Sunday, 30 August 2009

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs
After Dum&Gallow I came to my Grandma's at Perth with my parents. Dad kindly said he would take me to Aberlady Bay to see the Lesser Yellowlegs. So today Dad suggested we go to Aberlady Bay. When I arrived the bird was there and I saw it fairly quickly. It wasn't really that hard to ID and was fairly distinctive when with the Redshanks and easy to seperate from the Greenshank that was present. Other notable birds seen include: Whimbrel, Grey Plover, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Curlew, and Greenshank. Here's some poor shots although they do show the size of the bird compared with commoner species and also the distinctive yellow legs.

(Forground from left Lesser Yellowlegs & Greenshank)

Surrounding Area I met a nice man whilst looking at and photographing the Lesser Yellowlegs and he said that I should go to the bird centre close by. It was a SOC centre which is Scotland's Bird Club, it was a fantastic place and everyone was very freindly and helpful. The fellow told me that Red-necked Grebe and Velvet scoter where near by and those are 2 life ticks I need! So we went to where the fellow told us and I bumped back into the nice man I met whilst at the Lesser Yellowlegs site. He pointed me in the direction of a very distant flock of Velvet Scoters and Red-Necked Grebes. I couldn't tell they were Velvet Scoters but the man said they where and he was local and knew the area and the birds that are there. He was saying that there was some Common Scoters amongst the flock so I looked at the flock and although I couldn'y positivly ID a Velvet Scoter for myself I saw the flock of birds and one bird sat up flapped it's wings and I didn't see it do a headbob so I think that it was a Velvet Scoter I was looking at. Even if it wasn't I saw the flock so I must have seen one regardless. The reason I say this is that there where more Velvet Scoters than Common Scoters in the flock. The bird that I saw that sat up looked like a Velvet Scoter when it flapped its wings. I think I saw the white wing bar on the secondaries. Although the Red-Necked Grebes where distant it didn't matter as later on we went to a diferent part of the area and whilst I was busy looking in the distance for the Red-Necked Grebes my Dad spooted them not far out and asked me what they where. I looked out and there was 2 cracking Red-Necked Grebes one still in part summer plumage (see photo) all in all a great day with 3 life ticks.

(1 0f 2 Red-Necked Grebe's spotted by Dad)

Life List updates:

199 -Lesser Yellowlegs

200 -Red-Necked Grebe

201 -Velvet Scoter


Friday 21st of August - BirdFair
The day before I went on holiday with my parents I went to the BirdFair with my friends. Had a life tick would you beleive?! They had caught a Grasshopper Warbler and I saw the bird and counted it. If you think this is unfair and cheating please email me on andrewkdoesn' ;)

Saturday 22nd-29th of August - Dumfries & Galloway
Notable birds seen on holiday where: Wigeon, Redshank, Red Kite, Shag, Peregrine, Raven, Buzzard, Wheatear, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. A good selection seems as though it wasn't a proper birding holiday.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Semipalmated Sandpiper

I got back from my days birding yesterday and I signed onto BirdGuides and went on Bird News Extra to see what birds had been seen so far in that day. If you haven’t already subscribed to BirdGuides for free I would recommend that you do so as it's a fantastic website.

I logged into Bird News extra and I was almost devastated to read:"19/08/09 - Semipalmated Sandpiper - Northumbs - Cresswell pond NWT"

I rang my friend Stew and he couldn't go so I put a message on Durham Bird Club forum asking if anyone was going and if so if I could come with them. Worried that I wouldn’t get a reply I told Mum the bird was there and she said she would take me in the afternoon. HOWEVER I got a phone call from a member who knows me and said he was going and that I could come. Few.....So I got up bright and early and we where on our way to Creswell pond NWT. We where told that we had just missed the bird by 10-15 mins! After a scam of Creswell Pond we went down onto the beach. A scam revealed some waders in the distance so we headed for them. We got there set our scopes up and a few minutes later Neil who I was with found it! I got my scope on it and Neil went back quickly to the car park to get the other birders. He returned with a few other birders and we got our scopes on it and watched it for quite a long time.
Cracking little bird! This bird takes my Life List up to 197 and my year list 179.

(From right: Dunlin, Semipalmated Sandpiper in background take note of the size difference)

(From FAR right: The bird that is furthest right on the shore is the Semipalmated Sandpiper other birds on the left are Knot, Sanderling, and Dunlin)

(Best photo (in my opinion) of the Semiplamated Sandpiper I could get)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Whitburn Obs & Sandhaven Beach

Only birds of interest where a large flock of Manx Shearwaters heading South.

South Sheilds: Sandhaven Beach
Went to Sandhaven Beach for the Roseate Terns that are there. Had 2 adults and here is a picture of one of them (below). Also present where Great-black backed Gull(s), Lesser-black bakced Gull(s), Herring Gull(s), Common Gull(s), and probably Black-headed Gull(s). There was a nice year tick for me with 7 Sanderling taking the year list up to 178 species of bird.

(Image: Roaseate Tern: The bird that is smallest is a Roseate Tern standing in front of a Common Tern)

(Image: 5 of the 7 Sanderlings present)

You have been watching..............

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Saturday 15th of August 2009

This is late as I didn't have a Blogspot on Saturday so your going oto get the report now.
Went out with fellow DBC freinds: Stew, Derek, and Andrew.

Seaton Snook
First of all we went to Seaton Snook and there was large numbers of both Ringed Plover & Dunlin. A few tern species knocking about including Little Tern. The highlight of Seaton Snook had to be the summer plumage Grey Plovers. Here is two of them (if you have good eyes)
After the very pleasant Grey Plovers we made our way back to the car in the now horizontal rain and 300mph wind.

(From left: Andrew Raine(Very appropriate), ME, Staurt Ayre)

Saltholme RSPB
Just the usual birds at Saltholme here today apart from Greenshank and Ruff.

Calor Gas Pools
The pools held some good birds on the day: Dunlin, 3 Ruff, Greenshank, Redshank, and 3 Black-tailed Godwits.

(From left: Reshank, Redshank, Greenshank)

Blackhall Rocks A nice flock of Common Scoter was a great end to the day at Blackhall Rocks. Also from here we had a few Gannets offshore.

A great end to the day.

You have been watching.........