Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Migrants trickling through

Still a gentle passage of common migrants through the patch, with some gorgeous Wheatears gracing the newly sown fields, and the odd Willow Warbler and Goldcrest passing through. A personal highlight for me was a Tree Pipit at Little Collieston this evening, unbelievably a patch tick after six years of birding here!

Goldcrests have been occasional visitors to Collieston gardens in the past week
Meanwhile, thirteen Long-tailed Ducks remain on the Ythan Estuary, where the drake King Eider continues to lurk among his commoner cousins.

Sunday, 28 April 2013


The Ring-necked Duck was back today on Meikle, at least briefly, late morning. The 2nd Year Iceland gull continues to appear round local fields , and today was on Meikle as well late afternoon,  A White Wagtail was also there earlier in the day.

The highlight for birders in the region remains the unprecendented numbers of White-billed Divers currently favouring the waters near Portsoy, on the north coast of Aberdeenshire.
A trip out on the MV Gemini Explorer, booked for the purpose yesterday, yielded 13 White-billed Divers as well as 6 Great Northern. On the return just outside Buckie we had a close encounter with a pod of Bottlenose Dolphin just to round things off.
An excuse if nothing else to post some of the pictures here:
Adult, White-billed Diver

Different Adult

Bottlenose Dolphins, near Buckie

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Return of the King

A drake King Eider (re?)appeared on the Ythan Estuary yesterday afternoon, roosting with Eiders on the Forvie side of the river at high water. Hopefully some photos to follow, if he sticks around!

Other bits and pieces from Forvie this week have been Med Gull and Osprey on the river, and a selection of migrants including some lovely Wheatears. A Willow Warbler singing in the garden was a minor highlight as well!

Ring-necked Duck

A drake Ring-necked Duck on Meikle Loch is todays highlight. The first, and of non-hybrid stock for once, in quite some years. Favouring the far side of Meikle this morning and evening, and sticking around with Tufted Ducks. The first notable numbers of waders on the loch this year  as well with at least 15 Redshank making use of the newly exposed edge. Bodes well for the weeks to come. A few more Northern Wheatears to be seen around now as well.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Definitely spring now

A Black-necked Grebe on Meikle yesterday the highlight. Not sure if it was present today.
There were up to two Little Gulls over the weekend there as well.
Goldeneye numbers very healthy with a count in excess of 40.
Obviously hirundines are back in force now and the Sandwich Terns moving of Cransdale. Also there on Sunday a single Great Skua going north at 11.00am.In addition a report of a Manx Shearwater.
This evening a report of a singing Grasshopper warbler at the sandloch(thanks Ruth)...unusual for the village overall so worth a look.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

More migs

Numbers building up of Swallow and Sand Martin at Meikle Loch most mornings this week. 2 Goosander there yesterday as well as a Gt Crested Grebe.
The water level on the loch is looking very good for the spring and it seems to my mind that wildfowl numbers, Teal and Goldeneye especially,  are somewhat higher than most years at this time.

Other migration includes 2 Siskin in the Kirkton of Slains area of Collieston the last few days, a Willow Warbler this morning and a Chiff-chaff 4 days ago along with 3 Redwing.  A few Goldcrests remain.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Migrants in!

Two Sand Martins back at the Whin Hill quarry by the Ythan this morning, with a further 23 at Meikle this evening. First Willow Warbler through the gardens at the top of Collieston. Here we go!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring still to appear mostly

A short seawatch early evening gave a Great Northern Diver going north today, and a few hundred mixed Razorbills and Guilliemots likewise, all spurred on by the freshening SE breeze. Might spur on a migrant or two if we are lucky as well. There was a Goldcrest in the Kirkton area as well as a group of 20 plus Meadow pipits which I guess have to count...

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Spring slowly springing...

Today's highlight for me was a single Goldcrest moving through the gardens of Slains Cottages - my first bona fide passerine migrant on the ground this spring! Further evidence of spring was the presence of four Sandwich Terns at the Forvie ternery - there have been sporadic sightings since 23rd March, of probably passage birds, though today's individuals were more likely Forvie breeders returning for the summer season.

Also added a nice bird to the garden list. Well at least it was seen from the garden...

# "Lesser to the left of me, Herring to the right, here I am, stuck in the field with you..." #
This lovely Iceland Gull was in the freshly harrowed field next to the Sand Loch, before making its way onto the loch itself. A second-winter, it was possibly the long-stayer from Cransdale, but who knows? Splendid garden tick either way!