Saturday, 25 April 2009

Caithness & Sutherland: April 2009.

Above: Ad female Surf Scoter, Dunnet Bay, Caithness - 25th April 2009.

Above: Adult Great-northern Diver, Sandside Bay, Caithness, 26th April 2009. GND's were present in every bay along the adopted patch (from just west of Strathy Point - Dunnet Bay), max 20 Dunnet Bay).

Above: Black-throated Divers, Melvich Bay, Sutherland, 26th Apr 2009.

Above: Long-tailed Ducks. 300+ in Dunnet Bay was the largest concentration I came across in late april, with much smaller numbers elsewhere, second highest count being 40 in Sandside Bay.

Other selected birds encountered during my time in Sutherland/Caithness in late April have been a distant, but excellent Rough-legged Buzzard watched through the scope for 40 minutes as it hunted along a ridge c5miles SW of Reay, at cNC935603 on 29th April. A female Marsh Harrier, which must be a notable bird this far north, near Melvich. The long staying drake Ring-necked Duck remained on Loch Calder, Apr 28th at least. 3 Arctic Terns in Sandside Bay on 27th Apr and a Little Tern on 28th April. A Slavonian Grebe on a suitable breeding loch for the past week, though I don't know if they breed this far north in Scotland and an 'older plumaged' White-tailed Eagle, green wing-tagged on the right wing, down to 50m briefly, but I didn't have my camera to hand!!!