Trip reports

Outing to Glen Esk 29 April 2018

Outing to Glen Esk 29 April 2018
Redstart: Frank Antram

Friday, 4 May 2018

On a chilly morning 19 people met in Dundee and were joined by five more at Edzell - a larger turnout than usual! A number of songbirds were seen around the car park area - swallow, song thrush, dunnock, robin and chaffinch. Some distance away a red kite and buzzard were spotted while, nearer to us, a sparrowhawk circled high in the air. A whitethroat was heard, then seen, at the far side of an area of scrub and, as we returned to our cars, a blackcap sang briefly and some saw a pair fly off through the trees.
Our first stop in Glen Esk was in the woodland, where willow warblers were singing constantly along with common redpoll and redstart. We had a good view of several redpolls dangling on birch twigs and glimpsed a male redstart but it never stayed in one tree for long so it was hard to pinpoint. Sand martins and common gulls were flying in the valley beyond the trees and four buzzards were circling over a distant hill. Nearby a treecreeper climbed briefly up one tree then flitted to another. Those who had walked a bit further down the road saw a single tree pipit.
On the way to the carpark near Invermark people saw different things depending on which car they were in - cuckoo, reed bunting, red-legged partridge, red grouse, wheatear, common snipe and woodcock were all reported. As we started our walk to Loch Lee, long-tailed tits were in the trees then, beside the river on the flat area covered with dead bracken both slow worm and adder were spotted. Pied wagtails were near the bridge (and later on by Loch Lee) but no grey wagtails this time. A dipper flew upstream, calling as it went.
A little way along the track beside Loch Lee, when the hillside was scanned we soon saw a ring ouzel and not long afterwards there were three of them on an area of grass, between rocks about a third of the way up the hill, along with several rabbits and we got good views through telescopes. Species seen on, or across the water, included a pair of goosanders, tufted ducks, a cormorant, wigeon, peregrine and raven as well as two common sandpipers.
On the way back, some saw an osprey flying away with a fish in its talons.
Driving down the glen, a red squirrel ran across the road, adding to the variety of wildlife seen during the day including a total of 62 species of birds. A great day out!

Bird species seen:
En route to Edzell - herring gull, feral pigeon, wood pigeon, carrion crow, lapwing, jackdaw, oystercatcher, lesser black-backed gull, rook, pheasant, starling

Edzell - swallow, song thrush, dunnock, blackbird, red kite, buzzard, whitethroat, sparrowhawk, chaffinch, robin, blackcap, great tit, siskin, collared dove

Glen Esk - willow warbler, common redpoll, common redstart, sand martin, common gull, treecreeper, wren, tree pipit, mistle thrush, pied wagtail, stock dove, bullfinch, coal tit, goldfinch, red grouse, wheatear, common snipe, woodcock, red-legged partridge, reed bunting, cuckoo, curlew, blue tit

Invermark/Loch Lee - long-tailed tit, common sandpiper, dipper, meadow pipit, greenfinch, goosander, ring ouzel, tufted duck, peregrine, raven, cormorant, wigeon, osprey