Had to take my car for its MOT this morning, so whilst waiting for it to fail, I went and walked around the harbour. Kittiwake, Great Crested Grebe, Shag and three Guillemots (all alive today) were the most interesting birds present, but nothing new. However, the light was very pleasant, so I decided to try and take a few pictures for the blog. My aim was to get a few decent pictures of some of the more common species, and not to focus purely on birds. I will then never post pictures of these species again, unless I get a better photo, or a photo showing them doing something weird.

Anyway, I will now post all the bird photos I got at the harbour:

Oooh, it's all arty and offset.

And that’s it. I got so distracted with the Turnstones that I didn’t take any other bird pictures, and these were the two best ones.

After I got bored of Turnstones, I walked down the beach along the side of the harbour wall. The harbour wall is great for showing how different species prefer different levels in the sea, and I took pictures of a few of my favourite organisms:

Acorn Barnacles - Semibalanus balanoides

Common Limpet - Patella vulgata

Rough Periwinkle - Littorina saxatilis

Small Periwinkle - Melarhaphe neritoides

A lot of the wall, as you get lower down the beach, is encrusted with barnacles, and the limpets are pretty obvious amongst them. Rough and Small Periwinkle, however, can be a little more difficult to spot. The best way is to look around the high tide mark. This is the area where Rough Periwinkles tend to hang around, and any significant crack in the wall can be filled with them, as in the picture above. Small Periwinkles, as you might imagine, are even smaller, somewhere between 4mm and 6mm at maximum size. These like it even higher up, basically above the water in the splash zone, but still favour crevices like the Rough Periwinkle. Small Periwinkles only really get wet at spring tides, which is also when they release their planktonic larvae. 

I also saw this broken Rayed-Trough Shell on the beach:

Rayed-Trough Shell - Mactra stultorum

Also seen on the beach was a dead seagull species. Unfortunately, I couldn’t pull its head off, so I will try again soon with some sort of cutting implement, as long as the body remains there.

I went back to see how my car had done and, as expected, it had failed, so I had to walk home. On the way home I saw a Peregrine fly over the cliffs near the castle, a Purple Sandpiper feeding on the rocks, and a small group of Harbour Porpoise swimming by:

Peasholm park is on the way home, so I walked through, noting the absence of the Scaup, as well as the presence of Mungo. I walked past the duck pond bit that feeds into the lake, and heard the distinctive sound of Goldcrests. I spotted them in a nearby tree, and devoted some time to trying to get a picture. Surprisingly, I actually managed it. It isn’t the best picture in the world, but it certainly is reasonable:

A little further along, I noticed a Grey Wagtail feeding in one of the recently drained ponds. Unfortunately it disappeared not long after I saw it, as a cretinous retard let their ugly stupid dog off its lead and ruined everyone’s lives. Other than that, though, it was a pretty decent morning.

Now, did Robert manage to guess yesterday’s mystery bird correctly? No. No he did not. I suspect he didn’t even bother to open his Collins and give it a decent attempt. Ferruginous Duck is what crossed my mind when I first saw it, but the iris is the wrong colour (orange instead of white), it lacks a white undertail, and the head is the wrong shape. In fact, I am pretty sure that this bird is simply an odd female Tufted Duck – a particularly ginger example lacking a tuft, and with that odd white mark on the wing, but a Tufted Duck nonetheless. A similarly plumaged individual can be seen here. So you lose points I’m afraid. So it was a ruse, a trick, some mindless shenanigans. Well my turnstone pictures are better so….