So I’ve finally got a new phone line installed at the cottage. What an ordeal, I’ve had several men up my pole, my router forgot to be sent out and all sorts of other crap... long story short I’m finally back online.
After a month of being offline I’ve come to realise just how much I rely on the internet… mainly for bird news.
Anyhow. I moved back to St Abb’s at the end of March for another year as ranger here. I’ll now be here till January 2015.
Spring migration had a slow start here and only really began to pick up in the last week or two.
Star birds so far this spring have been a Wryneck last week and a decent smattering of Ring Ouzels, Redstarts and Lesser Whitethroats.
That was until yesterday…
Yesterday 28/04/14 proved to be one of my best days birding ever. An early morning ramble around the Mire Loch revealed a few lingering Lesser Whitethroat, a Ring Ouzel and the first Whinchat of the year. I also caught a very fleeting view of a black and white ‘flycatcher like’ bird in flight by the boathouse. I struggled to relocate the bird and gave up after half an hour as I had to start work. I presumed it to be a Pied Fly and told several people this during the day.
I later got note of a male Subalpine Warbler at the north end of the Mire Loch so after work I headed down and managed to catch up with the subalp, surprisingly high up in the trees. After getting a few distant snaps the bird went quiet and 15 minutes later I moved on, in the hope of relocating that ‘Pied’ Fly.
I found the bird in almost the same place I had first seen it during the morning. As I put my bins up, to my surprise I was met by a pied fly with a ‘BIG BROAD WHITE COLLAR’. Hmmmm! With such a big bold collar it could really only be a COLLARED FLYCATCHER! A few minutes later I managed to get a visiting birder onto it and after a few drawn in breaths I managed a few record shots. The bird was double confirmed by a quick check of the Collins and the news went out... Adult Male Summer Collared Flycatcher. A few local birders arrived on the scene and we enjoyed great views from all angles as the bird dipped up and down in the trees and even called at one point.
Both Collared Flycatcher and Subalpine Warbler were still around today (29/04/14). Also reported from around the Mire Loch today were both Tree and Richards Pipits.
When visiting St Abb’s Head please park at the NTS visitor centre and walk in. Do not park in passing places. The road to the lighthouse is restricted for disabled persons only. If people continue to ignore access information then rare bird records are likely to be supressed in the future!
More updates soon…