Trip reports

Black Isle

Male lapwing in breeding habitat

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Having started our list with heron, curlew and redshank, a couple of goldeneye flew by before our group of 18 hardy, waterproofed souls set off for our first stop at Munlochy Bay. We were greeted on our arrival by numerous skeins of pink-footed geese heading for one field to the north west of the bay. Once settled there must have been about 5000 with a a few greylag and barnacle geese amongst them. In the bay the large duck flotilla were mainly wigeon with a a few teal and mallard.
Leaving Munlochy we headed inland to the SWT reserve Belmaduthy Dam but it was very quiet with only 2 kestrel and a great spotted woodpecker seen. Near Shawpark Farm a group of starling, redwing and Fieldfare were feeding in the stubble. They were not easy to see as their heads popped up and down above the stubble but very obligingly they lifted up to an overhead line and displayed quite beautifully. The beauty parade on the wire also included linnet and chaffinch.
On our way to Udale we stopped at Poyntzfield where the colour of the trees was quite stunning. Initially the leaders were jokingly chided for having brought the group to see a few blue tits and chaffinches but bramblings did put in an appearance with some of the group having a particularly excellent view as a small flock of chaffinch and brambling very helpfully landed in front of them.
We had lunch in the RSPB hide at Udale bay monitoring the bird activity as the tide went out. Waders seen included knot, lapwing, redshank and golden plover plus a white bird feeding on the far side which was eventually put down as a leucistic redshank. A pair of whooper swans were spotted on the way to our final stop at a very wet parking area just past Jemimaville. Here we added bar-tailed godwit, long-tailed duck eider,scaup, shelduck, red-breasted merganser, ringed plover and a peregrine.The final count for the day was 55 species.