Friday 4th November 2022🌤 10C ~ Wind WNW @ 8MPH ~ My weekly morning visit to Strathbeg today and along with the amazing spectacle of Whooper Swans, Barnacle Geese and Pink-footed Geese the added bonus of Lesser Yellowlegs which had first been reported yesterday. The Lesser Yellowlegs had been seen from the nature centre before my arrival today but a comment mentioned that it could likely be better viewed from the Dunbar Hide, so this was going to be my first stop.
|Whooper Swans ~ Strathbeg
A quick pause at Crimond Graveyard for Corn Bunting, where I managed two perched up on the phone wires opposite and then the usual sight of at least ten Tree sparrows on the feeders as I drove into the car park. Amazing to think that both of these national rarities are not as uncommon in Aberdeenshire.
|Good numbers of Linnet around the farmland route ~ Strathbeg
The walk to the Dunbar Hide produced Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Skylark and more Tree Sparrows, along with a Water Rail, which called from the reedbeds just as I arrived. With recent heavy rains, the low ground held much more water since my last visit with plenty of flooded areas to explore. I'd literally just organised myself when a Marsh Harrier flew directly in front of the hide, fortunately, the camera was at the ready!
|Marsh Harrier from Dunbar Hide
Two Little Egrets to start and after searching through the many Lapwing and smaller groups of Golden Plover, Dunlin and the odd Redshank there was no initial sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs, that was until a Sparrowhawk flew through. I picked the bird out in the mayhem that followed among the many Lapwing in flight and followed it before it settled along the edge of one of the pools. The bird never came any closer to the hide during my stay but I did manage a few distant record shots of the bird, which was occasionally moved on by an unhappy Redshank.
|Best of the bunch of record shots ~ Lesser Yellowlegs
Back at the centre, a look over Starnafin Pools before heading off held Goldeneye, Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler, plus a single Pintail. More waders with at least (11) Snipe, (23) Dunlin and a single Black-tailed Godwit before a Great White Egret flew in.