Saturday, 9 July 2016

House Martins and their nests and weird Scoter

The good news is my House Martins in the nests in my survey have fledged broods in four of the five nests and I'm waiting for the fifth soon. I hope they'll return for second broods but I've got to say it looks like hard work feeding the chicks as they grow larger. Also a strange Scoter and a Kestrel which is becoming a rarer sight, some say the increase in Buzzards are driving them out of their territories

House Martin chick in an artificial nest at St Cyrus National Nature Reserve

Surely not difficult to build and if you can't why not buy and install a few, they'll attract House Martins and they'll even start to build their own nests when the artificial ones are in use. I know they make a bit of a mess and you can take measures to stop them nesting above doors before they arrive in spring

Thought to be a hybrid between a Common Scoter and a Black Scoter, this bird is currently at Murcar/Blackdog north of Aberdeen. An SOC article discusses its origin but I haven't been able to see a copy yet. A crop from a video taken at extreme distance

Kestrel at St Cyrus, one of a few places where they remain as constant breeders

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Cuckoo and Corn Bunting

I did a Corn Bunting survey this morning which took a full 4 hours and covered 12 km of cereal field margins which were all wet! My reward was sightings of a juvenile Cuckoo, juvenile Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 12 Corn Buntings and a possible Yellow Wagtail but I'll never know for sure if it was. Other birds were Whitethroat, Stock Dove, Reed Buntings, Yellowhammers and at Auchmithie 6 Puffins. All but the last two photos taken with my SX60.

Juvenile Cuckoo, near Auchmithie, click here for video

Corn Bunting, click here for video

Juvenile Cuckoo

Juvenile Wheatear

Singing male Corn Bunting

Another Corn Bunting in different light once the sun has risen in the sky

Skylark, fledged young seen in three places

Meadow Pipit, actually at Scurdie Ness but many seen on the survey including fledged young

Gannet at Scurdie Ness before it started raining

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Whitethroats and Whimbrels and others....

Still quiet at Montrose Basin but a Whimbrel and Whitethroat cheered me up.

Also a catch up of video clips from recent trips.

Whimbrel at Maryton Ditch, Montrose Basin, click here for video

One of my House Martin survey nests, click here for video

100 seconds of seals, Ythan Estuary, click here for video

Whitethroat adult letting me know I'm close to its fledged brood

The first Whimbrel I've seen returning, the last going north were on 10/5/2016. SX60 at 85 times zoom

House Martins, all five nests in my survey were thought to be in trouble when we had a prolonged spell of bad weather, now all have chicks

A very red looking Blackbird chick, apparently the only one surviving or fledged by one of the pairs around my garden