Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Scotland trip day 1


Thayer's Gull the really dark bird the six one in if you count
from the right

The Friday before we headed to Scotland we headed up to Lincolnshire and saw the Thayer’s Gull which was amazing to see.

A very early start saw us heading up to Gatwick for are flight to Aberdeen, We landed just before 9am and picked up our hire car and headed straight to Loch of Strathberg in hope of. Seeing the long staying Greater yellowlegs.

Tree Sparrow
1 hour later we arrived at the reserve Rob parked the car, whilst me and Dad quickly popped into the visitor centre to see if the Yellowlegs had been seen, the news was good it had just been seen from the visitor centre before flying off, and landed out of sight but was possibly viewable from the Tower hide, on our way to the hide we had 2 Whooper swan fly over us, we soon reached the hide and we were looking out over a vast area of marsh, it took about 10 minutes for me to notice a wader moving along the edge on the far side of the marsh and with my luck I was then watching the Greater yellowlegs.

Rock Pipit
Some really good views were gained as we watched it  for quite awhile as it moved about some times in flight giving us a chance to pick out it's rump, there was also a very good variety of other birds around this included Barnacle goose, Pink footed goose, 3 more Whooper swans and some Black tailed godwits, on the way back we flushed a Short eared owl right next to the Hide which was nice to see, on the way back we saw a few Yellowhammers and a nice big flock of Tree sparrows.

From here we headed to Portsoy to try for White billed diver but we didn't have any luck with it, but there was great numbers of seabirds such as Long tailed ducks, Razorbills, lots of Eiders and at least 3 summer plumage Black guillemots along the harbour wall there was about 3 Rock pipits flying, Dad then picked out an Iceland gull flying past us heading into the harbour so we headed round there to try and relocate it, and it was just sitting on the water by the rocks showing really nicely.

Crested tit
From here we headed to Loch Garten were we were pleased to see the breeding pair of Ospreys, there was lot of Siskin's and Chaffinches, on the Loch there was a nice pair of Red breasted mergansers and 3 Golden eye.

In the wood by Loch mallachie we managed to see our first target species of the Scottish birds which was presented in the form of Crested tit which was amazing to see, from here we headed to the digs for a nice long rest.

Eider






Iceland Gull
Long Tailed Duck


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