Sunday, 10 November 2013

Wknd 9-10 November

Heading out for WeBS/ICG goose count Sunday afternoon spotted this imm m Sprawk which had just taken a Feral Pigeon, still flapping, at Mungoswells. Was immediately plucking it and within 20 seconds 2 crows had arrived to engage in jackal like behaviour sniping around the edges.

One crow lost heart and flew off, the other looked more wary when the Sprawk was plucking, short video.

Goose-wise just c. 350 Greylags plus the domestics at East Fortune; found just 45 Whoopers at East Fenton but amongst them was yellow-46I, ringed on left tibia (unusual, vast majority are tarsus rings), thus confirming suspicion about ringed bird photographed by Abbie at Prora on 25 October. This is the bird which wintered on the Blackwater in southern Ireland 3 winters from 08/09, first seen here on 18 Feb 2012 (ringed in Iceland August 2003). A covey of Grey Partridge south of Redside was another pleasing sight, though too late now for a breeding confirm likely a family, if so the 11th brood I'm aware of this season in Lothian (thanks also to Mike, Abbie, LBN and twitter):

Certainly would have hoped for a few extra young after such a good summer, regardless they are just a shadow of former status here. 700 corvids, mainly Jackdaws, went to roost in adjacent Craig Wood. The East Fenton Whoopers flew to roost at Chapel at 17:01hrs, 46 minutes after sunset (typical here).

A urban oddity was this cock Pheasant at the miner's club in Macmerry:

Dawn on Lammermuir edge at Stobshiel was pretty but a poor Woodpigeon passage, my 500-odd being less that 0.1% of the UK vismig total for today (map)! Did find a nest along road past Stobshiel Mains which is a confirm for NT46W and confirmed crow in NT56C, Aikeyside.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Wknd 2-3 Nov

In search of Woodies (garden version above) went up to Stobshiel at dawn on Saturday - a poor movement there though, probably not cold enough yet to really get them moving! Some compensation in a covey 12 Grey Partridge near Ewingston (NT46X), and 2 ad Whoopers S over Boggs on way back.

Probable Collared Dove nest at Gladsmuir above, also had 10 birds nearby at Penston. So atlas has finally wound up for live birds, the final Collared Dove upgrades in this last season can be seen below - latest uppermost, toggle for changes - an increase from 17 to 36 confirmed in East Lothian plus a few more confirmed elsewhere this season and 12 other additions/upgrades to probable.

All of a sudden lack of leaves mean nests are much more visible, crow is the main one on the agenda now with still lots of gaps for confirmation, current and last atlas compared below:

Sunday - just 133 Whoopers, 126 at Prora, 7 East Fenton, though did not check Rogarth where a pair of Mutes had reappeared last week. Of these just c. 21 juvs, a low ratio at 16% (nationally c. 18% per WWT Martin Mere 2/11, tweet by Kane). The Prora herd feeding in stubble right by the road, so obvious as to attract attention from passing motorists, 5 stopped in the half hour I was there and two got out of cars with cameras pursuing them along the field edge until every last swan was flushed off the stubble onto the pools. Suited me, as legs were then visible but disappointing just to get a single darvic in the whole flock, and that one a new one - orange-ZBN - my first orange darvic (plus metal rings left and right, latter a limping bird - struggled to read those!); web search only confirms it is a WWT ring and that one had been used in 2011, so perhaps this colour replaces the red ones - Kane's excellent blog has vanished though so can't check! This also means none of the regular darvic-ringed wintering birds from previous years have appeared yet so probably more are still on their way.

An adult graellsii LBB was hunting for chips in the Hunter Square behind the Tron Church, South Bridge, on Wednesday, fresh plumage but quite a light one, legs duller yellow than typical in summer.