Saturday, 31 July 2010

Wknd 31 July-1 August

Sunday afternoon - 3 Crossbills SW over house in Longniddry. At dusk, one ad-win Med Gull (unringed) on shore west of Ferny Ness (right, in front of juv Curlew), took flight towards Gosford Sands giving a nice fly-past. 23:12hrs in the evening a Whimbrel calling SW over the house. At 00:18hrs, 6 single "kvik" calls heard from bird moving SW over, a distinctive fairly soft/mellow/"muted" call but as it receded almost with a ringing quality and vaguely reminiscent of a Teal or the sound from gentle push on a child's squeaky toy - exact match to Black-tailed Godwit flight call!

On Satuday went to Gullane Bents on last day of atlas recording to search for breeding evidence - 13 additions to confirmed breeding including Lesser Whitethroat (FL), Pied Wag (FF), Wren (FL, small), Willow Warbler (FL), Dunnock (FF), Song Thrush (FF), Crow (UN/FL) and a family of Bullfinches. A Grasshopper Warbler was still in song at the same spot above the carpark as I'd last heard it in late April. More surprising was a Redpoll in song over the King's Chair, surely it has not been there all season?

The family of Lesser Whitethroat were also in same area where pair sighted in late April, easy to locate with their continuous sharp "tack" calls. This seems to be the first breeding confirmation for the whole of Lothian and Borders. A Greenfinch family was also a new breeding confirm for NT48, though as with Bullfinch can't be sure of tetrad, but taking overall confirmed for the 10-km to 51. Thus, all land tetrads in NT47 & NT48 now have 10+ confirmed, and average for all four Forth coast 10-km squares btwn Musselburgh and North Berwick is now 18 confirmed, summary graphs.

En route back, a nice Greenshank on Aberlady salt marsh just downstream of footbridge.

At dusk, 2 ad-win Med Gulls were by the Seton Burn, including red-7P8, aka "Cherry Blossom", her 7th return, now aged 9+ yrs, earlier than last year though I don't usually start checking very early. Other bird unringed.

This resighting is put firmly into perspective in a report today by one of the Med Gull colour-ring co-ordinators (Renaud Flamant) that he has read 1229 colour and 7 metal rings from 9 countries in 4 days in France, including 398 different colour rings and 4 metal rings on 27 July!

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