🌊 High Tide ~ 13:50 @4.19m ~ ☀️ Sunrise 8:23am Sunset 3:31pm
I began my visit at Inches Point around mid-morning with the tide now on the turn. I was greeted with the usual cacophony of sound, Curlew, Oystercatcher and passing flocks of Dunlin. Three Bar-tailed Godwits were feeding in the shallows along with two small groups of Knot. By far the most abundant wader was Redshank. A good selection of Gulls was noteworthy but despite an extended search for 'white-wingers', I drew a blank.
|Drake Eider looking magnificent in the winter sun|
The resident large groups of Eider were mostly asleep but occasionally disturbed by a passing Seal. Thankfully, the odd one would drift by and the light today was excellent for photography.
|Walk from the west car park to Tarty Burn.|
My next stop was the west Waterside Bridge car park, where I enjoyed an extended walk upstream along the shoreline as far as Tarty Burn. Just a little further upstream is Inch Geck Island, which during the breeding season apparently holds the highest concentration of Shelduck
in the north-east of Scotland.
|Red-breasted Mergansers along the Ythan.|
There were a few around today but majorly outnumbered by Red-breasted Mergansers
, again the light showing them off beautifully with four birds close by. Wigeon
and a Drake Goldeneye
were also recorded.
|Part of the huge flock of Dunlin displaced by the Peregrine.|
At one point a Peregrine
laid waste to the area throwing up some huge flocks of Lapwing
and I also noted three Brent Geese
which flew west and out of view. As is the norm at this time of year several skeins of Pink-footed Geese
The same selection of waders during my walk as Inches Point with the addition of Lapwing
, the latter of which I've established winter around this area. Along the treeline Chaffinch
, Song Thrush
and Meadow Pipit
in the nearby fields.
|A healthy colony of Tree Sparrow at Waulkmill Hide.|
A brief stop at Snub layby to have my packed lunch, inadvertently flushing a Kingfisher
, which I noticed too late as I drove in. My final visit of the day was to the Waulkmill Hide, stopping briefly to check out a distant group of Whooper Swans
, arriving at the hide just on high tide. Close in were 15 Greylag Geese
but the low sun at this time of day is a real issue and so I concentrated on the area behind the hide where there are feeders. There is a nice colony of Tree Sparrows
with 23 counted today along with Chaffinch
around the feeders.
|Linnet flock in the fading light.|
In the field behind a large flock of Linnet
were feeding on what looks to be a set-aside area, obviously being seeded. I spent a good 45-minutes searching for Twite
, unsuccessfully and during this period a Sparrowhawk
landed briefly just feet away! It was another enjoyable visit in the beautiful winter sunshine.