Sunday, 21 October 2012

Wknd 20-21 October

49 Mutes on St Margaret's on Sunday, looking picturesque but being overfed on white bread as per usual, despite large signs to the contrary! Got 23 rings, though not red-Y710 which was seen last month (info per Allan Brown that the latter was ringed as a cygnet at Pepper Arden Bottoms, North Cowton, near Richmond, Yorkshire (NZ297027) on 27 September 2010, has been at St Margaret's since March; this is the first Mute Swan I've seen locally from further than Northumbs - all that way to sit on a pond eating bread! Apparently some of Allan & Lyndesay's birds reported recently from Newcastle/Durham area, heading in the other direction...).

On the Seton Burn a yellow darvic BHG, brief excitement thinking it might be returning N141 (which may be the only Scottish-Spanish exchange) but found it was a 1st-win with four alpha characters, seemed to be ZXCN.

Turns out it was most likely 2XCN, thus ringed in NE Scotland (the Z codes for Slovak republic don't have four letters, not to mention highly unlikely!) Also on the burn a 1st-win Med Gull.

Out of the area Thu-Sat, in Santander, Cantabria for a conference, spectacular scenery and a nice dusk movement of Yellow-legged Gulls along the coast, and Mediterranean Gulls on the shore. No repeat of the Audouin's we were lucky to find in neighbouring San Vicente de la Barquera in June 2006 (2nd for Cantabria). Best were the egrets, flocks totalling several hundreds milling over the fields inland from Cantabria all visible from the plane as it came in from the south; unfortunately could not distinguish Little from Cattle at that height, on our 2006 trip we saw a large mixed colony at Santillana zoo of roughly equal proportions.

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