Joan's Birdwatching Diary

Bird Observations Day to Day.

Monday, 21 June 2010


In Joan's Musings I mentioned our life list and I thought I would let you into the big secret of what it is. I have never told anybody about this so it is our secret. The last two evening I have been redoing it and printing it off on my new printer (its wireless no more running upstairs with laptop to get the printing done). It was in need of updating and it is a big job and is very precious to Stuart and I. We started birdwatching while pushing Richard in his pram in 1969 so it is over 40 years of birding here and in Europe. It's a good list but still has a way to go and it does get more and more difficult as it grows. Why not start your own list is amazing just how quickly it grows to start with. Take care till next time. Love Joan.

The Total is ......................352 and counting.

Monday, 12 April 2010

2010 Spring Migrants.

6th April. Today we had our first summer visitor a Swallow all alone but here just the same. As they say one swallow does not a summer make, but we can hope for more.

12th April, Today it was 150 Sand Martins at Angle Park a disused gravel pit in fife they make such a wonderful job of these pits once they are exhausted of gravel. Usually Sand Martins are first this year they literally came second.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Another Grand Day Out.

Ringed Plover

Good Evening it is such a long time since I wrote an entry in this journal, we have not been out birding much lately we did have our trip to Loch Garten in March, did not see much at all that day, we did have a lovely Golden Eagle and the Squirrels I posted pictures of in my main journal. After that day as you know I have been ill, don't know if the cold that day gave me the Pneumonia but I thought it was funny that you do say, 'I'll get Pneumonia standing here in the cold like this' well we will never know.
Yesterday was a bright sunny day here so Stuart took me for a wee run in the car to a new bird watching spot we have been told about in Fife. A kind farmer has allowed his fields to flood over the winter months and it has become a big attraction for wintering birds and birds on passage to their breeding grounds further north. Of course it has become a big attraction for the local bird watchers too. It was a bit cold so I was told in no uncertain terms to stay in the car and watch from there. I did not mind it is nice to have someone looking after you. So I set up my telescope it the comfort of the car. I did pop out once or twice as Stuart's scope is more powerful than mine and there was a very beautiful Green Sandpiper there and I wanted to see it closer than my equipement would allow. There were good numbers of commoner birds too lots of Lapwing, Oystercatchers, Redshank, lots of gulls and a very nice little White Wagtail. It was lovely to get out in the sun and fresh air we had a great time out. We will go back to the pools again but they are drying out quickly now as the weather is drier. Till next time
Love Joan.
White Wagtail

Monday, 5 January 2009

A Brand New Year.

First Trip of the Year. Fife Coast and Dundee.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

We took our first birding trip of the year on Friday 2nd January with a friend. It was one of those rare days when everything well almost went according to plan. We left here on a clear very cold morning for our first site on the route, unfortunately there was a regatta going on so there were no ducks about but that just one of those things. We then backtracked a bit to a woodland site and the first bird we saw was a Great Spotted Woodpecker which can sometimes be hard to see. As we strolled along the woodland path we saw the usual woodland species you would expect to see. There was a little stream running along beside us and low and behold a lovely Dipper bobbing away as it sat on a rock. Although it is very cold just now to go way for a days bird watching it is easier than the summer as the bare trees are a great help. Back to the car and on for a few miles to a very quiet little lane when our friend had seen Tree Sparrows in good numbers a week or so ago They did not disappoint they seem to be sitting there waiting for us there were 14 in all which for this species nowadays is really good as there numbers are way down just now.
King Eider.

We then headed to the coast at a place called Elie as we had word of a King Eider being seen there. Now there's a bird to see. We have seen them on previous occasions but not for some years. We had a little walk to get to the waters edge but again there he was sitting waiting for us, we could not believe our luck what a great start to the year.
Iceland Gull.

Back in the car again and onward to Anstruther a lovely little fishing village where we had again had word of an Iceland Gull and believe it of not we were told it was sitting over the north wall and guess what it was, this was turning out to be a great day out. After a quick and I mean quick lunch break off we went again this time towards Dundee where there was another rare gull this time a Ring Billed Gull. Must just say our friend of many years had planned all this for us and put in a lot of work for us it was so good of him and very much appreciated by us.

Ring Billed Gull.
All photo's today are from the internet not mine unfortunately.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The End of 2008

So here we are at the end of another years bird watching, it has not been the best year for us we have not been out nearly as much as we usually are due to some health problems and bad weather in the spring. However we did have two wonderful holidays one to Norfolk in May and one to Skye in September.

We had two new life birds (A species we have never seen before) one being a Sacred Ibis and the Hooded Merganser in November. Both our holidays were really enjoyable with great sightings of birds some very unusual some common all beautiful. The Sacred Ibis landed right in front of the car as we sat having our picnic lunch after a long walk in Wells Woods it stayed for about fifteen minutes then flew off again I even managed to take pictures of him. On Skye we saw wonderful views of Sea Eagle or White Tailed Eagle as they are sometimes know, we have seem them before but they are so spectacular and so big they take you breath away.

One other bird that really deserves a special mention is our Hooded Merganser that was sitting on a boating pond near to where we live and she was a super little sawbill.

We are looking forward to the new year and a new list and hopefully some new birds and some great days away. We are starting on Friday with a day away, an very old friend is taking us on a trip hopefully getting next year list off to a great start, the weather forecast is very good but very cold so will have to wrap up warm. So if you have managed down this far thank you for reading my Birdwatching journal and please call back in 2009 it could be a great year. So till later Love and best wishes for the New Year.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Hooded Merganser.

Photo by Simon Knight.
Isn't she lovely, isn't she marvelous. What can I say these words say if for me. We heard on the grapevine at the beginning of the week there was a Hooded Merganser close to where we live but being retired we did not have any spare time until today to go and see her. I say her as with any duck it is easy to tell the difference between male and female he is orange black and white and a lot brighter but I think see is so dainty and beautiful. She is half the size of a Mallard Duck. She has been sitting on a large pond in the middle of a village next to the sea wall. The pond started off life for model yacht racing and in the last few years has been planted up with reed beds and a few islands have been made. There are many Mallards, Moorhens and Swans on it so this must have been an attraction to our merganser. She should be in Florida just now enjoying the sunshine but she has been blown off course and landed on the east coast of Scotland. She is very active and feeding well. She did not disappoint any of the bird watchers that turned up to see her today. Really enjoyed our day out and look forward to our next one. Till next time Love Joan.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Swallows and Nethy.

Good Afternoon, just a note to myself really that while out walking this morning we had four swallows this being 19th October it is really worth a mention.

An update on Nethy our Osprey the last update I have is late Friday she is following a river south and west towards Senegal so she is nearly at her wintering ground. She may rest for a few days by the river as river =water=fish=food. She is doing so well.

Till next time Love Joan.

About Me

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Hi, I'm Joan I live in Scotland with my hubby of 48 years. We are both retired and enjoying life to the full well nearly. We are always out and about doing this and that. We love the countryside and do a bit of birdwatching and even twitch from time to time. We also visit art galleries and hubby does a bit of watercolour painting. Me I read a lot mainly thillers. I have been been keeping a journal for over five years over on AOL but we are being thrown out so this is my new home.