Trip reports

Tarbat Ness and Nigg Bay

Tarbat Ness and Nigg Bay

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Our first stop was by a field near Arabella where we found a flock of about 80 whooper swans, the first of the winter for most of the group.
Walking past the lighthouse at Tarbat Ness we were heading into an increasingly strong northerly wind but we managed to find a sheltered spot and settled down to scan the sea. Flying close to shore were many groups of gannets, and over the next hour several hundred flew past heading towards the Atlantic. Also flying north we saw four long-tailed ducks, an eider, three Sandwich terns, two great skuas and many auks, including several black guillemots. On the sea were shags, cormorants and three red-throated divers. Just as we left the point to return to our cars a pomarine skua flew past.
The next stop was by the harbour at Balintore where several wader species were present. Among with the usual ringed plovers, oystercatchers, redshanks and curlews were several turnstones, two purple sandpipers and a grey plover. Also on the shore were a few rock pipits and a small flock of linnets.
Our last stop was the RSPB hide at Nigg Bay. The tide was bringing the birds closer to the hide and we were able to add to our wader count with lapwing, dunlin, bar-tailed godwit and one black-tailed godwit. Waterfowl included shelduck, wigeon, a few pintail and a female shoveler.
A total of 60 species were seen.