Sunday, 27 June 2010

Wknd 26-27 June

Overdue WeBS from last wknd found 3 cygnets at Drem Pools together with one stripey Little Grebe (new breeding record) and 2 fluffball Moorhens. Mutes had failed, yet again, at East Fortune but family of 3 juv Herons there, perhaps fledged from Balgone? At Knowes all three hirundine species were in the air, with Swifts too, I can't recall seeing this full set before but I guess it happens at Musselburgh.

On Aberlady mud flats 4 discrete families of Shelduck, largest group having 17 identically sized smallish young attended by a single pair of adults. This species lays typically 8-10 eggs so this may be an instance of two females having laid in same nest, apparent quite common (BWP mentions 35 instances of two or more from Kent studies, max 32 eggs in one nest, v 95 single female clutches). From Aberdeenshire studies is also the salutary statistic: 65% survived to day 12, 43% to day 18, 37% to day 25, 29% to day 33, 25% to day 43, 24% to day 50 and fledging. These looked to be less than a week old so on average only 4 will make it, perhaps less with only 2 active parents guarding.

A rare visit into Borders on Sunday, non-birding but noted in Eyemouth: one medium-sized bat flying over the river bank just upstream of the harbour at 12:20hrs; Mute Swans on nest there - mainly reeds but with a few bits of plastic bags etc for decoration; also one Curlew arriving in-off the North Sea from well offshore, presumably part of the current Curlew movement now underway post-breeding (see vismig yahoogroup).

Finally back in Longniddry, 35 Swift feeding over Fernyness Wood mid-evening; these I presume mainly non-breeders as we have only a handful regularly, the curious thing being I am yet to see the "residents" enter a possible nest; every year we have 2-8 daily and they regularly scream past low over the road just west of us, which is what they do past occupied nests at colonies, but the more I look the less I see them entering anywhere!

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