Saturday, 29 October 2011

Wknd 29-30 October

Starting on Thursday, one pale ad Pom Skua heading slowly SE in across Gosford Bay in a brief look from Seton in morning. Big gull roost at Seton in evening, c. 4.5k, but mainly on sea and well spread out, just one ad Med Gull detected plus an intermedius LBB (below). 355 Pinks passed over Crookston NE at dusk, seemed to follow the A1 passing over Bankton then Seton Sands.

Friday morning, a little vismig was on with flock 24 Fieldfare and 2 Crossbill low over house. At high tide an ad Great Crested Grebe was feeding very close in at Seton Burn (above), quite unusual for any grebe species here. This species is barely annual on this stretch of coast now, I recall seeing 3 in September 2004 but ever since no more than a single, except for a period in December 2007 with two off Seton harbour. Two were reported again in December 2009, though I saw none that year. Suspicion may be that these are returning birds, like the Black-necked, but why so few when decent (though rapidly declining) numbers can still be seen off Edinburgh coast? Peaks at Silverknowes have been 39 in 2010, 49 in 2009, 105 in 2008, 288 in 2007, 261 in 2006; further back there were up to a thousand wintering in the Forth (standard LBR species text); we certainly seem to be witnessing a collapse in numbers locally.

Saturday over at Haddington located a flock of Pinkfeet in stubble by Seggarsdean, total c. 3100 with 88 Barnacle. Had a good look at nearly all and no collars or oddities spotted. Up on Garleton another 2300+ Pinks included a new leucistic bird, originally found by Abbie at Bangly Hill in the morning, this one nearly white on back (central in image below). Towards dusk the GCG was still at the Seton Burn, in a brief look 5 LBB and at least two ad Med Gulls amongst the gulls on the sea, but a heavy shower commencing and poor visibility.

No sign of Crestie Sunday, though I note 2 GCG reported from Musselburgh, perhaps it moved down there?

Monday morning, the "nordic" (?) Jackdaw back on the same bit of pavement on Niddrie Mains; had this been the first sighting I would have been tempted to declare it a fresh arrival from Scandinavia, in peak Jackdaw migration period. As with the "northern" Eiders previously referenced on these pages it would be nice to get some quality images of these individuals, for reference, but I suspect the interests of local bird photographers do not extend to these dubious subspecies :(

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