Collieston Past Notable Records

What follows is a sample of some of the more unusual records that the Collieston area has hosted over the last decade or so:

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
(photo Paul Baxter)
On the 13th September 2000 the area behind the shop hosted the first mainland Scottish record of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. Though at time elusive, its tail dipping and relentless "tak" were two of the major clues to its identity.Subsequently caught and rung, as the picture shows.

In 2003, the gully that seems to funnel many migrants through it-the backroad that leads out of the village north towards Mains of Slains-yielded the second Pied Wheatear within half a mile of the previous record found 4 years previously in the Slains area. This bird was found on the 23rd October on a recently manured field, and it stayed until the 28th. It proved to be very confiding.
1st Year male Pied Wheatear
 Spring 2005 brought a first Subalpine Warbler to the immediate area. A female, it frequented a very small patch of bushes on Feu farm and didn't stay for long. Since then there has been a second record nearby on the north end of the Forvie reserve. The photo shows a similar bird photographed in Spring 2012 on Shetland.
Subalpine Warbler
2006 paid host to a couple of notable birds on the "patch": a Lesser Yellowlegs re-located to Meikle Loch from Strathbeg and stayed for 10 days in September, whilst later in October a female Desert Wheatear appeared for one late afternoon, early evening on fields at Feu farm.
The pictures here shows the photogenic overwintering bird at Rattray Head  winter 2012/13.

Desert Wheatear
Bewicks Swan, Cotehill, Collieston
 Actually a very rare bird for North-east Scotland, this one was in the Cotehill and Crossroads area with Whooper swans in early spring 2008.  
June 2010 brought Meikle Loch a Caspian Tern, briefly flying over in the morning, it predictably ended up at Loch of Strathbeg later in the day.

Caspian Tern, June 2010, Meikle Loch
In September 2010 the fields just south of this area hosted a Buff-Breasted Sandpiper. This was keeping company with about 40 Golden Plover, and was often extremely difficult to see as it favoured the top of the sloped fields.There have been a number of other records of this fairly regular, in Scottish terms, North American wader in the area. Including at Cotehill, Meikle Loch and the Collieston Crossroads area.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper

 Dotterel are scarce visitors, though increasing in frequency in the last few years. This trip were once again at the Collieston Crossroads in spring 2011. 
Common Cranes put in an occasional appearance in the early and later Spring. These two were seen on and off favouring the Collieston Crossroads area in 2012.
Common Cranes, Collieston Crossroads

 Autumn 2012 brought record numbers of Pectoral Sandpipers into the country, Slains hosted 3 together favouring the same , tiny, pool.

Pectoral Sandpiper, Feu September 2012

Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler

A Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler graced the back road plantation in late September, 2012. The first
for North-east Scotland and the first mainland Scottish record. This follows a Lanceolated Warbler in 2010 which was found in the churchyard in October.
To continue the recent Siberian theme, a Brown Shrike was found in the gully down to Cransdale Head on the 28th September 2013 and frequented the Kirkton area until the 29th September.

1st yr Brown Shrike, Collieston Sep 2013. Photos Harry Scott


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