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Riverside Nature Park, Dundee. (1 Viewer)

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
This autumn will surely produce something new.

Popped down the park for the afternoon and at 1235 I heard a strange call I didn't recognise (which sounded a bit Pipit like) and turned round to see a bird flying over so I grabbed a few photos. The bird I photographed was actually the source of the Pipit-like call, and my best ever find at the park - a Hawfinch! Although there have been some around in Fife this week, lunchtime at the park is not when or where I'd expect to see one. Number 144 for the park list.

In addition to the Hawfinch there was also my first ever Brent Goose in the bay (1 was on the list from 2012 - reported in Birdwatching magazine monthly round-up - possibly a Bob McCurley sighting). A small flock of grey-ish looking Redpolls were also seen.

There was plenty to see - I saw just over 50 species and heard another 4 or so, putting the visit into the top 5 visits for me.

144. Hawfinch
 

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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Cor!!! That was a grand session you had, wasn't it Barry.
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Way better than expected, Delia. I think I will have to get down early some time this week for a vis-mig session - see what else is passing through. Lots of good birds around on the east coast over the past few days, so there's potential for something really good.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
.... well ... better set your alarm then laddie;)
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
It was set for early this morning.....but I went back to sleep. If I hadn't I'd have probably missed the Hawfinch....as I'd have either been in a different part of the park, or on my way home.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Oh well... perhaps you'd better sleep in again tomorrow then!!:-O
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
There was also a Little Stint (another new one for my park list) and the leucistic Dunlin in among the rather sizeable contingent of Dunlin today but looking into the light and a lot of movement made them both tricky to 'nail down' (they all took flight just after I noticed the Little Stint. Thankfully, they are both visible in a few pics.
 

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Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
It isn't really a hide as such. More a wooden screen with openings overlooking the inner section of the bay - it is only of any use around between 1-2 hours either side of high tide (and there is an Elder bush that blocks some of that view too) - dependent on how high a tide it is. A scope comes in handy at the hide and the light is against you after about 3pm. There is another screen overlooking a small pool - usually Moorhens plus Teal & Mallard though sometimes a wader roost and a pair of Mute Swans too.

If you rush round the rest of the park you don't tend to see too much, but if you take your time and keep your eyes open (especially upwards) then there is usually a reasonable amount to see (between 25 and 40 species on a normal day. Exceptional days 50+. Highest total I've had in a day was 62).

In addition to the above today I also had 2 Sparrowhawks more or less together, a Peregrine taking on a Buzzard and a Carrion Crow harassing a Kestrel which was hunting along the edge of the bay, as well as some passage birds in addition to the Hawfinch - 2 Swallows, a flock of Siskins, a small flock of Redpoll, a few Meadow Pipits, 3 Mistle Thrush as well as Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Long Tailed Tit, Redwing, Yellowhammer etc. Waders included both Godwits, Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Knot, Curlew, Dunlin, Redshank as well as the Little Stint, but no Oystercatchers or Lapwings today.
 

ianford

Member
Well, what a lot has happened since I posted my message. Brilliant Barry with the Hawfinch. Like you I saw Hawfinch at Kilminning a few days ago. And Redpolls are flying over a lot. The Little Stint and Brent are both good birds too. I tend to take lots of photos of the waders when the light is poor and check them later.

There were up to 500 Lapwings commuting between Kingoodie and Invergowrie Bay, possibly my largest count.

I vis migged this morning at Kingoodie after 830 and there were Redwing and Fieldfare, Redpolls and Siskins and eight Whoopers (would have been visible from RNP). I heard Tree Sparrows over the park last week.

And to add about the screen I've taken down a couple of trees already and plan to remove the elder soon- leaving the berries for the birds.
 

mummymonkey

Well-known member
Supporter
United Kingdom
It isn't really a hide as such. More a wooden screen with openings overlooking the inner section of the bay - it is only of any use around between 1-2 hours either side of high tide (and there is an Elder bush that blocks some of that view too) - dependent on how high a tide it is. A scope comes in handy at the hide and the light is against you after about 3pm. There is another screen overlooking a small pool - usually Moorhens plus Teal & Mallard though sometimes a wader roost and a pair of Mute Swans too.

If you rush round the rest of the park you don't tend to see too much, but if you take your time and keep your eyes open (especially upwards) then there is usually a reasonable amount to see (between 25 and 40 species on a normal day. Exceptional days 50+. Highest total I've had in a day was 62).

In addition to the above today I also had 2 Sparrowhawks more or less together, a Peregrine taking on a Buzzard and a Carrion Crow harassing a Kestrel which was hunting along the edge of the bay, as well as some passage birds in addition to the Hawfinch - 2 Swallows, a flock of Siskins, a small flock of Redpoll, a few Meadow Pipits, 3 Mistle Thrush as well as Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Long Tailed Tit, Redwing, Yellowhammer etc. Waders included both Godwits, Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Knot, Curlew, Dunlin, Redshank as well as the Little Stint, but no Oystercatchers or Lapwings today.

Thanks for the info. I popped across this morning to catch high tide and got there just after 9. I forgot my bag so had to choose between scope or camera. Went for camera which was the wrong choice as the waders were quite far away, and my camera is not very good :)

It's a nice walk but I would have had a better chance of seeing some birds if there weren't so many dogs running loose. Even when I got to the sight screen at the far end there were 3 dogs running round my feet and crashing through the scrub at the front of it. (One was called Lilo)

My not very impressive list:

robin
wren
great tit
coal tit
greenfinch
chaffinch
goldfinch
meadow pipit
blackbird
magpie
crow
moorhen
mute swan
mallard
teal
grey heron
dunlin
black-tailed godwit
redshank
ruff
black-headed gull
common gull
herring gull
great black-backed gull
brent goose (pale belly)
pink-footed goose (fly overs)
cormorant
woodpigeon
starling

Stopped off at Port Allen on the way back but failed to find much. Only little grebe, buzzard, tufted duck and linnet added to the day's list.

A nice day out. First time I've been out since March.

Some terrible pics attached.
 

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Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Haven't got Ruff on my Dundee list this year yet, so I might need to pop down tomorrow and hope it is still around. Dogs are the biggest problem at the park (and pretty much everywhere where nature is looked for). Unfortunately banning them completely will never happen and hoping dog owners will actually read and obey signs is never completely effective either. At best about 2/3 comply, on a good day. The rest really don't care though they will tell you they are 'animal lovers'. On the one slight plus at the park with regards dogs, the waders are rarely chased by dogs - unlike most other places locally where they attempt to roost on the shoreline.
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Didn't make it down for the Ruff unfortunately but did pay the park a visit last Wednesday afternoon, managing to see 39 species (& 2 heard only) with the leucistic Dunlin also still around. I also heard from Mark Wilkinson the following day that he'd been back to the park and had heard Water Rail calling from the reedbed opposite. A bird I have scanned along the edge of the reeds for without any luck since the park opened back in 2011 and which becomes the second recent addition to the park-list (criteria for inclusion - must be seen/heard and be identifiable from within the park - preferably inside/over but as the bay is such an important habitat, it counts too). An adult Mediterranean Gull was also seen by Mark.

145. Water Rail

Blog-post about my recent visit.- https://stonefactionbirding2014.blogspot.com/2020/10/another-october-afternoon-211020.html
 
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Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Got news of another new addition to the park-list from Kate Treharne who spotted a Barn Owl hunting along the fence-line at the park on her way home after dark recently. A pal who works at the airport has seen Barn Owl there in the past so it was on the 'expected' list of species but good to finally get it. Just leaves Tawny Owl of the 4 'usual' Scottish owl species to get.

146. Barn Owl
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Had a trip down to the park yesterday for a few hours. Managed to find 2 Waxwings at the University on the walk down and added a year-tick at the park with an unexpected Woodcock. Quite a few Redwings around, a Red Breasted Merganser drake out on the river, and a few decent views of a young Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk. Full story here - https://stonefactionbirding2014.blogspot.com/2020/12/decent-december-day-161220.html
 

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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
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Scotland
I hope we get a decent influx of Waxwing this winter Barry - I might stand a chance of getting some here!!!

Nice one with the Woodcock - I've only ever seen one and that was at Kinclaven, years ago (before you wre born possibly!!)
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Thanks, Delia. I've had them in the park before - but I don't often visit in winter so I probably miss them most years down there. I usually see them in one of the Angus Glens in May while trying to get the Summer visitors - this year lock-down put paid to getting up there. Was almost giving up on getting one. Also managed to add Tawny Owl to my year-list at 7am on Dundee Law last week.
 

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