Monday, 25 February 2013

Wknd 23-24 February

Finally fling for the local atlas, after 6 years of recording of course there are gaps remaining! Managed a few additions amongst snow showers on Sunday, making a rare trip south of the Tyne - Lapwings back in fields at Chesters farm, and a single Brambling in amongst 80+ Yellowhammers at Mainhill. Most unexpected was the above adult Egyptian Goose at a grain heap on the flood plain east of Abbeymill, Haddington - no rings or wing clipping apparent so may well be a wanderer from the English naturalised population (thus Category C). One accepted Scottish record from Shetland last year, though I believe there have been a number of other reports over the years. Interestingly despite texting full details to BirdGuides they did not carry it, presumably as deemed "common", their lowest species category - though contra recent habits they did feature a Med Gull at Prestonpans! [PS - there was an Egyptian Goose at Holywell pond, Northumbs just two days previously, with Greylags and a Euro Whitefront, interestingly same species mix at same site a year ago (6-9/3/12) - coincidence? Also, Mike's pic on BirdGuides is a bit better!]

On nocturnals, some success with Tawny Owls calling with wavering hoot at Halfland Barns (NT58X), both days, others hooting near Newbyth and Waughton and a Woodcock flushed at dusk in Kamehill wood (NT57U) on Sunday. With extra third party reports now 14 tetrad additions for Tawny (map in last week's blog updated). Fresh Barn Owl casualty on A1 at Whinny Loan, off Falside Hill (near Tranent) Monday - two recent excursions over Falside drew a blank but they are lurking there somewhere.

Other bits and bobs - a nice adult Med Gull coming into full hood, unringed, by Seton Burn on Saturday afternoon, ad graellsii LBB (presumed "Lucy") on rocks by Seton harbour (first LBB seen back on Niddrie Mains/KB on 18 & 19/2); also Great Crested Grebe off Wrecked Craigs Saturday, grebe replaced by a Red-necked, with a large diver way offshore, on Sunday. Whoopers still feeding at Drem pools, dusk view over Chapel resr on Saturday shown below - sunset on winter atlas.


  1. What a weird occurence! Only ever seen them in Norfolk and, oddly enough, Egypt. Rarer than the Crane!
    Great pics - this survey work has its bonuses!

  2. A great bird Stephen and well done on finding a new species for the county list (correct me if I'm wrong). I twitched it successfully after work you'll be horrified to hear managing to pick it out through the scope after 6:00pm - a bit like owling! Luckily it was still feeding away in the slop...