Trip reports

East from Inverness

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Three great crested grebes were the star birds here along with 13 Slavonian grebes, 24 pintail and several scaup, goldeneye and long-tailed ducks. At our next stop, Ardersier, the tide was full and a roost of waders contained bar-tailed godwit, curlew, dunlin, knot, redshank and oystercatcher. A small flock of lapwing was also seen. Alongside the burial ground at Kirkton of Ardersier is a small wetland area which is favoured by finches and buntings. Here we saw chaffinch, greenfinch, linnet, goldfinch, yellowhammer and reed bunting. A flock of fieldfares flew over.
We moved on to the harbour at Nairn for lunch. Red-throated diver, eider, red-breasted merganser, guillemot and gannet were added to the list. A small flock of turnstone flew onto the shingle bank in front of us as the tide receded.
After lunch we drove to Kingsteps to walk across the salt marsh to view Culbin Sands. Here the highlights were 20 brent geese and a few sanderling, although the rarest birds for this part of the world were the two magpies seen near the car park.
The final stop of the day was at the West Beach where a flock of a drake and his harem of 25 duck common scoter flew past giving us a final total of 64 species recorded in the day.