Saturday, 17 September 2011

Wknd 17-18 September

WeBS Saturday: various geese evident, c. 2080 Pinks in stubble at Drem, 90 moult migrant Canada Geese at East Fenton included one dark individual (could it be Dusky Canada Goose (occidentalis), or Richardson's?), another stocky necked bird with white spots on forehead (characteristic of maxima, but probably not big enough), plus 5 Greylag hybrids and one domestic hybrid (i.e. the usual mottly crew for a Canada Goose flock), 290 Greylag at East Fortune; drake Pochard at Chapel.

En route back 4 Whoopers (first back?) at Aberlady, with another 2k+ Pinks already there, many arriving from S (pic below). Scanning the geese for white birds, as per Ross's seen this time last year, suddenly two stunningly white birds did appear flying low over the flock, spooking Pinks - then alighted to feed on mud - the two Little Egrets! Old hat for everyone else, but my first in Lothian, actually Scotland (can't count for self-found lists though).

On Sunday, not able to get to the North Sea coast to join the fun at the seabird fest (4 species each of Shearwater and Skua, not to mention the Sabine's and Black Terns ystdy) had a quick look off Cockenzie and Seton as usual; several skuas, well offshore, the only definitive ID was a dark Arctic W; first Slavonian Grebe (for me) back off Ferny Ness, where also 5 RTD, 2 RNG; and this sleepy juv Common Tern on the rocks, perhaps from the Leith colony.
Even our own exciting seabirds rather pale compared to counts from further afield, from Bridges of Ross on Saturday: 865+ Sabines Gulls past today (!); also 10,000 Arctic Terns, 76+ Long-tailed Skuas, 38 Leach's Petrels, 26 Black Terns, 11 Little Gulls, 145 Sooty Shearwaters, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 150+ Arctic Skuas and 3 Pomarine Skuas; or 27k+ Manx, 1586 Sooty, 650 Poms, 357 LTS, 3 Wilson's Petrel and a Fea's in Galicia! Hmmm, seems Lothian is not that well positioned for seabirds!

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