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Old Thursday 28th December 2017, 17:28   #1951
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But it's good to know that I have a bird that is filling the hole left by finding Snow Bunting last week.
LOL Paul.... I'll look forward to the ongoing saga!!!
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 12:43   #1952
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Gosh!!! A first for my garden today in a Red Squirrel, ran across the shed roof where I feed the birds.

I've not seen one in the town before, though I've heard that others have. Shame I didn't get a picture!
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Old Monday 22nd January 2018, 20:25   #1953
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2 waxwings sitting in a tree at 23 wentworth avenue Dundee at 9.20 am today when I returned a couple of hours later the number had increased to 7 ,the birds were resting not feeding nice to see they are in the area
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Old Monday 22nd January 2018, 20:43   #1954
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Ooooh!!! I wondered if we were going to get any this winter K.

Can you point them to Blairgowrie now please lad!!
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Old Thursday 1st February 2018, 16:26   #1955
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Angus

I had a great day out yesterday with Barry (Stonefaction), hitting some of the Angus hotspots. I think our final list was 78 species spotted, which considering the time of year is pretty good.

Birds seen included Barn Owl (Scottish first for me), Green Sandpiper, Crossbill, Little Egret and Iceland Gull (Onshore first for me). Also, loads of Bullfinch at several sites.
Highlights for me though were Twite (Montrose Basin) and Little Gull (Arbroath), both of which are lifers.
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Old Thursday 1st February 2018, 21:36   #1956
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http://stonefactionbirding2014.blogs...gle-31118.html

My blog-post of Wednesday's highly successful day out around Angus with Paul (Gander). Plenty of photos of some of the highlights too.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2018, 09:27   #1957
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonefaction View Post
http://stonefactionbirding2014.blogs...gle-31118.html

My blog-post of Wednesday's highly successful day out around Angus with Paul (Gander). Plenty of photos of some of the highlights too.
Well Done lads.
Always great when a plan comes up trumps.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2018, 13:50   #1958
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Rossie Bog - Great White Egret

Managed to catch up with the Great White Egret that has been around Rossie Bog in the last few weeks. A distant view, but definitely a GWE. Third lifer of the week. Who said winter months are slow?
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Old Sunday 4th February 2018, 14:33   #1959
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Lochore Meadows

Good views of the long staying red headed Smew at Lochore this afternoon. Timed it perfectly, as when I emerged from the woodland at the west end, the bird was right in front of me. It drifted away into a reedy bay, but I was able to point it out to a visiting birder from Norfolk. He was delighted, as it was the lifer he had come to see.
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2018, 18:12   #1960
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Another full day's birding spent with Stonefaction (Barry) today. Main targets were Great White Egret at Rossie Bog, Smew at Lochore Meadows and Green Woodpecker at Portmoak.

We started off at the Wilderness. It felt like a true wilderness with the temperature at minus 3.5 deg C, but we made a solid start there to our lists, including Pintail and Whooper Swan. At Rossie Bog we struck out on the Great White Egret, but found Grey Partridge and a small flock of Stock Doves, along with a few other year ticks for me.

From Rossie, we proceeded to Lochore Meadows. The Redhead Smew was not in the area that it had been in on Sunday, but with a little scouting about, we soon found it in a quiet corner.

From Lochore we headed to Vane Farm (RSPB Loch Leven) where the highlights were Raven (x2), Peregrine Falcon (x2) and Little Egret, while some commoner birds kept our lists ticking away nicely.

The short drive was made to Portmoak Moss, once we were finished at Vane Farm. Here the target was Green Woodpecker. Almost as soon as we came out onto the edge of the moss, we heard the distinctive call of our target just along the path from us. Barry located it just as it took to the wing, and I found it as it flew across the moss to a dead tree.

We now decided to head for Ruddons Point. Here we added a lot of the commoner seabirds and waders to our tally, in some pretty chilly conditions. With still a little light left after we got back to the car, we then headed to the Barnyards Marsh, where we found plenty of Snipe. Our birding day then ended with a quick walk down to Kilconquhar Loch, where Barry managed to find a fleeing Great Spotted Woodpecker.

I have yet to tote up my list, but it looks like 70 plus, with over half a dozen year ticks. More importantly though, than the ticks and list, we had a great day out amongst the birds. I look forward to Stonefaction's blog entry covering today, which I'm sure will be an excellent read as always.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 20:05   #1961
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I made it to 80 species, Paul. Velvet Scoter & Red Throated Diver confirmed from photos. Here's the blog post to go with it.

http://stonefactionbirding2014.blogs...fife-7218.html
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Old Saturday 10th February 2018, 15:28   #1962
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Kilconquhar

Unusually for a Saturday, it opened up to give me a bit of birding opportunity. Daughter two has a sprained ankle, so her usual dance class was off the agenda, then suddenly, daughter one had her horse riding arrangements cancelled at the last moment.

This left the Dad taxi free to roam.

I set off for Rossie Bog soon after eleven, with the hope of finding the male Hen Harrier spotted there yesterday. I was also hoping for a better look at the GWE that has lurked there for several weeks.

Having arrived, I gave the bog area a preliminary scan, with no reward. I was hardly there a few minutes when my mobile vibrated to announce a text arrival. The text was from the Fife bird alert system, and heralded the spotting of a male Red-crested Pochard. My choice was to hang around the bog in hope of my original targets, or rush across Fife to Kilconquhar Loch in search of a duck that had never previously been on my radar.

I decided to rush for the duck.

Arriving at the FBC hide, I hoped somebody would be there to let me in. The hide was empty and I did not have my key, as today was all very unplanned. I headed around to the churchyard where I knew I could get views of the loch. There was another birder there already, and two others, an older couple, were just leaving, one of whom turned out to be the original spotter.

The remaining birder had not seen the bird, and the original spotter had seen the bird earlier in the morning, left, then returned with his wife (both in their eighties I was told), but had not relocated the bird.

We scanned the loch as best as possible, but the area where the bird was first seen was obscured by the glare from the low, winter sun. Noticing the hide was now occupied, we decided to head around, and there we found the older couple again, but still no bird. Scanning for a while, we were joined by another two experienced birders I had met on previous occasions. Time ticked on, and with no R-C Pochard appearing, the older couple headed off. They were soon followed by the two birders who were last in to the hide, just leaving two of us. My new friend was about to leave, when I noticed some Mallard moving out of the little reedy bay to the left of the hide. They looked like something had spooked them a little. Scanning the group, I suddenly came upon a distinctive red beaked bird in their midst. The Red-Crested Pochard was soon in full view, and a great looking bird it is, may I say, although I probably say that for every lifer.
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Old Saturday 10th February 2018, 19:54   #1963
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Having been unfortunate to miss out on the Great White Egret at Rossie Bog on Wednesday with Paul (Gander), I decided to try again today. Bussed it to Ladybank then walked out to the appropriate area and saw mostly rather distant birds, but no Egret. Later, however, a birder I know from Guardbridge (I think anyway - I'm usuless with faces/names) discovered it on the wall along from the road junction at the farm, and came back to tell me. He gave me a lift back around the road and I re-found it feeding in a ditch viewable from the road. When it flew I thought I'd have to make do with the photos and videos I'd already got (which were pretty good anyway) but it chose to land right in front of me in the field, and proceeded to feed in the ditch around 25-30 feet from me, allowing me some cracking photos. It moved off back along the ditch after a while, though others arriving to see it, mostly managed to get decent views, before flying off a little later to a different ditch to the west. Well pleased with the pics (and video - on YouTube - same user name) I got.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 10:39   #1964
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Tasty!

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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 10:48   #1965
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I'm sure they don't taste that good Rob!

Guess they were eaten in the past though.
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Old Monday 12th February 2018, 10:31   #1966
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I gather it showed very well again yesterday but was rather more elusive when Daniel and I saw it in the afternoon. Nice views of the red-crested pochard at Kilconquhar though.

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Old Thursday 15th March 2018, 22:24   #1967
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This Week

Prior to today, I've spent quite a bit of time bird watching this week. Monday and Tuesday were mainly tours of the Ladybank gravel pits, with visits also to Loch Gelly and to my Seafield patch. Good numbers of birds seen, but I kept missing out on the White-Fronted Goose seen at Gaddon and Birnie, and Letham Pools. Missed by an hour or two on one occasion, but had the unexpected bonus of finding my first ever onshore Brambling, so a good county tick made.

Wednesday was the main event, when once again I had the privilege of teaming up with Stonefaction (Barry). I can't remember the names of some of the places Barry directed us too, however a good time was had, with highlights for me being Dipper, Red Grouse, Treecreeper, Peregrine, Iceland Gull and of course more Brambling (just like buses). The first three were year ticks for me, with the Red Grouse strangely being one I missed completely last year.

Place names I do remember were Riverside Nature Park, Alyth area, Piperdam, Blackwater, Kinnordy Loch, Arbroath cliffs, Westhaven and Monifieth.

I'm not sure or the final tally (approaching eighty I think), but I look forward to Barry's usual detailed blog entry, if only to find out where I was.

Today I needed a rest, but couldn't resist a quick spin along to Loch Gelly in search of a reported drake Mandarin. I only lasted twenty minutes or so, as the rain came on heavy, with strong gusting winds. No sign of my target bird, but I felt better for the trying.

EDIT - Just noticed that Barry has posted the blog report. See http://stonefactionbirding2014.blogspot.co.uk

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Old Thursday 22nd March 2018, 13:25   #1968
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Yesterday

I met up with Stonefaction (Barry) yesterday for another Wednesday wander. This time we started at the Eden centre, although both Barry and I picked up quite a few birds en route to our meeting point at the centre, with most of mine coming at a ten minute stop at Letham pools.

After a good scan of the exposed muds of the estuary, we moved on to Ruddon's Point with Surfie in mind. On the way we made short stops at Barnyards Marsh and Kilconquhar Loch.

Parking up at Shell bay, we made an extensive search for a reported Whimbrel there, but were not successful, unless some of the photos Barry took turn up something.

By the time we got out on the point, it was blowing hard and raining. We persevered, but there was no sign of the reported Surfie, although there was an abundance of Velvet Scoters. Also absent were any grebes or divers.

Returning to the car, we opted for a change of viewing angle on Largo Bay, by heading along the coast to Lower Largo. It was from here that we picked up on Common Scoter, but the Surfie remained MIA.

We continued coast hopping by visiting Leven and Buckhaven before heading inland to Loch Leven. On the way to Loch Leven, we made stops at Loch Gelly and the west end of Loch Ore. It was at Loch Ore that we picked up on one of the more unexpected birds of the day, with good views of a group of Pintail.

At Loch Leven, we headed for Burleigh Sands. The target was Slavonian Grebe, however we drew a blank. What we did get however, were two Sand Martins. Unexpectedly early year ticks for both of us.

From Loch Leven, we headed for Letham Pools, traveling over the Lomond hills through Falkland, and with a quick stop off at Rossie Bog. Arriving at Letham, we found it goose-less. The hoped for P-F Goose flock complete with W-F Goose was not to be seen. This goose is now a clear leader on my bogie list!

Before dropping Barry off at Cupar, to catch his bus, there was still time to get one more bird for his list. I'd re-found Brambling at Bow of Fife, when I'd passed through in the morning. Happily, we found a Brambling still in residence.

Bird of the day for me was Pintail. My total was eighty birds, although there were a few more that were heard, but not seen. Frustratingly, I believe I saw two Wheatear approaching Upper Largo, but as it was a drive by sighting, with nowhere to stop, I couldn't list it, even on 99% confidence. Still, the Wheatear probables are a good reminder of better things to come.
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Old Saturday 24th March 2018, 09:32   #1969
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Surfer's there (Ruddon's Point) this morning if you're not busy!

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Old Saturday 24th March 2018, 15:25   #1970
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Surfer's there (Ruddon's Point) this morning if you're not busy!

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Old Saturday 24th March 2018, 20:43   #1971
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I'm usually tied up on Saturdays, but as one of the kids had sprained her ankle, and would therefore not need me to transport her to a highland dancing lesson, I decided to take my youngest out for a bit of birding.

It was dry and bright with little wind, so I thought it could be a good time for a try at Hawfinch in the grounds of Scone Palace. We headed off early, stopping briefly at Loch Leven for a quick scan of the calm waters, then on to Scone Palace.

We arrived at the palace at ten past nine. The gates were locked. I had thought it opened at nine, but had miscalculated, as the signage indicated the correct opening time of ten.

With fifty minutes to burn, we headed around to the back gate and parked up. Scanning over the fence, we found nothing, but there was a lot of bird noise coming from deeper inside the grounds. With nothing to see, we drove off slowly down the country road to kill some time. A mile or two down the road, a Jay made an appearance in the roadside trees. A first for my son.

A little further down the road, we came across two birds on the grass verge that I first thought were Grey Partridge, but as we drew level with them, I realised they were Red-Legged Partridge. Another first for the boy, and a year tick for me.

We carried on slowly down the road until it started to pass through some open farmland, where we stopped and turned to retrace our route back to the palace gates. Arriving for the second time, we found the gates open so proceeded to the car park.

Exiting the car park, we picked a route that took us past the palace and away to the back gate. We had not got past the palace, when my young one spotted a bird that he got very excited about. There on the lawn was a Peacock. He was not impressed when I told him we would not be listing it, and he is still declaring it as his bird of the day.

Moving slowly and quietly down the road towards the back gate. I carefully scanned the branches above. I could hear plenty of activity, but saw little until we spotted an upside-down Treecreeper walking along the underside of a low branch.

Reaching the gate, this time from the inside, we scanned the trees for some time, but found nothing. We now headed east, sticking to the main track. There were plenty of Chaffinch around, so when I saw some movement on the ground at the base of a tree, I assumed it would be another Chaffinch. I was wrong. The binoculars revealed the bird to be a Nuthatch.

I have only ever seen one Nuthatch before, and that was thirty-five plus years ago. This was as good as a lifer for me, and certainly a lifer for my young one. The bird kept reappearing as we move through this area, although I suspect there was probably more than one.

Turning south to follow a road that ran back towards the palace, parallel to the road that we had first walked out on, we came across another birder. He bemoaned how flighty the Hawfinch were today. He'd seen about seven, but hadn't been able to get a photo.

As we spoke, my eyes were drawn to movement, as a bird flew across the trail into a tall pine. As I scanned the area it had headed into, I found my first ever Hawfinch sitting on a sunlit branch, looking down at me. I tried to direct the other birder's camera to it, but it disappeared into cover before he could get a photo.

I didn't get my son onto it either, as he had been two busy telling the other birder about his Peacock spot.

Further down the trail, I got a glimpse of another Hawfinch in flight, but as the grounds were filling up with bus loads of tourists, we headed off. On the way back to Fife, we pulled into Erroll, and walked down to the reed beds with Bearded Reedling in mind. We drew a blank, but I was very impressed with my first look at this area.

Heading back into Fife, we made a couple of detours on the way home. Firstly to Kinshaldy, and then the briefest of stops at Letham. There were the expected birds at both, but we had had the best of it in the morning, and were back home before teatime.

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Old Monday 26th March 2018, 20:32   #1972
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i went to have a look at the pale belied brent goose that has been present at Arbroath esplanade for the last 4 days,this bird is showing really well especially when the tide is nearly fully in well worth a check
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Old Monday 2nd April 2018, 22:03   #1973
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I had my fifth attempt at seeing the black redstart which is currently at Arbroath behind the old brewhouse,this is the second bird here in a short while,(maybe even the third)it was very stormy when I arrived and I wasn,t expecting it to show but the wee beuty showed very well,it appeared to be resting up in the garden surrounded by the yellow wall,along at Victoria park the dark bellied brent goose was still present,while talking to alec shepherd the goose took flight and we both watched it flying out to sea,it flew far out and it could be a case of it is time to move on,there is also an Iceland gull here which I have not seen until today,the bird was spending a lot of time on the grass beside the furthest east goal post
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Old Wednesday 18th April 2018, 19:52   #1974
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North Fife Circuit

I usually try and take it easy on the first day back onshore, but having done an early morning visit to Seafield, followed by a brief visit to Loch Gelly, I decided to see what Stonefaction (Barry) was up to, and fired off a text. Timing was perfect, as he was just preparing to head out, so we decided to meet up at Guardbridge.

The Eden estuary was fairly quiet, but made a good starting point. We quickly made up a rough plan, and headed out to a site in central Fife known for Little Ringed Plover. There were none, so we moved on to Letham, where Barry picked out a 1W Mediterranean Gull from a flock of BHG, and then on to Mountcastle. On the road from Guardbridge, I picked up two year ticks with House Martin and Swallow, with the House Martin also being a year tick for Barry.

Next stop was Rossie Bog, however, it was pretty much deserted by the birds, so it was not long before we were on our way to a new site for me. Arriving at Newburgh, we were soon at the side of the Tay, looking out over Mugdrum Island. The main target here was Marsh Harrier, a bird I'd only ever seen once before, several years ago, up in Orkney.

It was not long before Barry picked out a Marsh Harrier at height in the distance, but soon we had good views of a male and female swooping over the reeds in front of us.

Heading back towards central Fife, we chose a route past Golden and Black Lochs. It was along this road that we found some Red-Legged Partridge. A Fife tick for me.

Getting back on the A92, we now headed north to check out the pools at Luthrie. We had been advised by a gentleman at Mountcastle, that he had recently seen Mandarin ducks on these pools. We were both sceptical, hence we had not rushed off there, but as we were passing, we checked it out. There were no Mandarin. We also had doubts about the same gentleman's story about seeing a wolverine somewhere in Scotland.

At this point, we decided to call it a day, and the plan was for me to drop Barry off at Cupar. We found however, that the road to Cupar was closed, so we rerouted back to Guardbridge via St Michaels. Arriving at St Michaels, on the spur of the moment, we decided on a detour to Morton Lochs. This proved a good decision, as we found two more year ticks for me with Canada Goose and Blackcap. Interestingly, one of the Blackcap we found; a male, was mixing it with a few Reed Bunting, in the reeds at the Railway Hide.

Leaving Morton, I dropped Barry off at a Guardbridge bus stop, and headed off for home. Not bad for a day on which I was trying to take it easy.
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Old Friday 20th April 2018, 18:02   #1975
Gander
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fife or middle of North Sea
Posts: 1,176
Elie Lifer

An afternoon trip to Elie produced a lifer for me when I found the long staying Black-Necked Grebe.

Also went to a rather subdued Kilminning and Fife Ness, before stopping off at the Eden Estuary Centre. Nice views of a Kestrel at Kilminning, but no sign of my target Corn Buntings.

The bird log at the EEC showed a sighting of three Avocet for yesterday. The record wasn't signed, so hard to authenticate. There was no sign of Avocet today.
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