Friday, March 31, 2006

A day of two halfs.

This morning, surprise surprise, pouring rain. Again. However, at least 11 Sand martins had arrived and I also heard a Chiffchaff though, frustratingly, couldn't see it (so it doesn't count for the year-list!). Brents still there though. This afternoon, warm and sunny! A couple of Short-eared Owls flying around - drying out? The Reserve is awash, with so much recent rain and one of the highest tides of the year. Fortunately, I don't think any Lapwings are on eggs yet, as they'd be floating! Seems to be raining again tonight...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Saturation point?

More water... Rain for most of the day, with a cool easterly wind and still no Wheatears, though the Brents were still there. Also a very high tide which has contributed to the general swampyness of the Reserve! But today's highlight was a White-fronted Goose (probably Greenland race) seen from the traffic jam on the A8000. Always pays to keep the binos handy!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Late spring?

Well, no rain today, just a howling westerly! Not a great incentive for summer migrants to arrive, so still no Wheatears despite a few reported elsewhere. Brent Geese still here though...

Three of the eight Brent Geese that arrived yesterday.

A male Stonechat - a total of at least 8 around today, 4 males & 4 females.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Why does it always rain on me?

This has been the driest winter here I can remember, apart from the last 5 days when the rain has hardly stopped! Just in time for spring. Fortunately it's mild, the Lapwings are displaying, Stonechats singing and there does seem to be decent numbers of Reed Buntings and Skylarks around after a few poor years. Hopefully, they'll get decent weather for imminent nesting. Time will tell, as the breeding bird census starts soon. But at least the rain keeps the people away!

The damp weather also seems to have started an amphibian orgy!!

Bird of the day: 8 (dark-bellied) Brent Geese - a good spring record, brings the list up to 108 here this year.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Some background...

I've been birding for about 30 years and worked here for 14! Up to today, I've seen 317 species in Scotland, without too much twitching (honest), with 271 in the Lothians (ie East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian and the city of Edinburgh). The vast majority of my birding is in East Lothian... It's not the biggest county in Scotland, and certainly doesn't offer the best variety of birds, but you never quite know what's going to turn up. Usually nothing. But every now and then...

So far this year, I've seen 121 species in the Lothians, without a lot of effort. Highlights have included Arctic Redpoll, Surf Scoter and Bittern. I'll hopefully end up with 200+ if it's a good year. But, I'm more interested in beating my best of 177 for the Reserve in a year. Only 71 to go, with my first summer migrant, a Ring Ouzel, added this morning. Watch this space

An introduction...

Well here goes! I hope you'll find this an interesting/entertaining account of one person's day-to-day efforts in trying to combine doing his bit for the local wildlife as well as satisfying his inner desires as a birder to see something interesting...
The FatBirder's Nest
FatBirder Web Ring
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