Monday, November 19, 2018

πŸ“– #66 ~ Scotland 🍁

After our visits to RSPB Loch of Strathsbeg and the Southern Highlands at Glenshee, we spent the remainder of our week in Scotland working our way along the north-east coast.

Dipper at Cruden Bay
There are lots of bays and beaches to explore working up from our accommodation at Cruden Bay as far as Rosehearty on the Moray Firth coastline. However, Cruden Bay itself has been productive, with Dippers on the river and lots of Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrows, which appear to be in good numbers right across the area.

Plenty of Shag at Girdleness, Aberdeen

Large numbers of Purple Sandpipers roost at Girdleness
On Thursday Dazza was meeting an old friend in Aberdeen for lunch after which we spent time at Girdleness, which is the headland that protects the southern side of the harbour. The short walk around it takes in the lighthouse, sea views and Torry Battery - built to defend the harbour in 1860.

1st yr Long-tailed Duck at Aberbour

Many Turnstones along the shorelines

Hooded Crow (hybrid) 
On Friday, our final full day we managed to get as far along as Rosehearty, just four miles west of Fraserburgh, where we spent time in both places checking out the harbours, bays and beaches.

Waxwing ~ Blink and it's gone!

Rock Pipit at Sandhaven
Fraserburgh produced the only two Waxwings of the week, despite many reports in the local areas and at Sandhaven we recorded over thirty Rock Pipits around the harbour. The weather, with the exception of Wednesday, when it rained all day, has been exceptional with mostly clear blue skies and temperatures on some days in the mid teens, incredible for November. To be honest, the weather was too good for birding, with little wind, mostly southerly and so no Skuas, Petrels, unusual sea ducks or rare Gulls to report, in fact, Divers were a little scarce too with only Red-throated seen. That said a great week, particularly for my wife Daria, who had a well-deserved break in her homeland!

Cattle Egrets at RSPB Leighton Moss

Cattle Egret
A stop off on Saturday night at Lancaster on the route home gave a perfect opportunity to visit RSPB Leighton Moss, a place where I have many childhood memories. Here the highlights were good scoped views of a Great Grey Shrike, Merlin and two Cattle Egrets at a nearby farm.

Other Images of Scotland...

Marsh Harrier Leighton Moss
Marsh Tit ~ RSPB Leighton Moss

Pintail & Gadwall
One of many Whooper Swan

Haven for Curlew

Bathing Tree Sparrows

Dunlin at Rosehearty

Full List Of Sightings....

Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Red-legged Partridge, Red Grouse, Ptarmigan, Black Grouse, Pheasant, Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Knot, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Redshank, Snipe, Guillemot, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kestrel, Merlin, Great Grey Shrike, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow (including intermediate), Raven, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Skylark, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Wren, Starling, Dipper, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Crossbill, Goldfinch, Siskin, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting