Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Tuesday 10th November

In a light south-southwesterly, mild and overcast, overhead passage was only brief and involved c.160 Woodpigeon that flew south, two Jackdaw, a Rook and a Mistle Thrush.

On and over calm seas, five Common Scoter, four Red-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver; single-figures of Guillemot, Razorbill and Gannet, and a Mediterranean Gull.

The lunchtime mid-range high tide was not enough to cover The Bight and other roost sites on the estuary, particularly under anticyclonic conditions (1023 mb). Incidentally, high tide predications by the UK's Hydrographic Office are based on average barometric pressure, which in the UK ranges from 1011 mb (in the north) to 1016 mb (in the south), so not calculated to 1000 mb. The units of millibars (mb) most commonly used by the Meteological Office is the same as hecto Pascals (hPa) used by UKHO. A change in 10 of either unit roughly equates to a 10 cm change in tide height, but storm surges influenced by wind can greatly exacerbate this. Combinations of low pressure, rain and wind have risen predicted tides locally on occasion by 30 cm, and when coincident with spring tides has resulted in much of the damage to the dunes.

Benign conditions today saw reduced numbers of some selected counts that included 348 Dunlin, 169 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 37 Shelduck, 16 Ringed Plover, 12 Mute Swan, 12 Grey Plover, five Little Egret, four Sanderling, three Red-breasted Merganser, two Grey Heron, two Mallard and the drake Eider. Also a Peregrine over the estuary.

On Main Pond, five Moorhen, three Water Rail, two Shoveler, a Little Grebe and another Mallard.

In the woods, 15 Long-tailed Tit, ten Chiffchaff, single-figures of Blue Tit and Great Tit, four Goldcrest, four Chaffinch, four Siskin, two Bullfinch, two Lesser Redpoll and single Firecrest, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush and a Sparrowhawk. Mixed finch flocks had c.70 Goldfinch, c.40 Greenfinch and c.30 Linnet; and also in the Greenland Lake area, most of the 13 Meadow Pipit, three Cirl Bunting and a Reed Bunting.

Wildlife news: regularly seen these days, two Water Vole were on Main Pond. Four Grey Seal (one offshore and three resting on a barge) was a large count here. As temperatures topped 14°C, single-figures of Buff-tailed Bumblebee, a Red Admiral and a Common Banded Hoverfly Syrphus ribesii were active.

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