🏴 Friday 12th May 2023 ☁️ 9C ~ Wind NNE @ 2MPH ~ An early start today arriving at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg around 7:30am, a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling from the scrub just prior to the dipping ponds as I passed. As I parked at least twenty Common Terns were making a good racket overhead and the usual Tree Sparrows were around the feeders.
|Two of four Drake Garganey on Starnafin Pools|
I began overlooking Starnafin Pools from the benched area and here I was immediately onto Temminck's Stint
, (2) Wood Sandpipers
, (2) Little-ringed Plovers
and an amazing (4) Garganey
, all drakes! Quite the tally for NE Scotland.
|Not a morning for the camera but a record of the Temminck's Stint ~ A Scottish tick for me after missing out on a couple of birds seen since I moved up here in 2020.|
Also of note were (4) Roe Deer which seemed to have got through the perimeter fencing on Starnafin Pools and spent the whole time searching for a way out. I did inform the guys in the centre when they arrived so hopefully they've been sprung from their incarceration. Interesting point, if Roe Deer can get in so too Foxes!!
|One of two Common Cranes ~ Always a pleasure to see them NOT sporting lots of leg bling!|
I spent an hour overlooking the pool with Barn Swallows and a few House Martins skimming for flies and my first couple of Swifts for the year overhead. A couple of Common Cranes seemed to appear from nowhere, one on each side of the perimeter fence and were happily feeding.
|Pretty sure this is a Grasshopper Warbler.|
A walk to the Dunbar Hide produced Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Skylark, a single Lesser Redpoll and a Corn Bunting singing from the wires. I paused outside the Tower Hide for a scan of the reedbeds, a Willow Warbler singing behind and a Water Rail grated from the reeds below. As I walked along the reeds towards the Dunbar Hide a bird popped up into one of the willows low to the ground, no song, no calls. I only got the briefest of views and actually managed a photo, I'm pretty sure it's another Grasshopper Warbler.
|Sedge Warbler from the Dunbar Hide|
Another hour in the Dunbar Hide produced Sedge Warblers
at close range, a flyby male Marsh Harrier
and feeding on the low ground at a distance a Great White Egret
. Easily forty or so Curlew
, a few Oystercatchers
and various counts of Wigeon
|Osprey ~ During my walk back to the centre.|
My walk back to the centre produced a few raptors with Osprey, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk all noted.
A few more images of the morning...
|One of two Little-ringed Plover ~ I'm told quite the rarity in NE Scotland just a few years ago. |
|Great White Egret feeding on the low ground from the Dunbar Hide|
|A Wren banging out his huge song from the Dunbar Hide|
NEW Scottish Life-List Since Relocating Permanently to Aberdeenshire in October 2020