Sunday, 28 October 2012

Autumn Update...Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler the headline

Intermittent easterlies through the latter part of the Autumn have resulted in a number of notable records: 1 or almost certainly 2 Little Buntings(this is the first definitive record for the village) from the 26th September onwards, a number of Yellow-browed Warblers have been in and around the village, a Hawfinch at Cotehill for 3 days, a Reed Warbler, Lapland Buntings, a handful of Lesser Whitethroats and good numbers of commoner migrants. A number of Coal Tits have been frequenting gardens in the village, they are actually relatively unusual for Collieston village itself.

Of cetacean interest was a probable Sowerby's beaked whale that was watched by one observer going slowly north on the 17th October, this poorly known species was the first of the beaked whales to be discovered, after one stranded in the Moray Firth in 1800(ref:  Carwardine, 1995)

Pick of the bunch though has been certainly the 1st mainland Scottish record of Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler on 26.9.12. This bird showed for one afternoon and early evening in the larger of the back road plantations. An unforgettable experience with YB Warbler calling in the background and a Little Bunting flying through as well at one point.
It attracted quite a crowd for the NE and performed at very close range for a number of hours.
It was unworn and hence showed the characteristic features very well, including the pale tertial and white tail tips. A great find by one of our local birders and a visitor brought in by the first sighting of Little Bunting earlier in the day.

Poor shots showing the Pallas's Gropper:

Lesser Whitethroat:

The almost inevitable (in October) Goldcrest:

More recent reports include small groups of Crossbill flying over and  a few Great Northern divers passing on the sea.