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Old Wednesday 6th June 2007, 20:20   #101
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At Carsebreck on Monday, we saw something unusual. A Red Kite was swooping down at something that was just over the brow of the hill. On the first pass, it was flown at by an Oystercatcher, which it took no notice of. The second pass made another Oystercatcher rise up flapping in alarm before settling down again. On the third pass, this Oystercatcher was driven away and the Red Kite descended onto the place she(?) had been occupying. We didn't see what happened then, but I can imagine. I felt sorry for the Oystercatchers, but was also thrilled by the power and beauty of the Kite.

It was a day for raptors. We also saw a couple of Buzzards and a Kestrel on a wire that was there on the way in and on the way out. There were Reed Buntings all over. When I first added one of these birds to my year list (on April 27) I had to look up my book to identify it, but since then I've been seeing them everywhere I go. I also got a couple of new birds for my list: Red-legged Partridge and Sedge Warbler.

We cut it short because my wife was still recuperating from a cold (it'll be flu when I get it) and repaired to the Rapha Centre for coffee and a date slice.

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Old Wednesday 6th June 2007, 20:34   #102
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What a great experience that was for you MacGee, those memories live with you forever.

As I said, my pictures were cr@p - this is the best of them

D
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Old Monday 11th June 2007, 01:21   #103
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Well, 4getmenot and me went for a wee trip to Loch of the Lowes this afternoon. The female was about the nest, but in general the 2 remaining chicks were more or less left to their own devices (Boy, are Osprey chicks ugly!)
Plenty was to be seen though, besides the Ospreys. On the feeders we had siskin, chaffinch, great tit, coal tit, yellowhammer and great spotted woodpecker.
On the loch we had canada geese, moorhen, mallard and a great crested grebe. A few black headed gulls were flying about, too.

The best part was the Fungarth Walk that Delia had previously shown me. At the very start of the walk we had our first bullfinch sighting of this year. Always a bonus! Janie managed to point out a great-spotted woodpecker while we were about, too... quite chuffed with that, as we normally only ever see them at the feeders. Lots of other birds on the walk, pheasant, swallows, a family of starlings, more yellowhammers, more chaffinch and great tits, too.

All in all, it was a good afternoon, with the bullfinch being the highlight for me.
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Old Monday 11th June 2007, 17:07   #104
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We arrived in Culross to find the tide in. A failure of staffwork there. There were some Eider and a Cormorant on the water. In the woods Larks and Meadow Pipits and a young Linnet. I thought I saw a Redstart too, but couldn't swear to it. In the meadows and grassy verges there were lots of butterflies and moths. Painted Ladies, Common Blues and Burnet Moths. On the way back some Rock Pipits, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and Common Gulls. I stared at the Common Gulls for a while trying to get them to be Kittiwakes, but they wouldn't budge. Finally, with the tide going out, a Curlew (Bar-tailed Godwit?) on the water's edge. I'm going to need bigger binoculars.

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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 19:46   #105
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Well, i went to my local patch, Cullaloe today. All of the usual birds were to be seen. There was tufted duck, mallard, swans (plus 3 cygnets - although they started with 5, seem to have lost 2) coot and herons on the loch. One of the herons appeared to be a juvenile and the other a parent, i assume.
On the approach there was sedge warblers and plenty of swallows to be seen. I got a brief glimpse of a reed bunting and there was a wren just in front of the screen.

I'd asked for permission from the SWT last month to put up some feeders (on the condition that i kept them stocked) and we originally had 2 seed feeders and 1 small peanut feeder. They were all going down, but the peanut seemed the favourite. On monday 2 new peanut feeders arrived (Had ordered them from Haiths, along with a 25kg bag of peanuts) so i put them up beside the original, and moved the seed feeders to a seperate location.
The seed feeders are going down, but i've still yet to see them actually in use.
As for the peanut feeders... today i got the nicest surprise i could have! There was 4 great tits feeding away on the feeders, i turned to look at the herons on the loch and when i turned back the great tits were gone... to be replaced with a great spotted woodpecker! Kinda makes the expense for the feeders seem that little bit more worthwhile :)
I'm a very happy boy today :)
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 23:08   #106
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Nice idea Grahame - good luck with this project

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Old Thursday 14th June 2007, 01:34   #107
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Thanks Delia.

I'll keep you updated with new birds on the feeders, but so far it's more or less the common ones.

On the peanut feeders we've had great tit, coal tit, blue tit, chaffinch and great spotted woodpecker
The seed feeders are a mystery right now... only once have i seen anything on the smallest seed feeder.. a lone great tit. I'm sure there's more to be seen, though!

We're probably gonna be replacing the seed food that we use, anyway... we made the mistake of getting cheap food, which has a pretty high wheat content. We're probably gonna replace it with some of Haiths huskfree mix.

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Old Monday 18th June 2007, 11:46   #108
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Loch Leven

Well, Janie and I decided to pop along to Vane Farm for a spot of birding yesterday. Little did we know that they were celebrating 40 years on the site and having an open day! The place was packed full of visitors. They'd actually closed off the main car park to all but disabled visitors and opened up a nearby field to use as a car park for the day (And it was pretty full!)
It was good to see so many people taking an interest, though. They had lots of fun things for kids going on, with quizzes, pond dipping, etc. Who knows... maybe some day soon those kids will end up being BF members! :-)
As for the birds themselves, there was still plenty about, despite the huge human invasion. Tufted ducks absolutely everywhere, a few pochard mixed in with them. Lapwings all round the edges, along with a couple of grey herons. If Delia can remember the last trip, she'll recall the greylag geese with the goslings. I can safely say that the goslings made it ok. They're now huge! Won't be long now till they've fledged and gone. There was plenty of reed buntings to be seen at the edges, too.
We spoke to one of the guys from SNH who were there and got directions to their hide on the loch (Again, Delia will remember the conversation with the woman about the hide from the last visit).
Basically, go into Kinross and follow the signs for Kirkgate Park. Once in the park, drive right to the end where there's a graveyard. From there it's about a 500 yard walk along the path to the hide.
The hide is on the edge of a reed bed and there's plenty to see. Again, plenty of tufted duck there. There was also mute swans, black-headed gull, a large number of great-crested grebes, coot, mallard, etc. It certainly didn't disappoint (and it was a whole lot quieter than Vane Farm was!)
Well worth a visit if you're going to vane farm. Nice to have a hide on the other side of the loch, too.
Oh, incidentally... Fife Bird Club had a stand at Vane Farm, so we joined to get access to the hides. Apparently they're gonna be changing the locks to them soon, too.
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2007, 01:58   #109
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i visited the opsprey nest on the pylon today hoping to see some chicks , but none are showing yet, last week i saw the male come in with a pike,he flew past the nest a good 500yds then turned and flew to the nest, i thought maybe two nests? but with the weight of the fish he is catching its no wonder he has to take such a big flight route

waiting
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...auser/osp3.jpg

landing
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...auser/osp1.jpg

mates
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...auser/osp2.jpg
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Old Friday 22nd June 2007, 22:55   #110
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Well, Janie and i went to Cullaloe, my local patch again tonight. The aim was to will up the feeders we had there. When we got there, the branch which the peanut feeders were on had snapped (it was dead wood, and i guess gravity got the better of it - add the fact that something had tried to get in to one of the feeders, so confident a squirrel was about)
The seed feeders were fine, but completely empty (and we've still to get a decent glimpse of anyone on the larger of the two!). It didn't take us too long to fix up the feeders and attach them to more sturdy branches, though.
On the loch, the swans were about, as usual, with all 3 cygnets in tow. They're looking pretty healthy, which is good. The loch was pretty empty, though, but we think that's because it's relatively small and the swans will be driving everything away right now. There was still a few coot about including one juvenile, along with a couple of tufted ducks. The swallows were making the most of the suddenly clear weather and were darting about all over the surface of the loch.
We saw quite a few different birds around the reserve, though. There was the buzzard soaring overhead and the kestrel seen near the top of the small hill, hunting for prey. We also saw swifts, a song thrush, plenty of blackbirds, a whitethroat at the edge of the willows for a brief moment and we saw a male redstart. That's a first for me there, which is great! I think we're at 45 species seen there since mid May, which aint too bad going!
All in all, it wasn't a bad hour or so, considering we'd only gone along to fill up the feeders!

Oh yeah... we also heard a bird which we aint heard there before... in simple terms, it sound like an old-style telephone ring. It went Ring-ring, but then we never heard it again. I'm certainly open to thoughts on what that was!

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Old Sunday 24th June 2007, 23:30   #111
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Originally Posted by kawwauser View Post
i visited the opsprey nest on the pylon today hoping to see some chicks , but none are showing yet, last week i saw the male come in with a pike,he flew past the nest a good 500yds then turned and flew to the nest, i thought maybe two nests? but with the weight of the fish he is catching its no wonder he has to take such a big flight route

waiting
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...auser/osp3.jpg

landing
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...auser/osp1.jpg

mates
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...auser/osp2.jpg

Nice shots.Please keep us all updated on their progress ?
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Old Monday 25th June 2007, 10:19   #112
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Smile Montrose Beach

Early morning text message announced the presence of a Roseate Tern at the ternery on the shore by the Glaxo site. It had been spotted by the guys guarding the nesting site. Their dedication is admirable!!
Nipped down and sat in the cold, the wind and drizzle but was eventually rewarded when the bird settled on the shore to preen. Little tern chicks now venturing out of their nests - great to see these birds nesting on local beaches again.
Roseate tern is a lifer for me. Great start to the week. Off to work now.
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Old Monday 25th June 2007, 22:07   #113
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Well, i've had a very busy (and very good!) birding day today.

I went to the Morton Lochs this afternoon, which was full of life. There was a couple of goldfinches on the drive to the loch.
There's a dabchick nesting in plain view of the hide on the south loch, which is nice. Quite funny to watch the male chasing anything and everything away... including a juvenile dabchick. I wonder if this is an attempt at a second brood?? Saw sedge warbler and willow warbler on the way to the south hide, and heard woodpeckers in the trees (but never saw them).
The red squirrels were about on the way to the north loch. There was one with a pine cone as big as his head in his mouth!
There was plenty of robins, wrens and great tits about on the way to the north hide. On the loch itself, it was pretty much all the usual suspects. Tufted duck, dabchick, mallard, greylag goose (Down to 2 goslings now, but they're almost indistinguishable from the adults, so will be gone soon), herons (6 in total, and 2 of those were obviously quite young)
On the drive back to the main road we had yet another heron (in the pig field, which had flooded!), mistle thrush and yellowhammer.
There was young frogs absolutely everywhere on the paths there, too.
The interesting part about the trip to the morton lochs wasn't bird related... it was a bat! Hunting, in the middle of the afternoon, just in front of me. I couldn't believe my eyes! First time i've ever seen one in proper daylight. I guess since the weather has been so bad the past few days, it was forced to come out during the day to hunt. I never realised how translucent the wings are on them. Huge difference between daytime and dusk/dark!

In the evening i met up with Janie (4getmenot, for those that don't know) and we went to Cullaloe, as we have a habit of doing on a monday evening. The swans are still about with their 3 cygnets, as was several coot and 1 juvenile (which is pretty close to fledging by now, i'd say) tufted ducks, and the return of the ruddy duck (Haven't seen him there for a few weeks now). I also got me a lifer! My first ever Kingfisher!. I'm one VERY happy boy tonight! :-)
The buzzard was also about tonight, along with sedge warbler, blackbirds, wren, swift and swallows.
Janie also got her fix for the day there, too, with the sighting of the roe deer on the hill, which she's been trying to see for ages (I've seen them there a couple of times, but she has always missed them)
All in all, it was a very good day and i'm now tired, but happy :-)
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Old Sunday 1st July 2007, 22:04   #114
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Well, today was another interesting day for me.
Went to the Scottish game fair with Janie today. Wasn't much in the way of birds about (not surprising for the number of guns and gundogs in such a small space!) but there was a good few sand martins which could be seen on the river. Looks like they're still nesting there, too
There was also a couple of oystercatchers about, but that's about it.
The main point of the game fair was a chance to test out and try different types and brands of binoculars at the same time. That turned out quite fruitful - i now have a pair of Minox BL 8x42's.

So, we decided to test them out proper this evening and went to Cullaloe. The timing must have been perfect (or the binoculars exceptionally good - which probably aint far off the mark) It had just stopped raining after a particularly heavy downpour when we headed along there. It just seemed to be the night for warblers along there. Straight off the bat, we had a sedge warbler parading right in front of the car... before we'd even got out! We had chiffchaff and willow warbler in amongst the willow scrub, and on the return we had whitethroat. There were also Reed buntings, robins, blackbirds, greenfinch, both song and mistle thrushes to be found.
The buzzard was on the telegraph pole next to the car park when we arrived, and quickly swooped off. Swallows were diving about all over the place.
On the loch itself there was the usual suspects of coot (including one juvenile) the mute swans (including 3 cygnets - they get bigger every visit... and i go there 2 or 3 times a week!) and a lone tufted duck.
It was a good trip, and the binoculars excelled themselves for me (although don't get me wrong, the old ones weren't bad for the price... the new ones cost more than double the amount!) and the sheer number of warblers was really quite impressive... they were all over the place, singing their little hearts out tongiht! :-)

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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2007, 23:50   #115
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i passed the osprey nest on the pylon last week and saw the male land with a large pike, he sat for about three mins then flew west carrying the pike, the female also flew the nest but landed in the field below the nest, she returned carrying a large branch to the nest, i only learned about this pair last winter so dont know a lot about their breeding success but it doesn,t look good, hopefully im wrong, on a lighter note while driving along the tealing to auchterhouse road yesterday a young swallow which looked like he was taking his first flight flew towards my car while i was driving, he was struggling to keep his balance and looked sure to be embedded on my grill, i hit the brakes and automaticly checked my rear view, there he was still flying erraticly but still flying ,he/she went right under my car and managed to keep off the ground ,i was very impessed
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2007, 23:56   #116
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Originally Posted by kawwauser
i only learned about this pair last winter so dont know a lot about their breeding success
The nest wasn't in use 2 years ago, but they fledged one chick last year.

Well done on missing the swallow though!

D
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Old Wednesday 4th July 2007, 10:26   #117
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There are two youngsters this year on the pylon. Kinnordys local pair also have three this year which is great. Should be good in a few weeks time when they all start to fish at the loch.
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Old Tuesday 10th July 2007, 21:02   #118
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I had what I call a 'good Osprey day'

First the pylon with mum and the 2 youngsters visible.

Then off to Kinnordy and 3 came in to fish.

Got some pictures too

D
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Old Tuesday 10th July 2007, 21:46   #119
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i passed the pylon about 11.30am today, i had my scope with me for a change and saw two well fed youngsters, when i last passed on the 26/06/07 the chicks must have been lying really low

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...ospreytwig.jpg

thats why i thought it might be bad news, as i said earlier this is the first breeding season i have watched this pair the fact they have two nearly flown chicks makes it even better
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Old Friday 13th July 2007, 16:23   #120
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I had to go into Perth today and fancied some exercise, so called in at Quarrymill.

Loads of Wrens and Blackbirds and 2 sightings of Dipper (I'm sure they were different birds). A couple of Treecreepe (heard more though), Blue and Great Tits and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Lovely lunch there too!

D
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Old Monday 16th July 2007, 13:03   #121
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I went up to Backwater reservoir this morning after being informed yesterday that there were Black throated divers at the reservoir. I thought about going last night when it was nice and sunny but decided to wait til this morning. Pouring with rain...i soon wished i had gone up last night.

I went over the dam to the car park at the end of the road. Had a quick look from the car with binoculars before getting wet in the rain. I saw what i thought were the shapes of divers so quickly set up the scope. Lo and behold, by the time i'd set it up, those shapes had gone!!! I scoured the water for a good ten minutes with no reward but just as i was about to give up, i had another look and found three divers swimming along together.Although they were quite distant, you could still see the black and white stripes. I had been expecting to see two, so another one was a real bonus...first for the year!! Anyone wanting to see them...the co-ordinates for the reservoir are NO 252538. Good luck
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Old Monday 16th July 2007, 17:45   #122
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Have you ever had one of those 'WOW' days on your local patch, when absolutely everything just seems to be there at the right time? I've just had one of those days at Cullaloe. I went along with my mother, who was determined she wanted to get some shots of some butterflies (particularly the dark green fritillaries found on the reserve) It was still a bit overcast after heavy rain overnight and this morning, so i was doubtful she'd have much luck
We got there to hear the sound of the little stream sounding like a torrent as it ran through the three pools and out the other side. A rather dull, plain day to start us off with only a couple of sedge warblers, a blackbird flying past, swallows overhead and a lone dunnock near the gorse.
We walked up the steps to the meadow bit at the top so that me mum could try for her butterflies. How wrong i was with those! Up on the initial piece of meadow there was meadow brown, ringlet, 6 spot burnet moth, 1 dark green fritillary and the first common blue butterfly we've seen on the reserve (and that includes the local member's group who were here on saturday specifically to track down butterflies!)
On the path to the willow screen we managed to see a male blackcap flitting in and out of one of the willows, whitethroat all over beside the path and in the trees, my first wood warblers on the reserve (No.1 new species for the visit) As we were getting closer to the little conifer plantation, the warblers were darting about all around us, they were everywhere! Even heard us a chiffchaff. As i entered the conifers, i was struck by the sheer volume of tits that could be seen. There was great tit, blue tit and coal tit in large numbers all over the place. Also saw a treecreeper a little more than half way up one of the pine trees (No.2 new species to the reserve seen this visit). We got to the screen to see the usual suspects on the loch. There was coot, moorhen, the swan family, a lone grey heron and a couple of mallards. There were also sand martins and swallows swooping about. My mum disappeared to go see if she could spot more butterflies while i stayed at the hide/screen
The feeders were crowded with blue tit, great tit, chaffinch and a juvenile great spotted woodpecker. I heard a big splash on the loch and saw a male dabchick had just arrived (No.3 new species for the reserve) It's just a shame i didn't see it flying. I've never seen a grebe in flight before!
As i turned back to the feeder, i noticed there was now a male siskin on the feeders (No.4 new species for the reserve) I didn't think they were big fans of peanut feeders, but i'm not complaining at the visit! Might have to consider a nyjer feeder for the finches, though.
I went to join my mum looking around another part of meadow to find yet more great tits on my large seed feeder. It's pretty unusual for me to see anything using this feeder. I normally just fill it up without knowing what is using it. There were also a couple of willow warbler flitting around the trees and singing away.
When i went back to the screen, the juvenile woodpecker had been replaced with an adult male and the siskin had gone (much to my disappointment - very colourful, pretty bird!)
I stayed there for a bit while my mother decided to go back to the original meadow in search of more photos.
When i decided to move along and catch up, again, wood warblers seen around the trees on the way back (How could i not see them for 2 months then see 4 or 5 in a single visit?!), a male reed bunting was sitting at the top of one of the bushes, singing his little heart out and 4 swifts were flying overhead.
Back at the car park, there were another couple of sedge warblers, a pair of goldfinch flew past and a good 4 or 5 linnet could be seen on the hill behind the reserve.
All in all, it was a spectacular visit - and to have 4 new species sightings for the reserve was great. Admittedly, i'd always thought most, if not all of the species would be about, but i hadn't actually seen them
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Old Wednesday 18th July 2007, 02:16   #123
kawwauser
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had the whole day to myself today,so made the most of it, after reading delia,s report about the dippers i remembered i havent seen one this year, i also have yet to photograph one, so i headed for Quarrymill, first time ive been here and what a beutifull place it is, i heard more birds than i seen due to the foliage ,i spotted one dipper just short of scone, it fished in the shaddows so i had to drop the camera speed to 30 which meant a grainy pic,
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...r/IMG_5787.jpg
i also spotted a grey wagtail again a first this year
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...r/IMG_5796.jpg
this place is on my winter list, the dipper looks like a good bet,
i then took the backroads towards dundee passing many farms, the swallows were sitting on the telegraph wires and seemed to be deep in thought,(maybe they know something we dont know?)
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...IMG_5826bb.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9.../IMG_5820b.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...r/IMG_5822.jpg
i then took a two hour hike up the sidlaws, i saw young stonechat/whinchat/whitethroat/buzzard,i also came across this wren chick,
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...IMG_5868bb.jpg
on the east side of the hill i came across a young cuckoo being harrasssed by some meadow pipits,
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9.../IMG_5874b.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...IMG_5873bb.jpg
the cuckoo flew west showing its brown back which if i didnt know was a cuckoo id have sworn sparrowhawk,
shortly after this there was a sound of thunder from the clouds but no sign of lightning, the whole area went quiet apart from me jumping about getting my camera gear ready for a lighening strike, but it never happened, i did manage a couple of menacing pics

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...Picture080.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...Picture081.jpg

after running from the sidlaws i headed towards the river tay at invergowrie,
just after the reedbeds start i noticed ten herons sitting in a field
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...r/IMG_5893.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...r/IMG_5897.jpg

first time i have seen this amount of herons in one place,i also spotted a single jay,the clouds were still menacing at this time and when i looked at this pic i thought (somebodys nuked eden estuary)
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...Picture083.jpg
there was very few butterflies on the sidlaws and the high pond has only waterboatmen insects, i never seen any kestrel young which is unusual for this time of year, the buzzards are doing well with a single nest rearing four young , the foxes are also multiplying ,dont know what they are eating , there was a rabbit cull by the goverment a few years ago and now there are no rabbits on the sidlaws,i heard some reed buntings east of the car park but never seen them, i really enjoyed my day out today apart from the thunder
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Old Wednesday 18th July 2007, 09:56   #124
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Originally Posted by kawwauser View Post
i also spotted a single jay,the clouds were still menacing at this time and when i looked at this pic i thought (somebodys nuked eden estuary)
Fortunately not!

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Old Wednesday 18th July 2007, 10:13   #125
kinnordyvolunteer
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Yesterday morning the "Angus and Dundee Bird Club" had arranged an outing to Murton Wildlife Trust Reserve. Arriving at 10 o'clock, we had a guided walk from head of reserve, Al Borland. It has only been open for a couple of years and seems to have some really good potential. Give it a few more years and it will be a great place to go along to. At the moment they are concetrating on wetland birds, but i think in fifteen years or so, when all the trees planted have grown, it might be completely different. May be not so good for waders then.

Birds seen yesterday: Mute Swan, Redshank-lots of young too, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Little Grebe, Large colony of Sand Martins, Greylag Geese, Kingfisher, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Coot, Mallard, Ringed Plover.

We had been hoping to see Little Ringed Plover but they were hiding from us.

The reserve is open to the public on most days, with a large car park. It is situated on the A932, a couple of miles east of Forfar on the road to Arbroath.
We finnished our tour at 12.30 and went across the road to the Kookaburra restaurant for lunch. Well recomended!!

I then decided to go back to Backwater reservoir, with camera this time, to see the Black Throated Divers. One minute i was driving in lovely sunshine and round the corner i bumped into a horrendous down pour. I eventually got to the reservoir but alas no divers. I did see redshank, ringed plover, oystercatcher, mistle thrushes, lapwing, meadow pipits, chaffinches, common gulls, great crested grebe plus youngster and quite a few common sandpiper.

Apart from the rain later on, and not seeing the divers, it had been a really good days birdwatching.
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