Saturday, 28 April 2012

Wknd 28-29 April

Lacking any bird photos from the day here's some digiscoped flowers at Ferny Ness, bluebell and white deadnettle (this may seem perverse but I find, as for insects, digiscoping gives that nice blurry background by default). A couple of Brents in the pools amongst the Long Craigs rocks off Seton did not wait for me to return with camera! Hastily initially called pale-bellied, later had some doubts but fortunately Geoff got a photo confirming dark-bellied, much rarer in Lothian (10 spring records 1998-2011)! Also a decent spring count of 72 Sandwich Terns there, and by the end of the pipe an odd gathering of "large birds" with Mute Swan, Grey Heron and GBB standing together.

Other bits and bobs - the rookery by the viewpoint at Prestonpans had 30 active nests (counted only 3 there last year) plus 7 at Bankton, also 24 at Macmerry industrial estate. A quarry site held a remarkable Little Grebe nest, a floating structure against a sheer rock face tethered to a protruding willow twig. Back down at Gosford there was a great gathering of Sandwich Terns fishing in the Bay, mainly off Craigielaw, with a steady progression of birds coming in to rocks by pipe at Gosford Sands, some with fish for courtship feeding (one robbed by a Herring Gull which stooped on it). By the time there were 77 on the shore there were still at least 205 fishing offshore, probably more missed along at Seton. Previous spring counts in excess of 100 (1991 to date) have been 126 on 15/5/07, 132 on 10/5/95 and 110 on 13/5/91, all recorded by wardens at Aberlady (Harrison, Thomson and Gordon respectively). So why the current influx, presumed mainly Isle of May birds?

Back home the first House Martin was back, previous return dates being 30/4/11, 24/4/10, 9/4/09, 28/4/08, 26/4/07, 23/4/06, 27/4/05.

Sunday terns had diminished, just a small bunch on shore (below) - along with 107 Barwits, 85 Knot, 54 Oyc, 48 Dunlin, 29 Grey Plover, 24 Curlew and a Sanderling.

Sunset on Sunday over Longniddry Bents c/p2 bog, no sound from the Grasshopper Warbler though!
Back at the Ness on Monday morning a single Whimbrel in the mist.

No comments:

Post a Comment