Tuesday, April 30, 2024

πŸ“– 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Ythan Estuary ~ 30th April 24

🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Tuesday 30th April 2024 🌀 13C ~ Wind SSW @ 11MPH ~ Theo de Clermont one of my birding buddies from Warwickshire spent the night on Monday, travelling across from Mull, where he guides for NatureScot on his way to Shetland for an alternative 3 months guiding. This gave us the opportunity on Tuesday for a day of birding before he headed off on the overnight ferry from Aberdeen.

Whimbrels are now beginning to come through. 

We spent the day along the Ythan Estuary at Newburgh in springlike conditions, although it was still a little chilly and breezy. At Inch Point, we had a nice selection of waders with a single Ruff and various numbers of Redshank, DunlinBar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Knot, Curlew and Whimbrel. A Little Egret was feeding near Forvie Burn. On the water, a few pairs of Red-breasted Merganser a Red-throated Diver, a couple of Long-tailed Ducks, and many Eiders. Some of the Eiders were displaying and using their characteristic cooing calls.

The wonderful Eider Ducks along the Ythan.

A stroll from the Newburgh car park to the tin hut provides a sheltered view of the ternary on the opposite bank and the numerous Arctic Terns and Sandwich Terns, as well as a substantial colony of Black-headed Gulls, all of which nest here. We did manage a single Common Tern among the melee but it's still a little early for the Little Terns, both of which also nest here! Two fishing Ospreys were another highlight.

Osprey - A regular feature along the Ythan during spring, summer and autumn.

Our final stop was at the Snub car park where we noted five Pintail and added a couple of Greenshank to our wader count but the highlight had to be seeing three Ospreys, likely the two we noted earlier plus a third. A good day birding and good luck to Theo on his next adventure.