Saturday, 12 March 2011

Wknd 12-13 March

Late afternoon Saturday saw 20 Whoopers (1 juv) resting on sea in Gosford Bay; whooping started and they flew at 17:25hrs, passing Longniddry c/p 2 in a single line; no darvics were apparent, at least on left legs! Proceeded SW along coast towards Cockenzie powerstation. After Lesser Blackback, the second species seen on active migration this spring - numbers in East Lothian plummet every March but I rarely catch them in motion; will find out on WeBS tmrw how many remain locally.

Sunday update - at noon a flock of 37 Whoopers at Ballencrieff (6 juv, no darvics in 34 standing), in cereal (first seen here, though once previously nearby at Mungoswells; hard to say on origins, as had gone at 13:15hrs and no sign in scanning from Garleton, just possibly genuine migrants); still 146+ at Muirton and 4 at Waughton.

[Postscript - further evidence of passage with news from Mike of 30+ over his house in Penicuik on Sunday evening, then a sighting of 23 on Blindwells by George on Monday afternoon; also 3 past Coates on Saturday!]

Sunday evening, a nice full summer Med Gull on the Seton shore (unringed); stalked to get a shot and was mystified by an insistent and distinctive "yow" call amongst the noise of calls until throo scope I saw it was the Med; called loudly until it took flight, then continued in flight, a new experience for me. Also a very white-backed leucistic BHG on the sea. Presumed same Med again on shore on Monday.

Nothing to do with Lothian I found this interesting blog for Midway Atoll in the Pacific which documents the impact of the Japanese tsunami on the breeding albatrosses; amongst them "Wisdom", a ringed Laysan Albatross of age 60+ yrs, has apparently survived with her chick.

More local, another blog post worth noting is this recent pic of one of the remaining Night Herons at the zoo. All the information we have points to this being a chick banded in 1987 or earlier, thus approaching at least 24 years old, far exceeding known longevity records for this species (17 yrs - Europe, 21 yrs - North America).

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