Spent the day out with Chris - a bit of gulling, a visit to Stratheg and the Ythan. Some nice birds seen...
First stop Peterhead, were there were still plenty of white-winged gulls around. We tallied 2 Glaucs and ten Iceland Gulls. This first-winter was very obliging. We think this bird has been around all winter.
Sunday, 1 April 2012
Monday, 12 March 2012
Learning some tips from Chris...
First-winter Iceland Gull (below)
Second-winter Iceland Gull (below two) - still a few around, but not as many
Second-winter Glaucous Gull (below 3) - this beast has spent all winter here
A very dark first-winter Glaucous Gull (below) - again, a 'known' bird that has wintered at Peterhead
Chris getting a a gull master class from Arran...
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Spent sometime watching Snow Buntings in the carpark at Glenshee on Sunday afternoon.
In North East Scotland, Snow Bunting is classed as a common passage migrant and winter visitor, breeding in low numbers on the highest mountains. There are two subspecies of Snow Bunting on the Scottish List. Nominate nivalis breeds in arctic North America, Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, Svalbard and Fennoscandia, with some populations wintering in the UK. Insulae (Icelandic Snow Bunting) is partly resident in Iceland, although small numbers winter in the UK. Both insulae and nivalis occur in North East Scotland, with insulae appearing to be the commoner of the two subspecies, both in terms of breeding and wintering numbers.
In North East Scotland, ringing has shown much interchange between Icelandic insulae, with nine foreign ringed birds recovered in the region, and 16 birds ringed in Aberdeenshire recovered in Iceland. A study of birds breeding in the Cairngorms showed that about 90% of males were insulae (Smith 1996).
Smith (1996) also showed that the proportion of nivalis wintering in the uplands of North East Scotland varied, with between 0-10% of wintering females but up to 40% being males. Individuals showing features of nivalis during the breeding season comprise of less than 10% of Cairngorm breeders.
However, sledging soon beckoned...... :-)
Sunday, 12 February 2012
Had the day out on Saturday 12th February with Chris and Hywel around Peterhead and Fraserburgh. Gull numbers down on recent weeks, but still a least 10 Iceland's around Peterhead and the long-staying Kumlien's at Fraserburgh. A few Glaucs thrown in too. We considered some of the white-wingers seen today to be some new individuals we hadn't seen before.
Photographing Iceland Gulls at Peterhead (below)Near adult Iceland Gull (below), Peterhead - one of at least 3 'near' adult birds today here.Second-winter Iceland Gull (below), Peterhead. This age group still dominates with at least four seen today
This first-winter Glaucous Gull (below 5 images) at Peterhead showed well for the camera
Had the afternoon up at Glenshee with Arran today - plenty of snow for sledging! Had great fun on a small slope near the carpark. The weather was glorious. A few birds around the carpark - a flock of c.50 Snow Buntings, two Ptarmigan (both on Arrans list) and Red Grouse and Raven seen.