Saturday, 1 October 2016

Barry Buddon Waders and others

The camp was open for a change so I embarked on what would be a 4-5 hour walk which proved to be worth the effort made covering the 11 kilometres of my route. The first bird I saw which caught me unawares was a Long-eared Owl which I flushed from it's perch only for it to disappear, as they do. Also on the inland part of the camp were Stonechats, Long-tailed Tits and Common Redpoll.

Once down on the coast there were many waders around but the two highlights were a female Merlin which flew from the camp being chased as it went by a Black-headed Gull, the second was a flypast by a Pomarine Skua. The remaining birds below are the ones I managed an acceptable photo of and as I'll not be back soon I've posted a few of the Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey Plovers which winter in the area.

Bar-tailed Godwit on the Barry Buddon shoreline

Bar-tailed Godwits

Bar-tailed Godwits still showing some of their breeding plumage

Part of a large group of around 160 Bar-tailed Godwits

Grey Plover still with some of it's breeding colours

Grey Plovers showing a variation of moult into their winter plumage

Knot, again with varied moult

Good to see some Common and a few Arctic Terns around

Can you spot the Common Snipe, seen on the small loch at Carnoustie Golf Links

A lonely Mute Swan cygnet calling for company on one of the small ponds at Carnoustie Golf Links

A Wheatear on migration to somewhere warm, at West Links, Arbroath

Turnstone staying for the winter perhaps at West Links, Arbroath. It looked to be feeding in the material around it which is full of seeds, I wonder if it was the seed it was eating, seems unlikely

One of many Meadow Pipits moving south along the coast today, seen at West Links, Arbroath

Pied Wagtail near the play park at West Links, Arbroath

One of the many House Sparrows who seem to make the lobster pots at Arbroath Harbour their home

Water Rail from the Bank of Scotland Hide at Montrose SWT Centre, I was hiding from the rain and eventually gave up when it got misty 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Brünnich's Guillemot - Anstruther Harbour

A Brünnich's Guillemot in a very choppy and and windswept harbour at Anstruther and very mobile as it dived often and sometimes for long periods, never re-appearing where I'd expect it. I didn't get the photos I'd have liked, I was busy holding on to my scope and Olive trying to stop both being blown into the harbour. The Brünnich's Guillemot is an Arctic species found in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Svalbard and winters as far south as Central Norway and is a rare vagrant in the UK so yet another "mega" for Olive!.

Unfortunately this Brunnich's was found dead this morning, 30/9/2016

Brunnichs Guillemot, Anstruther

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Gannets on the beach

A walk from Carnoustie to Elliot along the coast was interesting but not spectacular with the highlight two close encounters with juvenile Gannets. I managed to photograph both without getting close enough to worry them and just long enough to see their undamaged wings. I've found young Gannets before on this stretch at this time of year and they seem to recover and get back out to sea. With the tide getting near to low tide we didn't see anything rare or unusual but most of the waders we'd expect and a flock of Wigeon.

An uninjured, more likely just exhausted juvenile Gannet left high and dry on the beach

A second juvenile Gannet less than a mile from the first

Bar-tailed Godwit stretching while feeding in a shallow pool

Two of three Bar-tails around

Wheatear at Elliot which was one of four seen moving south along the beach, gone for another year...