is simply no unfrozen fresh water about now, and I watched a Common Gull scoop up snow as a substitute.

Common Gull

Common Gull

Common Gull

Here's a picture of the Black-headed Gull from yesterday, the new temporary header that I have vowed will stay there until the arctic weather goes elsewhere.

Black-headed Gull

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