Monday, 29 July 2013

Rich shorelines

3 Green Sandpipers spent all today on Meikle at the far edge. Up to 20 Dunlin and 2 Greenshank as well.
A female Marsh Harrier flew through this morning in heavy moult, putting up a good 50 Lapwing.
Over the weekend the Ythan Mouth had 3 Roseate Terns, a Juvenile Black Tern (per CG and PAAB) and steadily increasing Dunlin and Knot numbers.
A Cuckoo flying through the Collieston-Mains of Slains area yesterday was in fact the first I have seen off the reserve for some years.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Wader surge

Up to 30 Dunlin at times at Meikle loch now, with varying counts of other waders. Up to 3 Greenshank, 3 plus Common Sandpipers, 30 plus Lapwing and still the small group of Ringed Plover. All bodes well for the coming weeks.
Caught up with the Wood Warbler and was fortunate enough to get it in the warm evening sun on Friday. Always good to see.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Wood Warbler

This was a lovely surprise while heading into work this morning! It was frequenting gardens in High Town, and was still present early evening. My first one on the patch for nearly five years.
Rosie took this photo in this morning's fog. Watch this space for more photos from Collieston Birder...

Monday, 22 July 2013

Overdue Update

Post holidays time to catch up with the local birds. Plenty of activity down on the estuary now, with wader numbers significantly up including Whimbrel, Golden Plover and higher numbers of Dunlin.
A Little Egret has been appearing in various locations and a Roseate Tern has been the main highlight viewable sometimes at the mouth.
In Collieston a Whinchat was seen at the weekend unusually and also some juvenile Wheatears indicating fairly local breeding. Plenty of other newly fledged birds to be seen and the mown fields are full of activity as a result.
Today, a highlight was a badger seen mid-morning drinking at Meikle Loch, though it disappeared fairly rapidly once spotted. Meikle otherwise has a steadily building flock of Lapwing in attendance and is hosting a Greenshank currently, and at least 2 Common sandpipers as well as 6 Dunlin and a number of Ringer Plovers.
Seawatching from Collieston this afternoon yielded about 10 Arctic Skuas, a couple of Bonxie and 20 plus Manx Shearwater.

Worth mentioning elsewhere in Aberdeenshire the amazing record of a Rock Thrush at Scotston near St Fergus. This 1st year bird has now been in residence for some days and is the 1st mainland record for Scotland.
Juvenile Lapwing

Badger, Meikle Loch

Little Egret, Ythan Estuary

Rock Thrush, near St Fergus, Aberdeenshire

Saturday, 6 July 2013

No frigate birds here

A short seawatch this evening after 8.00pm gave 30 Manx Shearwaters, an Arctic Skua and a probable Pomarine Skua...though this was already well past before I picked it up unfortunately.
Not bad for less than half an hour, but as the title suggests not a patch on Islay and the Ascension Frigatebird seen there yesterday.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Summer lulling

Well overdue a post, but that is just reflective of the relative calm just now. Plenty of breeding birds to look through, though no rarities among them as yet. The edge on Meikle continues to attract a variety of local waders and some days see good gatherings of hirundines.
One unusual sighting from the immediate Collieston patch area was a Mistle Thursh earlier in the week in the Cotehill area. Normally these are seen in spring and Atumn only. Slightly more curious at the weekend was a White Wagtail apparently interacting closely with some juveniles. Maybe not really surprising given the large numbers passing through in the spring.
White Wagtail, Feu farm area

Lapwing, Slains pools

Arctic Tern, Ythan