Monday, 14 March 2022

0950 : Balmossie And The Burnie (13/3/22)

Recently the number of views on this blog have dropped to some of their lowest ever, despite promoting the blog in more places than at any time previously. A large part of that is down to the demise of Chirp Birding which has now been replaced by Birda which doesn't allow clickable links. With that in mind I've spoken to a few folk and asked for opinions via Twitter and have decided to change the 'feel' of the blog, so this post - number 0950 will be the first of the new 'slimmed down' blog. Opinions on this new look would be appreciated (positive, negative or neutral).

Grey Wagtail

The weather forecast for Sunday was supposed to be slightly better than Saturday but cold winds from the southeast and grey skies did not make for promising looking conditions. However, I had planned on a trip to Broughty Ferry and Balmossie to try to catch up with a few wader species that I still 'need' for my Dundee 140 list. An early start fell through but when I did get out of bed I decided that I might as well give it a go anyway. One plus of the conditions, I hoped, would be less likelihood of dog walkers everywhere increasing my chances of catching up with my target species.

I headed out at 0825 and chose to go directly to Balmossie. The birding was rather steady with most of the usual suspects noted as I headed for and then cut through Baxter Park. A Buzzard was added at Eastern Cemetery. I reached the Stannergate around 0900 where it began to rain though thankfully it didn't last too long. There were birds out on the river, mostly Eiders but also a Red Breasted Merganser and a Cormorant. A surprise a little further on was a pair of Stock Doves down by the water's edge. The camera was still in the backpack at this point so I didn't get any photos of them. Nothing of note was added before I reached Balmossie where Wigeon and Goldeneye were the best of not very much. There were a few Dunlin with the Redshanks and Turnstones. A slight surprise was a drake Goosander which flew over heading east.

Red Breasted Merganser

There was little point in lingering given the conditions so I decided I would head home via the Dighty Burn and see what I could find on the way. At Clearwater Park I found a pair of Redwings and a Mistle Thrush in the trees behind the houses. A pair of Dippers and a Grey Wagtail were active on the burn. More of both these species were seen later too. A few hundred Starlings and a handful of Curlews were in the ploughed field. A male Pheasant was spotted wandering along the field edge to the north. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard in the trees behind the West Pitkerro Industrial Estate. More Dippers were noted on the burn and a pair of male Reed Buntings were near the footbridge linking Whitfield and Douglas but things were rather quiet compared with recent visits to this area of the city though the time of day and the conditions probably didn't help. A Sparrowhawk was seen over the Kingsway as I headed for Swannie Ponds.

Long Tailed Tit
Pied Wagtail

I found nothing out of the ordinary at Swannie Ponds. A considerable amount of rubble has been added to the top pond which may or may not affect the amount of birds and potentially the species too. I ended the day's birding with a slightly convoluted route home to try for Chiffchaff but unsurprisingly failed to find any. My total number of species of bird for the day was a slightly surprising 54 though nothing new for the Dundee 140 list was found. In addition, 2 species of mammal were noted.

Birds - Blackbird, Black Headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dipper, Dunlin, Dunnock, Eider, Goldcrest, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Red Breasted Merganser, Redshank, Redwing, Reed Bunting, Robin, Feral Pigeon, Rock Pipit, Rook, Siskin, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Tufted Duck, Turnstone, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren.

Mammals - Rabbit, Roe Deer.

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