Monday, 16 April 2012

Upland Migrants...

The last couple of weeks have consisted of rain, rain and more rain and has resulted in a pretty miserable Easter break but today (typical on the last day) the weather really changed with sunny, cloudless skies and a slight breeze. Even though I have a mountain of coursework I just couldn't resist going out so I decided to head up to the Heights at the back of Dingwall again.

Just before leaving the Red Kites were flying really close in about the house again which they seem to be doing quite regularly for the last couple weeks. With my camera at hand as I was headed out I managed to get a couple pictures. The right wing looking a bit ragged with a couple primaries missing and a hole in the middle of the wing.

I headed up to the Heights. The water level in the burn was a lot lower this time and crossing was no problem. Before reaching the moorland I had already spotted plenty of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and a couple of Curlew. I made my way up the slope past a small group of scattered Scots Pine. A bird caught my eye on the heather which then flew low along the ground and landed on an old tree stump. A closer looked revealed a male Wheatear and also a female, superb and my first proper migrants of the year. Unfortunately when I finally got close enough for a record shot they flew off just before I pulled the trigger

Can just see the male flying off to the right.
I spent the next hour or so heading further up, around and down the scattered woodland / moorland. A pair of Ravens gronking at the top of a dead pine was nice to see. Buzzard and Red Kite seen overhead and all of a sudden out of nowhere a small group of 5 noisey Lesser Redpolls landed in a nearby tree, my first of the year.

Knowing I had a lot of work waiting for me back home I forced myself to head back to the car. On my way down the hill a pair of Red-legged Partridge were crossing the road in front of me, a bird I hadn't seen before.

Birds Seen Today:
Meadow Pipits
Lesser Redpoll x 5
Red Kite
Common Buzzard
Raven x 2
Common Gull x 6
Coal Tit
Great Tit
Wheatear x 2
Red-legged Partridge x 2

Some various pictures from today:


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