Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wknd 18-19 February

After struggling with the Pinkfoot collar and Whooper darvics last week went back to try again; no joy with the two red darvics seen previously at Prora, and despite an earlier start in hope of less mud on rings they were no better, see below for example of the new "all black" darvics (this one is actually yellow!). Partial success with one new ring, above, initially totally illegible with wet mud but within a minute had dried in the brisk breeze to reveal code 4*I, will need to see again to confirm (later confirmed as 46I).

Nearby, the East Fortune geese were tucked in by the railway on low-lying ground east of Congalton Gardens - 950+ Pinks, 200+ Greylag, 15+ ad Euro Whitefronts, 5 tundra Beans (feeding together, above, some others unconfirmed), 3+ Barnacle Geese.

Also at Prora excellent views of a flock of corvids enabled checking for Nordic Jackdaw; in 210 birds not one had any obvious white collar, though two had leucistic bits in plumage, most obviously on this bird.

Finally had a look at Seton roost, having failed to detected anything other than the regular ad LBB in quick look at dusk on Friday; c. 3100 small gulls on shore, many hidden crouching amongst Long Craigs rocks due to the strong wind; eventually 3 ad Meds showed, the first with a white forehead on an otherwise full jet black hood, second with a mask and band over rear crown, final bird with just a mask; also one 1st-win Med, first here for quite a while; large gulls were only 40 Herring and 1 GBB, lack of LBB also first for a long time.

To complete the set of species groups usually featured on this blog (swans, geese, gulls and dead owls, repetitive isn't it!) a beautiful rufous specimen of a Tawny Owl recovered from the A1 Wallyford junction. The wavy bar on the flight feather tips confirms age as a juvenile. This is an atlas tetrad tick (we are including these post BTO atlas).

Sunday - did swan darvics at St Margaret's Loch, also a nice drake Pochard there in the bread melee and a very pale backed ad graellsii LBB. Later found over a thousand medium-large gulls (Herring and Common) up at the lamb fields at Penston, perhaps attracted by the lines of turnips laid out as feed. Apart from a few BHG, no other species apparent. Finally back to the Seton roost where numbers were lower and nothing of great interest apparent, ad graellsii LBB had returned. Seton harbour held 80 odd Herrings and a few GBB well after sunset, and another went over our house c. 18:10hrs.

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