Scotland Trip – Day 4 – 2/iv/15

After travelling quite a distance the day before, the plan for day four was to go birding locally (around Boat of Garten), and see what was about.

I spent the first few hours of the morning on the golf course, and was rewarded with flight views of a Woodcock which was flushed, as well as plenty of singing Yellowhammers and a fly-over flock of Pink-Footed Geese.

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After lunch we drove up to Broomhill station and scanned the large flock of (500+) Pink-Footed Geese. There were a few Greylag Geese too, and just down the road we saw a pair of Whooper Swans.

There was another pair of Whooper Swans at the top loch, as well as double figure counts of Teal, 50+ Wigeon, 3 female Goldeneye and a couple of Redshank and Lapwing.

With darkness approaching we drove up to Loch Garten, where the gull roost was already forming. We were looking for the white-winged gulls which had been reported on-and-off for the last few weeks. It didn’t take long before the 1st-winter Glaucous Gull flew in, dwarfing most of the other birds. Very shortly afterwards a 1st-winter Iceland Gull flew in, and just as the last of the light was fading, it was joined by another. I managed some low resolution phone-scoped images of the birds…

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The (estimated) total counts are as follows; Glaucous Gull 1, Iceland Gull 2, Lesser Black-Backed Gull 5+, Great Black-Backed Gull 15+, Herring Gull 110+, Common Gull 10+ and Black-Headed Gull 240+.

Not a bad way to end the day.

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