August 6th   Leave a comment

Gannets - quite large and heavy birds

Balcomie Beach is the place to go to at the moment. This morning there was a great range of waders including a ruff, presumably the same bird that John saw yesterday. There was a flock of dunlin, ringed plover, sanderling, the ruff, turnstone and a couple of knot on the muddy lower part of the beach, and a bar-tailed godwit with the oystercatchers and redshanks further along by the north end rocks. During the morning occasional knot, whimbrel and bar-tailed godwits went over going south. The grey seals are in fine voice. They were singing all morning with about 40 hauled up on the rocks at low tide.

We also found a newly dead gannet washed up on the beach. It was unmarked and looked in good condition. Perhaps it had an accident diving. When you see them dropping into the water from tens of meters height at very high speed you realise there can be little room for error. Accidents, particularly when there is a dense flock of seabirds milling about over a school of fish, must be a real possibility. When you get to pick up a gannet you realise how big and heavy (for a bird) they are.

Scalloped oak moth

Moth trapping is quite good at the moment with the run of warm and moist nights continuing. We have caught several scalloped oaks this week which are as pretty as butterflies.

Posted August 6, 2011 by wildcrail in Sightings

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