Sunday, 18 April 2010

Wknd 17-18 April

Friday found the above Redshanks and sleeping Eider sheltering at Wrecked Craigs, Port Seton.

Vismig over Gosford Bay on Saturday afternoon produced 3 each of Swallow and Sand Martin, all low west well offshore into strong west wind, full count. A male Wheatear on the turf at Ferny Ness was my belated first of the spring.

Sunday was WeBS incorporating Mute Swan spring census, starting well with one in flight right over the house! Total 38 Mutes found around northern East Lothian sites, but only moult flocks were those continuing at Ballencrieff Mains (7), JMCP (6) and Amisfield by Haddington (13); Whoopers located at Waughton (seemed to have a limp) and 3 at New Mains, Whitekirk. Mutes on nests at Drem pools and East Fortune, the former a massive job as per pic.

Passing Redside (16:30hrs) pulled up on Whitekirk road to scope the pool (my former WeBS site, now covered by Mark) and noticed a small flock of presumed Greylags on hillside behind. Rather distant at about 850m N but amongst them there seemed to be an orange-legged bird; a few of these feral Greylags do have orange legs, and other possibilities seemed unreasonable, so I was about to go on when I thought, no I'd better check them out; got round to the cottages and scoped flock at 100m in adjacent field and lo and behold there was the same tundra Bean Goose which had been at Tyninghame on 3 & 5 April, now with 4 lingering Pinks and 10 Greylag. Nice to see it much closer though they all flew off onto the pond after a couple of minutes, and given the large "Private Gardens" sign we continued our journey.

Also on WeBS ponds, 7 Snipe Drem Pools, 2 small race Canadas (Taverner's?) remaining at East Fenton, pr Shoveler East Fenton and Chapel, with 6 White Wags at former (below), 3 Wheatear at Brownrigg with Lapwings still displaying there, pr Partridge at usual places East Fenton & Chapel and 21 Tree Sparrow at latter; double figures hirundines at Muir Park resr by Aberlady, East Fenton and Blindwells, mainly Swallows but also a few Sand Martins and single House Martins at first and last; singing Willow Warblers East Fenton and East Fortune; finally 3 Goosander on Tyne at Amisfield.

Finally, got return on last female Barn Owl recovered from A1 at Macmerry (link with pics) - confirming this one was not in quite such good condition, only 4/5 body score and generally empty apart from a very fresh Wood Mouse; an adult female which has previously bred (uterus postgravida), but we will never know where.

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