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Tayforth Birding (1 Viewer)

Gander

Well-known member
Due to parental responsibilities (Dad taxi), I ended up at a loose end in the middle of Fife yesterday, with six hours to burn. Well! What's a man to do, but hit the local floods and sandpits.
First up was Letham Pools. I stopped at the east end of the pools, and as it was raining lightly, I just scanned from the car. After listing the more common residents, I focused on the island where the Black-headed Gulls nest, as a Little Gull had been reported at the pools in recent days. Only a minute passed, when three gulls flew towards me at height. They were over the car before I knew it, but I had seen enough of one of them to think it was probably a Little Gull.
Squinting out of the passenger window, I tracked the birds until they landed at the far side of the field at the east end of the smaller pool. Enticed out of the car, I eventually got a photo that confirmed Little Gull, with the truly black head standing out, even at distance.
With the rain now off, I walked down the road, greeting another birder, who had arrived before me. He had also seen the Little Gull, but also had Wood Sandpiper and Jack Snipe on his list. He indicated roughly the direction in which he had seen the Wood Sandpiper, and within seconds, I located it. He then guided me onto the Jack Snipe, which was at distance on the far bank. I grabbed a few shots of the snipe, preferring to concentrate on what is only my second Wood Sandpiper. At home, when I checked the photos, I found that Jack was not Jack, but was common.
I now made my way around the west end of the main pool, and along the pavement of the main A92. From there I was able to look down onto the small connected pool. I had had Water Rail here in the past, and sure enough, one of the resident Water Rails sauntered along the reed line.
From Letham, I moved on, covering Angle Park, Rossie Bog and the Wilderness. In short, although enjoyable, there was not a lot of great interest at any of these spots. Water levels at Angle Park were very high, with only Great Crested Grebe being an addition to the Letham list. Rossie bog was nigh on deserted. And the Wilderness has become difficult to view due to a screen of willow having sprung up.
With still an hour to kill, I decided to head back to Letham. I still did not have Shoveler on the list, and with the sun having come out, I hoped it would entice a few more ducks out of the reeds. There was indeed a bit more duck activity at Letham, and Shoveler was soon added to the day's tally.
The water level of the main pool at Letham has been lowered. This has produced more mud flats, which is probably good for seeing birds. It has also produced the odd mini island of flat mud in places. It was on one of these islands that I noticed two small waders. I found that my second ever Wood Sandpiper had been joined by my third ever Wood Sandpiper.
With taxi duties now calling, I drew the attention of the birds, that had relocated to the mud flats at the west end, to a couple of other birders. One of whom updated the Fife bird alert system. A final scan revealed another Water Rail, and a few lingering Pink-Footed Geese mixed in with the resident Greylags, then I made my departure.
 

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Gander

Well-known member
Following an early morning visit to my Seafield patch, I arrived home to find a WhatsApp alert on my phone (rarely take it with me) for a Temminck's Stint at Letham Pools. I oohed and aahed for 20 mins, then committed to the half hour drive. I arrived at the pools just after 10 am, to find a growing throng of birders. The bird was still present, and I was soon guided onto my first lifer for quite a while. Another poor record shot, but it was probably the grey, wet conditions that brought the bird down, so I shouldn't moan.

Also relocated the resident Little Gull.
 

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MJB

Well-known member
There's been a Bluethroat photographed at Hatton by Arbroath yesterday.
I'm guessing close to the Lunan Water or farm reservoir or a nearby restored gravel pit. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, there used to be a path from the east end of Kirkden Street, Friockheim that crossed the Lunan Water into Kinnell then on the road before the Church, you turned right along the burn to pass Hatton Farm, which now has two large gravel workings. The path joined a track at the Gighty Burn. It was a good birding area in those days!
MJB
 

Gander

Well-known member
Unless I've just not noticed before, it seems that the male at Loch of Lowes (LM12) has just lost an eye, or it has closed up. It has been scrapping with intruders this week, so maybe picked up the injury then. It delivered a fish (Grayling, I think) this morning, but nothing since. You would have to think its fishing ability is now impaired.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
..... of course.... I'm hoping you're completely and utterly wrong!!!
 
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Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Photographed this Herring Gull at Broughty Ferry lifeboat station yesterday - didn't think it looked healthy. The drip at the end of the bill is apparently a sign of respiratory diseases in birds, including Avian Flu, so it looks like Avian Flu has probably found its way into the birds of the Tay/Dundee/NE Fife. Worth keeping an eye out locally for other sick birds/corpses. Hoping (likely in vain) it doesn't now take hold among the gulls (and Eider) in the Tay.
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
Can anybody tell me how to get to Skinflats RSPB, please? I'll be passing through in a few days and if the American Wigeon sticks I'd like to take it in.

Cheers

John
 

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