Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Scotland 2016

Another excellent week in Scotland over and although the birding, particularly around the coastal areas was pretty quiet, we still managed to nail most of our target species. Leading on from Wednesday's post, by the end of the stay we'd completed a second visit to WWT Caerlaverock, a day around Luce Bay and Wigton, plus an afternoon at RSPB Loch Laven.

Great views across the Solway Firth at sunset and Barnacle Geese heading off to roost!
More Barnacle Geese heading off...
WWT Caerlaverock failed to produce any additional bird species from our previous visit but did include a couple of Roe Deer and along with the spectacular Barnacle Geese and Whooper Swans, Scaup, Green-winged Teal and male Hen Harrier were once again recorded.

Rock Pipit ~ A constant throughout our stay!
Our day around Luce Bay began at Auchenmal, where the A747 begins to run along the shoreline and offers great views across the area. Our first stop of many during our visit immediately produced a couple of Red-throated Loons and further scans revealed 50+ Common Scoter, Guillemot, Shag and (2) Red-breasted Merganser. No matter where we stopped Rock Pipits were a constant companion and with plenty of scrub in the surrounding areas a Stonechat would occasional pop up along the route. Several small groups of waders could be found and within Dunlin, Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Redshank and Curlew.

Another Waxwing encounter!
Three Ravens were also noted during the day and other species included Sparrowhawk. Tree Sparrow, Waxwing, Goldeneye, Goosander and while at Port William, where we stopped for lunch, Great Northern Loon and Merlin! Our day ended in fading light at Wigtown and despite a decent list a notable absentee was Pink-footed Goose, this area being of national importance to the species!

On Saturday we made our way across to Dunfirmline for a family celebration and stopped for a few hours at RSPB Loch Leven. Here we visited the three hides and although an enjoyable visit only managed to add Pink-footed Goose and Great Crested Grebe to our holiday list!

Species Seen:

Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Greenland White-fronted Goose, Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal, Pochard, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Eider Duck, Common Scoter, Goldeneye, Goosander, Red-breasted Merganser, Green-winged Teal, Pheasant, Red-legged Partridge, Red-throated Loon, Great Northern Loon, Slavonian Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Peregrine, Merlin, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black Guillemot, Guillemot, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Waxwing, Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Wren, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Willow Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer