Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Late, late autumn

Another quiet morning this morning with not even much on the river. A Linnet and a couple of Greenfinch were all the birds that stood out as even possible migrants.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Diminishing returns

Not much new happening round Divit way these days. Goldeneye up to 3 and RB Merganser up to 29 this morning, but not much else of note and only a few finches which may or may not have been moving.

Dropped into a half frozen Merlin Drive where there were some Wigeon. I think that's a first, but I'll see when I put in the records later (it was).

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Goldeneye takes Cullaloe to 89!

A couple of Goldeneye were in at Inverkeithing this morning. not the first of the post-breeding, although only one previous. Worth a scan at Cullaloe just in case and yes! Cullaloe gets its 89th species with one duck feeding in the NW corner. Slightly frozen edges also forced a lot of duck into the open so there were reasonable numbers around of Teal, Wigeon and Mallard too.

Seems Cullaloe just might make that 90 after all.

Divit dearth

Winter is here. -2 scraping the ice off the car while Fieldfares went south overhead (only 14 in this group).

Down to the Divit and a smattering of movers. Lasted half an hour before hot coffee and something to eat called.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Weekend 16-17 Nov (and Monday 18th)

Uneventful weekend bird-wise. Did Netherbeath Road Winter Thrush survey and found a handful of Fieldfare and Redwing. Added Redwing to NT1389 with two flyovers - hanging about rather than migrating.

Cullaloe birding was equally unspectacular with a remarkably empty pond apparently. Maybe lots of duck are hiding in the marshes at the far side, but I have my doubts given the quietness. Still Jays rummaging about in the woodland areas. Found a nice patch of liverwort (Lophocolea bidentata) on an Oak tree that require better photos to be taken.

A visit to the Divit this morning produced a few varied migrant finches (e.g. Siskin 11, Linnet 7) and on the river 8 GG,  and 16 Teal. The sun is rising ever more round the dial, and now rises over Edinburgh. Another month of the darkening to go before we turn the corner! When the wind's quiet and the water's still it makes for exquisite reflections

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Weekend 10-11 Nov

Made out for Inverkeithing after de-icing the car in search of Woodpigeon movement. Saw only 2 during an hour, but I did find a nice Kingfisher on the rocks

Friday, 8 November 2013

Black and White Mushroom show

Managed to get one of the outstanding species of the season (as in awaited, not exceptional) this morning - Rock Pipit. Leaves only Waxwing as "expected" in terms of vismig.

My favourite thing of the morning was finding Snowy Waxcaps in a couple of places while shuffling around beneath empty skies. Coupled with the already-present Blackening Waxcap it made a nice black and white show:

Blackening Waxcap

Snowy Waxcap

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Game over?

Bit early for writing the review of the vismig year but it's looking like time for the first draft. There should be, compared to previous years, quite a bit of life left in the season yet. One Mipit and one Siskin this morning in 30 minutes (and the Siskin might not even have been moving) though.

Highlights that I remember are the great run of Tree Pipits and Common Sandpipers early on, a long-anticipated Little Egret flyover, and a big day with UK record Mistle Thrushes, 6 Raven and a Hawfinch. Grey Wagtails were pretty good again, although I didn't capitalise by early enough starts - hourly rates held up from last year. I had a cracking 4 Kingfishers one evening, including 2 that shot past me overland into the quarry. One of the highlights of the year was the evening of 6th October - after recording 128 Alba Wags in the morning I watched as 418 went over me in the last hour of the day - stunning. Last Swallow of the year (so far?) was on 30th October - meaning I saw Swallows in 7 months of the year. I also managed to get Ringed Plover and Little Gull on my Divit list at last.

The season was partly blighted by prolonged easterly winds, despite which there was a notable absence of Skuas and other seabird-y interest. There was only one GS Woodpecker. Siskins were almost invisible until their small late run.I only remember one Crossbill.The species list is at this point 14 down on where it was last year, although that's probably more because last year was exceptional.

Of 111 species recorded during the year (including Grey Phalarope - yay) the lion's share - 103 - was recorded between the start of July and now, and next year I won't focus so much attention on the Divit as I am gearing up to my Cullaloe 500 species challenge (TM?), in which I will try to record 500 species of all kinds, from algae to mammals. My current total species there is 314, so it's going to be an interesting year!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

HOB high ground

Spent a chilly half an hour at the top of the hill above Dalbeath Marsh LNR. I could see Knockhill (NW), Benarty Hill (N), the Pentlands over the Forth Bridge (S), and even Largo Law (E), but I couldn't see any moving birds except possibly (only possibly) a few Woodpigeons north.Some Redwings were feeding on berries and a couple of Fieldfare were around too, but not that many. Still managed a respectable c25 species in about 45 minutes overall

Tuesday, 5 November 2013


from the west - very odd. Went to the high watchpoint which was quickly swallowed by fog. Down to Cruicks Quarry, where the car park is fenced off as they make it a quarry again. Then on to normal watchpoint which stayed fog free on the landward side at least. Three Whoopers west were the highlight, but also 4 Gannets on the same day - highly irregular.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Blackening Waxcap

At least when there's not much birdy action there are other things to look at. Blackening waxcap living up to its name...

21st October

1st November (different one though)

Late Mipits

Not much to say about this morning. Woke up late, scraped ice off car window, clear skies and cold at this time of year usually spells Woodpigeon, but I only saw one of those and it wasn't moving. One flock of Fieldfare headed SW, and a few Mipits (4). Bring on the Waxwings.