Trip reports

Easter Ross

Easter Ross

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The first stop was at Tain where many ducks were on the sea, mostly Mallards, Wigeon and Teal, along with a distant Great Crested Grebe. The tide was high and the expected waders were roosting elsewhere, although small flocks of Redshanks and Oystercatchers were seen.
Things improved at our next stop, Inver, as the tide receeded and the waders began to feed. Amongst the many Redshanks and Curlews were 3 Greenshanks, 5 Turnstones, Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin. Six Whooper Swans flew past and a flock of Lapwings was quite active. Scanning across the water produced a distant Peregrine Falcon and a ringtail Hen Harrier being mobbed for several minutes by a Hooded Crow which obviously wasn't keen on having it nearby.
By the time we reached Tarbat Ness the weather was much improved. Many Gannets were feeding offshore, the vast majority being young birds. Also on the sea were Cormorants, Shags, Guillemots and a few Razorbills. Passerines seen here included Yellowhammers and a group of four Twites.
Our last location was by the harbour at Balintore. The usual Ringed Plovers and Turnstones were present, but there was no sign of any Purple Sandpipers which are usually seen here. On the sea were a pair of Red-throated Divers and 3 drake Long-tailed Ducks, all in their winter plumage.