Tuesday 18 June 2013

Breeding waders, gully visitors

The Shunan is a noisy and aggressive place these days with many waders sitting on posts and then attacking anything that approaches their realm. it seems to have been a pretty good season with Redshank doing especially well but Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Curlew following not far behind. We have to drive up the track with caution in recent days as the car is often escorted by a running Curlew chick leading us over the (now not so many, thanks Carl) potholes.

Silage cut, looking up to home

The other main interest, it being silage cutting time, are the gulls. The Scandinavian race of Lesser Black-backed Gull, intermedius, is rare here with just three records of four birds since 2006. I'm used to seeing these in September and October in Yorkshire so I'm cautious of June individuals here but some of these look like contenders...

 Right hand lying down bird

 Standing, left centre

Lying birds, left centre

...and a pale graellsii taken at the same time, in the same place, at the same angle. 

Pale graellsii

Other things of late include regular Arctic and great Skua visits, a peregrine hanging about on Sunday, and a nasty dip yesterday when a smart male crossbill fed on the rose that climbs on the front of the house.

Sunday 2 June 2013

North Ron weekend

Excellent weekend on NRon. Nothing startling, but still great birding. Actually dipped on the best bird due to an uncharacteristic lack of enthusiasm for night operations (nightish at this time of year). Invited to head out to listen for a rumoured crake I elected to go to bed instead, being somewhat knackered. Of course it turned out to be good and a calling Spot Crake was logged.

Nice things were a Blue-headed Wagtail, two Curlew Sands, a Swift. However, the total over the two days of 380 Sanderling, nearly all in summer plumage, was exceptional for me.

Cracking place North Ron, excellent observatory, brilliant island, and often cracking birds, although they tend to take a bit of looking for.