I was back up in Scotland again this weekend for the Scottish Recorders' Conference at the SOC headquarters of Waterston House in Aberlady. Its also known as The Scottish Birdwatching Resource Centre and I recommend a visit for anyone visiting the area. More details here: www.the-soc.org.uk/waterston-house.htm
Today I managed a cycle in the snow. There were few birds along the Knockentiber-Springside disused railway line – couldn't locate any of the Tree Sparrow, finch and bunting flocks that were present around the turn of the year. I did get a patch tick though with a Jack Snipe at NS369392. It initially rose vertically about a metre into the air before settling on the cycle path itself before flying back into a snow-free wet patch. Also on the line, around 70 Fieldfares feeding on fallen crab apples along Garrier Burn (NS389399) and still 80 Skylarks in barley stubble at NS385398. Snow cover often forces birds to feed in different ways and areas and I watched four Robins feeding out in a stubble field for extended periods around the feet of a group of 10 cows. There was no aggression between the Robins and they only rarely returned to the cover of hedgerow. Warwickdale's Green Sandpiper was still present, along with three Jack Snipe and five Roe Deer.
On Friday morning (6th) a male Shoveler (first site record) was present along with 131 Mallards and 20 Mute Swans on the Kay Park pond in Kilmarnock. Other weather related movements noted elsewhere this weekend included two Goosanders over Buchanan bus station in Glasgow and a Woodcock over the M8 near the Eurocentral business park.
Nice bird to have on your patch Fraser, I'm still hoping for a jack Snipe. maybe one day!
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