Saturday, 17 March 2012

Wknd 17-18 March

Started Saturday with vismig at Gullane hill top, a few Mipits moving, of which two went direct over the Forth, but not much else.

Then looked for Whoopers and found only an empty space; thus the decline has been:

255 on 25/2
174 on 3/3
c. 170 on 10/3
117 on 11/3
None 17/3

Who knows were they are now - perhaps staging in the Hebrides or some already en route over the sea or even in Iceland? Coincidentally the same morning Chris Smout has already logged 51 migrants at Carnbee, and later at least 70 more migrants were logged in Fife. Despite these being due N expect likely mainly Welney birds coming up the east coast. We once had a wintering bird (yellow-CX9) reported from Kinnordy on its way north, 3 March 2010.

How magnificent it would have been to have witness the main departure, perhaps one evening during the week? This is described briefly on the Martin Mere blog. Presumably the old timers and experienced birds lead off, not sure this has ever been documented?

Sat pm an opportunistic first visit to the Bavelaw, Threipmuir & Harlaw resrs; not surprising that no sign of 7 Whoopers reported the previous day, just 182 Pinks in grass by Bavelaw. Also 190 Curlew feeding in grass. On resrs 32 Tufties, 28 Teal, 21 Wigeon, 10 Goosander, 9 Goldeneye, 6 Cormorant (which headed off to roost 17:30hrs) plus 25 ad graellsii LBB, presumed resting migrants. Wonderful scenery, rather a lot of people there with some very productive dogs (Rangers logged 1191 poos in the short track from c/p to visitor centre since last August, hmmm...).

Sunday - got to Seton too late after dusk but one 2nd-win Med (very little progress towards a hood) amongst 1900 mainly Common Gulls at burn mouth. The BHG's were segregated as is typical particularly once into breeding plumage, a huge raft of 1700 of them on sea off Longniddry c/p1, including a single full hood ad Med Gull not far offshore, likely more if I had been able to grill them properly. Apart from the change of roost make-up and breeding plumage even with eyes closed you could easily tell we are into those distinctive spring passage roosts with the high-pitched squealing of the excited BHG, much more subdued in winter!

Finally to complete usual species set - a fresh Barn Owl casualty on A720 Edinburgh bypass at Newton by the A68 entrance slip, c/o tip off from Abbie; an interesting looking live owl was seen crossing Millerhill Road at exit to Sheriffhall roundabout - flew N throo trees and not seen again, species not determined but seemed a bit dark above for Barn Owl.

No comments:

Post a Comment