Sunday, 23 May 2010

Wknd 22-23 May

Saturday commenced with tetrad in NT47X, covering Bangly/Huntington - concluded on 48 species (11 confirmed breeding), including 3 Peacocks calling (apparently present there for at least 20 yrs, but I'm doubtful of status as "wild" birds). A Grasshopper Warbler was in song from Blakeny Knowe at dawn but no Quail heard.

Later whilst in Dunbar had a look at the Kittiwake colony at the harbour mouth, packed to the brim and noisy, with a great crescendo of noise every time a crow approached the stack. One top left marked with a left white colour ring, "d" for Dunbar, just visible [this bird banded as a chick on 10 July 2004].

Sunday went into Gosford to check on Spotted Flycatcher seen once last year in wood by the saw mill; the only flycatcher there was a female Mallard in the burn, watched feeding continuously on a dense cloud of mosquitos over its head for several minutes [BWP notes "ducklings, and occasionally adults, snatch insects from the air", but this seemed a little more serious], photos below. Did get Spot Fly in Fernyness Wood, a new location for me but perfectly suitable. Struggled for a while with Goldcrests and Treecreepers in search of proof of breeding but they were all unobliging; only success was raising Michael to peep into a crevice in a tree, giving him a great surprise when a Stock Dove flew of its nest hole. One Tawny Owl was heard, perhaps feeling peckish mid-afternoon? Unpacking rucksack after our four-mile trek discovered its remarkable weight had been due to a large stone that the kids had deemed "an interesting rock" on our last excursion!

Out owling later collected a Barnie off A1 by Monksmuir, probably dead at least a month, apparently an adult male; checking my BOMP site found it empty for the first time since I started visiting in 2005, though fresh pellet since my post-hard weather check in Feb suggestive that failure to breed might be due to loss of just one of the pair?

Also came across this Tawny Owl seated on the road at Yellow Craigs above Haddington; seemed to be stunned, and allowed me to pick up and place on wall; one feather out of place and briefly closed eyes while I took photos, apparently sleepy, but then suddenly flew off strongly. Tricky to age, but I don't see anything in the visible flight feathers that suggests juvenile and it made no sound, though this might be the other explanation [postscript - on re-examining I now believe it is a juv, the narrow subterminal bar is apparent on last secondary, moreover large white tip on tail feathers are consistent, cf. the Ibercaja photo guide]. Interesting, a bird on the road at nearly the exact spot previously on 22 February 2009 - perhaps it's a habit of a particular individual [now doubtful]? Have also previously seen Barn Owl sitting in middle of carriageway just outside Longniddry.

No comments:

Post a Comment