Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Some Like It Hot (And Some Don't) (5/6/21)

Summer finally appears to have arrived with the temperature creeping upwards to around the upper limits of my comfort zone (which really isn't all that high) and lots of sunshine and blue skies. However, from a birding perspective that isn't ideal. With a bit of a walk to get to the places where I might expect the possibility of a new addition to my "Dundee 125" list and the weight of my camera/binoculars/food etc it can feel like a lot of effort, mostly for very little return. Although I woke up early enough to contemplate a walk to the Sidlaws with an 0500 start the thought of how hot the walk back would be soon persuaded me otherwise. In the end, a much later start saw me settle for a trip to Riverside Nature Park in an attempt to add species number 150 to the park list before the 10th anniversary of the park opening on the 18th June.

Jackdaw

I headed out at around 1025 into the summery heat. As is often the case with later starts it was the larger birds that seemed to be more prevalent though there were still a few of the smaller ones around too. Herring Gull, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, Greenfinch, Magpie and Dunnock were noted on the walk to The Law where a singing Wren and a Green Veined White butterfly were added before Blackcap and Chiffchaff were noted round the western side. Swift and Chaffinch were seen on the walk to Balgay Hill where I then found Long Tailed Tit, Buzzard, Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Robin and Goldcrest before spotting a skein of Canada Geese heading west between where I was and the river.

I decided to cut through the Arboretum at Ninewells which gave me Oystercatcher, Blue Tit, Siskin and Great Spotted Woodpecker as well as a few Orange Tip butterflies. One final addition before I reached the Invergowrie end of the park was a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on the partially cut grassy area down from the WL Gore building. It was just after 1205 when I headed into the park rapidly racking up a number of species - Herring Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Starling, Feral Pigeon, Blackbird, Black Headed Gull and Song Thrush to start with. The numbers of Shelduck around had increased into double figures and 5 Cormorants together at the pipe was quite a high total for the species here, at least for me.

There were also decent numbers of Mallard loafing around by the burn mouth. Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Willow Warbler, Mute Swan, Common Gull, House Martin, Blackcap, Great Black Backed Gull, Wren, Swallow and Grey Wagtail were all noted while I watched from the relative coolness of the hide. Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and Whitethroat were seen as I wandered along the path further into the park. A distant Buzzard was spotted off to the east and a few Orange Tip and Green Veined White butterflies were also flitting around. A few Swifts swept over westwards before a trio of Oystercatchers flew in towards the bay from the direction of Ninewells.

Moorhen was added at the Lochan while a Common Blue Damselfly was found by the path a little bit further on. Long Tailed Tits were flitting through the trees near where the Lesser Whitethroats used to nest. As I headed towards the car park area I added a Peacock butterfly. I watched a couple with 2 dogs off their leads walk past the Skylark sign next to the car park, with the woman looking towards the sign before telling her dogs to go and run about. I asked if she'd seen the sign. She said it was her first time in the park but she apparently thought dogs were allowed off the lead in the top half. I let her know it was ok for dogs to be off the lead on the eastern/lower side of the park but that with the Skylarks nesting on the hill that wasn't the case on the western/upper side. Thankfully, the group headed for the lower half of the park without any complaint.

Heading round to the bay, I heard voices coming from down by the shore, and spotted a trail through the vegetation to the boundary fence right by the 'No Public Access' sign. Down by the water I could see the top half of a shirtless older man and a woman a little to his left. Whether their plans were sunbathing or something else was hard to determine but it was quite clear they were responsible for the trail through the vegetation. I made sure they knew they'd been spotted which made no difference, but it is just one more example of how completely ignorant and 'entitled' an increasing number of the public seem to be. So much for the wishful thinking of last year when folk talked about the possibility that Covid lockdown etc would make people more considerate in the longer term. If anything the opposite appears to be the case with folk increasingly doing whatever they like, regardless of any rules and regulations (and in some cases, laws). I left them to whatever they were intending doing and headed for the lower half of the park.

A text message from the opticians telling me my new glasses were finally ready for collection (around 4 weeks later than they were meant to be) made my mind up to head for home rather than make my mood worse by lingering in the park. I phoned and arranged to pop in around 1600 on my way home. My only addition in the lower half of the park was a single Pied Wagtail, though a pair of Starlings on the wires by the road did require a second look with the adult looking quite pale on the back (there has been an irruption of Rose Coloured Starlings with a few birds already having arrived in Scotland). I did add Swallow and Feral Pigeon on the walk into town taking my totals for the day to 34 species of bird at the park, and 29 outwith, as well as 3 species of butterfly and 1 of damselfly at the park and 3 butterfly species outwith. A grand total of 46 species of bird but nothing new for the park list, or my "Dundee 125" list. Not a classic day's birding by any manner of means but I did get some likely much-needed vitamin D by being out in the sunshine for around 6 hours.

Orange Tip


Jackdaw


Robin


Small Tortoiseshell


Cormorant


Black Headed Gull & Mallard


Cormorant & Herring Gull


Cormorant


Herring Gull & Lesser Black Backed Gull


Cormorant, Herring Gull & Lesser Black Backed Gull


Shelduck, Herring Gull & Common Gull


Common Gull & Herring Gull


Yellowhammer


Yellowhammer


Yellowhammer


Green Veined White


Whitethroat


Whitethroat


Carrion Crow, Buzzard & Herring Gull


Common Blue Damselfly


Long Tailed Tit


Long Tailed Tit


Long Tailed Tit


Long Tailed Tit


Long Tailed Tit


Carrion Crow


Yellowhammer


Pied Wagtail


Pied Wagtail


Jackdaw


Jackdaw


Jackdaw


Jackdaw


Starling


Birds (outwith park) - Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Oystercatcher, Robin, Feral Pigeon, Siskin, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Woodpigeon, Wren.

Butterflies (outwith park) - Green Veined White, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell.

Birds (at park) - Blackbird, Blackcap, Black Headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Chiffchaff, Common Gull, Cormorant, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Great Black Backed Gull, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, House Martin, Jackdaw, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Long Tailed Tit, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Feral Pigeon, Shelduck, Song Thrush, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer.

Butterflies (at park) - Green Veined White, Orange Tip, Peacock.

Damselflies (at park) - Common Blue Damselfly.



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