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Monday, 13 May 2013

Speyside weekend Day 4

Me, Mark and Mike were up before breakfast and out to Tulloch Moor to try for Black Grouse again, we arrived at the viewing screen to be informed by a couple of birders already present there were none showing, fortunately some other birders arrived a few minutes later and told us the birds were in an area on the other side of the road this year, it was a 15 min walk out along a rough track, past some abandoned farm buildings and across a stream then climbing up a small mound we were rewarded with views of at least three birds two of them sparring with tails fully spread. After breakfast and checking out of the Hotel we prepared for the journey home and as Mike still needed Ptarmigan we took the route across the top and down the other side of the Cairngorms to Glen Shee, we had good views of a Ring Ouzel in a field close to the road en route but when we got to Glen Shee it was unfortunately shrouded in low cloud and we couldn’t see a bloody thing. We had a coffee but it didn’t clear so we carried on our journey, the next part of the plan was to get down into Northumberland where a Purple Heron and Great White Egret had been seen at East Chevington and Hauxley respectively over the weekend, unfortunately there had been no news on either bird today, we called in at East Chevington anyway and there were a good few Terns on the main pool, lots of Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers singing, a pair of Marsh Harriers and most unexpected a Short Eared Owl, we then carried on to Cresswell Pond where a Garganey had been reported, there was no sign of that but a good scan round revealed a few waders including several Whimbrels, Avocets, Dunlins and a Turnstone, it was then rather bemusing when Marks pager went off exclaiming there were two Temminck's Stints present, we had another scan round just in case we had missed them but no the only small waders around were the two Dunlin, a very strange report. It had been another excellent weekend trip, thanks to Pete Watson for organizing it and a collective total of between 125 and 130 species were seen, my personal tally was 110, 20 of them year ticks.
scenics from the eastern side of the Cairngorms

we stopped at Berwick upon Tweed for lunch

singing Sedge at East Chevington

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