Saturday, 27 October 2012

Wknd 27-28 October

On Saturday morning - a few Fieldfare NW over, 2 Swallows past, Bonxie(s) in the Forth and 185 Velvets off Ferny Ness (breakdown c. 95 ad m, 87 ad f, 3 juv); also an intriguing small falcon high over pursued by crow. Full counts.

Seton at dusk - one ad Med Gull, nice bright bird with good mask, on shallows at Long Craigs, just one ad LBB remaining, 41 Wigeon. Roost disturbed as usual by the resident chap who feeds the swan, tying it to this spot for perhaps 2 years now; noted tonight the other birds which have learnt of this free food source, 6 Carrion Crows appeared and were they only ones brave enough to get in close, swan took a swipe at one; behind them a gathering of gulls led by 2 ad GBB, plus several Herring and BHG - perhaps a selection that had had a poor day trying to get meals of their own?

Started the BTO thrush survey Saturday, choose the railway walk from Cottyburn which is entirely lined with berry bushes, mainly haws, also hips and elderberries, having had hundreds of thrushes there during atlas visits - not so many this time but got Blackbird, Redwing and Fieldfare - hardest part was determining the food source as inevitably they flush from bushes unless you approach with great caution, but two Blackbirds flew from elderberries which are perhaps 1% of all the berries there.

Sunday - 184 Whoopers at Prora/East Fenton; almost all of the 29 juvs were amongst the 52 birds on the west of the ex-landfill towards Prora, breakdown of family parties of juvs perhaps 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 2 and 1. Overall this is a poor ratio at 15.8% though.

Also at East Fenton - 3 Magpies! My first record here was Feb 2011, following first at Chapel in Jan 2010. We've seen a significant expansion of this species in the local atlas, which is probably mainly due to reduction of persecution, so why are these colonists not being removed?

At Ferny Ness not a great deal passing - 6 Crossbills in the morning and a juv skua, probably Pomarine, at dusk (full counts). Also at dusk 3 ad Med Gulls by the Seton Burn, plus the yellow darvic 2XCN BHG again, fortunately the closest bird (ringed on the Ythan on 2 September, caught while mist-netting terns at night per Calum, for GRG). All gulls cleared off the shore 16:30hrs, this time not the swan man but another common ocurrence, ad m Peregrine flying throo (presumably en route to its roost somewhere west).

10 Waxwings over Wednesday morning, counts. [No pics, camera in poor shape]

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