Thursday, 12 November 2009


Monday evening, 3700+ Pinks with at least 9 Barnacles gathered in stubble btwn Greendykes and Hopring Mains.

Tuesday morning many of same going over house at dawn but on arrival in A1 layby opposite Greendykes decoys had been set - c. 20 grey geese, Pinks being unrealistic with pale lower necks, but they worked and gunners took out two approaching Pinks in a flock of 200+, sending terror throo the rest which then continued west. I know, I know, if it wasn't for our dear wildfowlers there would be no habitat for most of our wildfowl, but still, I felt for those two after their long trek from Iceland, especially as their necks were broken by the gunner nonchalantly spinning them round one-handed.

Wednesday, more of the same with 1200 Pinks over house early on (while preparing raptors to be dispatched for analysis - Barn Owl from Dolphingstone, Buz from Whitecraig). Amongst the first 600 a yapping could be clearly heard and sure enough a single Barnacle with them. The next bunch of 30-odd birds included another Barnie that even my son (just 3yrs) could pick out naked eye. They settled today west of Greendykes - another atlas tick for Barnacle in NT47G, but how long were they left in peace there I wonder?

Thursday saw c. 1000 Pinks heading beyond Greendykes over Adniston towards New Winton.

Friday took the coast road and 1040 Pinks came inland off the sea including 3 Barnacles, obviously arriving from Aberlady. Belgian-ringed Med Gull green-3LV5 was on the shore again. Also, a LBB at Wrecked Craigs bore a strong resemblence to "Lucy", a presumed female graellsii LBB which has occurred here regularly in winter ever since being a 1st-winter bird 5 years ago; wintering immature LBB are rare in Scotland, but increasing numbers of adults are found. However, even at peak, most LBB on the coast here frequent the sandy shores (and Seton Burn area) whilst Lucy is usually on rocks around the harbour, with LWHG. Would be fascinating to know where she breeds, but presumably somewhere a long way north, perhaps Faroes or Iceland? Below is a photo compilation from previous appearances.

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