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Eden Estuary News

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Old Saturday 2nd July 2016, 08:45   #1001
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Things may be rather quiet at the Eden Estuary Centre just now with most waders still away at their breeding grounds. Probably be just a handful of Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Curlews. Black Tailed Godwits are starting to move again so you may find one or two of those from the hide, as well as a Lapwing or two. July is usually when Kingfisher sightings start to pick up at the hide too, and Common Sandpiper might also be seen on the river out front. Both usually call in flight, so it is worth learning their calls, so that you have a warning that it is worth looking. Feeders may have family groups coming to feed.
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Old Saturday 2nd July 2016, 09:12   #1002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonefaction View Post
Things may be rather quiet at the Eden Estuary Centre just now with most waders still away at their breeding grounds. Probably be just a handful of Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Curlews. Black Tailed Godwits are starting to move again so you may find one or two of those from the hide, as well as a Lapwing or two. July is usually when Kingfisher sightings start to pick up at the hide too, and Common Sandpiper might also be seen on the river out front. Both usually call in flight, so it is worth learning their calls, so that you have a warning that it is worth looking. Feeders may have family groups coming to feed.
Thanks Stonefaction. The Redshanks, Godwits and Sandpipers would all be new to me, so it sounds great. I'll certainly be taking your advice on learning the bird calls you mentioned.
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Old Monday 4th July 2016, 19:59   #1003
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First Visit

Following a day at Morton Lochs and Kinshaldy, I moved on to the Eden estuary hide.

Lots of activity at the feeders next to the hide. Great, Coal & Blue Tits. Dunnock and House Sparrow, along with my first Tree Sparrows.

On the estuary it seemed very quiet. A few Common Sandpipers were another first. Shelduck present along with lots of Oystercatchers and Curlew. Highlight of the day was the arrival of a couple of Ospreys.

Really enjoyable couple of hours, although I think I need a scope for this kind of spotting
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Old Friday 14th July 2017, 18:52   #1004
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Pretty quiet at the hide at Guardbridge on Wednesday afternoon. Work ongoing through the fence to the north is keeping the majority of birds rather distant. Waders starting to increase in number and at least 2 Little Egrets around (4 reported in the book a few days ago). No Kingfisher yet.

More info on my blog....

http://stonefactionbirding2014.blogs...den-12717.html

Decent afternoon last month -

http://stonefactionbirding2014.blogs...uff-11617.html

and a visit in May that bore fruit...

http://stonefactionbirding2014.blogs...dies-7517.html
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Old Saturday 19th August 2017, 20:45   #1005
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Had a rather good afternoon in the Eden Estuary Centre hide today. Two very unexpected sightings. A female Marsh Harrier that I only caught a glimpse of as it was chased off by the local Carrion Crows and then later a fly-past by a Yellow Wagtail, just above the hide. However, I decided to try and see if the Yellow Wagtail had landed on the grass behind the hide, but had to finish writing up the sightings list in the book (forgot to put the Yellow Wagtail in!). Once I'd done that, I stood up to close the window and realised that one of the two dark birds flying just out in front was a Carrion Crow. The other was the Marsh Harrier! Unfortunately, my camera decided it wan't going to co-operate so I managed 1 good photo, 9 just about passable, and lots only fit for the recycling bin. No sign of the Yellow Wagtail outside either.

Also 5 Little Egrets, 2 Ruff (1 red adult male & 1 juv), 1 Knot, Black Tailed Godwits, at least 5 Ospreys, a White Tailed Eagle, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Common & Sandwich Terns, Wigeon, Canada Geese, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Stock Dove and Willow Warbler. Buddleia out front covered in Peacock butterflies and a few Red Admirals (& 1 or 2 Whites).
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Old Sunday 20th August 2017, 13:48   #1006
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That is a good afternoon! I'm heading there on Tuesday to try and find the elusive W-T Eagle. I'll add Yellow Wagtail to your entry if you want.
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 17:16   #1007
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Already sorted - was back yesterday afternoon. Not as exciting, though a Bank Vole on one of the hanging peanut feeders was a bit different. Ruff duo still around, but no sign of Marsh Harrier or Yellow Wagtail. Plenty Ospreys over too, also Peregrine and Kestrel.

With regards the WTE, have you considered the Balgove Bay hide near the western end of the golf course? This would have the bonus of being able to see up the coast a bit as well as the two poles in the estuary (harder to see against the background but closer to the hide). If you time your visit for the tide coming in you should get a mix of waders too being pushed close. If you've not been before, drive in past the driving range, park at the car park and take the path west past the starters box. 20 minutes walk will take you to the hide. There's a wee reedy pond on the golf course more or less behind it across the fairway. I can send you the combination lock code, if you need it, just let me know.
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Old Monday 21st August 2017, 17:41   #1008
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Balgove sounds like a good idea. I intended to go there last year to try for the Brent's, but I saw them from the road, so never went to the hide.
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Old Tuesday 3rd October 2017, 14:57   #1009
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Greenshank

A few photos from this morning at the centre. Bird was parading along the near side shoreline.
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Old Tuesday 3rd October 2017, 15:10   #1010
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Little Stint

Also this morning, a lifer for me in the form of a Little Stint (2 of them in fact). This is a bird that led me a merry dance across Fife last Autumn, so I'm very happy to have finally caught up with it.

In addition to the Greenshank pictured in previous post, there were two Pintail and a Kingfisher present. Loads of Pink-Footed Geese passing overhead too.

No W-T Eagle though.
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Old Tuesday 3rd October 2017, 19:15   #1011
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hi paul were the little stint seen from the eden centre ?
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Old Tuesday 3rd October 2017, 20:22   #1012
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hi paul were the little stint seen from the eden centre ?
Yes they were. Initially, they were right down to the left at the bend in the river channel. As the tide came in they moved along until directly opposite the centre. Both birds stuck religiously to the very edge of the water.
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 18:27   #1013
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It had to happen.

Yes, it had to happen. Finally, I have managed to find a White-Tailed Eagle. A very distant view from the centre, but definitely an eagle out on one of the posts.

Also, present was my first onshore Spotted Redshank. A much closer view, but if it hadn't been pointed out by another birder, I'm not sure I would have picked it out from the crowds of Common Redshank.

Many years ago, on a stormy night, I found a black wader sitting on a walkway of the oil platform I was working on. This was pre Google, so it went unidentified at the time, but I now think it was a Spotted Redshank. Time has faded the memory of it somewhat, but I do remember that my bird either had distinctive bright red legs or maybe bright red in the beak, or possibly both. I thought at the time that it looked like a cartoon caricature of a wader.

So although not a lifer like the W-T Eagle, today's bird feels almost as good as one.

Also present today were four Brent Geese and three flighty Little Egrets.
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Last edited by Gander : Thursday 2nd November 2017 at 18:32.
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Old Monday 1st January 2018, 21:30   #1014
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Eagles

A good start to the year today with a couple of White-Tailed Eagles viewed from Outhead. I think they are an adult (left) and an immature , but am not sure.
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Old Monday 29th January 2018, 14:52   #1015
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Bad News.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...-fife-39103559

This looks like bad news for the Eden Estuary. With people walking up and down the path shown in the picture, the birds are surely going to be pushed away from their usual holding area.

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news...rdbridge-move/

400 staff running about the banks of the Eden, and that is without students and visitors. I don't think the Eden estuary will survive that kind of disturbance and pressure. And good luck getting a parking spot for the Eden Centre.

Last edited by Gander : Monday 29th January 2018 at 14:59.
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Old Monday 29th January 2018, 15:27   #1016
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I'm sure screening would be a planning requirement. Will probably be far less damaging than a working papermill was.

Rob
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Old Monday 29th January 2018, 19:59   #1017
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Hope you are right. I've got to love the place over the last couple of years.
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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 18:46   #1018
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New Arrivals

I headed for the Eden Estuary Centre yesterday, but with half a dozen others, I found that I was locked out. I set up outside, but a young lady made her way down the opposite river bank before heading across the rough grass area towards the "football posts". Needless to say, every bird in the area relocated to far, far away. I decided to do the same thing; heading off to Balgove bay.

I parked up at the golf car park and made the 20 minute walk out to the hide. Settling in, I was soon counting birds, with 160+ Black-Tailed Godwit being notable. Shelduck were also evident, and it was while making a count of these that I picked up on some very distant geese. I could just make out two or three Brents, but when they suddenly took to the air, the original two or three were joined by more. The small flock, eight in all, flew straight towards me, landing on the mud flats fairly close to the hide.

Over the next few hours, other birds seen were Osprey (2), Ruff (6), Pintail (2) and a Greenshank. Surprisingly, there were no Dunlin present, and very few Redshank. I thought I had found a Dunlin at one point, when I spotted a very distant bird with what looked like a black belly, but I soon worked out it was too big for Dunlin. It changed position slightly, and I was able to see that the black mark extended up into the breast. I kept an eye on it for a while as the incoming tide gradually pushed it closer. I was soon sure it was a plover, and although my initial thought was Golden, it was not till it took to the air, and I could see a lack of black in the armpit area, that I was convinced of my Golden ID.

Nice to see some new stuff coming through, especially the Brent Geese, which I have a real fondness for.
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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 18:54   #1019
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Another great report Paul. Yeah.... Brents are my favourite geese too.

You've some lovely pictures there laddie.
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Old Tuesday 4th September 2018, 07:42   #1020
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No idea why the hide was locked on Sunday - Daniel and I went down at about 3:45 to find it closed, when we had found it full at the same time on Saturday. We saw plenty from outside the hide, including spotted redshank, pintail, 3 little egrets, 4 greenshanks, 2 ruff, 2 ospreys. Not many black-tailed godwits - they were clearly all in Balgove Bay!

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Old Sunday 9th September 2018, 12:35   #1021
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Friday morning at the Eden Estuary produced a lifer for me with the appearance of three Curlew Sandpiper. Other noteworthies were two Kingfishers, three Osprey, five Ruff, four Greenshank and a Pintail.
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Old Sunday 5th May 2019, 06:30   #1022
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Garganey

I received the text alert at about twenty to three yesterday afternoon. Fifty minutes later, I was entering the centre with hope that I would find the reported Garganey; two of which had been reported there.

I thought the centre would have been busy with Garganey watching birders, but there was only one other birder there. His greeting, coupled with a "nothing happening", was not encouraging.

The tide was high, with the mud flats totally submerged. I set the scope up and concentrated on the birds that were on the salt marsh. Four Little Egret and a Whimbrel became evident. Birds that had also been on the text alert. My fellow birder had been there for a couple of hours, but had not seen Garganey. It looked like I was too late.

I started working my way through the birds on the marsh. Black-Tailed Godwit, some showing summer colouration were predominant. Shelduck, the Egrets, the wandering Whimbrel, Teal and Wigeon were evident. Then I noticed a bird that despite being settled in the long grass with most of its head under its wing, had a noticeable white marking on its face. I checked the plumage I could see, in one of the centres reference books, and I was happy that I had a confirmed Garganey.

Knowing that Stonefaction (Barry) was out and about somewhere, I started to put together a text to see if he was in range. I needn't have bothered, as he came in the door before I'd finished the text. He and his companions were just in time to see the duck, as it repositioned itself out of sight, in a gulley, minutes later.

A far off bird on a post had given hope that it may have been a W-T Eagle, but Barry was able to confirm with his camera zoom, that it was an Osprey. Still a year tick for me to go with the Whimbrel and Garganey lifer.

As the tide started to recede, a group of ducks headed out of the gulley onto the water, mainly Teal, but with the two reported drake Garganey leading the way. They flew off a short distance at one point, but were still paddling about when I left.
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Old Sunday 5th May 2019, 11:08   #1023
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I put the news out very quickly. I had to revise my text to Malcolm - found one, sent text, found the other, sent another text! Glad you got them.
Tried to revise whimbrel and egret numbers but he had already put the news out!

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Old Sunday 5th May 2019, 20:18   #1024
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I put the news out very quickly. I had to revise my text to Malcolm - found one, sent text, found the other, sent another text! Glad you got them.
Tried to revise whimbrel and egret numbers but he had already put the news out!

Rob
Many thanks for that Rob. The Garganey has been high on my wish list for a while.
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