A good deal to catch up on since my last post on March 31st beginning with a birthday visit to Montrose Basin on April 4th, the day I officially became an OAP!
|Whooper Swans at Montrose Basin, soon to be heading off back to Iceland|
Moving swiftly on the day was more about a birthday breakfast long walk and an excellent dinner locally. On the 6th I headed off to RSPB Loch of Strathbeg in the hope of connecting with a pair of Garganey reported the previous evening but despite a few hours in the pouring rain, scoping from within the nature centre I hasten to add, I dipped. However, the time wasn't wasted with a pair of Marsh Harriers, a couple of Pintail, Spoonbill and my first Little-ringed Plover of the year.
|One of just three Puffins seen at RSPB Fowlsheugh but it's still early days.|
On Saturday the 8th Dazza and I headed off to RSPB Fowlsheugh for the afternoon in search of Puffins and of course any early migrants. Bullers of Buchan has taken over as the best site for Puffins in Aberdeenshire nowadays but we did manage three birds in total after an exhaustive search, one of which was below on the water.
|A Razorbill keeps a close eye at Fowlsheugh.|
As you would imagine the place was a cacophony of sound with 100s of Guillemots and Razorbills clinging onto the cliff edges, and Kittiwake well into the breeding season. These were intermingled with Fulmar's performing close aerobatics over the cliffs and below Sandwich Terns are now beginning to arrive in numbers.
|Chiffchaffs are now well-established locally|
As is the norm up here in the northeast of Scotland while my old patch down in Warwickshire is already in full migratory swing it wasn't until April 3rd I observed my first Sand Martins of the year with three at Dalmadilly. Despite the slow start things are beginning to move now and on the 10th six Sand Martins at Dalmadilly Ponds were joined by a single Swallow and the first singing Willow Warbler of the year for me. Chiffchaffs are now well established locally with a high count of seven on the 11th but where are the Blackcaps? Just a single bird noted on the 11th was my first of the spring.
A Few More Images of the Last few weeks...