Fantastic news today as I received an email from the BNRC (Bulgarian national rarities committee) to say that the Black-throated accentor I recorded in the Black sea late last year has been accepted as a first for Bulgaria! (see post 'siberian stunners' 21.10.2013 for photos.) I have never considered the possibility of being fortunate enough to record a country first so it is an excellent result. The BNRC have also asked for descriptions of the Pallas's and yellow-browed warblers that I recorded during the autumnal migration as apparently they are rarities for Bulgaria too.
In fact this January has been a really good birding month for me, with the BTO bird track system telling me that I have a year list of 111- that in itself is a bit of a result for the highlands and islands at this time of the year and with some pretty difficult weather conditions.
Highlight birds early on included glossy ibis and American coot. these were followed by a trip to North Uist where I caught up with the marvellous marsh sandpiper that had been frequenting the shoreline at Kyles Paible. A birding friend also took me to a hen harrier roost where I was lucky to see two ringtails and an adult male bird. Also at the site were greenland whitefronts and a snow bunting. I also saw white-tailed eagle and corn bunting on North Uist although I failed to get decent enough views to 'tick' the Pied -billed grebe at Balranald.
|Kyles Paible, North Uist- during the months only hour of sunshine?|
|approaches to Uig, Isle of Skye|
It has been a good month 'locally' for gulls, with the ring-billed seen briefly in Dingwall and a lovely little gull seen at Brora. I also managed self-found glaucous and Iceland gulls on a couple of local patches- other 'good' finds have included brambling and velvet scoter- both species being surprisingly scarce on the NW coast of Scotland.
|Iceland gull- Achnahaird|
|Little gull- Brora|