Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Mother of Pearl

According to the local news it was 30 years ago when we last witnessed a Mother of Pearl sky. A week past Monday and Tuesday a strange sight looking South East from the garden saw a beautiful sunrise but I should have taken pictures of the pre-dawn sky half an hour earlier as it looked more spectacular than the pic above. I don't know all the science behind these things but you need a combination of weather conditions to see it. There's a good account on Wikipedia and some good images on the internet.
I was at Widdrington tip again yesterday afternoon. The Redpoll flock has halved with only 21 birds comprising of 16 Lessers and 5 Mealies but no paler birds among them. There is a vast area of potential feeding around here and I suspect they will be quite nomadic and difficult to pin down when I'm there. Also here were 2 Jays, 8 Common Snipe and I suspect a possible Water Pipit in the small flash area in the centre of the tip. On Thursday beside the reedbed* I noticed a Pipit like bird on the ground but I could only see a white supercilium and white or very pale double wingbars but as I couldn't see where it went to I just put it to the back of my mind. Walking around the flash yesterday I flushed one of the Snipe and a Pipit flew up with it. I couldn't see any other features as it flew towards the low afternoon sun and the bird went quickly back to the ground but unable to pick it up again. Usually meadow Pipits have an alarm call when flushed or abruptly disturbed but this bird was quiet. I will have a good look next visit.
*The reedbed at the former tip has been slowly expanding over the last decade. There are approximately 70 individual plants. In about 300 years a Bittern or Bearded Tit might turn up here!

1 comment:

JWR said...

We called this morning Nigel, no Pipit, we had 50ish Redpolls and further smaller flocks, I reckon they are, as you say, splitting, moving around the area. Its an excellent spot mind, the last time I was there the tip was still live.