Saturday, 16 April 2016

Little Gulls on migration north

Monikie Country Park and Rescobie Loch are two of the places Little Gulls stop over on their flight north and can be seen each spring for a few days flying the lanes in the wind while picking insects from the water. These ones below were part of a small group of eight in a strong wind during another of this weeks squalls and the camera even picked up rain drops in some of the distant photos.



Little Gull still in last years distinctive juvenile plumage but with the head plumage of the winter adult


Taking a fly from the surface of the North Pond


I did see some adult birds but never got a photo in the windy and rainy conditions



A 1st winter Herring Gull taken while waiting for Olive to bring back my white pudding supper at Danger Point, Arbroath


A 2nd winter Great Black-backed Gull also at Danger Point. When I was young, albeit a long time ago we didn't get GBB Gulls at Arbroath Harbour unless there was a big storm, now they are present in numbers all year


Female Stonechat at the Lighthouse on Barry Buddon




Thursday, 14 April 2016

Common Sandpiper, Blackcap and a Swallow waiting an expert opinion

My first Common Sandpiper this year and a Blackcap, a bird I usually see in my garden each winter but not this year. The Swallow is very orange/rufous and I've asked if it could be a sub species or just a very macho male.

Addition: It seems possible that the Swallow may be stained with "Sahara dust" but I'll never know if that's the case or could it have been a lost variant.

Photos taken  in a very flat afternoon light but here for my records.


Common Sandpiper at Monikie CP


Male Blackcap in "Liz McColgans garden"


Swallow species





Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Little Ringed Plover and Lapwings - caption needed for one photo

Still very chilly and the wind keeps blowing so another day skulking in hides, today mostly at Murton NR near Forfar. Highlights were a first Little Ringed Plover of the year, Lapwings, Shelducks, a solitary Black-tailed Godwit in breeding plumage, a pair of Shovelers and perhaps sixteen Sand Martins.


Little Ringed Plover (male) first one in 2016 (photo from afar)


One of five Redshanks seen from the Gladstone Hide at Murton


Lapwing, classic photo pose


Courtship display


Getting to know each other with a short dance


All of my captions were too rude, at least that's what Olive said!




Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Wind chill 3 degrees today, only birdwatchers out - not birds

Another cold one so I thought I'd take shelter in the Bank of Scotland Hide at Montrose Basin, that didn't work so I had to go walkabout to heat up.The Dippers are a pair on the Brothock Burn and known and ringed by the local Dipper expert. The Heron was catching sticklebacks with reasonable success on the salt pans at the SWT Centre and the birds on the South Esk at the Basin were very wary in the strong wind as usual.


Mr Dipper


Mrs Dipper, waiting for lunch


Many Wrens around today on the Brothock Burn


A Grey Heron at the point of swallowing a stickleback at Montrose Basin


Red-breasted Mergansers also at Montrose Basin





Monday, 11 April 2016

Winter in April at Forfar Loch

Olive thought it was winter again at Forfar Loch today and I tend to agree as there was a strong wind blowing from the east over the cold North Sea which won't heat up properly till September. Despite our moans we did see our first House Martin and Swallow of the "summer" along with a fishing Osprey which gave up as it probably couldn't see into the wave swept loch. A few others we found around the loch are also below.


House Martin


Sand Martin


Swallow


Treecreeper


Wren


Yellowhammer male which is lacking dark pigment on its tertial feathers and in the dull light today it made it look really yellow to the eye


Tree Sparrow, one of six still visiting my garden daily and today joined by a Chiffchaff for a short visit (no photo unfortunately)


Unidentified micro moth photographed badly on the viewfinder of my DSLR, the viewfinder is 14mm wide making the moth a bit less than 3mm from nose to tail