Friday, 6 January 2017

Gulls near and aboots Arbroath Harbour

Not everyone's cup of tea Gulls, but what they might lack in beauty they make up for in character, longevity, parenting skills and dedication to that task which continues throughout the winter. These photos are from January 5th when there was a quite harsh sun shining and the Stonechat from Kinnaber.

Glaucous Gull seen from the Old Brewhouse area at the mouth of the Brothock Burn which is where the Aberbrothock in our blog's name derives. Various versions and spelling have existed through the years before the current Arbroath.

There are very many Great Black-backed in the Harbour area just now, they are a bird which only used to be seen in poor winter weather when I was a young lad.....a while ago now. Today under the bridge at the boat yard a box of old lobster pot bait had been left it's assumed for the gulls and the GBB Gulls had taken charge of it, perhaps why so many stay around?

A Herring Gull parent with its bairn, they were waiting for a lobster fisherman who had thrown a fish for them to move back a bit and called in many of the gulls around while waiting.

Black-headed Gull on the "dock gates" which control the water level in the inner dock. Changed days now, they are operated with the press on a button. I remember when two large men with metal handles had to wind the gates open and closed and I'd been warned to stay away as someone had been killed by a swinging handle being rotated by the water pressure on the gate. Probably true but often stories at the harbour were invented or embellished to stop the feral kids like me from getting into trouble.

One of two working along the dunes at Kinnaber

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Shag - Arbroath Harbour

No sign when I briefly visited Arbroath Harbour of a reported Glaucous Gull but the Shag below was fishing in the outer harbour along with a Cormorant. I'll continue to keep a look out for the gull but I'm being drawn inland and Olive wants to climb Mount Keen, yeah believe that........

Sunday, 1 January 2017

It's a new day, a new dawn, a new birding year

I avoided the new year rush to get "ticks" and will try this year to find as many birds but by a less frenetic chase. To this end today I went for a walk with Olive, albeit to a place where I might see a rarer bird and it was still there and spotted by her. Yes it's the same Little Egret from a few days ago but since it took 364 days to find an Angus one last year I thought best to get this species out of the way.

Little Egret feeding in a channel on the North Esk estuary at Kinnaber before flying across the river into Aberdeenshire. Photographed from a long way off and I was surprised to get one as good for the distance

Two young Mute Swans also at Kinnaber

Now 35 Tree Sparrows in my garden, the highest count I've ever made and it's costing a fortune in seed, but currently worth it. This one photographed from the car late in the day, I must try and get some photos before I go out when the sun is on part of the garden!

The seed spilled by the Tree Sparrows is also attracting this Wren which is an uncommon visitor to my garden. This photo is through the old rabbit run which acts as a barrier to the Feral Pigeons and Sparrowhawk while still allowing birds up to Blackbird size through the 50 mm chicken wire mesh