Monday, 10 April 2017

A Sunday Jaunt

I got two messages about rare(ish) birds at Loch of Skene to the west of Aberdeen. on Saturday.  One said that a Green-winged Teal and a Black-necked Grebe were there in the morning.  The other reported that they were still there in the evening.

On Sunday mid morning after our weekend guests (Daughter and three grandsons) had left for Edinburgh I took off to the Loch of Skene to find these birds.  I was expecting a largish crowd of birders to be there and that they would have found the birds and would be able to point them out to me without much hassle.  But life is never that easy.

There were two birders there who were on their way home.  They told me that they hadn't seen the birds and that earlier visitors had failed to find them.  This meant that I had to scan the loch just in case they had been overlooked.  I hunted through scores of Tufted Ducks and Goldeneye but there was not sight of a Grebe.  I found a small group of Teal but not one was the Green-winged Teal I was looking for.  All this took me beyond lunch time so I stopped off in Westhill to get a sandwich, a drink and I have to confess a blueberry muffin. I decided to go to the Ythan to park up with a view of the upper estuary to eat lunch and watch for an Osprey or two to turn up for their lunch.  Unfortunately it was high tide and it is my experience that the Ospreys fish the Ythan at low tide.  And this was born out.

I did think that I could not go home without at least one more tick for the year list.  The Bullers of Buchan is sort of on the way home from the Ythan and here I should be able to find a Puffin or two at this time of the year.  It did not take long to find them.  Not at the nest site but on the water at the bottom of the cliffs so about 150 feet away.

One Puffin

Three Puffins
One thing I learnt was that Puffins mate in the water.  That is what is going on in this next photo.

Puffin mating
 There were a few other bird around a well.

Guillemots, Razorbills and Kittiwakes


 When I got home I read through my emails and found one timed an hour before I left for the Loch of Skene that said that neither the Green-wing Teal nor the Black-neck Grebe had been seen that morning.  If I had seen that when it was sent I may not have gone out for the day and had a good though frustrating days birding

Total on list 142 

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