Monday, 6 March 2017

Morning Walks

Last week I resumed my early morning walks.  They are suspended over the dark months when there is nothing to see and the chance, on the roads, of not being seen.  Although it is still too dark now when I set out to take decent photos

Roe Deer in Watties Field at 6:30 this morning

Leaving the house at a time that will get me home for about 8.00 I have three regular routes each with variations to make it longer or shorter, and a few short ones  Today I went on the one I call 'Invernorth Circular'.   It is on the road a lot of the way but most are quiet and it is rare that I would encounter any traffic.  One stretch is along a disused railway which is now a footpath/cycleway.  There is a lot of talk about it being brought back into use as a railway from Fraserburgh to Aberdeen. It would be a shame to lose this long distance path.

As well as taking photos (mainly wildlife) I also keep a log of the birds seen to post onto Birdtrack.  Everyone should use Birdtrack.  There is even a mobile phone app that lets you log the birds as you go.   Today there were 29 species including one to add to my year list, a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Lesser Black-backed Gull - Invernorth Circular Walk
Lesser Black-backed Gull - Fraserburgh Beach


















They must have just arrive back in the area as there were two on Fraserburgh Beach this afternoon.  LBBGs are more of a southerly based bird.  Although a few over winter in the area there is an influx of them coming here to breed. The two I saw this morning on the old railway line are present every summer.  They breed near-by are circle over and shout at anyone walking the line in the vicinity of their nest site.
Lesser Black-backed Gull, Juv. Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull
Here is a photo of three Gulls for comparison purposes taken this afternoon at Fraserburgh Beach.  Sorry I couldn't get an adult Great Black-backed Gull to pose for me.  There are of course differences in size and back colour between the birds but the legs a different colours as well.

As Spring develops these walks will, I am sure, feature more and more in these blogs as I will be adding quite a few summer migrants to the year list that will have been seen on the morning walks.

The other avian sign of spring approaching is the rise of the dawn chorus.  Robins, Wrens, and Blackbirds are the earliest, in fact they barely stop singing.  They have been joined by Song Thrushes.  I must have heard over ten of them whilst out this morning.  However the chorus won't reach its height until the summer visitors start to arrive and establish their breeding territories.
Song Thrush in full voice
Here is a Stonechat and an Oystercatcher that were at Fraserburgh Beach this afternoon.
Stonechat

Oystercatcher


Total on list 124


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