Sunday, 24 May 2015

Local breeders

Little in the way of fresh arrivals this weekend. The drake Garganey was seen again on Meikle Loch first thing on Friday, though very unobtrusive.
Black-headed Gulls feeding from the surface of the loch were a fine sight on Saturday, as was this preening Sand Martin pictured on a fenceline near Logie Buchan.

Black-headed Gull Meikle Loch 23.5.15

Sand Martin Logie Buchan 23.5.15

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Late weekend update

3 Dotterel graced the spring sown fields leading up to the Collieston crossroads on Friday evening. A drake Garganey then was good to see on Meikle Loch on Saturday. No further reports of either since then. More westerly winds has now slowed the migration in evidence, except for large numbers of hirundines being present at Meikle most evenings just now. Close to a 1000 mixed Swallows, House Martin, Sand Martin, and a handful of Swift were there this evening.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Arrivals continue

The pace of new arrivals dropped over the weekend, but new birds continued to be sighted along with some birds hanging on for a few days. The count on Saturday included 6 Redstarts, 2 Whinchats, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Tree Pipits, 1 Lesser Whitethroat. Today an additional new Redstart (a strikingly bright male-thanks to Ruth and Craig) brought the total up to 7 for the weekend. All these were seen around Collieston and Slains-certainly record counts for spring in the area. Of other more regular migrants Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler are all around in reasonable numbers now.
Up on the north coast White-billed divers continue to be a sight worth seeing off Portsoy, with 7 birds seen on Saturday including those now in full summer plumage. Around 13 Great Northern Divers and 1 Black-throated Diver..thanks to Paul Baxter for sorting the trips with the Gemini Explorer; great for dolphin watching as well.
Of interest a single Corn bunting remains frequenting the garden feeders in High Town and down to Sand Loch -as it has through the winter. It now regularly sings from the middle of the houses favouring the top of a wall. A sorry reminder that once numbers could be counted into triple figures in and around the village at certain times of year.

Blackcap, Kirkton

Corn Bunting, Collieston, Hightown

Lesser Whitethroat, Kirkton, Collieston 9.5.15

Male Pied Flycatcher, Kirkton 9.5.15

Male Redstart, Mains of Slains, 9.5.15

White-billed Diver, off Portsoy, 9.5.15

White-billed Diver , off Portsoy 9.5.15

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Spring falls

A big arrival of spring migrants on the back of easterly winds and torrential rain last night and early doors today in and around the village. Highlights were a "flava" Wagtail (thanks to Sam), a Wood Warbler, 4 or more Pied Flycatchers, 2 Whinchat, multiple Tree Pipits -3 plus, 3 Redstarts, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler and a supporting cast of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap in good numbers. Great spring viewing.
Pictures were hard to get last night in the conditions, but better in the early morning.

View from Hightown before the rain came

Wood Warbler Kirkton, Collieston 5.5.15

Pied Flycatcher 1,  Kirkton

Pied Flycatcher 2, Kirkton

Pied Fly 1 again

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Waders and weird wildfowl

With spring being slow to arrive this year, and indeed a couple of inches of snow falling last weekend, some nice passage waders have been a welcome distraction from the relative lack of passerines. Whimbrel and Curlew are currently passing through in small numbers, and can often be seen and heard high over the village on still evenings. They are also visible on the estuary, feeding on the mussel beds at low tide.

Curly-beaked waders large and small.
Also noteworthy in the wader department are several Ruff, which have somewhat unusually overwintered on the estuary. However, now is the time to enjoy them as they moult into their summer finery.

A black-and white Ruff...

...and a red one.

Finally, following on from my last post, where I mentioned the return of everybody's favourite technicolour duck, here is some photographic evidence to prove it.

The King is back. Long live the King.