Friday, September 29, 2006

Goose count

First goose count of the autumn gave a paltry total of 2300 Pink-footed Geese, about a fifth of the numbers here this time last year. Must be global warming meaning they can winter in Iceland? Still lots of Barnacles though, and the first Long-tailed Duck of the autumn.

Not the most exciting September ever...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Buzzed off

Yesterday morning, a Bee-eater flew over the Reserve, calling twice in the process, but remaining resolutely invisible. This is the second time I've heard this species here and failed to see it - the last time, about 5 years ago, someone else did see 3 after I'd heard them. I also missed seeing one that had been present for 4 hours down the coast 12 years ago - I arrived 10 minutes after it waved goodbye to the assembled crowd... GRRRR!

The one time I did get one in Britain, it was a very sad, unspectacular, wet bird at the top of a very tall tree near Aberdeen. Fortunately, they were more obliging in Majorca this spring!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Barnacle blast

1500+ Barnacle Geese today, en route from Spitsbergen/Svalbard to SW Scotland, dropped off to rest after their North Sea crossing. This is the second highest count for the site. On the down side, only 130 Pink-footed Geese. Come on guys, you're late!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dipping out.

Switched on my mobile yesterday to find two messages about a Blyth's Reed Warbler (a lifer) just down the coast at Dunbar on Sunday. Two hours later, having set a new land speed record on the way, I was there. Tragically, the bird was not, and it hadn't been seen all morning. A nearby Red-backed Shrike had, but it too had disappeared by the time I arrived. Feck! (Memo to self - keep mobile on at all times)

A Spotted Redshank at the Reserve would have made small consolation but it completed a rather sad hatrick by also being absent. Not a good day.

Today, blowing a gale (westerly- not much use to anyone), and didn't see anything of any great excitement.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A bit more like it!

Geese at last - 13 Pink-footed, with 7 Brents flying past for good measure. But a few other things in what was a good morning's birding - 4 Black Terns, 2 Little Gulls, 2 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ruff and a Curlew Sandpiper.

Duck numbers are continuing to build up too, with 150+ Wigeon, 120 Mallard, 146 Teal and 6 Pintail. Must have been the disgusting weather yesterday that brought all this on. Hope it keeps going!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Still no geese...

...but 7 Black-tailed Godwits today.

Monday, September 11, 2006

No G'eese but 2 J's

This should have been the day that the first Pink-footed Geese arrived back for the winter, but they didn't. However, 2 Jays were about the first birds seen this morning, and another first for the Reserve this year! I heard a couple in the late winter but they didn't show, so this was a pleasant surprise! 156 and rising!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A touch of colour

Another warm sunny day, with loads of visitors, most of which weren't a problem. However, one fairly hideous blob of a woman decided to get her kit off and go for a swim... Thought I'd seen another whale!

On a better note, had a couple of brief views of a Kingfisher this morning, bringing the year's total for the site up to 155. I had a brief look into Musselburgh before going to the Reserve to see if I could see the Pectoral Sandpiper that appeared yesterday, but no joy. Humph!

At least all the punters will be back to work tomorrow and I'll get peace...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Thar she blows!

A very warm late summer day today, with a flat calm sea and clear blue skies. Regular readers will know that this is not my favourite sort of weather, due to the large influx of a***holes that this tends to attract, but today, I will make an exception!

A look out to sea this morning revealed the presence of 80+ Manx Shearwaters feeding offshore among a myriad of terns and Gannets about a mile offshore, but best of all was a couple of fleeting glimpses of a 8-10m long Minke Whale, the first large cetacean I've seen off here, and the first non-porpoise one for 3 or 4 years. Fabulous. Hope it doesn't stray too near Norway...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Away day

Took a trip to the RSPB nature reserve at Leighton Moss in Lancashire yesterday, in a hope to see a few different birdies, and just for a change of scene. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty awful all morning, got completely ripped off at a service station on the M6 (£5.80 for a coffee and a bacon roll!!!), missed the turn off on the motorway, got stuck in a traffic jam, arrived to find that the Marsh Harriers and Avocets that we'd hoped to see had already headed off south, they were stimming vegetation in front of one of the best hides, and the place was swarming with numpties who couldn't ID a Black-headed Gull at a range of 10m!

But, we had a good day nevertheless. Lots of ducks, and a couple of Marsh Tits - birds we certainly don't get in East Lothian. Also, finally saw an Osprey, fishing over the River Clyde, from the car on the way home.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

September reigns?

Firstly, apologies for the lack of recent postings - log in problems! Hopefully now ok...

You've not missed much - a week of strong westerlies saw the continued arrival of waders from the Arctic, plus a few more wildfowl, all ready for the start of the shooting season on 1st! Passage species have included the usual Ruff and Greenshank, and the occasional skua offshore. But, September is often a good month, so we'll see if it improves.
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