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

Friday 9 February 2024

Sunny Long-tailed Ducks, and Smew still at Forfar Loch

It's winter and sometimes, perhaps more than often it's poor weather. That's when wise people stay at home and do useful things in the house, I'm not keen on housework so I try to get out into any weather breaks I can, but locally, so more from around Arbroath and area in this post.

I did manage to Forfar Loch where the Smew redhead is still favouring the reeds in front of the south bank green shelter. It rarely moves away from the reeds and to have the best chance of seeing it, use a scope from the sailing club or the house on the track at the northwest end.

Common Scoter into the light      Common Scoter with the light      Red Squirrel Forfar Loch

Shovelers, Montrose Basin      Long-tailed drake preening

Common Scoter in Arbroath Harbour, but will it still be there after today's weather which currently is 30pmh east wind, heavy rain and 4 degrees centigrade


Photographed in good light for a change

There were two Long-tailed drakes, one with two females, the other feeding separately

One of the females

A Starling making a mimic call, of what I don't know, it's on a street light at the Lifeboat Shed

I'm waiting history for this Dipper seen on the Brothock, it's coming up for at least 4 years old

The Herring Gulls at Arbroath Harbour are loath to fly away and used to the fishermen, anglers, walkers, and one pair at least, the chip and white pudding stealers. People need to stop feeding them chips, but with five chip shops near the harbour and tourists either directly feeding them or having something stolen, they're not going to stop

I took this photo of the Magpie as three were disturbed by two women walking to towards them and me. I foolishly said to them "the only interesting birds I've seen" with a smile they said, "you mean us don't you" and walked off laughing 

Winter Aconites and Snowdrops at Mains of Dun

Red Squirrel at Forfar Loch where a kind walker has put up a feeder

Curlew at Inchcape in Arbroath

Ringed Plover

A young Moorhen at Keptie Pond where I'd gone to escape the very cold conditions at the coast

Tufted Duck female

Wigeon female

Wigeon drake


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