Sunday, 10 February 2013

Unexpected Saturday...

Weather this weekend has been pretty miserable, overcast and wet. Wasn't expecting to do much birding or to see much but I ended with a few interesting encounters throughout the day.

The first encounter happened around 10am. I went out of the backdoor of the house and something caught my eye not 2 metres away on the outside wall of the house. It was a Treecreeper. It was working it's way up the wall of the house just like it would on a tree trunk and after it had crawled up a few feet I expected it to fly off but it flew down to the bottom again and a couple feet over this time started over again. I went and got the camera and stuck my head back out and the bird still remained.

It was then off to Chanonry Point near Fortrose to meet my girlfriend and take her dog for a walk. On the way a Sparrowhawk flew across the road near to Munlochy, my first of the year. Unfortunately the tide was right in when I arrived but as it turned out I still managed to see a few things, including plenty of seals and 2 dolphin whilst waiting for my girlfriend to arrive.

One of the dolphins off Chanonry
From my car I could see plenty of Oystercatcher on the stoney shore who were then joined by 16 Ringed Plover and a handful of Turnstone. Walking along the beach towards Rosemarkie I didn't see much but the way back was more productive. 2 Red Breasted Merganser were floating off shore and a Shag flew by in close. There was also a couple of Long-tailed Ducks including one that was standing on the shore right at the point. I have never actually seen a Long-tailed Duck out of the water before.

Long-tailed Duck
A single Linnet was sitting on the lighthouse wall and at the same spot where I saw the Ringed Plover was now a group of 18 Knot which finished off the walk nicely.

We then headed back to Inverness and I had a small mission planned. The last couple days I had been talking with a women on the Highland and Moray Birds Facebook page with regards to some Waxwings. There had been a small but regular flock visiting the same area for most of the week and I thought it was my best bet to actually see on in the UK in daylight. After obtaining directions to the location I headed there to have a look and as I pulled up I could see them flying around already, superb! I got out of the car and walked up the road a hundred metres or so for a closer look. I counted 34 birds in total. Unfortunately the light was terrible for photos but a handful did come down to some bushes at the road side for some crappy record shots. I saw thousands of these birds in Finland but there is something special about seeing them here in the UK. Thanks again Wendy!

To finish off a pretty good day, whilst at my girlfriends house a flock of birds caught my eye out the window as they flew over and landed in a nearby tree. With the amount of small flocks of Waxwing being reported around Inverness lately that was my first thought but a nice surprise to find out it was 12 Redwing. So in the end some nice birds for the year list.

Year List Additions:
65. Sparrowhawk
66. Turnstone
67. Ringed Plover
68. Red-breasted Merganser
69. Shag
70. Knot
71. Redwing

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