Saturday, 19 November 2011

Wknd 19-20 November

Latest Barn Owl recovery here (c/o CND), a very interesting well spotted individual, more pics now added below. Note the buff down onto sides of flanks. Sad as usual but images posted here mainly for reference, suspect this is a juv female, one of the darker ones found but no reason to suspect it's not alba. Will confirm with details from post mortem in due course.

Saturday midday a drake Gadwall amongst 63 Wigeon on Seton Burn, patch tick!

On the shore a yellow darvic BHG, excited to see this and suspected it was the previous Spanish ringed bird returning. Took nearly an hour of stalking until I was sitting within 50m watching it asleep on the waterline, near the stunning drake Gadwall, and could see every detail of the yellow-N141 darvic inscription - sadly without my camera though! This bird was ringed on Salamanca dump in Spain in January 2007, and may still be the only exchange of BHG between Spain and Scotland? This post shows the ringing location in Salamanca (full history). Also the regular adult Herring Gull, orange-1787, still present.

Saturday after dusk - c. 4k gulls at Seton Sands but only c. 1k on shore for checking, included a fine 2nd-win Med Gull. Could not relocate the Gadwall but light was very poor.

Sunday mid-afternoon - ad European Whitefront with 182 odd Whoopers in stubble S of Kingston Farm cottages, pic here of same having an itch at Chapel. Also round the resrs, 5 Goosander, 3 Scaup (2 ad f, 1 1st-win), m+f Goldeneye, drake Pochard, probably mostly the same crew as last winter! Missed a Pintail and 2 Gadwall seen by Colin though. Other than wildfowl - 210 Fieldfare at Drem pools, 1200 Wood Pigeon West Fortune and a juv Grey Heron on road (B1345) at Drem village.

Thereafter at Seton Burn, 2 ad Med Gulls in pre-roost (was told there were 4 or 5 ads plus the 2nd-win one day the previous week).

On Thursday previous week another patch tick in the shape of 15 White-fronted Geese out over Gosford Bay - very poor shot here at range c. 2 miles taken from Seton harbour, Fife coast in background. After wavering a bit off Ferny Ness and thinking of heading NW over Forth they headed straight for me, thought they were going to do a fly past - but the suddenly turned south - set off in pursuit but could not relocate, may well have come down somewhere as presumed same passed Ferny Ness in reverse 14:30hrs. Of most interest to me was the different jizz apparent even at great range, they never gave an impression of being Pinks and in initial head on view looked more like a bunch of Curlews, with shallow flapping on quite stiff wings.


  1. I love the w-f geese pic - makes me feel a lot better about some of mine!

    Sad to see yet another owl casualty - I haven't managed to catch up with a barnie in Lothian for well over 12 months now.

    All the best


  2. Thanks Geoff - I like it too, unfortunately the bit of grass I was hiding behind (blurred bit) was not quite big enough and it made off within a couple of seconds, before I'd actually had chance to have a look at it! Only found out the race when I got home and downloaded pic ;)

  3. Aha, on reflection you probably meant the other "goose" pic, the barely discernable dots!!! Rather less proud of that, but there are definitely 15 dots, far more Whitefronts than I've ever managed before here!

  4. Err, yes, you guessed I was being childish about the dots! But, definitely my type of pic...

    I do like the other goose pic as well though - managed all the ID features and also looks like it has had its neck wrung!

    Well done on the geese - I still 'need' Euro whitefront and tundra bean for my world list, probably. (I never really concentrate when it comes to geese...)


    n.b. note that I can now comment on your blog - I switched browsers and that seemed to sort it!