Wednesday, 20 January 2016

We're still here... honest!

Well, this is embarrassing, innit? Haven't posted anything on here for many's the long age. Thought it was about time I confirmed that Rosie and I are still wielding the binoculars on the patch, and supplemented the New Year update provided by Collieston Birder.

Stormy is an understatement for what we've endured this winter. Little Auks were a constant feature from 2nd January until the weather settled, with several storm-driven birds appearing in the roads and gardens of the village. Precious little else was moving save for Kittiwakes and a few Gannets, but we did see a Bonxie fighting its way north on 4th. An immature Iceland Gull briefly dropped in at Cransdale on the same day.

Poor little auks!
Bonxie, viewed through a Force 9 and sideways rain
On more settled days there has been a decent showing of Short-eared Owls on the patch, with two together at the Forvie Centre and several singles dotted around elsewhere.

And again.
On the estuary, three Scaup have been present for a few days, with another (perhaps the 'usual' wintering bird?) on the Sand Loch until it was frozen off earlier this week. A couple of Pintail there were also noteworthy last week, but they too were moved on by the ice.

L-R: Scaup, Scaup and Scaup.

Am hoping this cold snap may produce a nice Ross's Gull or similar... wishful thinking, maybe, but watch this space!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happy New Year!

2016 has brought a storm lasting some days. With it Little Auks have started streaming past with nearly 400 seen in less than 90 minutes watching today. Yesterday one was taken into care by Craig and Ruth by the Sand Loch.  Longer counts were difficult in the atrocious conditions. Otherwise most notable around Collieston was a drake Goosander frequenting Cotehill on New Years day and a Raven in the Kirkton area the same day.
Today there was a Little Gull mid afternoon infant of Waulkmill Hide and a Gannet unusually in the same area.

Little Auks, Cransdale

Little Auk, photo Ruth and Craig Leuchars