Trip reports

Outing Windyhills, Auchmithie, Montrose 20 May 2018

Outing Windyhills, Auchmithie, Montrose 20 May 2018
Guillemots: Graham Cross

Monday, 21 May 2018

We gathered in Crichton Street as usual and once we'd sorted out car sharing headed for Arbroath esplanade where an Iceland gull had been seen lately. After a good deal of searching it was spotted out on the water amongst a flock of herring gulls. There were a lot of eider about but few waders - only oystercatchers and a single ringed plover. We moved on to Auchmithie for the walk along to Castlesea Bay. The cliffs hosted a good number of nesting kittiwakes and fulmars as well as some guillemots and razorbills but a lot more guillemots were seen on the water along with a few puffins, and gannets flying by. In the scrub beside the bay were numerous linnets and yellowhammers plus several reed buntings. Here we also saw sedge warblers, and whitethroats and, after a long cold search in the chilly wind, a spotted flycatcher. By now it was time for lunch and we needed warming up so we moved on to Montrose Basin SWT Centre where an obliging osprey sat for quite a long time on a post in full view. The tide was far out so there were hardly any waders about - just a few curlew - but plenty of eiders and a few red-breasted mergansers, shelducks and goldeneyes. A small group of common terns could be seen in the 'scopes far out on a sandbank. I particularly enjoyed watching the sandmartins going in and out of their nesting holes in the wall.
After lunch we moved on to Powmouth river walk which was looking beautiful with a variety of spring wildflowers in bloom. Blackcaps and willow warblers were singing constantly and after some careful listening and searching we also located a garden warbler skulking deep in a willow and very difficult to see. Two dippers flew along the river and a grey wagtail with a juvenile were flitting from rock to rock near the edge.
At the Lurgies another wader (redshank) and duck (gadwall) were picked up but the highlight was a red kite and a male marsh harrier flying over the reeds - at one point both being seen in our binoculars at the same time!
Finally, we moved on to the Mains of Usan where the sharp-eyed amongst us saw a whimbrel flying past and we also saw Arctic terns, a corn bunting and several stock doves to add to our tally.

Species seen or heard:
Arbroath - eider, oystercatcher, herring gull, lesser black-backed gull, great black-backed gull, ringed plover, skylark, feral pigeon, Iceland gull, rock pipit, guillemot, cormorant.
Auchmithie/Castlesea Bay -blackbird, chaffinch, swallow, dunnock, song thrush, sedge warbler, carrion crow, fulmar, guillemot, puffin, gannet, house sparrow, goldfinch, housemartin, starling, woodpigeon, yellowhammer, reed bunting, pied wagtail, kittiwake, razorbill, shag, whitethroat, wren, linnet, greenfinch, spotted flycatcher, mallard, bluetit, rook, pheasant.
Montrose Centre - osprey, grey heron, tree sparrow, common gull, red-breasted merganser, collared dove, sandmartin, great tit, shelduck, goldeneye, common tern, swift, mute swan.
Powmouth - willow warbler, dipper, jay, buzzard, jackdaw, grey wagtail, blackcap, garden warbler.
The Lurgies - gadwall, red kite, marsh harrier, redshank, long tailed tit, treecreeper.
Mains of Usan - stock dove, corn bunting, whimbrel, Arctic tern.