Tuesday 8 September 2020

Way west

There's been no updates for while because I've been west, way west, in fact at one point as far west as you can get in mainland Britain - Ardnamurchan Point. We were staying on the Morvern Peninsula for a week but traveled around Sunart, Adrnamurchan and over to Mull a couple of times. It's a beautiful area but it is a lot wetter than here in the east and we got wet a few times.

Heading for Sanna Bay

It was nice to get back to Druridge and stand on the dune and have the north on my left where it belongs. I've been down to the patch everyday since I back. 

Janet and I had brief wander on Saturday after our long drive south. Offshore the Scoter flock numbered 400-450 and there were six Red-throated Divers with them. This ship - the Normand Clipper has taken up residence in the Bay, seemingly it is to do with the new connector cable to Norway. 

The Normand Clipper

On Sunday afternoon,  it was quite warm with sunny spells, Chris Barlow let me know he'd seen a new hover for the patch so I went looking. I didn't see it but saw some other species and a couple of interesting other beasties. 45 plus Goldfinch rattled around me whilst I was hunkered down with the macro lens and a whimbrel flew south. 

Hoverfly Eristalis intricaria (worn female)
Female Helophilus pendulus
Eupeodes latifasciatis (f)
I think this might be one of the Lauxaniid Marsh Flies?
22-Spot Ladybird

When the sun went, I had a look offshore and three Sooty Shearwaters went north and the Red-throated Diver count was up to ten. 

On Monday evening Janet and I had a walk through up to the north of the patch and back by the beach. Our first bird was colossal female Sparrowhawk coming off the dunes. Further north we had Buzzards and a juvenile Marsh Harrier

This morning, my pre-work wander didn't get me far as there was some good vizmig going on. First birds heard were a small flock of Siskin going south. As I walked along the road, good number of Meadow Pipits, Sand Martins and House Martins flew south. A single Tree Pipit went south, calling and by the Dunbar burn there were two Wheatears and a juvenile Whinchat with a gang of resting Meadow Pipits and Linnets. 

A few Herring Gull loafed just offshore and this second winter bird gave good views in nice light and I found what I think is a dead Manx Shearwater on the beach. 

Second-winter Herring Gull
Dead Manx Shearwater

I estimated the following counts in my 45 minutes or so of counting

75 Sand Martin

57 House Martin

86 Meadow Pipits

32 Siskin (in three groups)

17 Swallow

1 Tree Pipit

This evening, I had a quick look on the sea, there wasn't much to report but this Chinook Helicopter gave good views as it passed low over the dunes. 

Sanderlings on the beach this evening - adult and juvenile

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