Sunday, 20 April 2014

Wknd 19-20 April

Heading out for WeBS/waterbodies survey on Sunday, and passing the furniture place at Fenton Barns, two gulls on the roof, easily overlooked and I drove past; a few seconds later pulled up, that Herring seemed to have yellow legs !? reversed and got above pic of the pair - right hand bird fairly bulky, intermediately dark grey mantle, red orbital, solid yellow legs and ... thick band on P5! But I knew it would be another morganii hybrid. Started preening and sure enough, the thick band on P5 is only on the outer web, nothing on inner, inset pic - an even band is needed for YLG. A less obvious hybrid than some though, I'm not sure that the leg colour is out of range for YLG, see also shot below where clearer.

Also had a narrow dark subterminal band on the bill, shown better below, so probably immature, perhaps 4th summer - and given the apparent size seems to be a different bird to the more slender individual seen last week which had more of a LBB jizz about it. So now two breeding season records to complement Geoff's array of winter sightings and these birds are presumably resident and breeding somewhere locally - I wonder if any of the local seabirds people have noticed them?

5 swans at Chapel probably Mute, all Whoopers finally cleared out.

On nests, old Goldfinch at East Fortune NT58K and Linnet at Prora ex-landfill NT57J were breeding confirms. Frustratingly young Robins at large at former site, failed to prove these in 6 years and now too late! Did slightly better with the Woodpigeon at Fenton Barns dairy, beady eye just visible:

Water bodies were not very exciting, Tufties at Mungoswells farm resr, Prora farm resr (first visit, pic below) and East Fortune. Had previously seen swans flying in to the Prora resr, looks a great site, deep set, just a shame it is so inaccessible within the secure area, indeed this was my first visit after 10 years of visiting adjacent Chapel. Waughton farm resr nearly dry, good mud but no waders. At Drem pools the fishery owner has suffered bad losses to otters and now has an electric fence round the main pond, Mute currently inside the fence, which may actually help it?

Early on Sunday counted sea ducks off Ferny Ness with a stunning breeding Slavonian Grebe close in, a ravenous horde of 57 Red-breasted Mergansers on a fishing mission through the shallows, a marvellous flock of c. 100 Long-tailed Ducks on glassy sea to NE with 25 more off Seton, and a total of at least 645 Velvet Scoter scattered over the Bay, some well offshore. Only one decent group of feeding Common Scoter out mid-Forth. Now 4 Sandwich Tern on rocks (two off Seton yesterday). A Sand Martin sang cheerily as it flew directly over W and a Blackcap was in song from the scrub, not a morning for migration though.

No comments:

Post a Comment