Sunday, 18 December 2016

The most interesting sighting, or event, of the day concerned a what appears to be a European "silver" Eel found alive, 200 meters or so inland at the north end. The Eel was returned to the sea, quite how it got there is a mystery as it was unharmed, something you wouldn't expect if it was taken as prey. The European Eel can migrate vast distances and live for many years, the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic is thought to be the main spawning ground for the European Eel, from there the young move into estuaries and rivers where they spend most of their life, returning to the sea again to spawn and die. Not an expert in Eels so any further comments or challenges of the identification are welcome.

Dorsal fin just visible starting where it is being held, in Conger Eel the fin starts much further forward, close to the pectoral fins
Swimming away after being released
The Narrows were busy with usual winter suspects. A good gathering of 20 Choughs roamed the island and picked through the seaweed on the Narrows, joined by 70 Starlings and a couple of the six Rock Pipits seen today. A Grey Heron hugged the coastline, presumably hunting in the rook pools, A Merlin dashed by and 109 Grey Seals, 17 Mallards 14 Oystercatchers, 13 Redshanks, 18 Turnstones were also noted close by.

A brief walk through the Wetlands was productive as a Jack Snipe and 12 Snipe burst from the cover of the long grasses. A pair of Chiffchaffs at Nant were new arrivals whilst a Sparrowhawk, two Common Buzzards, two Song Thrushes, four Redwings, two Goldcrests and a Chaffinch were other species noted.......and yes if you were wondering the eight Pink-footed Geese are still present.

1 comment:

  1. We found a dead freshwater Eel in our drinking water well at Copeland Bird Observatory a few years back! It certainly solved the mystery of the strange taste to the water