Saturday, 24 April 2010

Wknd 24-25 April

Vis at Ferny Ness Saturday morning was unremarkable, though Mipits moving nearly constantly (full counts); 2 Red-necked Grebe remained on sea and a decent gathering of 179+ Long-tailed Ducks; 3 Wheatear (m, 2f) on the turf; best was seeing pr Shelduck flying off inland behind Fernyness Wood, perhaps to feed but latest atlas maps show quite a number of records of inland breeding/prospecting, more than for last atlas. Also Sandwich Tern at last, extremely late (seen here in March before)!

Saturday pm did first TTV of new season in NT47C, gathering 55 species to take square total to 77 (now 16 confirmed, 29 probable breeding). Despite variety, low numbers of many species, e.g. Wren, most interesting being pr Common Sand, pr Stonechat, pr Wheatear, pr Mute Swan at Blindwells, with the only new confirmed breeder being Mallard there with 3 small ducklings. A Fulmar pursued a course high along the coast road, with the hint of heading off inland over Seton Sands caravan park, but then continued past Longniddry; would have been visible from home for a garden tick!

Sunday tried vis off coast east of North Berwick, towards Leckmoram Ness, with a decent passage of hirundines, c. 70/hr, (full counts), but not the hoped for Swift. Also 14 Sandwich Terns mainly NW, 1 Whimbrel, 12 Purple Sand past west but presumed local, White Wag on golf course and 2 Wheatear on shore, and a Hoodie hybrid. Best was coming across a Ringed Plover nest, very scarce on the Lothian coast these days - none at all recorded in 2007 survey, apart from 5 prs at two protected sites, whilst nearly 100 prs nested on coast in 1984 survey. Witnesed the changeover on 4 eggs, at same instant the bird leaving nest seen to have a metal ring on right leg. Fortunately not too many (dog)walkers on this section but their future looks extremely precarious - have contacted ELCRS to see if signs could be arranged.

Things in full swing on the Bass Rock, Isle of May also visible beyond the mist.

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