Friday, May 12, 2023

πŸ“– 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ~ RSPB Loch of Strathbeg ~ 12/05/2023

🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 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 WhitethroatYellowhammerMeadow PipitLinnet, 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, Lapwings and various counts of Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler and Shelduck.

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