Trip reports

A group outing

A group outing
eppie sweeney

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

12 of us met on a grey, very blustery day. After leaving the car park where a wren sang and a pied wagtail strutted, we went to the beach. There were a lot of waders. We saw sanderling, dunlin, redshank, turnstone and ringed plover then curlew and assorted gulls. Out to sea there were large numbers of gannets, adults and dark juveniles, breeding season was late, there was also a solitary female eider. Approaching the rocks jutting out from Torness we could see more clearly the many golden plover, hunkered down against the wind, beautifully camouflaged.

As we made our way to the walkway, a few meadow pipits flew past. There was a very large flock of finches - very mobile - between us and Torness. As they seemed to disappear when they landed it took a great deal of concentration to finally pick out both linnet and twite. Ringed plover and later dunlin flew in onto the gravel. Sea watching was difficult. Lyn found a red throated diver, but the rest of us couldn`t find it amongst the breakers. Roger and others also spotted some auks -razorbills? And were there some grebes? Back by the bushes for lunch in the cars, only robin and blackbird seen.

After lunch, on to Skateraw. From the top of the limekiln we watched the feeding frenzy of gulls on the seaweed including common gulls. On the rocks were a few rock pipits. Dave found a blackcap by the pools, near the cottage were 2 goldfinch perched but not for long, all the small birds were hiding. A single bar-tailed godwit was on the sand with the oystercatchers. starlings were in the seaweed. Weasels - difficult to tell how many - ran back and forth on the path in front of us. Back to the sea, and a forlorn razorbill on the rocks and among the other waders we found 2 purple sandpipers - a first for some. We continued to the Dry Burn but little more to be seen. So despite the weather a good day out with a total of 35 species for the group.

Eppie Sweeney