Tuesday, May 09, 2023

πŸ“– 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ~ Dark-eyed Junco ~ 09/05/2023

🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Tuesday 9th May 2023 🌦️8C ~ Wind E @ 2MPH ~ After a few days' rest, it was back out for some local birding and to play catch-up with my Scottish year-list. To begin I'd decided to visit Rattray Head, a real hotspot for migration which often produces something unique. Today was no exception!

Our confirmation of a Dark-eyed Junco ~ A brilliant find by Andy Carroll.

As I arrived along the track towards the old B&B a car seemed parked in the middle. As I pulled up behind the door flung open and a guy tells me he'd just seen a Dark-eyed Junco!! You can imagine my surprise. The chap was actually Andy Carroll a local birder who I knew through social media but this was the first time we'd met. As we were both parking I noticed a bird fly into a nearby tree, the light wasn't good at this point but through the windscreen, it looked dark with a light belly. It didn't stay long but I was hopeful for Andy that this was it. Long story short, we both searched for a least an hour and we were joined by a third person until suddenly a bird flew across and perched on nearby posts, Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco ~ Rattray Head

What a brilliant find for Andy and for me a case of the right place, right time! From this point on, the bird offered some great views, was feeding well and looked in good condition. 

Pied Flycatcher on the fence of the old B&B at Rattray

A few other sightings while searching around Rattray included at least three Pied Flycatchers, Stonechat and a single Fieldfare and Redwing

Pied Flycatcher ~ Rattray

After the excitement of Rattray, I stopped for a brief visit at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg to look over Starnafin Pools. Although the pool was particularly quiet, save for a few Dunlin and Redshank a Spoonbill was feeding across on the low ground and the only other notable was a Grasshopper Warbler reeling alongside the dipping pond as I drove out. A final stop of the day at Inch Point along the Ythan produced a count of (9) Whimbrel, a good end to top day back home.

Whimbrel at Inch Point Ythan Estuary