Monday, 24 April 2017

19th April the day the rare bird message system went mad

There is rare bird message system for NE Scotland on 'Whatsapp'.  When someone sees a rare bird they send a 'Whatsapp' message that goes to all the other birders on the system.  On the 19th April messages were coming in thick and fast.

The first flurry were all about a White Stork seen at Ythanbank the day before.  Initially a picture of the bird was posted on Facebook.  The first messages alerted birders to the sighting the next ten or so were devoted to trying to find our where the  Stork had been seen.  All this was quite confusing (to me anyway) as in the middle of these messages several were sent giving details were sent about a Nuthatch that was seen in Rora two days before.  Once all that was sorted out notification of a third bird was broadcast on 'Whatsapp'  a Common Crane at the Loch of Strathbeg.

So I set off on a trip around Aberdeenshire to find three birds each of which would be a year tick.

My first port of call was the South end of the Loch of Strathbeg to find the Crane, it was the nearest to where I live.  I could not find it.  The next nearest bird was the Nuthatch.  On the way there I came across my mate Alex.  We debated what to do as the Nuthatch was a bird sen two days ago and the Stork was a more recent sighting.  We decided to go for the Nuthatch.  It was at Rora Kennels.  I had a sort of idea where they were and with only a little difficulty we found them and met the owner who showed us where the Nuthatch had last been seen.  Of course it was not there.  It hadn't been seen on the peanut feeder for two days. No doubt it had had a good feed and had enough fuel to make the journey back across the North Sea.  It was a pale-bellied bird which indicates that it probably came from Scandinavia rather than from further South in the UK where they are quite common.  We did look round the garden and woodland area round the kennels but there was no Nuthatch.  We did see a rather handsome male Siskin on the feeder that the Nuthatch had favoured

I did get a year tick though.  A House Martin was zooming around the kennels.

My next quest of the day was to find the White Stork.   By this time there were two possible locations for this bird.  One had a grid reference and a map, the other seemed to suggest that access was somewhat difficult.  I went to the first but could not see the Stork. The location was a fishing pond created from a gravel pit.  Here is the only photo I took there.

 And finally when it was getting dark another 'Whatsapp' message came through - Little Ringed Plover at the Loch of Strathbeg visitors centre.  I decided to leave it until the morning.  I had been on enough 'not finding the bird' hunts for that day.

Total on list 151

1 comment:

  1. I assume that's why its called a wild goose chase ... enjoy your jaunts and your wife's battle with the W.O.D. ... rgds Swiss Frank