Wednesday 29 August 2012

Lovely weather for ducks

I went to Musselburgh this morning. It was raining but as is often the way, the birds didn't seem to mind. I was surprised to see a few swifts still around, flying with the house martins (Our swifts have long gone, but we have no house martins, I wonder if in fact swifts generally stay longer where there are martins and swallows for them to hang out with?). Out on the water there were loads of eider ducks, some of the males still in their eclipse plumage, some back in their normal eider uniform. Further out there were two busy groups of gulls and gannets, fussing around as though they'd found a good patch of fish. There were also a few great crested grebes and a couple of guillemots on the water and a few common or arctic terns diving for fish.

Still lots of lapwings on the Lagoons, which were busier than they've been for a while, with dunlin, bar tailed godwits and ringed plovers joining the lapwings. Not for the first time I wished the Lagoons' bird hides had roofs, it was too wet in there to sit down!

You may be interested to read my article Seasons Turning in Musselburgh on the Lothian Life website. 

This afternoon, there was torrential rain here, with thunder and lightning!

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


Forthvalley scribe said...

I think maybe your swifts were in transit from further north (where the summer has been much better than ours). We usually see a bunch of swifts for a day or two, about a fortnight after our residents have left.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Here at The Lido of Venice at the seaside I swim among herring-gulls, blackheaded gulls, terns and cormorants. And swallows over the stones and brambles in some parts of the coast. The cormorants' flight straight and skimming the water-skin is a marvel. You sometimes can see a shoal of fish just under the water-skin creating a sort of rippling vortex in a silvery breath. I don't know what kind of fish they are but I can't not think of Yeats' "mackerel-crowded seas".

Crafty Green Poet said...

good point there Elizabeth, I was just being fanciful watching the swifts and house martins and thinking they'd become inseparable friends!

Tommaso - I love the cormorants' flight too, they're amazing birds. i like your description of the fish too!

eileeninmd said...

Hi, sounds like a great birding outing. You saw lots of great birds, the crested grebe is one of my favorites from across the big pond. I would love to see the lapwings. Most of the bird blinds I see here do have roofs, it is helpful to be out of the sun sometimes too.

Ms Sparrow said...

It sounds like the birds are congregating for migration. I read in today's newspaper that 4 out of 5 of Minnesota's birds fly south for the winter.

RG said...

A dribble of rain here last night - first since mid-July! Nice bird descriptions!