Trip reports

Scone Palace and Tay Reedbeds

Chiffchaff standing on gorse
Chiffchaff - RSPB Images

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The day got off to a nice start with a kingfisher and grey wagtail seen by some of the group at our Quarrymill meeting place. Once at the palace we started our walk heading towards the old archway where a mistle thrush was singing from the top of one of the tallest trees. Once through the archway a pair of goldcrest were chasing each other and a treecreeper frustrated most of us by being very difficult to see. Walking up the drive and back down the lime avenue a good variety of the usual woodland birds was seen. One surprise was a pair of brown hare in the woodland. It wasn't until we were back down near the archway that we got our first glimpse of hawfinch, in the same tree as the mistle thrush, still singing. A lifer for several of the group. Over the next half hour excellent views of up to 10 hawfinches were enjoyed.

After having lunch we drove to Errol, the starting point for the afternoon's walk and down by the river, walking West through the trees a chiffchaff was the first of the year for some. As we walked on to the clearing in the trees to look over the reed beds a few held back and were rewarded with a display by two great spotted woodpeckers. The tide was out so the mud banks along the river were exposed and had plenty of birds. Unfortunately the haze made it very difficult to id species but the consensus was that there were at least greylag geese and whooper swans. Over the reed beds 3 marsh harriers were seen in the distance and a peregrine flew in and perched in one of the small bushes. Nearer, in the reeds, were reed bunting and dunnock, but there was no sign of any bearded tits. On the walk back up to Errol a couple of yellowhammer were seen and skylarks heard. A total of around 39 species were seen in the day.

Dave Stewart