Sunday, 15 April 2012

Wknd 14-15 April

Finally got first Swallows passing offshore in Gosford Bay, Sandwich Terns now more regular (counts); sea duck seemed diminished from last week but harder to count, just 4 Slavs detected and one distant RNG. Gosford Sands above with approaching shower late afternoon.

Seton roost gets hard to monitor into April with birds less tied to the burn and BHG in particular spread widely over the sea, hard to check. At dusk on Friday there were still 1380 BHG but not checked properly for Meds; Saturday had a feeding concentration of 800 BHG in Gosford Bay, something in the water attracting them. At dusk on Sunday (pic below) had a good look throo 1160 BHG mainly concentrated off Longniddry Bents (just one on Seton Burn), 125 Common Gull (all but two on Seton Burn itself) down to just 16 adults, also 140 Herrings and 5 LBB. Looks like the white-wing invasion has truly passed us by now with another blank winter here :(

Photos documenting latest Dolphingstone Barn Owl casualty (22nd such here on this 3 mile stretch of A1 Tranent to Whitecraig since 2004), presumed male (no spots at all):

Also the greyer Tawny from Huntington, a juvenile/1st-win:

Yet another Barn Owl casualty reported Tuesday on the bypass east of Fairmilehead junction, per Tony; I choose to look at the positives here which is that 6 casualties in a month is indicative that there are still a lot about despite two very hard winters; last year's breeding success was not great locally (3.5 young fledged per successful pair), total breeding pairs well down (approx halved) but perhaps more young have survived this last winter with better weather?

[Post mortems on last two Barn Owls confirm the pale unspotted bird as an ad male in good physical condition, containing two field mice; and darker spotted bird is a young ad female (mature inactive ovary, uterus pregravida) also in good condition but containing no prey; ad m Sparrowhawk was a presumed collision injury, it had been in less good condition with some muscle atrophy.]

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