Sunday, 9 April 2017

Garden bird log for Longniddry, Lothian

This is a log of the more interesting species seen and heard in, and flying over, a small garden on Douglas Road, Longniddry, Lothian, Scotland (map), since August 2004. The garden is in an estate within 500m of high water - Firth of Forth. Unfortunately there is no view out to the sea, or indeed anywhere beyond the neighbouring houses in the estate.

Annotated species list
Detailed records (spreadsheet) - updated 1/1/17

2017

18 June - local Blackbird kicking off for dawn chorus at 02:59hrs.

20 Greylags W 11 June, perhaps start of post-breeding to and fro seen last couple of years.

Dawn chorus from 03:01hrs on 11 June, several Blackbird underway by 03:05hrs.

More bumbler pics, 85 present on 10 June.

Dusk on 9 June - first post-breeding Starling flocks hurrying west, heading for the western hills?

9 June - probably "peak bumble", 75 of them on our buddleia bush but some flowers now finished, and new record of 13 Tree Bumblebees.

Pleasing to hear a clear set of 3 quic-ic-ic calls from a migrant Quail over house, probably not far off to east, at 02:19hrs on 9 June, 3rd record after 1/6/07 and 10/7/12; an overcast night but a bit of brightness in the east and a strong moon behind clouds.

Dusk on 8 June as I dashed to polling station 21:55hrs a distant buzzard was heading over west, pursued by corvids, flap-flap-glide, deep beats (though it was dusk), did make me pause considering the time of year, but no bins!

At dawn on 7 June after 30 hours solid of rain I was surprised to note dawn chorus on as usual - Song Thrush and Blackbird undeterred, not sure if Robin was still involved due to the noise of the downpour.

Buddleia globosa out earlier than usual with 70% in flower by 29 May, Tree Bumblebee present again (first seen in 2016 when peaked at 7). New record of 8 Tree Bumbles, amongst 60 total, on 4 June, then 12 in 40 on 5 June! First Red-tailed (lapidarius), a queen, on 3 June, also a queen Buff-tailed (terrestris). Here's a Tree, Buff-tailed and Early (pratorum):

Young Starlings out in force, 41 on a tiny patch of our tiny back lawn on 30 May!

2+ noisy Sandwich Terns over SW 23:35hrs 27 May, unusual in spring.

Coot calling over to north 00:22hrs 26 May, matching late May records in 2015 and 2013, only 9th record but must miss loads. Moorhen more frequent. Much Barn Owl noise 02:40hrs, encouraging sound just after getting back with latest dead one off A1.

Late May, dawn chorus now starting just after 03:00hrs, with night Robins joined by Swallow at 03:10hrs, the Blackbird, Song Thrush and dawn Robins at 03:20hrs, often accompanied by main arrival of large gulls from colonies by 03:30hrs. Also Greylags audible departing their roost at 03:15hrs. On 26 May also Skylark song audible around 03:15hrs, song detected here previously only in 2005/6 and 2009/10, what a privilege to hear.

Swift at last, Sunday 7 May.

Moorhen low over house, very close just north-east, 03:52hrs 29 April (annual since 2011, mainly late spring).

Easter Saturday - Orange tip butterfly out in garden, Swallow low over, 2 Herons passing NE perhaps to Gosford nests?

Again 27 species during ironing 9 April, including first House Martins (8W in one group), other westbound migrants included 18 Siskin and 16 Goldfinch; very impressive lightening quick male Sparrowhawk having a shot at our local Blue Tit (which has been collecting down from a phragmites head I had left out for it, presumably nest lining) proving that even small garden birding can be exciting - Blue Tit escaped and sang repeatedly. Also a Small Tortoiseshell out in the sun, first seen near open back door of garage, and likely the one which overwintered there clinging to the wooden ceiling.

27 species during an hour of ironing, 11 in song including Buzzard, with first LBB, Mipit and Skylark of the spring, 5 March. Also recently Magpie song.

Crossbills SW over early on 26 February - early post breeders? Hint of an early spring movement some years.

Large gulls commuting SW over at dawn on 22 February totalled at least 1180 from 07:00hrs, including 4 ad GBB; probably more than usual due to WSW4 wind, but many will have been missed. Also one possible LBB, first seen locally at Seton on 4 February.

Rolling Nuthatch call nearby in last week January, second record and much closer than first.

Another 10+ Waxwings in berry tree at entrance to our small cul-de-sac, 15 January. Regular flocks of Fieldfare over from Longniddry Bents.

Started well on New Year's day with 5 Waxwings and the first Kestrel in over a year, hunting golf course to north. 13 Waxwing on 5 January.

2016

[Overview of the year 2016

73 species recorded is above average, boosted by three additions to the list, long-expected Nuthatch and Yellowhammer, along with a surprise Wheatear, overall total now 102. 57 species are now recorded every year (listed below for reference*), so just the 16 "scarce" logged of the 45 not recorded annually - these included nocturnal migrants: Moorhen (gave two replies to its call on xeno-canto!), Ringed Plover (3), Whimbrel, Common Sand (2), Dunlin, Sandwich Tern (recorded in 9 wks), and also third records of Pheasant and pr Stock Dove, Waxwings in late autumn and several Sand Martin in spring. Tree Bumblebee was new. The number of targets for additions is diminishing but still expected are: Snipe, Yellow Wag, Tree Pipit, Raven and Reed Bunting, with a few other long shots still possible (falcons, other pipits/buntings).
* Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Blackback, Great Blackback, Sandwich Tern, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Common Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch
]

Full records: Excel s/s.

Older records (to end 2016)