24th April 2016
today for a change. There was a possibility of a Whitethroat at the
'Pow' and as south of west looked better for the light, Pow Burn it
was. Breakfast first as always and the breakfast at Asda in Kilmarnock
was a good 9. Sadly the outward walk was very quiet indeed. The ' Pow'
apart from 2 Mute Swans. There were Skylarks singing away and I managed
to get quite close to one when it came down. The Meadow Pipits were
flitting about the brambles as usual and one stayed still long enough
for some good shots. We settled down at the headland hoping for some
insect activity but perhaps it was a bit early as nothing showed. The
walk back was disappointing until we reached the start of the 'Pow '.
The place was suddenly quite busy .
A pair of Shelduck were feeding quietly until disturbed by a dog and a
Linnet was having a wash just ahead of us on the path. We waited here
for a while and were rewarded with some Goldfinch, Willow Warblers and
Dunnock. A rather busy end to a rather quiet day. As we settled down
for our tea
and a bun a Lesser Black Backed hovered above in the hope of a feed. It
didn't get much!
|Lesser black-backed Gull
The best of the weather was to be in the east, so Dalkeith Morrisons
again for breakfast which was another 9.5 Would have been a 9.5+ but
the toast!.... We parked by the scrapes
again this week to see what was showing. The Oystercatchers were
conspicuous by their absence in any great numbers. The Bar-tailed
Godwits were there in force but were continually put to flight by an
aggressive Carrion Crow. The Wigeon also came and went at various
John first noticed some strange behaviour from the Redshanks, who were
performing a strange ritual which involved rising a few inches and
skimming a few feet along the water with their heads below the surface.
I can only think that they were disturbing the mud for food. The Curlew
were also showing well on the middle pond. The light was getting poor
as we left for a walk along the sea wall. A Shag kept us busy, as it
wrestled with some sort of flat fish. It was a bit of a handful for it,
but it managed to get it down. A juvenile Cormorant flew in close by,
perhaps hoping to make a catch of its own. Other than that, it was very
quiet until we spotted a nice Eider at the
mouth of the Esk. With light fading and a threat of rain we headed back
to the car for tea and a bun. A nice Chaffinch gave us a song as we
poured the tea.
I was on my own today as John was at home nursing a twisted ankle. I
headed for a new site for
me, Torphichen, a small village near Bathgate, to catch a glimpse of a
Ross' Goose. Alas it was not to be. Next a brief trip to Skateraw was
disappointingly quiet as the tide was well out. However I did consume a
very tasty McDonalds Chicken Sandwich Meal from the Dunbar Drive-in! I
cut my losses and headed for Musselburgh sure that I'd get some
camera action. Immediately I got a pleasing shot of a Skylark posing to
attract a mate. At the Scrapes the light was poor and the birds were
distant but a Reed Bunting caught my eye just behind the hide. Along
the sea wall the Velvet Scoter were busy as usual - but no sign of the
Surf Scoter though. Then as
birds started to stream into the Scrapes I caught shots of Curlew,
Oystercatchers and Shelduck. So not a bad outing after all!
Heading east today where the weather looks like clearing up at around
the time we will finish breakfast. Breakfast at Morrisons in Dalkeith
was another 9.5 +. A left turn instead of a straight through at a
roundabout found us heading to Port Seton in error. We carried on
anyway in case the Brent Geese were on view. Luckily, they were. The
weather should have cleared by now but the light was very poor. A very
vocal Starling was performing nearby and caught our attention as the
drifted out. We scanned the gulls looking for something unusual but a
few Turnstones were all we managed to shoot. Off to Musselburgh, hoping
the light will improve on the way. We parked
at the scrapes and headed over to see what was on view. Terrible light
and not much to see was a bit disappointing. Off to the sea wall and
hopefully something worthwhile to catch our attention. A razorbill came
quite close but the light was still very low. We managed to shoot a few
of the usual suspects as we walked. The best opportunity of the day was
a Carrion Crow, which posed on the sea wall about 2 meters away.
Despite the low light I think it was the shot of the day.
As the sun eventually broke through, time had caught up with us, and we
had to head back to the car for our tea and a bun.
(Morrison’s 3 for 2
offer finished). Not a great trip due to the light level but
Musselburgh never disappoints.
|Long Tailed Duck
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