Saturday, 5 December 2009

Wknd 5-6 December

Sunday afternoon saw the Whoopers feeding at Fenton Barns (photos above c/o Abbie again!) finally getting a view of legs to confirm 5 ringed, returning PL5 (photo), UH3, J3P, and a new bird P9P. PL5 was ringed at Martin Mere in 2000 and was annual there till 2005 and has been annual in East Lothian since. UH3 ringed Iceland 2001 and has wintered in East Lothian ever since, apart from a visit to Inch Levels in Oct 2002. His mate UF9 was last seen at Fenton Barns on 18/2/07, and has not returned with him for 2nd year running, possibly dead? This is a welcome return of J3P, ringed Iceland Aug 2007 and present with us that winter but not last year. Finally, a right-leg metal ring only, perhaps same as at Samuelston 1 March 2009. Full histories here. Also, an hour after sunset, 25 Mute Swans (8 juvs) back in rape at Amisfield, Haddington.

Earlier, presumed returning RNG off Port Seton harbour (2 there Dec-Mar last 2 winters, also perhaps same 2 in Feb 06 and single Dec 04), wintering f Stonechat at Longniddry c/p3 (but negative on reported Chiff there).

Saturday - negative on Chiff at Longniddry c/p3 in pouring rain late morning, though Stonechat heard. pr Grey Partridge at Dolphingstone was new. At least one vocal Tawny was audible from the car park in Butterdean Wood at dusk, also new for tetrad.

Friday afternoon saw a large gathering in Seton harbour with 400+ large gulls (19 GBB, 1 LBB, 0 white-wings), and the usual Eiders and Cormorants; 11 "Purps" tucked in on harbour wall, catching the last light of the day whilst preparing to roost.

The LBB was a graellsii adult, perhaps same as seen in ploughed field at Hoprig by Gladsmuir on Wednesday, and possibly is Lucy, seen on Seton Burn with another ad LBB late Nov. Some narrow dark markings on head, very pale eye, but a little odd in having pink feet and rather flesh coloured legs:

Final odd gull of the wk this presumed 2nd-win HG in Seton harbour - eye looks rather small and dark for this age. If it's a 1st-win it is remarkably white-headed, though argentatus birds from the east can appear like this (cf. Olsen & Larsson pic 332).

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