Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter 2012

On Wednesday a single Sandwich Tern on Seton shore with small gulls (1220 BHG, 490 Common Gull, 16 ad LBB), first I've seen back. Snow still visible on Pentlands viewed from Longniddry Bents the following morning (above).

Saturday on WeBS, Mute Swans on nests at traditional sites at Drem pools and East Fortune (stick nest). A curiosity was 6 new crow nests around Drem pools but none apparently occupied - two with orange twine woven in. Also a Razorbill just off Sea Green at Aberlady was unusual.

Sunday's highlight was two prs Sparrowhawks displaying over Longniddry - the full display of the male Sprawk is really a spectacle; most interesting with male picked up dead just a fortnight ago, I guess these pairs related to those breeding in west of village and in Fernyness Wood. Seton roost was further depleted though quite scenic at dusk, view here and a sunset from a couple of weeks back.

Update on rookery counts, these now counted, many egg shells below nests:

199+ Huntington, western Garleton Hills
117+ Longniddry station wood (increase from 92 on 24/3)
106+ Craig Wood, East Linton
22 Amisfield, Haddington
c. 20 Macmerry Industrial Estate
19 Drem village
18 Seton Sands caravan park
5 Prestonpans station

The previous highest nest counts I can find in the Lothian database 1991 to date are 125 at Gosford on 5/4/91 and 114 at Berwick Law on 12/4/09. Prior to that high counts all in 1990: 139 Milkhall Crossing, 252+17 Castlelaw (Penicuik), 153 Mortonhill/Frogston, and highest 288 Castlelaw in 1988.

Finally, a grey morph Tawny was found freshly dead at the biggest rookery here, not apparently a road casualty so another mystery - will send off for post mortem (along with another spotless Barn Owl specimen from A1 at Dolphingstone).

Postscript - post mortem came back with chilling findings - puncture wounds to thighs and deep bruising with lacerations on back cranial to tail again with deep bruising - "appearance of bullying or aggression injuries" - thus a suggestion that the Rooks had taken offence at its presence in their colony; vet's view that in that case it must already have been weakened and thus unable to escape.

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