Tuesday 11 August 2020

Trivialis pursuits


Well, its all go in Lothian right now. We nipped down to Hound Point on Sunday for a bit of shearwater watching, and the way it is looking we scored two Scottish ticks at once. I'm sure this image will make a useful contribution to the identification discussions, especially regarding separation of Scopoli's from pieces of driftwood:

We also tried a wee bit of busking but on playing ‘Flower of Scotland’ we were told firmly there was only one Corries.

But before that on Saturday we had a few good fly overs. As well as curlew and greylag over the garden (neither annual here), we had a tree pipit flyover. That one was hard work – we were sat in the sun, strumming away and having a coffee when it flew over calling away. Get in – full fat patch tickerooo. This means 85 species, 108.5%, and a patch list of 104.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Fea's Fun

After last years total seawatch flop, this year has been slow enough to start but finally got going over the last couple of days. I managed a wee warm-up 10 days ago or so, with a distant cory's shearwater, arctic terns and a storm petrel but things definately improved yesterday with a bit more movement through the crease. The morning was slow enough, with just a single great shearwater, a couple of sooty shearwaters and a bonxie, but by the evening session things were definately happening, with 48 (count 'em) cory's, another great Shear, and a pomarine skua through.

Seawatching off Galley this am
Fast forward to this am, and a truckload of rain. I kept my eye on the Met Error (tm) rainfall radar though, and decided to chance a start at 8.30, when the vis was beginning to lift a bit. By 9 am I'd had 3 cory's and a single great shear, when all of a sudden, out of the gloomy horizon I noticed another "large shear" coming in. This quickly turned out to not be a large shear, and as the bird banked I could see the distinctive dark underwings and bright white underparts of a fea's-type petrel!! The bird continued to work its way west, banking and gliding, but unfortunately didn't come much closer, but still, it was tremendous to get another one - my first since July 2013, so its been quite a while! Majik!

Cory's  and great shears continued to pass for the next hour and half, along with 5 bonxies and a juvenile long-tailed skua, which sneaked through in a rain shower and was most welcome for the patch year list. A great morning's work!

Count 'em! Greats on the left, Cory's on the right