Wednesday 28 February 2024

Lesser Black-backed Gulls - The Movie

Murton, Forfar Loch, Arbroath, Stannochy, Glenesk and Meikle Loch are some of my recent visits, some successful others not........

Three videos, this time hosted on YouTube where you can select your own settings. First Lesser Black-backed Gulls this year for me.

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Forfar Loch  Herring Gull comparison     Goldeneye displaying, Murton       The hills are alight (near Murton)

Female Tufted Duck trying to look like a female Scaup

Some of over 100 Wigeon on Buddy's Loch and the Wetlands at Murton until an RAF Typhoon flew past low

Some Gorse being burned near Murton

You can tell there wasn't much birdlife to photograph so resorted to scenery

I suggested to a man at Keptie Pond that the Feral Pigeons would eat seed from his hand, only if the Mute Swan doesn't get it first!

Still a few drake Goosanders on the pond

and I think two females

This Heron was near where previous nests have been attempted

Woodpigeons, an underrated success thanks to garden bird feeders (spillages)

One of my so-called arty shots of the Long-tailed Duck below

Still at least 4 in Arbroath harbour

Waiting for the creel fishermen's return, Great Black-backed Gull

Also fed indirectly from the fishermen, Turnstone

My first Buff-tailed Bumblebee of the year, in my garden with around 12 Honey Bees which were unexpected on 26/2/2024

Honey Bee

Lapwing at Stannochy, also Oystercatchers and gulls moving inland

I saw one these two Pink-footed Geese through a hedge to start with and hoped they'd be something more exotic like a White-fronted Goose

Red-legged Partridge, this non-native species is now being imported and released in vast numbers, even on higher ground as a substitute for Red Grouse. You may wonder what all of them eat, probably food that our native species depend on...........

Meikle Loch, Aberdeenshire (near the Ythan Estuary)

Saturday 17 February 2024

Firecrest, Goldcrests (tales of a travelling birder)

There's been a Firecrest at Drumoak for quite some time now and I decided I'd better go and see it before it disappears, which was just what happened with the Shore Lark at Fowlsheugh. It's possible to get good views with binoculars, not so easy with the constant movement, lack of light as the Firecrest and Goldcrests flit around, to get a photo. That said, I've seen a few good photos, so on the right day with light and peace a good photo could be had. No so when a woman arrived, said excuse me, (I thought she wanted to stand alongside) and walked past me and down to where the Firecrest and Goldcrests were feeding.....

Red-throated Diver, Scurdie Ness, click here      Ringed Plover      Sanderling      Dunlin      Redshanks      Wigeon      Bar-tailed Godwits      

Firecrest at Drumoak water treatment works, wary when compared to the Goldcrests also there and rarely more than a metre above the ground

Every now and then the Firecrest and Goldcrests would go through the fence and feed on insects where the waste water is filtered, you can see the rotating pipe dripping water, sometimes they ignored the droplets. This sequence is photographed through the mesh fence!

There were a number of people watching the antics of these crests, and all stayed far enough from the birds. It's likely they'd tolerate someone sitting closer, but better to get a record photo than to disrupt their feeding

Three photos of the same Goldcrest which flew closer to the people, but due to the scrub, trees, and the birds non-stop movements, few got a photo

This Goldcrest was actively chasing others, often with the orange crest raised

Lesser Redpoll, also at Drumoak

Fulmar at Fowlsheugh RSPB, where the Shore Lark appeared to have moved on, after the mist and rain probably made the ploughed field it had been in less appealing

Squabbling but no violence

No auks at Fowlsheugh, just patrolling Great black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls and two Ravens

Wind Turbines on the horizon, seen from Fowlsheugh

Curlew in the mist at Arbroath Cliffs on Thursday

Less misty at Arbroath Harbour where the Great black-backed Gulls "own" the best perches

Redshanks in shelter where they don't get disturbed as the creels are everywhere and difficult to navigate through safely

Some Ringed plover and Dunlins from my February Webs at East Haven

Unlike the Fulmars above, Herring Gulls don't shy away from a fight at this time of the year

Blue Tit at Montreathmont and other birds below

Coal Tit

Great Spotted Woodpecker, the nail is in the tree, not it's head

Long-tailed Tit

Male Siskin

A Red-throated Diver reasonably close in at Scurdie Ness, unfortunately the Black-throated Diver just wouldn't come close enough and stayed around the large green navigation buoy directly out from the lighthouse

A quick look at Arbroath Harbour on Thursday, and I could only see one adult drake Long-tailed Duck. This sequence was taken on 12/2/2024, this photo is of an immature drake, the bill is showing the beginnings of a pink adult bill. Although it was a bright day, it was still cold, and both the duck and I had the same drip on the nose! This photo was nearer dusk

Is this the one that stayed on

It's possible the Common Scoter was still around as it did move into the marina and sit near the west breakwater

A new Eider drake

Do you know what's at the end of a rainbow? It's the letter W

Some of the waders at East Haven, Bar-tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers, they were flushed when someone walked right through their roost. Thanks go to a different walker who carefully circled around them minutes earlier allowing for this photo

Ringed Plover and Redshank

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