Saturday, 26 April 2014

The haar wrecks some birds

After 5 days of the haar, with brief respites, there was bound to be some spring visitors grounded. Over the last few days there has been 3 different Lesser Whitethroats, Brambling, a small number of Willow Warblers and Chiff-Chaffs and yesterday a Ring Ouzel at the Sandloch. Two dapper Little Gulls at the Slains pools first thing were good to watch ranging over the misty fields.
Today as the fog lifted mid afternoon there was a flurry of activity with a new Lesser Whitethroat, Black Redstart and best of all a Hawfinch ranging around the feeders in Hightown (thanks Meg for this).
Where's my sky gone? Fogbound Skylark

Little Gulls, Slains Pools 

Lesser Whitethroat

Hawfinch, Collieston 26.4.14

Hawfinch, Collieston 26.4.14

Monday, 21 April 2014

Spring Colours

Some light easterly winds the last few days resulted in some more migrants appearing locally. These included 2 Lesser Whitethroats in the Kirkton area, as well as a handful of Wheatear and a few Swallows on the move.  There is an adult Little Gull on Meikle Loch currently, which apparently has been present for some days. Wildfowl include 2 pairs of Gadwall on Meikle, and at least 3 pairs of Pintail on the upper Ythan. Aside from this the bright conditions today meant good viewing of some of the other local birds, including Yellowhammers and Reed Bunting in striking summer plumage dotted around the village.
Finally keep your eyes open for the two Raven patrolling the village occasionally
Male Yellowhammer

Lesser Whitethroat

The second bird...

Meadow Pipit

Male Reed Bunting

Ravens have also been reported in the reserve apparently. This is a relatively unusual occurrence for the Collieston area.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Here they come again!

Here at the breezy end of the village, we've logged a small selection of spring arrivals in the same vein as Collieston Birder's recent exploits - Chifchaffs and Goldcrests seem to be the order of the day, with one of the former in the garden yesterday (nice). In addition, a lone Sand Martin was busily forging its way north over Forvie this morning, with at least six Sandwich Terns at the ternery nearby.

On Sand Loch this week, the long-staying female Scaup was joined for a while by a handsome drake, the first one (in adult plumage at least) that I've recorded here.

Hopefully things will gather pace on the migrant front from now onwards...

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

And the Spring comes slowly up this way.

The more clement conditions have brought a gradual taste of spring. A number of pairs of Yellowhammer have taken up territories around the village, and their singing can be heard everywhere just now. There was also a Corn Bunting singing at Kirkton at the weekend , which was a reminder of times past.Over the weekend likewise the easterly winds brought in 2 or 3 Chiff-chaff, and there were also a small number of  Goldcrests to be seen. On the lochs intermittently over the last few weeks there have been both Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser though none hanging around for long. A pair of Gadwall are back on Meikle Loch as well.
Best bird of the weekend was a female type Black Redstart in the Kirkton area as well, and last seen Monday in the churchyard.