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New Years Birding

What's around? Share your latest wildlife and nature sightings.
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YvonneB
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New Years Birding

Post by YvonneB » 03 Jan 2016, 22:19

Although the weather hasn't been particularly good we decided to go out birding anyway, as is our habit at new year. On the first we had a trawl around our local patch and picked up 34 species. After that we headed to Daliburgh, Kildonan, Bornish, Stoneybridge, Peninerine and Howbeg. On the second we started out at Locheynort and then headed over to the west side of South Uist taking in the coastal areas including Ardivachar and the South Ford, ending the day in Balivanich. Today, the third, we only had a brief spell out around Ormiclate, Bornish and on the patch here at Askernish.

At the end of the three days we are on 79 species for the year (43 species on the patch). Highlights of the last few days were:-
Not one but two Golden Eagles and three Snow Buntings on the patch plus a "patch first", Grey Phalarope. We also saw one at Peninerine which may or may not be the same bird.
Scaup, a single Whimbrel, 6 Common Scoter, Pintail, Iceland Gull, White-tailed Eagle and Greenland White-fronts were also to be seen.

ImageSnow Buntings by Yvonne, on Flickr

ImageWhimbrel by Yvonne, on Flickr

BrianR
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Re: New Years Birding

Post by BrianR » 04 Jan 2016, 20:37

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Otter and White-tailed Eagle
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Goldfinch
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First-winter Iceland Gull
Not as many species managed as Yvonne and Ian during the three days birding on the west side of North Uist. Total of 71 with highlights being a Little Stint at Loch Paible (still present from November and only our second wintering record) and two first-winter Iceland Gulls. Also of note was a Pied Wagtail - quite unusual on North Uist in January.

Today at Loch nam Feithean an immature White-tailed Eagle made a pass at an Otter that needless to say very quickly took to the water. The eagle followed it for a bit when it surfaced briefly but soon lost interest. The only photo I managed with both in the same frame was unfortunately out of focus.

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Re: New Years Birding

Post by YvonneB » 04 Jan 2016, 20:58

Great photos Brian!

A good start to the day with Water Rail heard here in Askernish. Then headed off to North Uist to see if we could catch up with the Gyr Falcon that has been hanging around for a couple of weeks, when we arrived at Baleshare we chatted with John who had just seen the bird, heading off, being chased by a couple of Ravens and despite us looking round and scanning the crofts for an hour and a half we failed to see the bird. Off to Balranald and added Corn Bunting and Stonechat to our year list.

Thanks to info from Brian (who we saw at Aird an Runair) we saw the Little Stint at Loch Paible (thanks Brian!). Late afternoon saw us back at Baleshare - mainly to find Gadwall for the year list but as we arrived there was a large pale bird hassling the ducks so we parked up to watch the Gyr Falcon! Nice :) Although the light was fading fast managed to get some shots. Managed the Gadwall a bit later too :)

My year list now stand at 85 species (Ian missed the Water Rail so he's on 84). Back to North Uist tomorrow and Berneray.

ImageGyr Falcon by Yvonne, on Flickr

ImageGyr Falcon by Yvonne, on Flickr

ImageTwite by Yvonne, on Flickr

ImageSkylark by Yvonne, on Flickr

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Re: New Years Birding

Post by YvonneB » 05 Jan 2016, 22:02

Well we were able to get out and about again today and picked up some more birds for the year list, highlights were our first Glaucous Gull of the winter in Berneray, they seem to have been a bit thin on the ground of late, also Kittiwake and Black-throated Diver. Ian spotted a wintering Chiffchaff (he was "watering a bush" at the time) and I missed it. This leaves us each on 91 species so far during 2016 with a total of 92 species seen between us since the 1st January - not bad going at all and more than anticipated! I guess the next boost to my 2016 Western Isles list will be when I visit Lewis later in the month and pick up Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Rook, Jackdaw and Woodpigeon :shock:

ImageGlaucous Gull by Yvonne, on Flickr

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