Friday, 22 December 2017

Snow Goose and Mandarin

An unusual mixture. A dawn trip to Loch of Skene, west of Westhill, Aberdeenshire and as expected the loch was almost completely frozen over with a huge flock of birds, mainly Pink-footed Geese confined to an area of open water in the northwest corner. I don't know this area and didn't venture anywhere that didn't look like public access, consequently I never got close and didn't really want to as the sun came up, they'd mostly fly off without any accidental encouragement from me! I picked out the white morph Snow Goose easily when it circled the loch in a group and it conveniently landed on the edge of the large group but perhaps 500 metres away. I couldn't pick out any other geese species other than two Barnacles.

I didn't stay long at Skene, it was freezing and drove down to Johnston Gardens in Aberdeen to get a quick photo of the drake Mandarin but it was at Walker Dam and hiding under the high bank. A handful of seed brought it out eventually but on the winter solstice the sun would never light the dam.

The remaining photos below the Mandarin are from Montrose Basin, Bank of Scotland Hide and were taken on 20/12/2017 when over a period good views were had of very active Water Rails.

Distant Snow Goose, click here for "HD" Video              Mandarin Drake click here for HD Video

FOUR Little Egrets, click here for HD Video                   Snipe, Bank of Scotland Hide, click here for HD Video

Snow Goose, white morph at the Loch of Skene, very far away

The Walker Dam/Johnston Gardens Mandarin drake

Currently the sun isn't getting high enough to light the dam

Very active Water Rails at the salt pans, Montrose Basin

Swimming often

Even the Snipe were co-operating

The female Kingfisher sitting on her latrine

Little Egret

Four Little Egrets at the Bank of Scotland Hide, SWT Montrose Basin. At the same time another was at Denfind, Monikie

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