Despite the record-breaking temperatures in some parts of Scotland today my morning visit to the Ythan Estuary was draped in cloud. Add to this a strong northwesterly and it was quite a dreary mornings birding with temperatures struggling to reach 14C.
|A party group f 14 Ruff from the 'Snub' layby
That said there's always plenty to see and point the camera at around the Ythan! Having parked up at the 'Snub' layby I managed a count of seven Little Egret all hunkered up along the opposite bank. A record for the area I'm led to believe. As I counted the Egrets a party group of fourteen Ruff passed by, thankfully my camera was primed and ready.
|A single Knot just below the layby during a very brief sunny interlude.
My normal commute between here and the Waulkmill Hide produced a good selection of waders: Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Knot, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Curlew, some of which are photographed below. A single Osprey was also noted from the Waulkmill Hide.
|1st Wheatear of the Autumn at Cransdale car park.
A short drive to Collieston for a brief sea watch away from the Ythan produced my first autumn Wheatear along the rocks from the Cransdale car park. Also while here at least three Rock Pipits and a passing Kestrel.
Out to sea four Red-throated Divers among the many Razorbill and Guillemots. Several fish shoales were being bombarded by Gannets, Kittiwakes and a selection of Gulls, plus three Great Skuas. At one stage a single Manx Shearwater passed through and while following with the scope a large Cetacea breached briefly, possibly a Minke Whale but it was away off and unfortunately, I didn't connect again.