Saturday, 25 February 2012

Wknd 25-26 February

Went looking for the Greylags Saturday morning for the goose survey but got very few, just 45 East Fortune ponds and 6 at Lochhouses. Better success on Whoopers, 255 split btwn East Fenton (on water, also at grain and potatoes), Chapel (on grass) and Prora (at potatoes on landfill), 49 juvs = 19.3%; after over an hour and seeing 50+ bare legs was getting frustrated on darvics but then got a purple patch with 6 amongst only 25-30 birds on East Fenton bank, yellow PL5, UH3, X6C, 46I and X4R (first 3 are old timers, last 2 are new); plus a red darvic starting A. Red darvics with white engraved letters very hard to read when muddy! PL5, 46I (centre) and X4R shown below. [Postscript - turns out 46I is a very interesting bird, female cygnet ringed at Jokuldalsheidi, Iceland, August 2003 and present there as an adult in August 2006, but wintering in Co. Cork and Waterford the last 3 winters.]

After a few circuits in search of geese came upon a flock of gulls in field by Needless at Athelstaneford (c. 300 HG with an ad graellsii LBB) scanned for white-wings and found a darker yellow-legged bird, possible adult YLG! Could not stay to get any better photos though, only these poor ones, which, needless to say, will not be good enough, critically none of the spread wing. Compare also the last candidate in this area (c. 2 miles NNW), last June.

Dusk Saturday checked Gosford for Greylags coming in to roost, negative; went down towards the village and finally spotted some in field east of the Bothy, just 10 and no signs of moving to roost by 18:00hrs. In same field a large flock of corvids, been fooled by these before (we still need Rook for NT47U in atlas), they were in fact 255 Carrion Crows all doing very little sitting around and gathered in presumed pre-roost before going into woods. Adding the 15+ at the Gosford Sands burn/pipe at 18:15hrs (and still no geese) this is a sizeable roost, 270+ [possibly highest Lothian count since 316 S to roost at Aberlady 5/12/96].

Sunday - family excursion to Pressmennan, atlas roving en route. This very dark Buzzard at Whittingehame, looked black at a distance but bulk gave it away as a Buzzard. Expected species with 2 Jays, Treecreepers, Siskin etc. On the lake, 9 Goldeneye and a few other duck, but only atlas tick was a Woodpigeon "used nest" so clearly a well covered tetrad. No sign of yesterday's gull in Athelstaneford area, though with the flocks being so transient following food had no great expectation it would be. Another that "got away" :(

Back to Friday afternoon, quick look from Seton harbour, 187+ Velvet Scoter on sea (including 95 ad m, 14 f, 2 imm m) mainly off the harbour and NE in Gosford Bay; surprised to see a hooded white-winged gull heading in towards Seton from offshore, an adult Med; the bird did not stop at Seton burn but proceeded NE in great loops, perhaps response to the brisk wind, followed it as far as Gosford entrance where seemed to come down in the corner east of the gatehouse (tetrad tick for NT47P).

Thursday - 110 Pinks N over central Edinburgh in the morning.

Finally - pr Nutch reported still attending peanut feeder on Douglas Road, Longniddry - hopes now of local breeding?

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