Sunday, 24 September 2017

Greenshank and the Lesser Yellowlegs still around

Another fearless wader at the Lurgies, this time it was a Greenshank which may be the same one favouring a channel near the path for some time now and is getting a bit gallus. Another failed attempt at a good Lesser Yellowlegs photo and a ringed Norwegian gull.




It was catching very small prey, possibly shrimps or small fish and as the photo shows they were in the deeper water


Lesser Yellowlegs still in a far away channel. It was getting closer as the tide came in but was flushed as a Buzzard flew over and re-appeared even further away


Black-headed Gull J4U3. I first photographed this bird in 2014 and it's returned every year since to the Old Harbour and still limps as it did then. Ringed, Mollendammen, Time, Rogaland, Norway on 29/3/2012.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Red-backed Shrike in Aberdeen

A trip to Girdle Ness in Aberdeen today to see if a reported Red-backed Shrike was still there, it was and a helpful birder put us on it when the info we had wasn't exactly correct. It was near the allotments on Greyhope Road but actually beside a greenkeepers dump on the golf course. A Roseate Tern was seen again in Arbroath and I did see it eventually but also got the Black Tern below as a bonus, no photo of the Roseate though.


Red-backed Shrike juvenile/1st winter on the golf course beside the allotments on Greyhope Road, Aberdeen. (Girdle Ness and Torry Battery road).


Black Tern, again at Inchcape Park, Arbroath and a brief visit as before


Pheasant near Auchmithie on a grim day in drizzle


Herring Gull at Torry Battery


Olive asked me to photograph this Artichoke

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Red-throated Diver, St Cyrus

I've been busy so I had nothing to post other than the Red-throated Diver from St Cyrus last week which wasn't far off the beach as the tide receded. Following on, one of my young Dunnocks and a Marsh Harrier thumbnail from my camera after I'd accidentally deleted the original. All a bit of an anti-climax compared to a Lesser Yellowlegs and an Avocet in the previous post.


Red-throated Diver


Just past the break line but it was aware of people and dogs walking along the beach and soon drifted out to sea


Dunnock which skulks around the protective cage (rabbit run) in my garden with its sibling 


Juvenile Marsh Harrier flying over the north bank reeds at Kinnordy, a 960 pixel thumbnail!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Lesser Yellowlegs and Avocet

An Avocet at Montrose Basin reported early on Sunday morning on the ADBC text by Jonathan Pattullo. The Lesser Yellowlegs was also still at the Lurgies along with the apparently tame Black-tailed Godwit when Olive and I stopped on our way to repair another child's bike! Thanks to a phone call from Ian Kelman who'd refound the Avocet I was able to get a couple of distant record photos.

Slightly better Lesser Yellowlegs video, click here

Ruff at the Lurgies, click here for video


Lesser Yellowlegs video at 260 times (it's grim), click here

Yellow Wagtail at Westhaven, found by Stuart, click here for video

Ruff at Rossie Spit, found by Jon, click here for video


Avocet, seen at Maryton Ditch, Montrose Basin. Another rare bird to add to Olive's list which is imbalanced with more rarities than is normal because she only turns up when there's something worthwhile. Or got dragged along when we were diverted on the way to somewhere else!


Always distant on the edge of the South Esk

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Black Tern Invasion!

Black Terns have appeared at three sites in Angus over the last few days, Arbroath Harbour, Whiting Ness and Lunan Bay. Two have been seen often as the tide rises on the beach and pillars near the sewage pump building between the Signal Tower Museum and Gayfield Park (home of the Mighty Red Lichties).



Black Tern, small when compared to the other terns. Those with patience (not me) should be able to get a decent photo if the birds stay around.


There's another incoming Tern out of shot but the second Black tern had flown southward


Peace returned but seconds later the Black Tern flew off, they don't seem comfortable alongside their boisterous neighbours


At first I thought this pale bird might be a Roseate but it looks like it's probably just a pale Common Tern


Great Skua (Bonxie) at Scurdie Ness, just a bit too far away from me. Another two were reported sitting out to sea





One of three Wheaters between Arbroath Harbour and the paddling pool


One of a gang Great Black-backed Gulls who had spotted a dead fish being uncovered as the tide went out

This young Herring Gull was so tame I reckon I could have patted it on the head


Olive said it was too dark for this photo.....


Mute Swan Cygnet at Keptie Pond involved in some intensive preening



Grey Heron at Keptie Pond feasting on the small Roach



Monday, 4 September 2017

Sparrowhawk dining

It's never a good day for bird watching when it rains but much worse if you are a single Greenfinch or perhaps Goldfinch and you are too busy feeding to see the incoming Sparrowhawk! The photos and video were taken through the double glazing and show an immature/juvenile Sparrowhawk tearing apart its latest victim.

Sparrowhawk feeding, not for the faint hearted, click here for video






Thursday, 31 August 2017

Black Tern, Arbroath

There is a Black Tern currently at Arbroath Harbour today (31/8/2017) found yesterday by Graham. It along with the many other terns can be mobile and even manage to spook themselves. This can mean the Black Tern can suddenly appear or disappear depending on its new landing place, or in my case it flew towards the other terns roosting in front of the Old Brewhouse.

Also below a Kingfisher at the Lurgies and terns, a butterfly and Swallows at Kinnaber on the links and beach where another Osprey flew along and fished on the North Esk estuary pool.





Black Tern juvenile at Inchcape in Arbroath, seen from parking at the sewage pump house between the Signal Tower and Gayfield. (Canon SX60 into the sun)


One of at least three but likely more at the Lurgies. Much brightened up after the photo was taken into the shade. I don't have the patience to sit to get the stunning photos many take!


Feed me!


Aye Ok!


Adult Swallow taking a break from the feeding duties


Willow Warbler, not invisible in a tree for a change but on the path at Kinnaber Links


Red Admiral Butterfly, underwing view


A vast beach and a lonely wee Ringed Plover at Kinnaber


Common Tern juvenile juggling with a large fish


Head first maybe




One of the few unsuccessful dives, they were even dropping fish without retrieving them




Common Tern juvenile




Black-headed Gull


Even the Great Black-backed juveniles can catch fish just now, there's so many of them in the shallows

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Black-tailed Godwit, tame, hungry or just friendly

Occasionally I come across a bird which isn't concerned with humans approaching and on Monday a Black-tailed Godwit at the Old Harbour, Montrose Basin was one of these. Myself and two others stood only 10 metres from the bird as it fed on the mud near the harbour, I'm guessing it was hungry after its migration flight south. Further up the path while stalking the ever distant Little Egret every bird took to flight at the approach of a juvenile Peregrine which kinda ended photography for a while.
Nearby three Kingfishers flew past and a Water Rail could be seen occasionally in the reeds, later an Osprey spooked the waders again.



I'm posting six of the Black-tailed Godwit as I don't expect to get many better photos while the birds are still in breeding plumage














Sunlight bringing out the colour as the Godwit catches yet another lugworm



The Little Egret and all of the gulls and waders took to flight when the Peregrine flew in


Before the panic the Egret had caught a small flounder in its favourite channel



Juvenile Peregrine