Friday, 9 December 2016

Continuing the "white theme", a Stoat called patch

On a miserable day for even just looking for birds I managed to get something worth posting with the photo below when this Stoat in ermine ran down the Lurgies path towards me before disappearing into a hole in the sea wall.


A Stoat not quite all of the way in ermine with the patches around each eye still to go white. I can't imagine why a Stoat at Montrose Basin would turn this early or even at all, and it must have been going through the process for a while now



On arrival home the Leucistic Tree Sparrow had re-appeared in my garden, or had it been there and just not seen. It was almost dark when this photo was taken from my car and at a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second this was the only one without any blur



The Redshank which can almost always be found at the Old Harbour, lucky to get anything let alone read the metal ring! Almost looks sinister or like a flasher!



Even in the gloom, if it's big and moves slowly and many tweaks are done on the PC it's still possible to get something. I look forward to the sun returning



Shine a light - briefly at Lunan Bay

We did get a bit of sunshine on Thursday after a dull start and I managed to get out to Lunan Bay where I saw Long-tailed Ducks, Red-throated Divers, Common and Velvet Scoters, Shags, a large flock of Common Gulls, Sanderlings and Stonechats.


Shine a light on me! The low winter sun lighting up this Sanderling as it fed along the tide line



A smaller bird than you'd first think, especially when you see one fly along the beach at sand level



If the Sanderlings are "the little" then this guy is "the large". A Great Black-backed Gull, a beast of a gull no doubt



One of a pair of Stonechats seen along the dunes to the south of the Lunan. Even in early afternoon the sun is giving the Stonechat an orange glow, an hour later the light gave the gulls a similar hue



This Stonechat again one of a pair was near the hide



Earlier in the day just after sunrise there were a number of Pied Wagtails and Rock Pipits feeding at the beach side of Chalmers night club at West Links, Arbroath. No sign of the Med Gull but the tide was high and it had surely gone looking for breakfast inland.



Monday, 5 December 2016

American Wigeon at Lintrathen and many, many Bramblings

Lintrathen today to try and get a better photo of the American Wigeon, I did but still never got close to it at all so reverted to video but even that was filmed at 104 times zoom! In a field nearby a flock of perhaps 400 small birds were active and when I later analysed the species in photos I found at least 90% in the photo were Bramblings, wow.

American Wigeon video, click here,  



American Wigeon drake with two Eurasian Wigeon for comparison



Bramblings photographed very near to dusk and over-exposed deliberately because the light had gone



Bramblings, always distant



Most of these are Bramblings and this is only part of the huge flock which at this point were flushed by a Merlin


Lintrathen from the new hide

Sunday, 4 December 2016

An odd fellow today, a nearly white Tree Sparrow

A weekend at home with grand-kids so no adventures looking for birds but Olive spotted the Tree Sparrow below on the niger feeder in my garden. The Tree Sparrows had increased to eleven birds this week and now I believe this one makes it fourteen which was last years high. I'm not sure whether the bird is leucistic or just missing a pigment but either way it's a pleasure to see it and we hope it stays around. I've also posted another leucistic bird below, some photos from my hide rota week and a Starling I'd used a settings practice earlier today.

White or Leucistic Tree Sparrow, click here for video,

White Tree Sparrow video two, click here,

Leucistic or pigment affected Tree Sparrow



Seen here with a normal Tree Sparrow









Another Leucistic bird, this time it's an old favourite the Montrose Basin Oystercatcher which I've seen every year for at least four winters



Coal Tit in Montreathmont Forest



Great Tit hiding another Coal Tit



Still Starlings coming to my garden but much more wary than in their breeding season