Thursday, 1 July 2010

Bird surveys 1 July

Finally free to complete outstanding surveys headed out at dawn on Thursday to do BBS at Whitekirk and last tetrad visit in NT58 (at Waughton, NT58Q). Unfortunately coincided with a sudden change in the weather, after weeks of glorious sunshine with me mainly stuck at a computer, but rain eased off after a while.

Described the BBS square here on "early" visit; today's was a good one with breeding confirmed for Wheatear, a regular on the early BBS visits with migrants on the short turf of the golf course above Whitekirk. Today bumped into an adult male fleeing into a gorse patch near top of course and round the other side of same patch sure enough a fairly fresh juv down on the ground; not a common breeding species in "lowland" East Lothian, the only other pair I know being at Abbie's traditional site in a stone wall on Bangly Brae. Also a Quail calling in barley btwn A198 and Peffer Burn SW of New Mains was only second record for the BBS, after one calling on higher ground of golf course 19/6/05. Otherwise fairly typical numbers, Yellowhammers putting a good showing with 10 males in c. 1km on golf course.

The Waughton tetrad is not very exciting but holds the isolated Waughton resr with plenty bankside vegetation - new to me here was breeding Tufted Duck (9 small ducklings) and Coots carrying nest material. A Sedge Warbler was also in residence. Family party of Great Spotted Woodpeckers around dead trees in Stonelaws shelter belt probably a second family for the tetrad. Viper's bugloss, Echium vulgare, growing in crop right. Finished on 21 confirmed and 55 species.

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