Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Wknd 7-8 June

Local birding again this weekend, close to home juvenile Tree Sparrows found along the Braid Burn past the community centre, first young I have seen in the village following first breeding season records this spring of birds flying over garden. Less positive in Fernyness Wood where negative again on Spotted Flycatcher, but 4 singing Chiffchaff there. A nocturnal visit produced a wavering hoot Tawny Owl but no young heard.

10 years ago today - the 8th of June was my first proper day birding here in Lothian, visiting to view a house; started at Longniddry station from the last train doing a night walk to Aberlady - first birds logged were juv Tawny Owls calling from the Tollbar Strip along the coast road past Gosford, then nocturnal song of Grasshopper Warbler on Aberlady salt marsh; on return via Craigielaw a Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the buckthorn at Harestanes Wood, and a Sedge Warbler at the Old Coast road bridge in Longniddry; then on to Seton where Grey Partridges at 3 locations and a Spotted Flycatcher in the Dean, followed by Sedge Warblers again at Blindwells. A great place to live I thought! Looking back that was not a bad haul for early June in places I'm now very familiar with, the owls are still here fledging young in Fernyness Wood most years [PS - juv calling Gosford, near ponds, 18/6], Grey Partridge still cling on at Seton though three prs in a morning would be good now, whilst I've only twice since seen Spotted Flycatchers (Fernyness Wood 23/5/10 and Seton Chapel 3/6/10).

I may post some other reflections analysing my general records here in due course - c. 35k bird records logged for Lothian totalling c. 2.5 million individual birds, probably several times that actually seen when including gull roosts done weekly or daily at times but not counted, and of course the Bass Rock! A total of 196 (self-found) species recorded locally (98 from the garden), plus a few more hybrids, escapes, etc, these confined to places I've been by bike in northern East Lothian, with a couple more elsewhere in Lothian and another handful of species "twitched". 1000+ colour rings read, and a massive atlas project completed. Some happy memories, as well as a few that got away!

Dusk at Gosford Sands below, 22:30hrs, in fact pale blue can still be discerned in the northern sky even at the darkest part of the night at this time of the year, weather permitting.

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