Sunday, 6 January 2013

New Year

New Year, new camera! Amazing what you can get for a reasonable budget these days, Fujifilm Finepix T350 on offer at Mr Tesco has 14 Mpixel with a 10x optical zoom, found the power of the latter immediately useful on these Lapwings at Harelaw (Gosford sawmill behind), one of my first shots. 330 Pinks and 59 Greylags at same location, latter going onto grass immediately behind the cottages, nearly a garden bird! Early on Sunday also had a look at Prora Whoopers for rings, got juv red-AVJ and ad yellow-P4C again, one other ad red ring, so still at least 6 ringed birds there - but muddy black legs and bills generally the order of the day, as per below.

Back to Saturday and a Sandwich Tern on the Seton Burn at 13:20hrs may well turn out to be bird of the year; sadly I missed it, passing at 12:20 my scope was still in rucksack from previous trip on bike, and by 14:20hrs it had gone (turned up at Gullane on Sunday!). One nice ad Med Gull on the Seton Sands upper shore, very dark legs, dusky forehead. Also a Crossbill alighted in the pines by burn, was hopeful of a tetrad tick but found I had logged one at Blindwells in November 2008!

Friday went to Harelaw, confirmed Feral Pigeon at the stables there, used nest (UN for NT47N); also 455 Pinks with 35 Greylags in the flooded harvested potatoes fields immediately NE.

Thursday cycled to the beach c/p 1, scoping sea at dusk found an adult Med Gull with dusky mask up onto forehead not far offshore in Gosford Bay, presumably one of the two reported from Seton on New Year's day. A quick stomp in the bog at c/p 2 produced a Woodcock, a Moorhen and 3 Pheasant, latter a tetrad tick for NT47I. The Woodcock exploded from the burn by the bridge, immediately out of sight, ID only via the diagnostic dark brown subterminal band on tail.

Wednesday did the BTO winter thrush survey to Cottyburn, "core count", status quo with just 8 Blackbirds. Nuthatch in the wood at Setonhill was a new one for me, also a tetrad tick for NT47T, along with 3 Yellowhammers at Redhouse Wood, finally added to home tetrad NT47N. But no Grey Partridge, still needed :(

Tuesday, New Year's Day, had a good start to the year - scanning from Seton harbour a "black & white" diver flew past, solid bill, curved boundary between light and dark on neck but no lower band, feet big but not huge, surely a Black-throated! Fortunately it came down on the sea off Cockenzie harbour where I got it in view for just a couple of seconds, but rear white flank patch clearly showing, then dived and despite viewing from Cockenzie for a while no further sign. The Red-necked Grebe still on the sea off the harbour, and an adult Scandinavian Herring Gull on wall at the harbour mouth. Better still at dusk with a magical view of a Barn Owl silhouette against a deep orange sky, floating down over the A198 between St Germains and at Seton Chapel, commencing to hunt the remaining rough area at the edge of the new golf course. Have seen it hunting there not long ago, as well as in previous years, wonder what impact of reduced foraging area with the golf development, hopefully still plenty of space for it - though it would be better in a way if its regular feeding area was further from a busy road!

1 comment:

  1. I've started to log my sightings by tetrad due to the tetrad/OS-mindedness of Birdtrack. I live on the south edge of NT19 so a ten minute walk goes into 2 10km squares. "Does your site fit into this box?" No, it doesn't! But it does fit nicely into four (or even two) 1km ones.