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Lothian Birding

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Old Monday 3rd November 2008, 17:43   #226
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Originally Posted by area man View Post
Managed to see a few of the 'Waxwing' yesterday, on Joppa Road,maybe ten birds? Got some photos, here's one - Attachment 166828 You have to love the Waxwing, he's great!

Later on saw an unringed ad med in the first lagoon. Nowt at Eskmouth this morning, mind. G
An 8/8 blue sky today with no wind and great visibility-just wonderful. One of the best things about living in the East of Edinburgh is the more or less guaranteed sightings of waxwings in late autumn

So it was a real thrill to see 2 groups of 15 and 8 today at Portobello Cemetery and on the Milton Road. Lit up by the low sun high in the trees, trilling away-a sight I'm sure I'll never tire of
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Old Monday 3rd November 2008, 18:43   #227
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I'll be popping through on Wednesday all going well, do you reckon they will still be in the area then? I know they have a habit of not sticking around for too long.
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Old Monday 3rd November 2008, 18:52   #228
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I'll be popping through on Wednesday all going well, do you reckon they will still be in the area then? I know they have a habit of not sticking around for too long.
Who knows? I think if they are starting to come in good numbers (32 rptd Joppa today) this early, it may be difficult to miss em soon?
Oh yes, forgot to add - excellent Brambling pics from Neil Grubb - Mark's brother ? Of course! Gordon

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Old Wednesday 5th November 2008, 17:42   #229
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Been down the coast the last couple of days - yesterday birding, today twitching! Weather was 'real nice' yesterday, sunny and all. Scoured the bushes at Barns Ness and general area. A couple of Crossbill and a few crests. Saw a tern on flying past which looked like a Common but was seen better by others later a Skateraw and id as an Arctic. Well, that's my excuse anyway
At Musselburgh yesterday one Waxwing flying by the window and ad med unringed on the first lagoon.

Today, heard about the Pallas Warbler 'showing well' at Torness visitors carpark, found by an ace local birder. Got there and nothing doing but after about half an hours searching was refound, again by the car park. Great views and a Lothian tick for me! Missed a few before..Click image for larger version

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Old Wednesday 5th November 2008, 18:09   #230
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Visited Musselburgh today, and spotted a couple of "curiosities"...

Firstly, walking along the seafront wall behind the lagoons, I saw what I initially thought was a floating Cormorant, although when I saw it compared to a REAL Cormornat I noticed that it was almost twice the size! 99% sure it was a juvenile Gannet, but is it common for them to come so close to the type of land surrounding the area? It was only 100 yards or so out from the wall, and I watched it float out to sea until it was out of sight.

Secondly, I saw a Black-Headed Gull with a black head! Is it common for them to retain their summer plumage over winter?
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Old Wednesday 5th November 2008, 18:18   #231
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Visited Musselburgh today, and spotted a couple of "curiosities"...

Firstly, walking along the seafront wall behind the lagoons, I saw what I initially thought was a floating Cormorant, although when I saw it compared to a REAL Cormornat I noticed that it was almost twice the size! 99% sure it was a juvenile Gannet, but is it common for them to come so close to the type of land surrounding the area? It was only 100 yards or so out from the wall, and I watched it float out to sea until it was out of sight.

Secondly, I saw a Black-Headed Gull with a black head! Is it common for them to retain their summer plumage over winter?
Hi Stuarty,

Think that sounds like a (knackered!) juv Gannet, your right. I guess the young ones suffer from bad weather and unfortunately most don't make it past their first winter.

Haven't seen any Black-headed Gulls with full hoods recently. That Med Gull seen recently has quite a lot of black on the head. There is quite a bit of variation amoung gulls...

Hope this helps. Cheers G
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Old Wednesday 5th November 2008, 18:30   #232
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Hi Stuarty,

Think that sounds like a (knackered!) juv Gannet, your right. I guess the young ones suffer from bad weather and unfortunately most don't make it past their first winter.

Haven't seen any Black-headed Gulls with full hoods recently. That Med Gull seen recently has quite a lot of black on the head. There is quite a bit of variation amoung gulls...

Hope this helps. Cheers G
Very helpful, thanks mate.

The gull was identical to the other Black-Heads in the flock (including black wing tips) except for the head... I was rather bemused!


With regards to other birds today, saw my first Long-Tailed Ducks (from Longniddry Bents Car Park 3) and Velvet Scoters (from a car park in Musselburgh) of the year today. Also saw small grebes on two separate occasions, but due to a combination of poor visibility and the distance they were out into the sea I was unable to make a positive identification, I would presume with the past reports of them in the area they would have been Slavonians?
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Old Thursday 6th November 2008, 22:24   #233
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Hi folks,
Since it,s been just over a year since Mark Grubb had the good plan, (I think),of introducing a Lothian bird thead on BF, with the ongoing LBN on yahoo, I think its been quite a good start. BF is better for 'chat' and also its' not sent directly to your inbox, which means you have the choice to look at it or not.
Birdspotter has mentioned the lack of other birders input on this thread, so if you are reading this and are a regular birder in Lothian - why not contribute?

Regards Gordon Anderson

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Old Friday 7th November 2008, 13:01   #234
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I will certainly continue to contribute to this thread. Having only just gotten back into this hobby after a ten year exodus (my initial interest in birdwatching ended when I was 14!), I've pretty much had a to relearn everything I once knew and effectively start afresh. Due to this, I probably get excited over birds which a lot of the more seasoned birders see regularly; when you are new to this hobby, pretty much EVERY bird you see is a lifer, hence worth making an effort to see, regardless of how "common" it may be to some.

Hopefully my posting of all the birds I see everytime I'm out and about, regardless of their status, will inspire similar "newbies" to go out and find the birds that are top of their list. I know that by reading this thread I have done the same with many birds I hadn't seen before
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Old Friday 7th November 2008, 14:05   #235
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A couple of hours off so headed off down to Dunbar where a Pallas's warbler had been seen-it would be a lifer for me. It was raining on arrival and there was just one other birder-we exchanged phone numbers and split up to look.I got to the bottom of the slope seeing a number of goldcrests on the way. When I reached the bottom of the bank there it was 10 metres in front of me- a lovely wee bird with large bright yellow suoercilium and large yellow rump patch. I watched for 20 seconds or so and then phoned the other birder. And frustratingly that proved to be my only sighting in an hour. I bumped into Gordon and Dave Allan and they saw the bird further along the bank.

I had a look at Torness. A few migrants-10 redwing, 2 or 3 goldcrests and good numbers of song thrushes and blackbirds. I looked in the conifers at Barns Ness and again there were a few birds but they were only goldcrests. I almost stood on one knackered bird and watched it from barely 2 feet away-I could clearly see the orange at the back of the crown stripe with the naked eye
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Old Friday 7th November 2008, 14:09   #236
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Originally Posted by Stuarty View Post
Hopefully my posting of all the birds I see everytime I'm out and about, regardless of their status, will inspire similar "newbies" to go out and find the birds that are top of their list. I know that by reading this thread I have done the same with many birds I hadn't seen before
Keep posting, Stuart-I've only been birding since the summer of 04 and have learnt loads from BF, from the friends I've made here and from some of the trips I've been on.

And the grebes you will have seen at M'burgh will almost certainly have been slavonian. I counted 11 the day before you went. Ther are usually plenty of great crested as well and the occasional red necked
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Old Friday 7th November 2008, 15:59   #237
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Keep posting, Stuart-I've only been birding since the summer of 04 and have learnt loads from BF, from the friends I've made here and from some of the trips I've been on.

And the grebes you will have seen at M'burgh will almost certainly have been slavonian. I counted 11 the day before you went. Ther are usually plenty of great crested as well and the occasional red necked
Thanks Mark, their silhouette size (in comparison to the Long-Tailed Ducks they were floating next to) and shape certainly matched that of Slavonians.
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Old Friday 7th November 2008, 17:30   #238
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Like buses, those little Pallas's Warblers! Haven't seen one in Lothian before, now seen two this week! I went to Dunbar this morning after having a look round Barns Ness single Waxwing, Brambling, Blackcap and a few crests. Got to the retirement home car park. Since it was still raining I sat there with the window open and out he jumps! A brighter (different) bird to the Torness bird. Tryed a few pics but he was too fast for me - only a few feet away though. Seen again a couple of times showing the rump in flight.

Then I went to check Dunglass, on the Lothian border, about 10 crests and too much cover. Single newly arrived, bold, Waxwing at Thorntonloch was a good thing to end on.
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Old Saturday 8th November 2008, 14:35   #239
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Dunbar 8th November

I took a run down to Barns Ness to see if anything interesting had come in overnight but all was very quiet. I decided to see if the Pallas' warbler reported at East Links Road (Dunbar) was still around. A few birders were on site when I arrived, and had seen the bird ten minutes previously. Over the space of an hour or so I had three or four reasonable views of this bird - a very attractive little warbler and one I haven't seen before. The binocular views were really good!

One of the birders there received a call to say that a flock of waxwings had come in at the Belhaven Smokehouse, a couple of miles away so I decided to take a look. There were around 65 waxwings trilling in the treetops and feeding - they didn't come terribly close but were nice to see :-)

Pics attached. Neil.
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Old Saturday 8th November 2008, 14:37   #240
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And a couple more zoomed out shots of the waxwing flock.

Neil
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Old Saturday 8th November 2008, 18:29   #241
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Nice pics, Neil though never easy to get the exposure right in bright light as in the waxwing pics.

Just looked though the Lothian Bird Reports of 2005. 10 records so far and single records in 2000, 03 and 05-don't think there have been any in the last 2 years. So 2 more makes 5 in the last ten years and almost half of all records

Very smart birds, Pallas's warblers though maybe they don't quite cut it when it comes down to avian cool ie waxwings
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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 09:31   #242
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Nice pics, Neil though never easy to get the exposure right in bright light as in the waxwing pics.

Just looked though the Lothian Bird Reports of 2005. 10 records so far and single records in 2000, 03 and 05-don't think there have been any in the last 2 years. So 2 more makes 5 in the last ten years and almost half of all records

Very smart birds, Pallas's warblers though maybe they don't quite cut it when it comes down to avian cool ie waxwings
Pallas's Warblers are certainly becoming more frequent - but this doesn't diminish there mind-blowingness! Neils' pictures show this bright birds crown stripe well.

Similarly, with 11 Bluetails reported down the east coast this Autumn surely one is going to turn up in Lothian within a few years ? Exciting times ! G

P.s. A next new bird(s) for the Lothian list sweepstake anyone??

P.p.s. Thats me done 100 posts now! What do I win?

***stop press*** flock of about 30 Waxwing over the house (nr Eskmouth,Musselburgh) going west at 1040. 'They come here - this is Waxwing country!

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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 15:43   #243
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Pallas's Warblers are certainly becoming more frequent - but this doesn't diminish there mind-blowingness! Neils' pictures show this bright birds crown stripe well.

Similarly, with 11 Bluetails reported down the east coast this Autumn surely one is going to turn up in Lothian within a few years ? Exciting times ! G

P.s. A next new bird(s) for the Lothian list sweepstake anyone??

P.p.s. Thats me done 100 posts now! What do I win?

***stop press*** flock of about 30 Waxwing over the house (nr Eskmouth,Musselburgh) going west at 1040. 'They come here - this is Waxwing country!
Well I'll be boring and suggest cattle egret as next for the Lothian list-they seem to pop up everywhere else. The Lothian list is at http://www.lsoc.btinternet.co.uk/Species.htm for anyone interested

100 posts eh-well that should just about allow you the privilege of buying this veteran 1000+ poster a beer after a days birding at M'burgh to celebrate

Went up to Mount Lothian with my brother to see the finch flocks and for him to try out his new camera. It was quite impressive driving along sending clouds of birds into the air. They seemed to be feeding in a turnip field. The best moment came at the start as I saw a merlin whistling in and catching a finch-awesome!! Chaffies were by far the most numerous but there were very good numbers of bramblings -always very smart birds
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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 16:17   #244
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Mount Lothian 9th November

Following on from Mark's posting above, I took a drive to Mt Lothian at around 9 am. When I arrived I can only describe the scene as a huge swarm of finches all around the car, certainly more than 1000 birds, very mobile and feeding off the fields on either side of the road. Most were chaffinches but there were good numbers of brambling, accounting for perhaps 5% of the birds seen. There were a few goldfinch but we didn't see any linnet. Also present were a couple of decent sized starling flocks (300-400 birds each), 30-40 fieldfare and 15-20 redwing. Two kestrels were hunting up near Cockpen, and the usual resident stonechat pair seems set to overwinter again (there are several pairs present here in the summer but only one pair stays each winter - strange!).

Attached are a few photos of the brambling.
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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 16:43   #245
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Never been to Mount Lothian, anyone want to offer me some directions? Not seen Brambling yet this year
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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 17:10   #246
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Mount Lothian can be reached if you take the A6094 Bonnyrigg-Howgate road. Coming from Bonnyrigg, you will see a sign, left, for Mount Lothian when you get to the Rosslynlee trout fishery. Follow this minor road for a mile or so until you come to a crossroads (with the B6372); the farm you see is Mount Lothian farm. Go across the crossroads along the minor road, which goes to Cockmuir (another farm). The road is single track and passes through a belt of tall conifers; once you are past this, keep an eye out along the next half mile or so of road for the finch flocks which fly in and out of the small trees at the side of the road. A good spot to pull over is where the power lines cross the road (a kestrel is often seen hunting here too).

The map link below gives you an idea. The road you are looking for is the minor road which bisects the B6372; the crossroads is where the label 'B6372' is shown, southeast of Howgate; the brambling are found on the part of the minor road that goes south from there and seems to end in the middle of nowhere!

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&...,0.076904&z=12

There is a nice spot on this road after you cross a small stone bridge. Keep an eye out on your left hand side, because stonechat are often seen on the downslope and on the fenceposts at the roadside. Beyond this there is a convenient place to turn on the left.

Good luck!

Neil

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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 17:15   #247
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[quote=markgrubb;1329791]Well I'll be boring and suggest cattle egret as next for the Lothian list-they seem to pop up everywhere else. The Lothian list is at http://www.lsoc.btinternet.co.uk/Species.htm for anyone interested

That's probably a pretty good call with Cattle Egret. I've given this some thought - 10 minutes! and suggest the following : Two-barred Crossbill, Least Sand (!), well we have had a few rarer waders! and the aforementioned Red-flanked Bluetail. Very tricky to predict the future I find!

Ok, Mark since you started the thread, well you probably deserve a pint!

An ad med gull (unringed!) at the Eskmouth, but a different bird to last week. (red not black legs.) 32 Waxwings by the River Esk this evening were probably this mornings birds seen from window. G
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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 18:00   #248
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Mount Lothian can be reached if you take the A6094 Bonnyrigg-Howgate road. Coming from Bonnyrigg, you will see a sign, left, for Mount Lothian when you get to the Rosslynlee trout fishery. Follow this minor road for a mile or so until you come to a crossroads (with the B6372); the farm you see is Mount Lothian farm. Go across the crossroads along the minor road, which goes to Cockmuir (another farm). The road is single track and passes through a belt of tall conifers; once you are past this, keep an eye out along the next half mile or so of road for the finch flocks which fly in and out of the small trees at the side of the road. A good spot to pull over is where the power lines cross the road (a kestrel is often seen hunting here too).

The map link below gives you an idea. The road you are looking for is the minor road which bisects the B6372; the crossroads is where the label 'B6372' is shown, southeast of Howgate; the brambling are found on the part of the minor road that goes south from there and seems to end in the middle of nowhere!

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&...,0.076904&z=12

There is a nice spot on this road after you cross a small stone bridge. Keep an eye out on your left hand side, because stonechat are often seen on the downslope and on the fenceposts at the roadside. Beyond this there is a convenient place to turn on the left.

Good luck!

Neil
Awesome, got some time to myself tomorrow morning so I'll give it a bash. Thanking you!
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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 18:05   #249
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[quote=area man;1329863]
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Well I'll be boring and suggest cattle egret as next for the Lothian list-they seem to pop up everywhere else. The Lothian list is at http://www.lsoc.btinternet.co.uk/Species.htm for anyone interested

That's probably a pretty good call with Cattle Egret. I've given this some thought - 10 minutes! and suggest the following : Two-barred Crossbill, Least Sand (!), well we have had a few rarer waders! and the aforementioned Red-flanked Bluetail. Very tricky to predict the future I find!

Ok, Mark since you started the thread, well you probably deserve a pint!

An ad med gull (unringed!) at the Eskmouth, but a different bird to last week. (red not black legs.) 32 Waxwings by the River Esk this evening were probably this mornings birds seen from window. G
I'm quoting myself, and it's not to get my post count up. No, I wanted to change one of my choice's - Semi-p Sandpiper instead of Least. Don't think there has been an accepted one yet in Lothian and more likely than Least (what isn't?).
So my choices in no order (your allowed to make your own rules up!)are 1. Two-barred Crossbill (this winter!),2. Semi P and 3.Bluetail.

Lets see...! Cheers G
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Old Sunday 9th November 2008, 20:00   #250
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[quote=markgrubb;1329791] The Lothian list is at http://www.lsoc.btinternet.co.uk/Species.htm for anyone interested

Hi Mark,

This list needs updating, no Hume's YB or Paddyfield on it for instance.

I have recently compiled a list and I get 353 species with 1 other in Cat D.

PM me if you wish a copy.

Weekends highlights were B n Grebe Aberlady, Med Gull Muss today with 94 Waxwing @ Beltonford r/about yesterday.

Stomped around Dunglass,Bilsdean onwards across the fields to Thorntonloch, then Skateraw and Barns Ness on Saturday and saw SFA.

So pissed off I refused to go near the coast today, only for the mates pager to rub it in evon more with news of Siberian waifs arriving in both Northumberland and Aberdeen.
I really do wish we had a decent coastline!

Mind you I did see a Chiffchaff,shit even that wasn't a Sibe!!

Roll on the spring
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