Sunday, April 25, 2021

πŸ“– Weekly Review W/E 25/04/21

Spring migration up here in the northeast of Scotland has so far been a slow affair, and with the weather being dominated the past week by clear skies, frosty mornings and an unfavourable northerly wind, just a few species have managed to breakthrough. Swallows are few and far between and I've yet to register a single House Martin. However, one species, in particular, seems to have bucked the trend. 

Willow Warblers bucking the trend

Willow Warblers appear to be everywhere at the moment and during my early morning patch visit to Dalmadilly Ponds on Friday, I noted at least nineteen birds.

Lesser Redpoll at Dalmadilly Ponds

The visit also produced my first Common Whitethroat of the year and displaying Lesser Redpolls, which for me was a first. Just below the site as I look down onto the River Don a couple of Common Sandpipers and two female Goosanders were also recorded. 

Green Tiger Beetle

When the temperature gets up later in the day a few butterflies have been noted with Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Green-veined White all additions to the year-list. I also found a few of my favourite Green Tiger Beetles during a visit to another local spot 'Don View' where I'd hoped to see Tree Pipit but like most species, these too have not yet arrived. 

Carpet of Wood Anemone
On Monday afternoon I took a leisurely walk around another local beauty spot Paradise Wood at Monymusk, an extensive woodland canopy that runs alongside the River Don and owned by the Grant family since the early 18th century. The area was originally planted by Sir Archibald Grant, a renowned agricultural reformer of the day.

The wood is home to a huge variety of trees including Fir, Oak, Ash, Elm, Beech, Plane, Alder, Hazel, Birch, Spruce, Larch and is now beginning to come alive with vast carpets of Wood Anemone and Lesser Celandine

Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper all noted along the river during my visit, along with Treecreeper, Common Crossbill and Great Spotted Woodpecker within the woods.

Further afield during the past week, I've managed to catch up with a Spoonbill at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg and a Black-necked Grebe at a site that due to the possibility of breeding shall remain secret within my journal. Whimbrel is another addition to my slowly building year-list when I managed two birds along the coastline at Forvie NNR and then six birds that flew over the house calling on Thursday evening.

Saturday 24th... Dazza and I enjoyed icecreams along the seafront at Stonehaven followed by a leisurely evening stroll along the spectacular sea cliffs at RSPB Fowlsheugh. Along with the 1000s of Auks, Fulmars and Kittiwakes, just 3 Puffins during our visit, but just seeing one is good enough for us!

Sunday 25th... A slight ground frost on my morning walk around Dalmadilly Ponds today. Highlights included double-figure Willow Warblers, two more Whitethroats & new to the patch a couple of Tree Sparrows to end an enjoyable week out & about.


One of just three Puffins today at RSPB Fowlsheugh

Chiffchaff at Dalmadilly Ponds

Butterbur ~ A new one for me

Suffolk Lungwort