Last thursday I was out on a local headland doing some birding in order to update my BTO bird track submissions. I was about 2 hours walk away from the car when I got the 'mega alert' sms from RBA telling me that there was a rock thrush near St. Fergus in Aberdeenshire! As it was already after 15:00 I knew that going for it immediately was not an option so after getting home and making a plan with another local birder I went to bed for a few hours before leaving Ullapool at midnight. At 04:30 the following morning we got on the bird and enjoyed it to ourselves for the best part of an hour with not another birder in sight! At that time of day the light was poor and I struggled to focus my camera properly but got a couple of 'record shots'. I spent the rest of the day dipping on everything else- roseate tern and little egret at the Ythan, spoonbill, bearded tit, reed warbler, ruff and marsh harrier at loch of Strathbeg but did finally get 6 or 7 seconds on the St. Fergus red-backed shrike- another wretched photo attempt before the bird went back to skulking out of sight in the hawthorn!
Closer to home I have been closely watching a few local patches as wader passage appears to have started and I am ever hopeful of turning up my own rarity- for now however I am making do with dunlin! At least I got acceptable photos. of these critters!!
|rock thrush- 1st summer male @ St Fergus|
|red-backed shrike- female, St Fergus|
|adult dunlin- Achnahaird beach|
|juvenile dunlin-Achnahaird beach|