Saturday, 17 January 2015

River sprites

Good numbers Wigeon and Teal on Meikle Loch today with a resumed freeze forcing birds off the smaller local pools.Among other species were 2 drake Pintail and a single Scaup. Meanwhile various roving flocks of Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch and Reed Bunting can be seen on field margins. The total Tree Sparrow count today on the patch was at least 80.There are also still around 500 Pink-footed Geese staying locally to the Collieston and Slains area during the daytime, though with the local shooting they were more scattered today. Up to 3 Greenshank can be seen at the Sanub on the Ythan just now.

Further afield the 1st year drake Harlequin Duck is worth a look in Seaton Park, on the Don. It showed very closely today late afternoon, so despite the fading light the photos still reflect the birds character well.

Little Grebe, River Don 17.1.15

Long-tailed Duck, Ythan 17.1.15

Harlequin Duck, Seaton Park, 17.1.15

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Well overdue an update.

Drake American Wigeon, Meikle Loch 13.12.14

The year signed off with a small flourish with a dapper Drake American Wigeon for a week or so (from 13th Dec) at Meikle Loch initially and a week later in the Slains area. Not seen since that later sighting I believe. ID (hybrids always a problem) confirmed with good views plumage features  including white auxillaries and the bill pattern was pure American.
Some weeks before this there was a very late Whinchat (again) at Meikle from the 16th November, with it still present till the 7th December though the first real cold snap seems to have moved it on.

On Slain Pools
Sam and Rosie's Bean Geese were still present until just before Christmas, with one reported today.

Today otherwise saw less of immediate interest on the patch, though a fine sight on Meikle with most of it frozen ,under blue skies,  and groups of wildfowl trying to ice skate intermittently.

Further afield  in the region I see a Harlequin has been found in Seaton park, Aberdeen, though news did not emerge until after dark today. Hopefully still present in the days to come as this is the first record for North-east Scotland.
Whooper Swans 24.12.14
Whinchat, Meikle Loch Dec 2014
14 Bean Geese, nr Collieston
Meikle Loch 4.1.15