Thursday, 19 April 2018

Black-necked Grebe and large supporting cast

I recently took a risk that a Black-necked Grebe in Elie Harbour wouldn't leave before I could manage to go down there and on a sunny day, yahoo! Never having been there before I went to what I thought was the most likely place to see it, maybe not close but then I could develop a plan. I hit the jackpot, the Grebe was in front of the Granary building next to the Sailing Club and what I thought at the time close in. It was much closer than I could have expected but not being the biggest of birds it was still a small bird in the middle of the original photos. Yes, photographers are never happy, we're like farmers!

Black-necked Grebe video, click here

At 28cm to 34cm this grebe is not much bigger than a Little Grebe which is 25cm to 29cm. Always a better looking bird though in all plumages

Moving on from the star of this post, here's a Bar-tailed Godwit at the mouth of the Craigmill Burn between Easthaven and Westhaven, one of two being pushed in by the tide.

They didn't stay long after this wave

Also in the Craigmill Burn but upstream in the den was this Grey Wagtail. The strange colour and blur on the left of the shot is a twig of the tree I was hiding behind

One of many and various birds coming to feeders at the house at the bottom of Craigmill Den, a Pied Wagtail. As I was leaving a Stock Dove landed on the pavement and likely to come to the feeders often from a nest nearby

Back on the beach three Purple Sandpipers were feeding on the strand line with a flock of Turnstones, Redshanks and around fifty Sanderlings

You've got to agree this Rook definitely has character. From the rookery at Craigmill and feeding in the adjacent field

One of the Sanderlings which is showing some the it's moult into breeding plumage

Probably the same Sanderling

Turnstone also getting into breeding colours

White Wagtail, at least if I've interpreted the ID guides correctly. One of two seen on the beach at Craigmill. The male Pied further up this post is for comparison

Shows the pale grey rump which would be much darker in a Pied

Kestrel seen hunting near to the caravan park at Shell Bay, Elie

Skylark, also at Shell Bay

First of the season Swallow at Craigmill

The very promiscuous female Dunnock in my garden shrub cuttings which I may now have to leave alone if it turns out she's nesting in it

Olive spent all winter trying to lure in Goldfinches with niger seed and now they've arrived when it got warm. She lured me in with offer of Doctor Tennents Amber Elixir

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