Hi all. Just a quick update on my birding in the last couple of weeks. Since my ‘episode’ with the ‘Yellow-legged’ Gull and the female Lesser Scaup (which itself has a confusing story behind it) at Loch of Skene I haven’t managed much birding at all due to school. The last time I was in the field was Saturday 21st Jan when a check of Girdle Ness produced a blank for any white-winged gulls and didn’t produce an awful lot of birds. The best that I could manage was 47 Purple Sandpipers from Greyhope Bay (Girdle Ness is the county hotspot for this species), a couple of Red-throated Divers in Nigg Bay and a few Razorbills and Kittiwakes going past offshore. This trip brought me up to 108 for my 2012 year list; see the page dedicated to my 2012 year list for species I have managed so far this year.
Since this occasion I have had a couple of interesting sightings whilst going about my business in Aberdeen. Last Thursday (26th) I came across a colour ringed juvenile Herring Gull gorging on lunchtime leftovers at my school (Aberdeen Grammar School). The ring was yellow, signifying that this bird was ringed by the local Grampian Ringing Group. As with all Grampian ringed gulls, this gull had a yellow colour ring which started with the letter T, but I was unable to make out the three digits following this which was frustrating despite getting good views of the bird in flight and on the ground. It would have been great to get the full code for this ring so I could have found out when it was ringed and its progress before I saw it. It may well be a bird that’s always stayed local, but nonetheless it would’ve been fascinating to know. I will keep an eye out for it in case it returns.
Also of interest, more or less whilst typing this there is a large flock of winter thrushes on my street in the trees opposite my house; I’dsay some 50-60 Fieldfares but probably more as they keep flying over into the gardens. As far as I can see there’s about 15 Redwings amongst them, but this once again could be an underestimate. It must be that these are birds that have arrived in the last few days with the high pressure at the moment that’s caused a cold snap over in the Eurasian continent and here, as this is the single largest winter thrush flock I’ve seen all winter so far. Great stuff.
I am currently doing exams and have been revising for these, hence why birding’s been limited. However, most of them are this week so I’ll be able to get out birding regularly again from this weekend onwards. I’m hoping to get out to the dunes at the mouth of the Ythan Estuary to have a look for the local wintering Twite flock and see if there’s anything amongst them, as well as do a bit of gulling at Peterhead and Fraserburgh to try for a Glaucous Gull or two as well as see what Icelands and Kumlien’s are around… There’s still piles of white wingers up there so it will be great to have another look. A post on that is to come, plus a yearly review done over several and also a review of my winter patching at my new occasional patch in Norfolk; Costsessey House Private Estate (for more on the patch, see pages dedicated to it).
Until then thanks for reading,