Monday, 2 June 2014

Wknd 31 May - 1 June

Into June and onset of summer birding - cycling round the area as far as Macmerry produced a few of those increasingly valued rural species, Grey Partridge, Kestrel, Stock Dove, 2 Oycs, Swift and stacks of Tree Sparrow, also Barn Owl; but negative on Quail and Spotted Flycatcher and also blank at Penston where territorial Yellow Wagtail in 2012, brief look only last year. One find was an occupied GSW nest in a tree full of holes between Chester Hall and Greendykes, a species I failed to nail for NT47H in Longniddry Dean last year, so a late atlas confirmation (increase from 6 to 23 confirmed in East Lothian north of the Tyne).

A crepuscular trip on Monday via Redcoll, Cottyburn and Spittal again yielded no Quail, in places occupied in previous years, but one Sedge Warbler, two hooting Tawny Owls and two more Barn Owls, one of which first spotted on a road sign c. 23:15hrs, then hunting over cereal, plunged to make a kill then flew over my head with prey in one foot, a strong clue to breeding.

May patchwork total now 115 species (137 points) which is already 94% of last year, mainly because last year I was elsewhere a lot of the time for atlas. No comparison with the amazing achievements of John on Tiree!

Down at the beach very little on Gosford Bay or Sands, 10 Greylags roosted, but report of 2k Common Scoter off Musselburgh so it seems many of our remaining sea duck have moved down there - leaving me to wonder how the Queen Eider got past here!

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