Friday, September 23, 2022

πŸ“– Baird's Sandpiper September 23rd 2022

⛅️18C Friday 23rd September 2022 ~ With Dazza away I'd decided to make a day of it starting on the Ythan Estuary at Newburgh and working my way northwards ending at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg in the early afternoon.

Greenshank in double figures along the Ythan

Having checked out the vast amounts of waders at the 'Snub' layby overlooking the Ythan and finding a creditable 11 species but nothing out of the ordinary, I drove the short distance around to Meikle Loch, initially to catch up with a Black-necked Grebe, which I required for my Scottish year list. 

Baird's Sandpiper ~ Meikle Loch

It wasn't long before I'd located the Black-necked Grebe and the now long-staying Red-necked Grebe, but a small wader on the far bank immediately took the eye! Pete Shepherd who was also watching the bird but further around the loch from my location came over and we discussed the various features of the bird but Pete had already identified it as a Baird's Sandpiper. It was an excellent find for Pete and we spent the next hour watching the bird and listening to its flight call as it moved short distances around the loch. It was occasionally joined by Ruff and Spotted Redshank.

Baird's Sandpiper ~ Meikle Loch ~ Another image of this rare migrant.

After Meikle, I headed off towards Peterhead to grab a coffee while en route to Strathbeg but decided to stop off at the Boddam power station viewpoint. With so many Yellow-browed Warblers reported on Shetland recently, this would be as good a place as any to search for a mainland bird. There are lots of gorse, rowan and woodland to search here and my luck was in! Having first heard the bird call I managed good views a short time later in the woodland area at the top end of the car park, another year-tick.

My final stop was at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg and I spent another hour or so watching and listening to the 100s of newly arrived Pink-footed Geese. I spent the duration overlooking Starnafin Pools from the picnic bench which held a small selection of waders: (27) Dunlin, (7) Greenshank, (3) Ruff, (3) Snipe, (5) Black-tailed Godwit and a single Knot. Wildfowl included Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal and Gadwall.

BUBO Listing
NEW Scottish Life-List Since Relocating Permanently to Aberdeenshire in October 2020