Mar 4, 2009

Down to Barnhouse

I was off to Barnhouse today for a look. This is the second time I have been down there in a couple of days. First off there were 30 Curlew with 70 or so Oystercatchers and a few hundred Widgeon all roosting on the Stenness shore before I set off to the hide. The south end of Harray Loch had a well dispersed flock of Widgeon spread across it with a large portion of birds looking paired up. There were considerably less Tufted duck than I would have thought but there again I couldn’t see most of the lea ward shore on the loch. 30 or more Curlew roosted up on the southern spit with as many Widgeon milling about. Some were settled down dut most were idly grazing and listless.
The fields of the far bank held four flocks of Greylag all about 150 strong. There was a flock of Oystercatchers 350 strong. They proved to be very flighty and took till the third count to get them. Redshank were very vocal from around the lochside and every so often a pair of males would shoot across the loch surface in a large jinking loop trying to out fly and out call each other. You can imagine my amazement to see a Curlew display across the waters surface for all the world like a giant Redshank. It was a stunning sight turning and twisting. It never called and as soon as it was done it gained a bit of altitude in a Curlew like manner and moved away over the fields.
Looking to the loch and the south end was hosting part of the mute Swan flock with about sixty birds. Interspersed with them were the usual pairs of Goldeneye. A couple of days ago there were several pairs of Red Breasted Mergansers floating about and several Teal but none were to be seen today. I had a peer about for divers but none were to be seen. That was about that. There has been more wintry showers since I came home. I managed 3 photos of House Sparrows in the last stab of sunlight. There were seventeen sparrows in the flock feeding off some unsalted rice….Its a garden record!!

Evening all.

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