Saturday, 20 April 2013

Wknd 20-21 April

Tried vismig at Gullane, the King's Chair, early Saturday - not a lot moving but my first spring migrant Bramblings, also two Tree Pipits and Grasshopper Warbler in song (full counts). Constant song from Willow Warblers.

Friday - 2 Yellow Wags low N over cereal east of East Bearsford, east of Haddington (11:45hrs); several Swallow and Sand Martin back at Abbeymill; early afternoon a minimum of 550 Velvet Scoter on flat calm sea spread over Gosford Bay and Gullane Bay, also 27 Long-tailed Ducks and 6 courting Common Scoter close in. 14 Sandwich Tern.

Sunday back on rookeries, got up to Lammermuirs edge in search of historic colonies extracted from cards at SOC for the 1975 census; found one in an exposed location in a high shelter belt near Snawdon Farm, 250m asl, but well down on its former 290 nests. Views above of Quarryford pond (first visit!), 55 Greylags there, and an different view of Cockenzie power station looking down Daneskine Burn/B6355 from Darent House. A pleasure to see displaying Lapwings and hear chipping Snipe at same spot.

Monday evening - 12 phylloscs within 100m along the tiny Wemyss burn past Longniddry community centre - all definitely identified were Willow Warblers. An unprecedented fall here, no more than a single ever previously! Strangely silent, in half a hour just one short bout of hooet calls from one bird, clearly none believe this will be their breeding territory. With them, a pair each of Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tit. Tuesday evening, still 8+ Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff and the Goldcrest, all feeding low down close to burn with frequent fly catching sallies, still silent. Chiff settled on an exposed bramble stem a foot off the ground at dusk and looked set to roost. First juv Robins out being fed! Wednesday, still 7 Willow Warblers, all entirely silent. Thursday, still 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff still along burn. Good practice on naked eye ID, more confident on separating the Chiff since Monday.


  1. Great. Monday at Skateraw saw a constant stream of hirundines (mainly Sand Martin) and Mipits battling against the wind. No hirundines at Barns Ness but tens of Mipits, a few White Wags, and a couple of Wheatears.
    Had Yellow Wag near the limekiln at Skateraw Friday a.m. plus White Wags and Wheatear.
    Great to see stuff coming in.

  2. Thanks Stuart, it was great to be out; the hoped for surge in Mipits did not materialise (there are historical spring counts of 1 to 3k per hours from Aberlady) but I enjoyed the Bramblings at least, and the song from warblers was incessant...