Sunday, 24 March 2019

Spotted At The Lochan (23/3/19)

The general day-to-day routine stuff has been sucking the enthusiasm to get out at weekends out of me a lot recently. Saturday was no exception and it was well after 1000 before I got out of bed. I'd contemplated an early start to head for Aberdeen for Mandarin Duck, or Auchmithie for Puffin but had slept instead. When I did get up I was lacking motivation to go anywhere but I also didn't fancy another day wasted at home sat at the computer doing very little. I decided I should go out for a few hours with Chiffchaff the target. Rather than go particularly far afield I decided to try Riverside Nature Park as the birds are usually easy to find along the railway line opposite with their singing making them relatively easy to find.

Spotted Redshank & Redshank

It was just after 1400 when I headed out. With a rather high tide due around 1630 I figured I could catch the waders in Invergowrie Bay if I headed for the western end of the park first. Herring Gull and Feral Pigeon were seen as soon as I got outside and just as I was about to get on the bus into town I heard a Long Tailed Tit calling from the bushes behind me and spotted the bird flitting through the greenery. I've seen, or heard the species a few times here lately so I suspect there is a pair intending on breeding somewhere nearby. Carrion Crow was seen from the bus. Once in the town I cut through the Howff adding Woodpigeon to the list.

I then caught a number 17 bus only to find the route had changed since I'd last been on one, so I got off at Seabraes to wait for a number 9 which was due about 7 minutes later. I managed to add Goldfinch while I waited and a Magpie was seen as the bus passed the Botanic Gardens. A Blackbird was spotted on the walk down to the underpass at the railway line. A Chaffinch flew over into the park and a small flock of Jackdaws were seen as I headed for the bay. The birds at the Lochan suggested that the tide was already in, with a wader roost already in place.

There was a pair of Mute Swans on the water, as well as a few Black Headed Gulls while a Grey Heron hunted round the edges. I dug my binoculars out of my bag and had a quick look at the wader roost. Practically the first bird I saw was the over-wintering Spotted Redshank among the Redshanks and a few Black Tailed Godwits. Unfortunately when I took the camera out and stood up the roost panicked a little before dropping back along the edge of the Lochan but a little further away than before. Again the Spotted Redshank was very obvious along the edge of the flock. There were a few Teal and Oystercatchers added as well as a single Dunlin and a trio of Pied Wagtails before I moved on to check the bay.

A Buzzard wheeled upwards to the north. The tide was already well in, as suspected though I did see a few Mallard and a Lesser Black backed Gull or two among the Herring Gulls in the bay. Across towards the reedbed were a quartet of Greylag Geese. A Robin skulked in the bushes by the path and once I'd managed to see it I headed for the Lochan. As there was plenty to see there I ended up spending around an hour watching and photographing the comings and goings. A pair of Moorhen showed well. The Grey Heron caught a few (Smooth?) Newts - which I don't think have been recorded in the park before.

The Teal were displaying and there was some movement of the wader roost anytime someone lingered near the fenceline. A small flock of Starlings were spotted along with a few Stock Doves. Skylarks were singing to the south over the hill. A second Grey Heron dropped in. A small flock of 6 Stock Doves flew past and a pair of Long Tailed Tits foraged in the bushes above me a couple of times. I was able to shoot a few video clips of the Spotted Redshank before I eventually moved on to have a quick look at the rest of the park. I did manage to add Blue Tit and Yellowhammer but there was little else to see, except a few more Rabbits than on my most recent visits. As I waited for the bus back into town a high flying skein of Pink Footed Geese caught my eye, but there were no further additions on the way back home.

A decent enough couple of hours worth of birding with 32 species seen, mostly within the park around the Lochan plus 1 mammal and 1 amphibian species. Quite probably my longest and closest views of Spotted Redshank too. Disappointing not to find a Chiffchaff anywhere but there will be plenty of oportunity to get one soon enough.

Redshank & Teal

Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Teal, Black Tailed Godwit & Grey Heron

Teal

Oystercatcher

Buzzard

Greylag Goose

Grey Heron & Moorhen

Moorhen

Spotted Redshank

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Skylark

Spotted Redshank, Redshank & Black Tailed Godwit

Mallard

Spotted Redshank, Redshank & Black Tailed Godwit

Black Headed Gull

Stock Dove

Mallard

Grey Heron & Moorhen

Mute Swan

Woodpigeon

Black Tailed Godwit & Redshank

Oystercatcher

Smooth(?) Newt

Grey Heron & Smooth(?) Newt

Spotted Redshank, Redshank & Black Tailed Godwit

Spotted Redshank, Redshank & Black Tailed Godwit

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Grey Heron, Redshank & Black Tailed Godwit

Grey Heron

Black Tailed Godwit & Redshank

Spotted Redshank, Redshank & Oystercatcher

Redshank, Oystercatcher, Dunlin & Black Tailed Godwit

Teal

Redshank & Spotted Redshank

Teal

Teal

Teal

Teal

Teal

Moorhen

Teal

Black Tailed Godwit

Redshank & Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank, Redshank & Black Tailed Godwit

Spotted Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit & Redshank

Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit & Oystercatcher

Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Black Tailed Godwit & Oystercatcher

Stock Dove

Stock Dove

Skylark

Stock Dove

Moorhen

Moorhen

Black Headed Gull

Stock Dove

Stock Dove

Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Spotted Redshank, Starling & Dunlin

Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Spotted Redshank & Starling

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Long Tailed Tit

Magpie

Species seen - Blackbird, Black Headed Gull, Black Tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Dunlin, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Pink Footed Goose, Redshank, Robin, Feral Pigeon, Skylark, Spotted Redshank, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Woodpigeon, Yellowhammer.

Amphibians seen - Smooth(?) Newt.

Mammals seen - Rabbit.