Friday, May 03, 2024

πŸ“– 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 RSPB Strathbeg ~ 3rd May 24

🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Friday 3rd May 2024 🌀 14C ~ Wind NE @ 8MPH ~ I spent a few hours at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg this morning. A couple of Corn Buntings were singing along the phone wires as I passed the Crimond cemetery, and a Stonechat perched briefly along the entrance road to the reserve. Strathbeg has a large colony of Tree Sparrows and several were on the feeders as I parked.

One of the many Tree Sparrows at Strathbeg 

A quick check through the screens at the visitor center picked up a male Garganey that had been seen on site for the past week. After that, I made my way around to the bench to have a look over Starnafin Pools. 

Record image of the Drake Garganey.

The Garganey was quite distant, but I managed to take a few record shots of it while it was busy preening. Scanning the pools there were hardly any waders around, except for a few Lapwings. However, I did manage to note down Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, and Gadwall.

Pectoral Sandpiper ~ My first Nearctic of the year. 

I then suddenly came across a distant medium-sized wader which I didn't recognise immediately. The bird was brown-toned overall with yellowish legs but when it turned toward me it revealed dense breast streaking with an abrupt border and white belly, a Pectoral Sandpiper! My first Nearctic species of the year and more pleasing a self-found bird!


I spent an hour at the bench recording Marsh Harrier, and a couple of Ospreys drifted over at a distance. There were plenty of Swallows, along with a few House Martins. During my walk to the Dunbar Hide, several Willow Warbler, LinnetTree Sparrows, Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipits, a Blackcap, and Skylarks. The reedbeds held at least five Sedge Warblers and a few Reed Buntings, but the low ground was particularly quiet, save for four Grey Herons.

Green-veined White 

With the relative warmth, I also recorded my first Green-veined White butterfly of the year.