Oh wonderful!!! You're so lucky to be living in such a lovely place.
I also saw the drake King Eider that's been in the bay over the summer, although it was starting to look a bit less colourful when I was there.
Where in the bay was the Kind Eider? Did you spot it from Findhorn or Kinloss? I imagine it was in the southwest flank (the other side), as it is where most waders and ducks are. Because it's summer and things are quiet, it's probably a good opportunity to spot it (without having the thousand of birds that usually are in winter).
It was about half way between Roseisle and Findhorn, in amongst a large flock of Eiders and Common Scoter. It's surprisingly hard to pick out, particularly when it's asleep, so take your time to search for it and don't assume it's not present if you don't see it straight away. It took me at least half an hour to find.
I went to the beach location, between Roseisle and Findhorn, this evening and did my first try to spot the King Eider (and hopefully still with the colourful plumage). But I did not succeed.
It was low tide, a balmy overcast evening, and immediately I spotted a few flocks of common scoter, and after a few minutes one flock of eiders. The eiders were far less numerous than the scoters, but both flocks were a bit far in the sea, so with my 10x50 it was impossible to make any details out of the eiders, as they appear far too small. I tried hard for 40min, both from up at the dunes, and down by the water edge. And I couldn't make any details.
How did you spot it?
Did you have a scope with you? Or was it high tide and the ducks were nearer to you?
Other than this I saw some black back gulls and ring plovers in the area.
And I have a couple more questions:
1) Regarding whinchat, stonechat and wheatear, which of these birds is more common in Moray and are they all relatively common?
I think I saw what it looked like a whinchat at the Findhorn dunes (in June). But it might have been a wheatear instead. And then in July I saw a couple of stonechats inland at the moors (in quite exposed location so I could identify the bird quite well) Also I heard its call. So I was quite confident about this second sight.
2) Are common warblers and corn buntings common here? I have a few suspected reports in June and July of the common warbler, but warblers are a bit hard to identify correctly.
3) Other birds I haven't seen yet (and I would like to know where to easily see them in Moray) include the spotted flycatcher, the great spotted woodpecker, ring ouzel, redstart, goshawk and hen/marsh harrier. I also haven't seen yet blackcaps, treecreepers and goldcrests, which are supposedly very common birds.
Wheatear and Stonechat are super common. Winchat far from common.
No one will tell you of any Goshawk locations publically. They are persecuted as bad as Hen Harrier.
Ring Ouzel you need to go back UP the Findhorn and into the 'Raptor Valley' and there is a pair nesting at the top of the hill behind the old school house to the right as you walk in.
Redstart? Culbin Sands, ditto Spotted Flycatcher. Also, if you venture to Loch Garten they (Redstart) are everywhere between the visitor centre and the loch itself. If you want Pied Flycatcher, head back into Aviemore and walk UP the Cragalachie cliff path to the water works pumping station and three pairs are nesting up there. Look for nesting boxes inside the woodland.
Hen Harriers are best seen around RSPB Loch Ruthven and surrounds. And Golden Eagle regularly over fly too. Black Throated Divers also can be seen in the waters around the area, especially if you head from Loch Ruthven, via the backroads and keep a scope to the waters when ever you stop.