Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Skywatching for Big Birds

There have been a spate of records of big birds in the area recently. It all started with an escaped White Stork which was reported on 18th March in fields to the south of Edinburgh. News then filtered through that it reportedly flew over the house (although I wasn't at home at the time...). Two days later a Golden Eagle was also reported heading over Liberton. This news was a bit of a blow, especially since I worked out that I was out in the garden at the time... Not to be outdone, a White-tailed Eagle (presumably from the reintroduction programme) and a Common Crane have also been reported along the East Lothian coast.

So with all these big birds around what have I managed to see skywatching in the garden? Err, not much, although the first Common Linnets and Meadow Pipits of the year have started passing over the garden in the last week or so, and I have managed a garden tick in the shape of a squadron of Goosanders overhead (71st species for/from the garden). Most interesting, perhaps, was a Common Buzzard overhead on the 23rd March - a dark 3rd calendar year bird moulting into adult plumage with a wing shape and flight action reminiscent of a Golden Eagle. I would not be surprised if a poor view of this bird was the origin of of the eagle report a couple of days earlier (though I have no information on that report, so this is pure speculation, of course).


welchs said...

Not to mention the Ravens, or maybe you've seen them and (rightly!) keeping to yourself?

Incidentally seems our Stork was back down in Lancs a week later:

Unless there is more than one with the same narrow left ankle ring?! But there are plumage similarities too.

It was also at Ormiston the night before it arrived at Whitecraig.

Morg said...

Only seen one distant Raven from the garden, which is odd given that I have seen them in the area reasonably often.

Thanks for stork update, of course, as you'll have read already I have had a decent big bird over the house today in the shape of an osprey!