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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Western Scotland birding (2 Viewers)

JTweedie

Well-known member
Many of the trees here appear to be really mature, so maybe not many of them will grow much taller than they are. I'll report back on what the view is like when it's open!
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
I had been waiting in for a delivery and it came early so that gave me a chance to nip out to Bingham's Pond. Spent an hour there and as you say it wasn't there. Highlight was a pair of gadwall, and also watching three goosander coming in to land. They came over really really high, then banked around and lowered in height, then banked again and lowered again before making their final approach to land on the water.

I think I'll pop back to Lochwinnoch tomorrow morning to catch up with the smew again. Then on Saturday I'll nip back to Bingham's Pond and then possibly visit Victoria Park to see if I can see the ring-necked duck and/or the parakeets. It's supposed to be cooling down again tomorrow back to average winter temperates so it'll be a different feel out birding.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
I've just been looking at Google Maps to plan a walking route from Bingham's Pond to Victoria Park. Have you done it? Looks like the quickest route would be going along through the hospital, cut over the railway at Hyndland, then head towards Crow Road? I think there's an underpass that takes you under the road and into the park?
 

LittleBitOfBreadNoCheese

Well-known member
Scotland
Might be more straightforward to go along Whittinghame Drive, less fiddly if a few metres further. Not gone to both places in one go, VP is my local parkrun but I go down Clarence Drive/Broomhill Drive and under an underpass for that.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
Cheers I'll have a look at the map again and see where those streets are. I'm hardly ever in this part of Glasgow so a lot of it is unfamiliar.
 

LittleBitOfBreadNoCheese

Well-known member
Scotland
I took the train to Inverkip this morning and walked up to Cloch Point in pretty tough conditions, most of the sea birds I could make out were Eider, Cormorants and Black-headed Gulls (large flock). One farm field inland had a small flock of Canada Geese with Oystercatchers, Curlew and Jackdaws in attendance. Carried on walking and returned via Gourock but didn't add much in the second stage. A cracking morning out. View attachment DSC01304.JPG
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
Went to Victoria Park today since it's been a reliable place for the ring-necked duck and it was really easy to see on the pond as it snoozed only a few metres from one of the little bridges. I didn't spend too long in the park, but other highlights were really close views of a pair of little grebes, a common gull in amongst the black-headed gulls, a large flock of redwing feeding in the leaf litter with long-tailed tits and goldfinches in the trees above.

I'd hoped to go to Hogganfield Loch after this but my bus was severely delayed by a protest in the city centre so I just came home.
 

LittleBitOfBreadNoCheese

Well-known member
Scotland
Excellent, still not been myself. We had a little excitement at Claypits NR this morning when a Raven dropped in, it perched inside the pylon structure at the top of the hill making it awkward to photograph but croaked nicely several times. There was only one previous record on the site list such as it is, from 2020.
 

WhiteTailed22

Active member
Hi all,

I'm planning on visiting RSPB Lochwinnoch this week. It's been a while since i've been there but from memory, they had a fantastic photography hut set up in front of the visitor centre bird feeders - great opportunity to photograph Siskins, Redpolls and the likes.

Does anyone know if that photography hut is still there? And indeed, if the feeders are still visited regularly by Redpolls, GS Woodpeckers etc? I only ask as Redpolls numbers have seriously diminished in my area and i'm only 30 minutes from Lochwinnoch.

Thanks guys,
WT
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
I'm pretty sure the photography hide is still there but I'm not sure if it's still open during a time when people were trying to keep a distance. They do have feeders directly in front of the visitor centre and there's also another feeding station just off the main path. In all but one visit in the past year there were nuthatches at this feeding station, as well as all the usual finches and tits. I've not been during peak redpoll season, but I used to see them a lot on the feeding station in front of the visitor centre. Woodpeckers seen fairly regularly.

They've been doing a lot of work with diggers to bring the water closer to the visitor centre in an attempt to attract more waders. So it doesn't look at its best just now, but hopefully it'll improve when vegetation emerges over the spring.

Incidentally, there was a white-tailed eagle over Barr Loch today. Didn't see it myself, but it's widely reported. It was being mobbed by buzzards and there were two hen harriers also present. Must have been some sight. The bird is from Isle of Wight but has been wintering in Scotland.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
Took a trip to Balloch today.

Highlights were the perch, wrasse, skates, rays, sharks, turtles, otters, urchins, lobsters in the water. Unfortunately they were all in the aquarium!

Outside the aquarium, the main highlight was a wintering female long-tailed duck showing really well outside the aquarium. Other highlights include my first great spotted woodpecker of the year, my first bullfinches of the year, goldeneye, goosander, on the loch. Spotted on the way there and on the way home at Bowling were my first redshanks in a few years (when I had a car these would be seen regularly but I'm not often at good sites for them now), curlew, oystercatcher, lapwing. I hoped I might spot a shelduck but that'll need to wait for another day.

I wouldn't normally mention these, but I saw four mammals today: grey squirrel, rabbit, roe deer and wood mouse.
 
Took a trip to Balloch today.

Highlights were the perch, wrasse, skates, rays, sharks, turtles, otters, urchins, lobsters in the water. Unfortunately they were all in the aquarium!

Outside the aquarium, the main highlight was a wintering female long-tailed duck showing really well outside the aquarium. Other highlights include my first great spotted woodpecker of the year, my first bullfinches of the year, goldeneye, goosander, on the loch. Spotted on the way there and on the way home at Bowling were my first redshanks in a few years (when I had a car these would be seen regularly but I'm not often at good sites for them now), curlew, oystercatcher, lapwing. I hoped I might spot a shelduck but that'll need to wait for another day.

I wouldn't normally mention these, but I saw four mammals today: grey squirrel, rabbit, roe deer and wood mouse.
Theres Mandarin Ducks just round the corner from where you were next to the bridge in balloch, for shelducks if you're back out this way I see them frequently at Ardmore Point, quite a few of them though ive only been when tide is out so not sure if that would make a difference.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
Cheers Michael. I did look out for the Mandarin ducks but they must have headed somewhere else by the time I got there. There were reports from around 11 but I got there around 11.30. I even walked back on the shoreside path later on but to no avail. Oh well, not the end of the world.

I used to go to Ardmore Point a lot and I really liked it, but without a car it doesn't seem to be feasible anymore. I actually came across a harbour porpoise corpse on the shoreline there one time.
 
Cheers Michael. I did look out for the Mandarin ducks but they must have headed somewhere else by the time I got there. There were reports from around 11 but I got there around 11.30. I even walked back on the shoreside path later on but to no avail. Oh well, not the end of the world.

I used to go to Ardmore Point a lot and I really liked it, but without a car it doesn't seem to be feasible anymore. I actually came across a harbour porpoise corpse on the shoreline there one time.
From the times ive been to the Mandarins they sit in the wooded area of water just next to where the other ducks all sit getting fed, the females usually on a little island/stump out the water.

Yeh ive only started going there more frequently lately, pass it on the way to and from work so stop sometimes, I seen the corpse once too when passing by on the train in 2020.
 

LittleBitOfBreadNoCheese

Well-known member
Scotland
Cheers Michael. I did look out for the Mandarin ducks but they must have headed somewhere else by the time I got there. There were reports from around 11 but I got there around 11.30. I even walked back on the shoreside path later on but to no avail. Oh well, not the end of the world.

I used to go to Ardmore Point a lot and I really liked it, but without a car it doesn't seem to be feasible anymore. I actually came across a harbour porpoise corpse on the shoreline there one time.
You can do it off the train either on foot or pop your bike on if you have one, approaching from either direction. I've often taken a bike on the Helensburgh train for example.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
From the times ive been to the Mandarins they sit in the wooded area of water just next to where the other ducks all sit getting fed, the females usually on a little island/stump out the water.
Cheers, I'll have a look next time I'm there. There's been one in the Battlefield area of Glasgow too. I really want to see a male though - this one is a female and I've seen one of them in Lochwinnoch before.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
You can do it off the train either on foot or pop your bike on if you have one, approaching from either direction. I've often taken a bike on the Helensburgh train for example.
I thought you could walk along the shore but that would obviously be tide dependent. I'm really not fit enough to get the best from a bike right now, but I'm working on it.
 

LittleBitOfBreadNoCheese

Well-known member
Scotland
I thought you could walk along the shore but that would obviously be tide dependent. I'm really not fit enough to get the best from a bike right now, but I'm working on it.
I actually got off at Cardross when I went there. I did check the tides and as expected it got a bit hairy at one point on the way back at Seabank Cottage which is fenced off so no chance of cutting inland. I meant to post as a warning but forgot. You would have had to scale a lot of barbed wire fencing to avoid the water.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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