Trip reports

Lossimouth area

Adult whooper swans feeding in fields

Saturday, 25 October 2014

On the way along the A96 we had passed a large flock of lapwings in fields near Dalcross. On the bay we found several wader and wildfowl species including oystercatcher, curlew, redshank, mute swan, mallard and wigeon. A flock of at least 50 pintail flew in and settled on the bay in front of us.
Our next stop was at Burghead harbour which held its usual small flock of eiders. A falcon seen hovering over the town turned out to be a peregrine which having caught a starling in flight was attempting to get control of it. After succeeding it quickly flew low and out of sight. From the seawall we were able to watch small groups of long-tailed ducks along with cormorants and shags which were all battling the strong seas. Further out there were many diving gannets. Around the bay we found a distant flock of knot and several turnstones.
We drove through Lossiemouth to Loch Spynie where we saw Slavonian and little grebes, goldeneye, tufted ducks and a buzzard flying low over the reeds. In the woodland were a few redwings and a mistle thrush. A short drive took us to some stubble fields where there were an estimated 4000 pink-footed geese, about 200 whooper swans and a few greylags. After much searching through the flocks a single barnacle goose was found.
Back in Lossiemouth at the east beach we saw two grey plovers alongside two dunlin. We were unable to find anything unusual amongst a large flock of gulls.
There was a late decision to call at Roseisle on the way home to look for the reported king eider. Viewing was very difficult because of the heavy seas and the eider was not to be seen, but we did add velvet and common scoter to the day's list bringing the number of species seen to 56.