Saturday, 28 April 2018

Blackcaps, Terns and Whimbrels

More new spring arrivals this week, some photos of birds staying around to nest and others on their way through to breed in higher latitudes. I've added more text to the photos in this post rather than here.

Note, due to the large number of photos this post may take a minute to fully load. Olive complained!!

Male Blackcap feeding and drinking in the Craigmill Burn, viewed from the bridge on the coast road

A serious looking character

Lineet with nesting material in Craigmill Den

A Sandwich Tern in the milky light which varied between glare and darkness

Four of the five Sandwich Terns near Craigmill Burn

One of at least three Stock Doves coming to feeders at the foot of Craigmill Den. Please don't disturb the residents, this photo is from a tree in the den

One of just two Swallows on the beach at Craigmill

A backlit Turnstone with much of the shadow removed in an edit

One of around 30 Turnstones in various stages of moult

This I believe is one of the two (at least) Whimbrels I saw on the beach which I could confirm the ID of from distant shaky photos. There were two many disturbances on the sunny day and each time I sat for long enough for the Whimbrel and Curlews to  come closer another dog, jogger or walker sent them skyward. The beak on this bird is seen at it's actual length in the photo and others I took and I think it looks much smaller than the Curlews as did the two birds in my shaky photos which showed their head and face markings

Willow Warbler in Craigmill Den

Another Willow Warbler, this time at the Lurgies and is one of the pale less colourful variation

Wren also seen from Craigmill Bridge

It's usually late May before I see a Corn Bunting male sitting on the wires but then I'm specifically looking for them. This one was on the road to Boghead and let me get a photo from the car

Eider numbers are building up at the Lurgies with courtship started and calling birds heard from a distance if the wind stops long enough

Greylag pair just upstream from the Slunks, an overlooked bird and it's not their fault if they are escaped or of feral origin

Meadow Pipit near the Shelduck Hide(s), the new one still isn't open

There were at least five pairs of Mute Swans courtship displaying in the Slunks and this was as close to the heart shaped pose I could get. I did get mating photos as well but we don't show that kind of thing here, well unless it's a Peregrine or something really interesting

If you hide in a gorse bush long enough something interesting might happen and in this case an Osprey flew over my head. Unfortunately it arrived from behind me so I only got this shot of it going upstream along the South Esk

Yet another photo of a Fulmar from Auchmithie. I've got to do something while waiting in hope for some Puffins to appear. I haven't seen any there since 26/3/2018

One of two Coot chicks with it's parents at Keptie Pond. Apparently a Mallard had five ducklings in tow on Sunday, two on Monday and none by Thursday, normal for first broods at Keptie. The Coots fair better by keeping their chicks close to cover and feeding them, whereas the Mallards have to venture into the open for the ducklings to feed themselves

Often blamed for the ducklings demise and I've certainly see the Lesser Black-backed Gulls predate them given an un-attentive mother duck

Moorhen at Keptie Pond

A failed photo of a male Redstart, partly due to it being in the shade but mostly as I'd adjusted the exposure for a flight photo ages earlier. Memory like a hen!

Not my fault this time, this Whinchat had cleverly positioned itself with the sun directly behind it and of course the photo came out as a silhouette which has been edited about as far as it can be. Proves that they've arrived though

Skylark, seen a fair bit up one of the lower Angus hills

I'm not sure about these Red-legged Partridges, if they weren't so colourful they they'd be considered by more people as an invasive/introduced species. Another species only here to be shot!

Little Ringed Plover pair. It's not nesting, the male, just sheltering from the wind

Female, brown on the mask and in this case the male is ringed, the female not yet

The ever present Iceland Gull still hanging around Victoria Park, Arbroath. Must leave soon you'd think

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