Sunday, 12 September 2010

Wknd 11-12 September

The wknd dawned fine and I knew the impressive mid-week falls would all have gone, nevertheless headed for Seacliff to have a wee look and check for skua passage into Forth. On arriving a Swift was drifting over the top wood where 50+ House Martins were assembled. The north den (above) is one of my favourite spots in Lothian, with beautiful habitat and thick with flying insects today (below); it is also a place I have repeatedly failed to find any evidence of grounded migrants, despite its apparently excellent location right on the corner, opposite the Isle of May and Fife Ness (which had held, for example, 40 Restart and 44 Pied Flys, respectively, mid week!). This Spot Fly (in dead tree, left) was therefore a welcome "first", perhaps a remnant of a larger gathering?

3 hrs watching the sea remarkably produced zero for skuas, full count. Nevertheless, the scene was spectacular, with the sea awash with Gannets; with good visibility Fife can seem remarkably close (Anstruther visible here, 11 miles distant), and individual Herring Gulls can be discerned on roofs, plus Gannets moving along coast, so how do so many skuas creep into the Forth unnoticed?

En route Aberlady held a hunting ad m Peregrine and the view out over Gosford Bay was atmospheric.

Sunday tried vismig at Ferny Ness, with very low expectation of any significant passerine movement despite promising conditions, but aware guys would be counting in Fife and Angus. True to form, just a handful of Mips (full counts), whilst Chris at Elie Ness had a great movement of them plus hirundines. If they cross at all their arrival must be very diffuse. But effort made worthwhile in seeing a f/imm Merlin coming over the Forth from well out, another "first". 2 Meds on Longniddry shore more expected, but included a very white-headed and beautiful adult, and a 2nd-winter. A different adult with dark mask had been on Seton Burn again on Thursday, also a Bonxie E past Seton harbour Friday (one hour count).

Evening the kids found a moribund immature Shag at Port Seton Wrecked Craigs, it followed them up beach but seems in poor way; they came to inform me having noted its ring (BTO 1452543) and though most have darvics it will be Forth Islands/Isle of May. Brought it home, though it had expired mid evening.

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