Monday, 30 September 2013

More easterlies ...

Yet more easterlies but stronger now. This time at least some auks came in with it - a few Guillemots and Razorbill, and even a coupe of Puffin. About 500 Gannet also built up over the hour between 7:15 and 8:15. Sunset was spectacular. Birds were ... well, not. Three Kittiwake put in an appearance, and the best of it was 6 Pintail sitting on the river and a further group of 14 Wigeon with another Pintail. Must check Culaloe at lunchtime. Only one Skua (Arctic) - a disappointing showing.

Pintail becomes the 100th species for Inverkeithing in September, and the 82nd in September this year. However, at September end I'm a whole 8 species down on last year at this point, although you can't get Petrels and Sooties every year! Also no LT Skua, no Bean, Barnacle, Brent or Canada Goose, More remarkably no GS Woodpecker (yet). At this point it looks like I won't get close to last year's 126 total.

Weekend 28-29 Sep

Brown Shrike and Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Balcomie on Saturday, but not Sunday. Couldn't be bothered driving for an hour (not a real birder), which meant I got the downside of easterlies but not the benefits - no vismig, and very little compensation in terms of seawatching.

Most dramatic event at Inverkeithing was someone managing to set the wood on the gantry on fire, which I would have thought was quite an achievement. About a third of it is gone now. People are strange.

I did manage to find another couple of plant species at Cullaloe, so I'm getting up to the 100-ish mark while barely leaving the path so far.

No birds

Friday, 27 September 2013

Cullaloe Jay

Had a Jay at lunchtime. Brief celebration (apart from missing the photo op) before realising I already had it on my year list. Doh!

One Black-T Godwit still there

Abject vismigging

Overcast, still air, near silence. Gave up after 30 minutes. Physically, that is. Mentally I gave it up after about 15!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

3 Weeks

September 4th, Whimbrel, was my last new year bird for Cullaloe, and I've been there nearly every day. Come on!

Pinks and Peregrine

Chilly morning with open skies and NE breeze. Felt like Goose weather and the Geese duly came. Some other bits and bobs too, including a nice Peregrine hunting the area.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


A session at Cullalloe after Inverkeithing provided a couple of new photos (Black Slug and Groundsel) but a decent variety of birds produced no new ones. Four Snipe were on the pond, 53 Greylags over the reserve north and Bullfinch gorging on Meadowsweet fruits were among the highlights.

Divit Divers

After failing to nail down a flock of 30 RTDs yesterday, which would have been my site record, I was delighted to arrive to the sound of Rain Geese honking over the watchpoint this morning. The light NE wind though had put a damper on anything else and I didn't persevere beyond the half hour. A small flock of Wigeon with one Teal were blogging about on the river, and what passerines there were had lost all sense of direction. No Skuas again. Very poor year for Skuas so far.

Yesterday there were 10 YB Warblers on the Isle of May. East Neuk is probably about to turn up something decent you would think

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

September at the Divit

The Slav Grebe puts the Divit list for September (for me) to 99, so it is one species away from becoming the first month in which I have recorded 100 species. not bad. October will be the next, probably, but who knows which year that will be!

Easterlies at the Divit

Almost a year to the day of the big easterly hoolie of 2012 (25th September), which produces Leach's and Storm Petrels, all 4 Skuas, Manxies and Sooties, the east wind is picking up again.

This lunchtime force 3 they produced ... 6 Kittiwakes, about 20 Gannets and a Slav Grebe.

There was also a Raven.

Here's hoping they can do better after work. Slav Grebe is nice, but not even a year tick, sadly.

Last year's Big Day: link


Foggy, rainy, dull start to the day at Inverkeithing. First 20 minutes nothing doing at all, but as light gradually increased Mipits started to come through, high and hard to see/count. Apart from them a big flock of pinkies were the only thing that saved the day. Headed for Cullaloe, where there has been an influx of Wigeon (45) and Snipe (4). Worse, my camera battery went from 3 bars (of 3) to flashing one in about 5 minutes, and my two spares (yes two) are both at home.

Grey start

Pinkies SW

Diver sin the mist? You decide ...

Not improving!
The numbers:

Monday, 23 September 2013

Monday Colour Supplement

Good Time, Bad Times ...

Two of my favourite vismig species this morning - Starlings in a handful of small groups and a couple of Mistle Thrush. Good times because I like them a lot and bad times because it means we have shifted phase from early-mig into mid-mig already. Maybe both will have bumper years? Chaffinches were going a storm and look to be building to a good peak too. Mipits feel like a spent force.

Maybe missed the best bird of the day while trying to photograph a Heron, but the pictures may have the key. I'm still grilling them. Sadly (and as usual!) camera settings were not in the right place for a flying bird against sky either, but you never know.

Last three days' numbers ...

Weekend 21-22 Sep

Bonxie finally added to the Divit list - although I have a feeling I lost a couple of Bonxies somewhere that I've seen already. No record of them! There was a good variety of birds over the weekend - a selection of pics below.

Spirit of migration

Gannets started to show up

Pinkies kept coming

150 Swallow at Cullaloe

Goofy looking Rook

Divit Bonxies, which seemed to double back

Evening Albas

Finally a "not bad" Alba shot

RB Mergs over Preston Hill Quarry


Friday, 20 September 2013

Kingfisher at last!

Last year's Inverkeithing Kingfisher was on 5th October. This morning I had 3! first two came out of the harbour area and flew off zigzagging across St.David's Bay. About ten minutes later another went the same way. Shortly afterwards one of them returned to pose briefly on the rocks before scarpering towards the harbour area again. Not enough for a great shot, but enough for a record shot. About time one of the patches got moving though - now if I can just get a KF at Cullaloe that would be great. Missed one a couple of weeks back, sadly. Everybody, I mean everybody, sees Kingfishers at Cullaloe except me. I've seen one in nearly 20 years.

Another nice surprise this morning was a flock of 16 Shags, one of which at least seemed to be wearing a ring.

"What are you doing?"

And the numbers ...