Having been back in the UK for a few days now I've had more than enough time to reacquaint myself with my favourite local sites. A few brief visits to the patch have been fairly productive on the feathered front and all round enjoyable as a result of the pleasant weather. I finally managed to add Linnet to the 2015 patch list with a pair seen briefly on the outskirts of Stobswood Pools whilst I am 80% I heard a Willow Tit calling from the woodland adjacent to my house. I will not being ticking this just yet however and as the months progress I would have to be extremely unlucky not to unearth at least one of these skulky woodland critters. Stobswood Pools have as ever been a hub of activity with two parties of Whooper Swans numbering in at 15 and 36 respectively stopping off at the site for a brief siesta on route to Iceland. Goose numbers have tailed off drastically with only c60 Pink-Footed Geese remaining alongside 16 Canada Geese and the Barnacle Goose that likes to put in an appearence every fortnight or so. I wonder where it goes? Anyways, with the Ross's Goose having fled the site I will have to find something new on which to fixate my attentions! The pools themselves continue to exhibit a decent array of ducks with 18 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, 25 Wigeon, 8 Mallard, 2 Pochard, 4 Shelduck and c15 Teal remaining. Breeding waders continue to flood back to the site with 25 Curlew, 32 Lapwing, 16 Snipe, 6 Oystercatcher, 3 Ringed Plover and 2 Redshank present at the last count. Avocets however still remain conspicuous in their absence though there is plenty time yet. Elsewhere on the home front Skylarks and Meadow Pipits appear to have monopolized every patch of available grassland whilst a few choice woodland goodies were noted included 2 Nuthatch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Mistle Thrush and 4 Song Thrush. Five Tree Sparrows remain in the vicinity of the allotments near Stobswood Village with a Green Woodpecker continuing to yaffle in the same area. Aside from these however the only other species of note comprise a few Grey Partridge, Buzzard, Kestrel and Goldcrest. No returning migrants as of yet but hopefully by the time I return from the Cairngorms on Friday the area should be ablaze with hirundines and warblers.. A little too optimistic perhaps?
Druridge Pools as ever proved somewhat quiet in comparison to Chevington. A single Stonechat was easily picked up in the sand dunes whilst a scan of the large pool turned up little other than 2 Goldeneye, 4 Tufted Duck and a rather sleepy Cormorant. Half an hour peering out of the Budge screen proved somewhat more enjoyable with a nice variety of ducks on show, the highlight of which was 3 drake Shoveler. 2 Grey Herons were noted stalking the outside of the pools whilst maybe two dozen Lapwings lazed about in the shallows alongside a few Curlew and a single Redshank. Both Canada and Greylag Geese were extremely vocal here; squabbling amongst themselves over the very limited amount of breeding space whilst other interesting bits 'n' bobs included a few Goldfinch on the feeders, a partially ermine Stoat and five fly over Stock Doves. All in all not a bad few days. Between Monday-Friday It appears I will be staying in Aviemore and visiting the Cairngorms for the very first time. Though the purpose of the trip is so I can attend a job interview in Inverness I intend to fully capitalize on the trip and aim to nab a few overdue lifers including Ptarmagin, Capercallie and Crested Tit.
|I will leave you with a few more Barbary Ground Squirrels from Fuerte|
|It's not a Chipmunk I swear.|