Saturday, 8 July 2017

Mediterranean Gull and supporting cast

It must be summer right enough as a Mediterranean Gull has turned up at the West Links in Arbroath in the area near the paddling pool. Needless to say I took a few, many photos so apologies for posting too many. Also some of the other gulls which were around, a couple from Keptie Pond where there had been a first sighting of a Little Grebe and a few from a walk at Scurdie Ness.

Handheld video of Mediterranean Gull, click here,    Two now at the site on 9/7/2017

Mediterranean Gull at West links, settled on the water at high tide for a few minutes before flying to B&Q to roost

Picking flies from the surface of the sea

Stunning red circle around the eye

Under-wing view

Comparison with two Black-headed Gulls

I think this Oystercatcher is the one in the next photo's parent

This young bird had just swum around twenty metres out to sea, not unheard of but reasonably rare to see

2nd summer Common Gull (looked up various photos and gull research)

Adult Common Gull

and again

Just read an article about a questionable cull of these Lesser Black-backed Gulls which are a protected species. It never ceases to amaze and sadden me the attitude that people have for nature

A very blue Carrion Crow lit up in a brief sunny spell at West Links, waiting for some poor child to drop its ice cream cone or chips

Young Coot feeding as the rain started on a gloomy afternoon at Keptie Pond in Arbroath

Tufted duck with ducklings at Keptie Pond in Arbroath. The one on the left looks quite different and I wonder if its parenthood should be questioned or if the duck has somehow adopted a mallard duckling. I'll ask my Keptie correspondent to look out for these

One of a pair of Swallow fledglings being fed by their parents near the Scurdie Ness track

These Sedge Warblers never stay still so I was lucky to get this one in the open for a few seconds

I can't be sure but I think this is one of this years young Whitethroats, it behaved like a young bird

Some of the Gannets flying north at Scurdie Ness but never close in

A pretty messed up Meadow Pipit which was feeding in the wet long grass on the Scurdie Ness track

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Skuas, Dolphins, Butterflies and Plovers

An enforced walking break led to an interesting amble along the beach at Kinnaber Links just north of Montrose with a return along the back of the large dunes resulting in a mixture of birds, butterflies and even dolphins. Good on me for taking Olive and her daughters dog out for the day although the little fella, Alfie (they're all called Alfie) couldn't manage the second trip I had planned to Scurdie Ness.

 Two Arctic Skuas, second summer birds I think heading north along the beach

Ringed Plover chick, one of three who scattered as we walked along near a shingle bank

One of the two adult Ringed Plovers who did the usual distraction display but we let them be and they settled quickly again on what can be a busy beach

Around eight Dolphins went southward about half a mile offshore

Just two of the few photos I was able to get but when just watching they did some spectacular leaps which Olive could even see without binoculars, she forgot them again......

Dark Green Fritillary Butterfly, first I've seen this year so I've over-done the photos posted

The green underside which gives it the name

Meadow Brown Butterfly, pesky grass always in the way and with sun and heat all of butterflies were very active

Ringlet Butterfly

Common Blue Butterfly (not a small blue as I had before, I was thinking one photo ahead and had small stuck in my brain)

Small Heath Butterfly

Not another Osprey you might say, this one though was circling over the Glaxo complex in Montrose and occasionally drifting over the estuary. Seen from the car park at Ferryden and not a place I've seen one before.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

King Eider time again

I was a bit late this year seeking out the regular King Eider drake which spends the summer between the Ythan Estuary and the Blackdog area and had to search along the beach from Murcar to find it. It was a perfect plan though as the American White-winged Scoter seen in 2016 had been reported near Blackdog along with a Surf Scoter drake and after some perseverance, actually a lot, I got all three birds. At the Ythan I did get some Little Tern photos and a later visit when there's more chance of Skuas is on the cards, although the Little Terns may be gone the Sandwich Terns feeding young on the beach make a perfect target for the Skuas.

King Eider walking on the beach, for video click here,

King Eider being flushed by a jogger, for video click here,

King Eider drake which had been flushed into the sea by a jogger so it was extremely far away from my perch on the top of the dunes. (Photo with the Canon SX60 at 104 times zoom)

Just before the jogger event

One of six Little Terns which seemed to only be seen when it was raining or they were on the far bank

I'd waited a long time to get these hence I'm posting all three photos

Arctic Tern, there are many more of these than Little Terns and as the tide went out a couple started feeding close to the old wreck on the beach. If I return I'll plan my trip for when the wind is off the sea as these birds were always shaded as they flew into the westerly wind

I only took this photo of an Eider to test the camera settings and found it had a green ring AU which has been reported to the ringers

It wouldn't be an Ythan trip without Grey Seal photos

I'd be confident that there could have been as many as 1,000 seals on the north shore at high tide. These are only a small portion I could fit in the long lens

Looks like this Herring Gull at Whiting Ness, Arbroath has just noticed the ring. This gull has been seen at the same place for a number of years and is approachable as it's used to people throwing food from their cars. (SX60)

A Stock Dove seen on the wires on the track down to Lunan Bay on Saturday night when I went to see the Surf Scoter there. (SX60)