Trip reports

Field Trip - Where the birds are

Male snipe singing in the rain

Thursday, 14 November 2019

The Black Isle was the choice for today's trip beginning on this cold, icy morning at North Kessock. Several herons were on the shore with a few redshanks and curlews. On the sea was a solitary guillemot, one red-breasted merganser and a goldeneye.

As we headed onto the Black Isle a jay flew over and two red-legged partridge were seen in a field with a group of pheasants. At Munlochy bay, two greenshanks were feeding on the mud with the oystercatchers and redshanks, along with many teal and wigeon. Across the road in the trees was a small flock of fieldfares and at the back of the field pink-footed geese were feeding.

We then drove to Udale bay, stopping occasionally en route but it was very quiet bird wise. The tide was high at Udale, a small flock of ringed plovers were feeding in the nearest mud channels and we had a close view of a splendid snipe. Other waders added to the list were, bar and black-tailed godwits, lapwing, knot and dunlin. Out on the firth was a flock of scaup and in the bay many wigeon , shelduck, and five Canada geese. A female shoveler was located and then two tufted ducks with another duck, which caused some thought and we eventually decided it was a female pochard. As we watched a female stonechat in a field, a bird of prey perched in a tree was spotted, which, after a while flew across towards the bay and disappeared. It was definitely a large accipitor and after much discussion we decided it was probably a male goshawk.

Driving towards Cromarty we stopped at Jemimaville and scanned the sea. Long-tailed-duck, eider and Slovenian grebe were added to the list. Pink-footed geese were flying overhead. Returning tp Rosemarkie, where we had a short walk along the stream and found a dipper and a grey wagtail.

Our final stop was at some bird feeders in Avoch . House and tree sparrows , greenfinches, blue tits and a robin were seen and a little grebe on the sea. A reed bunting was the last bird added to our excellent total of 70 species.