Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Wk 18-22 October

Med Gulls in Seton roost - ad + 2nd-win (above) on shore before sunset on Monday, at sunset on Tuesday, and 3 adults out in roost on Long Craigs rocks 45 mins after sunset on Wednesday (amongst c. 4250 gulls).

NB - all of these are very much minimum counts, this time of year there are often too many birds to properly scan them all and even on the last count with most birds arrived a few were still arriving from 18:30hrs onwards; was surprised I could distinguish any Meds at all in the gloom but once you get one they are usually unmistakable. More observers would be good, last saw birders at this site over a year ago when the "yellow-legged" Gull drew a few out one night (and failed to show). This visit also accompanied by the curious sounds of 2+ Snipe calling to each other continuously out on the rocky shore, and the melodious conversation of Golden and Ringed Plovers. Immediately beforehand at Eskside in Musselburgh one female Pintail on the river, and early morning 22 Fieldfare SW along the coast road (with reports on vismig of many thousands pouring over some sites in the Pennines - trektellen overview).

At least 5 Med Gulls (4+ ads and the 2nd-win) on rocky shore by Long Craigs at dusk on Thursday - image shows 3 adults within 100 birds in west of roost; 4th adult was further east, and the 2nd-win seen well in flight over. This equals my previous best count at the site on 13 November 2006 but that included 2x 1st-win, this is the most adults together; 5 adults were present at Buckhaven in Fife 13-16 August 2009, the only other report of 5 I'm aware of being at Eastfield on 26 March this year (no info on this but one adult in four there same day).

Only 2 adult Med Gulls found on Friday, but roost patchy and spread along shore from Wrecked Craigs (Seton prom) to opposite the caravan park, more than a kilometre.

20 Fieldfare again over SW at Cockenzie and Prestonpans on Thursday morning, 15 SW over Liberton school on Friday evening.

Also this week, ringing info on Sandwich Tern photographed by Abbie on Longniddry beach on 4/10 (right front in pic); this was one of 200 individually colour-ringed by Grampian Ringing Group (left leg white ring with black letter reading down, commencing E) on the Ythan Estuary this autumn (12/9 for this bird, EVD). Perhaps a bit late for seeing any more here now (3 others reported from Normandy around same date) but worth looking out for more of these in future. Reading the rings will be fun, quite a challenge on this image!

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