Sunday, 9 August 2015

A week in Scotland

Firstly, for the first five days the weather was poor with rain every day. Joy and I walked the Corbett Broad Law near Moffat on our journey to Perth. It was pretty easy and an enjoyable walk but the summit held a Radar Station for Ediburgh Airport plus a couple of masts so it was a bit crowded really. Bird wise there were the usual Meadow Pipit, Wheatear and Kestrel, plus around 50 Golden Plover.

Saturday saw us walk a couple of the easier Munro’s looking for Ptarmigan but the weather changed dramatically and I have never been so wet. Needless to say it was my fault!

Sundays weather wasn’t an improvement but I was tied up painting the outside of mums house (I thought I’d got away from decorating). On Tuesday we all went to Glen Shee with the intention of walking three Munro’s, the forecast looked a little better, but on reaching the summit of Glas Maol visibility was down to about 20 yards so we called it a day and retraced our steps, fortunately on the way down I eventually saw Ptarmigan for the year.

I was invited by Stuart Green a local birder to join him and Chris McGuigan one evening to trap and ring Storm Petrels at Montrose. We arrived just as it was getting dark at the Lighthouse and set up the nets. Chris played a tape of Sandwich Tern for half a hour but we had no luck. He then put on Storm Petrel and Leach’s Petrel calls and within 15 minutes we had caught our first bird. It was processed and I had the honour of holding the bird on the palm of my hand for a couple of minutes until it was ready to fly off. After about a minute it fluttered off into the night sky. On returning to the nets we had two more, we followed the same procedure. Then on returning to the net another bird was found. It was around 12.30am at this time and the moon had risen, things then went quiet for an hour of so. At 1.30am we decided to pack up only for another bird to appear. By this time the moon was quite bright and not really the dark conditions that are ideal so at 2.30am we called it a night. I then had to drive to Perth and eventually got to bed a little before 4.00am.

It was however, one of the best evenings I have had birding and would like to thank the pair of them for that, and hopefully I will join them again next year.

Storm Petrel

Storm Petrel with the white underwing bar.

What a cracking bird.

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