Friday, 18 May 2012

Wknd 19-20 May

Continuing NE winds had pushed Manx Shearwaters into the Forth, with 32 passing Seton in 30 mins early afternoon Friday. Always a fine sight as they loop and skim over the sea, definitely one of my top species and don't see enough of them here usually. Could not stay to count more, though movement was steady and no doubt many more would have passed. They were accompanied by a few Fulmar and 20+ auks, including several Puffins, with another Puffin close in off the harbour mouth.

Also at Wrecked Craigs rocks as the tide came in a pair of Common Tern courtship feeding, my first back this year, one shown above amongst some of 56 Knot and other waders. Only one of the Knot was showing any hint of breeding plumage, though of course some could be immatures; but for many of these high arctic breeders "summer" is extremely compressed, just weeks on the breeding grounds in mid-summer and then by July they are coming back. Certainly did not feel like summer here today, with steady rain, biting wind and a temperature of 7C felt rather more like winter.

Gosford Sands held the usual 96 Barwits, very few other waders.

Visited the Scottish Bird Fair on Saturday with the kids, there was plenty for them to do!

Sunday - May WeBS as usual produced very little of note, most waters nearly deserted - only points of note were a pr Shelduck flying E over East Fenton/Chapel and Lapwings back over fields at Brownrigg, tussling with a crow; now a very rare breeder in East Lothian farmland (only confirmed at 2 other sites N of the Tyne), another of my favourite's I don't see enough of! Rescued a Mallard duckling from a deep tank at Drem sewage works, not sure it would have survived to fledging in there!

Wrecked Craigs, Port Seton again had a colour-ringed tern, remarkably the same colour code as the last two (red/lime) but red upper not lower - another from Forvie, marked there in 2009 per Alistair Smith.

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