Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 - Final Fling

On noticing easterlies in the weather forecast last night I decided to give the Divit a shot at finally producing Little Auk. Weather wasn't too bad on waking - heavily overcast, slight hints of forthcoming rain. At the Divit I set up the scope and listed the few birds around on the way to the watchpoint, which was pretty windy. I found some shelter, which is not easy there, and scanned.

First thing of note was Kittiwakes. Kind of unseasonal, and nice to see. There were some Guillemots, and further out some larger auk spp., but none I could nail as Razorbill. Finally the bee-like form of a Little Auk zoomed out to the east. There were maybe up to 3, but none was really close enough for a nice view. Finally another surprise in the form of a Fulmar - probably I don't have a December record for Fulmar there.

Apart from these there were the usual suspects in the form of Grebes, RT Divers and ducks, with 5 Wigeon and 2 Teal flitting about, and another group of Teal in the harbour, with about 50 Dunlin roosting on floating weed.

So that will do it for the Divit 2013. Way down on last year, at 113 species, but not a bad year still. I expect 2014 will fall somewhere in between this and the 126 of 2012. You can never tell!

Thursday, 12 December 2013


Busy with bryophytes and fungi from Cullaloe these days, so here's something Christmassy from Hill of Beath

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


And 345th day of the year!

Sunrise not until something like 8:30 this morning so it's getting where a pre-work visit will be conducted largely in darkness. Good numbers of RB Merganser (36), very low Goldeneye - 2! Not much else to report really. Looking forward to the shortest day so we can turn the corner. Not holding out great hopes for list additions, unless an  interesting Diver, Grebe or Gull shows up. Is there such a thing as an interesting gull? Some people would have you believe it. A Great Tit was singing its head off this morning, but I think it may have peaked too soon.

Monday, 9 December 2013

When is a woodland not a woodland?

When it's horizontal?

Should make an interesting fungus farm, but a lot of this woodland is now horizontal at the eastern end. Mixed wood of Beech, Oak, Pine, Sweet Chestnut with some alder at the east end and who knows what else - this was gleaned from a stroll through the leaf litter. When I first walked through this woodland going on 20 years ago there were less than half a dozen fallen trees. Now the number may be pushing 20, including whole areas. The domino effect isn't helping some of them either, and the more exposed it gets the more vulnerable they are. Lots of nice mosses up there too.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The darkness

In these dark days there's not much light to squeeze activities in before work, and none after it. I dropped into Dalbeath Marsh LNR this morning to maximise any time I had, although with not high expectations - they were duly met.

A flurry of BH Gulls was around with one Common Gull. Some Long-tailed Tits flitted between the leafless trees. As I left one of the BH Gulls flew over me, revealing it had fallen foul of some lost/discarded fishing tackle. Boring as they might be to some (and declining according to one book I read recently), it's a sad fate.

one other thing worth mentioning was a couple of solo Mipits - meaning I recorded the species in every month of the year in Hill of Beath

These days I've been spending lunchtimes working on bryophytes and fungi at Cullaloe, so birds have taken the back seat, and probably will for the next year, at least until vismig time.There are fascinating worlds out there, and the more you look, the more there is.

Sunrise more south than east these days

The main "action" on show this morning

A sad fate