Friday, 21 April 2017

Scotland the Brave - Part VI

Unfortunately, it was time to say farewell to Jane and the wonderful
Mellon Patch
with our onward journey taking us back to the 
Morey Firth
of which we had planned to cover just about the full length before nightfall.
We did consider another crack at the King Eider, but as
"time and tide wait for no man"
we continued east along what seemed to be an everlasting string 
of tiny and mostly picturesque Fishing Villages.
First of these was Ardesier, perhaps better know for the
construction of and repair of off-shore Oil Rigs rather than delicate little chaps such as
 TREE SPARROW
 which we missed, due to the lateness of the hour, on a previous visit to the site
 when they had all gone to roost.
 As on that occasion, we were passing by anyway
 so no great discomfort to view this small little critters
now 'extinct' in Dorset!
It was no surprise either to see this
DIVE SHIP
waiting to enter harbour with her huge helicopter deck welded onto the top
of the bridge and sticking out like a huge proboscis.
In Nairn Bay we struck lucky on just a brief 'sea watch' with all of the 
3 more common Divers, and although we had recorded 
GREAT NORTHERN DIVER
 on our Cornwall trip earlier in the year, and
Red-throated Diver
on this the single addition to the Year List was
BLACK-THROATED DIVER
This neck-of-the-woods, like much of the rest of the Scottish Coast is
Eider-Ville
so it may be best to brace yourselves for some action from these
robust and stunning sea ducks.
 EIDER
video
 with some males displaying
video
and closer inshore
video
on the 'preening perches'.
As we had savoured the delight which is Portknockie earlier in the trip,
we gave it a wide berth settling instead for the rocky shoreline at
Burghead
where, back in 1994 my Great Britain List was blessed with the inclusion of the extremely rare
Grey-tailed Tattler.
It was thought highly unlikely that there would be any such luck today! 
However, there were a few Waders, only common fare but taking our minds off of Eider for a while.
video
CURLEW
video
CURLEW in company with REDSHANK
video
video
KNOT
and other shorebirds.
 There was also a small gathering of
COMMON SCOTER
(male)
further off-shore
(female)
Approaching Lossimouth and the Royal Air Force Station there, it was hoped that
we might get to see a few Jets buzzing about - but no!
The only aircraft open to view, and then behind a chain-link fence
was what looked every bit like a redundant
HAWKER SIDDELEY NIMROD
 Maritime Patrol Aircraft
and in a field close by a small gaggle of
video
PINK-FOOTED GEESE
on the ground for a change.
Closing Fraserbugh, our intended stop for the night and where the Firth meets the North Sea,
we found a few more Waders before arriving at the 
Sea Port Town.
video
video
OYSTERCATCHER
video
and another
REDSHANK
before commencing our search for 'White-winged Gulls' around the fish docks.
Plenty of free car parking hereabouts and nothing by way of restriction
should we have wished to drive around this 'work site', but the biggest shock for me
was the overall appearance of the harbour.
 During my many annual visits to this area it had historically been found to be,
what the locals here might describe as a 'MIDDEN' - a Rubbish Dump or Tip.
 Someone or something had certainly been brought to bear as the whole
place is now spick and span!
 During our wander a close encounter with an
ATLANTIC GREY SEAL
was a welcome experience but as is usual only the head could be seen.
video
TURNSTONE
also added to our delight but the light was beginning to fade as
Dave called me over from the other end of the pier.
 He had found a
video
GLAUCOUS GULL
video 
 which certainly fitted part of the bill
video
video
 but without wishing to sound either
ungrateful or ungracious
 an Iceland Gull would have suited us both much better
having seen Glaucous during our
Norfolk Campaign
in early March.
It will doubtless have been noticed that this bird was complete with a
Darvik type 'ring' on its right leg inscribed 
T:69S
and an unreadable metal  one on the other. 
Other Gulls in attendance were a lot of immature
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS
showing at these close quarters just how big and brutish looking
they really are, but good value for all that.
We ended our day by looking over one of the bigger trawlers
registered at the port.
EntryPageviews
United States
557
United Kingdom
329
Indonesia
76
Germany
53
France
36
Estonia
18
Canada
14
China
13
New Zealand
10
Venezuela
9

No comments:

Post a Comment