Friday, January 20, 2023

πŸ“– 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ~ Ythan Walk ~ 20/01/2023

🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Friday 20th January 2023 πŸŒ€ 3C ~ Wind NW @ 5MPH ~ I had intended to travel a little further north today along the Aberdeenshire coast but with most of the back roads like sheet ice, I decided to take the main 'A' roads across to Newburgh and the Ythan instead. Even the route out of the village to Kintore was treacherous but I made it down to the A92 unscathed!

Eider Duck ~ An icon of the Ythan

I parked at the Waterside Bridge Car park and from there I took a circular route from the Ythan anticlockwise, heading back along the beach. With the tide in there were only a few waders feeding along the water line: Sanderling, Turnstone, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Dunlin. At this time of year, the Eider Duck is already beginning to display and it's always a treat to hear their cooing display call echoing around the estuary. Not much movement overhead today, just a small passage of Skylark, (4) in total before I reached the beach.

Snow Buntings

The usual flock of thirty or so Twite were around the ternary, although as usual very flighty. I spent a while here trying to search out a small flock of Grey Partridge reported recently here but to no avail. However, I did manage to capture a shot of three Snow Buntings as they flew by.

Some of the 21 Grey Plovers seen along the shoreline today.

The return walk along the beach provided the best spectacle of the day with an unprecedented (21) Grey Plovers along the shoreline. I think my previous best count was three! In the foreground was a colour-ringed Knot but unfortunately, the flock moved off before I had a chance to attempt any better images, several Ringed Plovers were also noted.

One of a group of (18) Curlew

With little wind, the sea was pretty calm today and indeed quiet, with the exception of the odd Seal which would come up occasionally for a nose. In fact, the walk back from the shore was particularly quiet, best was a group of (18) Curlew, which had discovered an area of unfrozen pasture, plus three Fieldfare and a Redwing. I left the best until last with a Merlin perched on the roadside fence as I drove around to Meikle Loch which produced the usual wildfowl, my first two Stonechats of the year but nothing unusual during the briefest of visits.

Today's Route ~ MapMyWalk