Saturday, 10 March 2012

Wknd 10-11 March

Sunday update - only 117 Whoopers remaining on grass at Muirton, after an hour of observation concluded only one bird ringed, the right leg red darvic not confirmed before; after another hour still only had first and last letters. Probably last chance for this year. Whilst watching observed courtship btwn two juveniles, depicted above; per BWP "Pair-formation slow. Courtship occurs in winter flocks, but more often in non-breeding herds where most pairs formed, with engagement period lasting at least until following season."

Saturday - an early morning foray to the Whoopers for darvics, before they leave en masse, was not successful - all 180 remaining were on grass at Muirton, all seated perhaps from a morning roost there/night feeding, so no legs visible even if stalked. Summary doc of this winter's observations with 9 darvic histories here. Most interesting is the one finally cracked as yellow-46I, ringed as juv f in August 2003 in Iceland but wintering recently in southern Ireland (Fermoy, Lismore, Co. Cork 2008/9; Ballyduff, River Blackwater, Callows, Co. Waterford 2009/10 and Ballynerron, River Blackwater, Co.Waterford 2010/11).

At Aberlady an imm Peregrine perched on salt marsh and 80 Pinks straight N over, another 25 past Berwick Law.

Afternoon, WeBS to Blindwells picked up the two drake Shoveler found early in the week by David, still feeding voraciously in the western "mangrove". Down at Cockenzie harbour a larger diver sp. past, big feet, straight neck with solid bill, 99% sure BTD though it did two "neck lifts" within the period it passed by, not the typical head wobble of RTD. Flew in towards Musselburgh. A solid 2nd-win Herring Gull at Seton harbour, below.

Nests under construction all over the place! Rooks were down to just a handful of old nests at trad site by Longniddry station a couple of weeks ago, presumably more lost to storms this year, including all of those formerly in Kitchener Crescent, but count today of 42 of which two were still half built, plus an offshoot over the road with a new nest over station c/p right by floodlight. Many Woodpigeon nests very exposed, one obvious bird sitting here in birch on Douglas Road.

Previous Thursday - 2nd-win Med Gull on Seton shore at dusk with 5 ad graellsii LBB.

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