Tuesday, 10 January 2017

New Year

Before the New Year I went for a swim that I didn't intend or want... note to self the burn at Aikerness silts up so it might be a tad deeper than you expect.  I was giving elder daughter a piggyback across the burn at the time... who goes to the beach in Chelsea boots? I ask you... No witnesses and no pictures fortunately. The walk was cut very short and we both retreated to the car damp and shivery. (However, camera and phones survived so a tad wet and cold was the only damage.)

The weather was not great over the first few days of the New Year, and more windy weather is expected overnight and for the next couple of days, gusting 70mph is no fun with car and house doors.

Not that many photos I thought but I've managed to find a few, dull light is not great for wildlife photography, of the following I've pushed the iso and shutter speed to the limits to get anything approaching sharp and worthwhile, most ended up in the bin.

So there are no more pictures of the Lesser Scaup although I did manage to relocate it, and before anyone else as well, so there might be some additional Patchwork Challenge points, maybe... I did finally catch up with the Crane, thanks to PH for that one, miles away across the fields but nice enough.

The highlight has really been the WW gulls. All last year I hunted for Iceland Gull on the home patch, not even a likely suspect. Doing my good turn and taking Ellen to the ponies one morning and two gulls flew over the garden as we headed down to the gate, bit of a panic to grab the bins and avoid falling out of the car to get a view at a weird angle but a nice 2cy, a big one too. Then this last Sunday I had a quick stroll around Palace, mmm those gulls look rather white... a walker on the beach flushed them (PM that was you and your bag of egg cases, you missed a bit of a treat I'd have shown you if you continued up the beach) and I had a bit of a panic making sure I saw them all, five Glaucous - ad, 4cy, 3cy, 3cy, 2cy I reckoned - and the Ice was 4cy I think (I may yet change my mind about that one,need to check the references, think that's right enough).

 Bit distant here but the Ice is tucked behind the Herring Gull, then Glaucous 2cy, next one is a 4cy maybe, the one at the back in the middle is a 3cy I reckon.

 GB-bG 2cy, Glaucous 2cy, 3cy and 4cy, then adult GB-bG, the adult Glaucous is off to the right I seem to have missed photographing that.

Not the best picture of the Ice, 4cy I would reckon

Added to this bonanza was a sneeky Dunnock (very uncommon at Palace) that retreated under a car before I could get a photo, and this rather nice Stonechat.

Six Meadow Pipits and a Skylark were not so usual at this time of year. More expected (and photographed at Northside a few days earlier a Rockit).

Rock Pipit

Here are some more pictures from Northside in the first few days of the year.

Fulmar (about this time someone was seeing a Black-browed Albatross over on the East Mainland at Rerwick, I would rather like it to pay Northside a visit, please - ideally when I'm there...)

Here are some pictures from the home patch too, some of these are quite heavily processed in the software, adding a bit of drama.... (also known as cheating).

 I can't quite make up my mind if I prefer this image in colour or b&w, sometimes colour is best when there isn't much of it.

Rain showers passing

Lots of duck on Loch of Bosquoy and The Shunan, including a very nice Goosander but try as I might I couldn't find a Green-winged Teal.

Teal, Bosquoy



Steve Gale said...

A most atmospheric post - may the birding be good and the family well during 2017!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Teal look dazzling bri9ght with their green heads in the bird books, but when you actually see them in the wild, they are quite hard to identify unless the sun catches the wing bars. For an inexperienced birdwatcher like me, anyway.

Alastair said...

Thanks Steve and Simon and best wishes to yourselves for 2017.