Thursday, 30 May 2013

In search of Scotland's specials, Scotland Birding Trip 2013

Day One: Friday 24th May

Having made my first ever trip to Scotland last year it was always my intention to return again this year.
That opportunity came along when a four day trip was booked for the 24th May.

An early start on Friday, saw us at Stanstead Airport for 6am, for an 8am flight into Glasgow. Arriving at Glasgow just after 9am.
Picking up the hire car, we were on the road in good time and heading up the West coast past Loch Lomond and on towards Oban.
As we approached the harbour, The first addition to the year list was in the bag before we had even parked the car. Two Black Guillemots were visible on the water as we drove down the hill towards the car park.

Black Guillemot

Before we left Oban a total of five birds were seen mainly on the water, but also a pair seen on the jetty when the ferry returned and pushed them in shore.
Our first Hooded Crows of the trip were also seen at Oban. A couple of birds foraging among the exposed rocks and then seen again at the far end of the harbour.

Hooded Crow

Continuing Northwards a stop at Lochaber just North of Roybridge produces two more year ticks in quick time. Firstly a Tree Pipit is seen perched on top of a small conifer, and along the waters edge two Common Sandpipers are found. 
Before leaving for the airport Brian had informed us that we had booked into what  he called a "shed". A worrying thought. But once we had made the journey along the whiskey trail and into Dufftown near Keith, these fears proved completely unfounded.

Pulling off the road we get our first view of Meikle Conual Lodge. A wooden chalet like structure that looked very welcoming, especially after the 200 mile drive from the airport.
Inside, the lodge was very well furnished, and the welcoming pack was very thoughtful and greatly received.
A quick visit from the owner to welcome us, and it's time to eat and turn in for the night.

Day Two: Saturday 25th May

Saturday morning and an early start, sees us heading towards Loch Garten. Capercaillie is my target bird this year having missed it last year.
Driving the narrow roads around Nethy Bridge and the Abernethy Forest doesn't produce any sightings. A short drive along a gravel track and we arrive at Forest Lodge. Walking the trails in search of Crested Tits, we manage to hear a couple of birds calling but  failed to get any views of the birds.
By 9am we were back at Loch Garten car park and while waiting for the reserve to open (10am) we spent the time watching the feeder and immediate area around the car park.

A couple of Red Squirrel's entertained us by coming down to the feeder, then a Crested Tit is heard calling again close by. This time it lands close to the feeder and gives brief views before it's gone from view again.
With the reserve now open, it's off for a look at the Ospreys.
Upon entering the hide one of the volunteers informs us that Odin the male Osprey had just delivered a fish to EJ the female.
While watching the Ospreys a third bird appears close to the nest. EJ reacts by leaving the nest and joins Odin in forcing the intruding bird out of the immediate area.
The eggs are now visible on the TV monitors and it's pointed out that one of the two eggs has got a small hole in it. A sure sign that the hatching process has begun.


With clear blue skies and the forecast good for the entire day we decide it's the perfect opportunity for a trip to the Cairngorms.
Arriving at the car park we decide to take a walk up to the half way point. Stopping frequently and scanning the ridges and slopes. I spot through the bins what looked like a Dotterel on the move heading upwards.
But after turning away from the bird to set the scope up, I was unable to relocate the bird.
So unfortunately it will have to go down as a possible sighting, rather than a definite sighting.
Further up the path, I hear the sound of a Ptarmigan, and shortly afterwards it calls again. Scoping the slopes from where the calls where coming from didn't produce any sightings.
On the way up we passed an unleashed dog, I would not be surprised if it was this dog that had flushed the Ptarmigan.
We walked for an hour and then decided to head back down and take the Mountain Railway (Funicular) to the top.
After paying the £10.30 for a day ticket, we boarded the train and eight minutes later had reached the top. Walking up through the restaurant and out onto the viewing platform we were delighted to find a ranger had a female Ptarmigan in his scope.
After a few points and directions I was looking at my first ever Ptarmigan. It was amazingly difficult to see among the snow and rocks.
Luckily it was made slightly easier by the fact that the bird was actively feeding for the majority of the time we spent watching it.
I lost count of the number of people that looked through my scope to get a view of that Ptarmigan, but I was so pleased to have seen it myself I didn't care in the slightest.
Hunger was now setting in, so we retreated to the restaurant and after first and second choices were not available we had to settle for a smoked Haddock in batter.
I'm not one for eating much fish normally, and this combination is not something I will be trying again any time soon.
The morning so far had produced Crested Tit, Osprey, Ptarmigan and Red Squirrels. Keen to add to this list we headed for Lochindorb. A moorland habitat with a Loch that has a ruined castle on a small island.
A pair of Black-throated Divers were located along the edges of the island, and the sight of four Ospreys in the air together over the loch was a wonderful sight.
The roads around the loch held numerous Red Grouse and also Curlew and Lapwings along with a Cuckoo.

Red Grouse (female)

While here we again bumped into the Burton Boys, A birding group surprisingly enough from Burton that we had met on a few occasions already in the short time we had been in Scotland.
From here we decided to try for Black Grouse at Tulloch Moor. After a bit of a search we managed to find the viewing screens, and got lucky when a single bird flew in and started to call and display.

Day Three: Sunday 26th May

The third day of the trip and we set off towards the FindhornValley in search of eagles.
Heading up the A9 we park the car in Lay-by 151 and are rewarded with  a pair of Ring Ouzels. Having had a few disappointments in locating any back in England this year I was very pleased to add them to my year list, and we spent an enjoyable hour watching them feeding on the hillside.
An added bonus was the presence of a couple of Mountain Hares feeding on the same slopes.
A quick stop on route at Findhorn Bridge added Dipper to the trip list, and a drive along the Farr Road added Wheatear and numerous Meadow Pipits and more Red Grouse.

Red Grouse (male)

Next stop was Lake Ruthven, home to summer plumaged Slavonian Grebes. Reaching the hide four birds were quickly seen. Unfortunately they never approached close enough for anything other than a very poor record shot.

Slavonian Grebes

On the walk back towards the car, a lady birder stopped us to ask if any were showing. She informs us that she had visited the site on four occasions and had yet to see a single Slavonian Grebe.
Very surprised at this I quickly told her that today she would see them. Excited she headed off towards the hide.
We reach the Findhorn Valley and after eleven miles park the car in the car park. The weather is not so good today but it doesn't stop us walking into the valley in search of birds.
On the slopes another Ring Ouzel is found, this time it's a female. As the weather shows signs of brightening up a Peregrine appears and then I catch sight of my first Golden Eagle. It's being mobbed by three Buzzards and the size difference is very obvious.
Upon returning to the car park, we start scanning the ridges for more eagle activity. It's not long before two birds appear to the West. The distinctive white tail and black tail band of juvenile Golden Eagle very clear in the scope.
After four hours we decide to head back towards Loch Garten.
Parking up off the road and taking a stroll along one of the tracks produces close up sightings of three Crested Tits.

Crested Tit
A great ending to another excellent days birding.

Day Four: Monday 27th May

The final day of the trip had arrived, and we still had not had any luck with the number one target bird.
So it's up at 3.30am and after breakfast and packing the cases into the car, it's a quick clean of the accommodation (not that it needed it, as we spent very little time inside it during the trip).
We head again for Loch Garten in search of a Capercaillie. Driving through Nethy Bridge, down to Forest Lodge and back produces no sightings.
Heading back towards Nethy Bridge we drive passed a couple on foot and a guy parked up in his car at the side of the road.
Turning the car round and heading back the way we came proves a very good move.
As we draw level with the guy (Mike Doughty) in the car he points into the forest and calls Caper! Brian gets on the bird straight away, but being in the back of the car I can't see the bird.
With panic setting in, Brian edges the car forward past the nearest tree and I have my first ever view of a male Capercaillie.
All I can see is the head and part of the neck, and if you wasn't looking for it you would just think it was a log.

At that moment Lee Evans comes round the corner with his group in tow. They had seen the bird emerge from the opposite end of the road.
The bird starts to call and moves higher up onto a small ridge in the forest, some fifty metres away from us.
I grab the camera and take a few shots, thinking the bird is going to disappear any minute.

But in fact it's not bothered by us in the slightest and we watch it feed, call and even get a brief display.
Those three hours watching the male Capercaillie will live long in the memory and will take something exceptional to beat it.

If that wasn't enough a small party of Scottish Crossbills are seen briefly in a tall pine and then seen again in flight calling as they flew overhead.
Luckily Lee Evans and his group were still around to help with the id.

It was time to head down towards Glasgow Airport. Stopping off on the way at The Falls of Falloch.
With heavy rain having started soon after leaving Loch Garten the waterfall was looking fierce when we arrived.
The main aim of the stop off though was to try to locate a Spotted Flycatcher for the year list. Dad came up trumps when he spotted one in trees close to the car park.

 An amazing four day trip.
Three lifers and thirteen for the year list.

Thanks to Brian who did all the driving with the help of dad's satnav. (which Brian found so helpful) :D he also did the cooking.
Thanks to dad for his company, and his purple patch of bird spotting will be hard to forget. Especially that Spotted Flycatcher.

Thanks also to Mike Doughty, without whom we may never have seen that Caper.

A special mention and thanks must also go to Gordon Hamlett, who wrote the book "Best birdwatching sites in the Scottish highlands" and also e-mailed me with further help before the start of the trip.
The book has proved an  invaluable companion on the two trips I have taken to Scotland. To go to Scotland without it would be unthinkable.
I cannot recommended this book highly enough.

Here's to the next trip, wherever that might be.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Dusky Thrush!!

A simple note to myself for further reference. Always check the bird news services before setting off.

Luckily Brian had done just that, and with our original destination being Reculver, it's a simple detour towards Margate Cemetery. After a short drive up and down Manston Road we realise that Manston Road actually splits into three!
Back on the right road and heading up hill, we spot a line of parked cars. Arriving at 7am and walking along the footpath towards the cemetery gates, we spot a few familiar faces on the other side of the wall.
A simple question is asked. "Is it showing?", The answer is a quick point towards a bare tree between two conifers.
Bins trained on a distant bird shape, and I'm looking at a Dusky Thrush!! A little Siberian beauty. Before entering the cemetery I've seen the bird and even managed to set the scope set up for a closer look.
The bird takes flight and we head for the cemetery gates. 
We arrived at 7am, but many birders just couldn't wait and had arrived before 5am, with reports that some birders had even tried searching for the bird in the dark.
Having seen the bird and already had decent views, we could take it easy and wait for the bird to reappear. Which it does shortly afterwards, Perched right at the top of another bare tree giving even better views than before.
Only 9 previously accepted records for the UK, with the last "twitchable" bird being way back in 1959. So given that it was 54 years ago, this bird was going to bring out the birders in force. It did, with 250-300 birders already present. We stayed for 2-3 hours, in that time well over a thousand birders had arrived and departed.

Dusky thrush (B Anderson)

From here it's a short drive to Reculver, parking in the pay and display car park at the foot of Reculver Towers.
Heading up the hill and towards the caravan park, stopping at the top of the hill the Monties is spotted straight away.
Keen to get better views, it's off along the sea wall and through the gate along the grass banks past the oyster beds.
At the far end we bump into local patch worker Marc Heath. We spend the next couple of hours in his company. In this time the Monties is seen hunting low along the railway tracks, and although distant at first it quarter the fields regularly and gets closer and closer. At times it is seen down to within c50 metres.
A stunning bird and one I have long been eager to see.

Montagu's harrier (B Anderson)

While it hunts along a narrow strip of overgrown grass, it disturbs a Short-eared owl. The owl heads away from the harrier and starts to hunt along the far edge giving super views. Especially to Brian who had earlier set himself down among the taller grass and was almost invisible to us.

News of the Red-backed Shrike having been re-found, has us heading off along the grass banks towards the railway tracks.
Although most of the birders confirmed that they had seen the shrike, we failed to find the bird. Despite a couple of hours search with 15-20 other birders.
The shrike would be found again near Chambers Wall later that evening, but by this time I would already be back at home.

A much needed stop off at the local cafe, and it's time to end for home. On route news of a Cattle Egret  at Shorne marshes comes up on the pager. The location on the pager proved less than helpful. With the A-Z in hand more news comes through to park at Canal Road and follow the cycle path for 2 miles to view the bird.
A scan of the surrounding fields and there's the Cattle Egret, not surprisingly among some cattle.
Having missed a Cattle Egret on a few occasions this year at Grove ferry it was finally good to catch up with one here.

A cracking days birding.

It's not everyday you go out birding and see a Dusky thrush. In fact given the records and the history of twitchable birds that have landed in the UK, it will most likely be the only Dusky thrush that I see in my lifetime.

It will be long remembered.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Birding weekend in Wales

Setting off on Friday morning for the now annual weekend in Wales, 260 plus miles along the M4 ahead of us.
A phone call from Brian letting us know that two Black-winged Stilts had been found at Goldcliff in Newport the previous evening, makes us change our plans for the normal stop off after the bridge and divert to the Newport Wetlands Centre instead.
It's 151 miles into the journey and a good stopping point. Having never visited this reserve we were met by friendly staff who were very helpful. 
Unfortunately they informed us that the two Stilts had not been seen this morning, and with news seemingly only being put out on the forums, we decide to head for the reserve cafe and then take a gentle stroll around the reserve.

Newport Wetlands Reserve 
The weather was looking very overcast and grey, and fierce winds were blowing across the estuary.
There seems to be a lot of work done here trying to get school kids involved with nature at an early age. At least three groups of kids were seen around the reserve with parents and members of staff. 
The walk itself with the weather conditions as they were produced very little of note. The winds making it very difficult to hear birds never mind see them.
The one highlight of the walk was a brief reeling from a Grasshopper Warbler, my first of the year having missed them at Lakenheath the previous week.

Saturday and arrangements were made the previous evening with Brian. We head for Marloes and are still undecided on whether we are going to take the boat to Skomer.
On the drive up we miss the turning for Marloes Mere, site of the now seemingly resident Glossy Ibis. Instead of turning back we continue on to the car park and head off towards the Deer Park.
The weather wasn't pleasant on the drive up, so I decide to leave the camera in the car and take the scope instead.

Lockley Lodge Visitor Centre
The field to the South of the car park leading towards the Deer Park was alive with Wheatears last year, this year it's empty.
On the Deer Park the winds are again very strong, but the early morning rain has stopped and I'm already regretting not taking the camera.
A year tick was added when two Chough's fly overhead calling. But on the walk towards the headland Wheatears and Stonechats are conspicuous by their absence. 
Trying to get some shelter from the biting winds we decide to head for the rocks. Another Chough flies overhead and then drops down onto the ground in front of us.
Scanning the cliffs and water's around Skomer Island produced a second year tick. Plenty of puffins were sitting on the surface of the sea, along with Guillemots and Razorbills. Shags were seen perched on rocks and in flight. Gannets were very obvious and frequent. 
I'm now as far from the car as I can possibly be, and decide I need to have the camera. Leaving dad and Brian I set off back towards the car. The walk back didn't take too long, but I made the mistake of running back up the stone steps and after reaching the top soon realised how unfit I am. The walk back to the headland was slow, until I saw Brian laying down photographing a Chough. Reaching them I skillfully dropped down collapsed beside them  and tried to take a few photo's. The results were not good but considering at one point I felt like I was having a heart attack they will have to do.


The Gannets were still flying around the headland and I took the chance to grab some photo's while recovering.
The light was rubbish, and the wind was blowing a storm, but I managed the shot below.
While recovering and laying behind the rocks another year tick is added when a Raven flies overhead "kronking".

The walk back to the car did produced sightings of Wheatear, Stonechat and Whitethroats, but the strong winds kept them from sitting up for too long, and no sooner did they appear on the tops they disappeared back within the gorse.
Reaching Lockley Lodge, the visitor centre and location where you would buy your ticket for the boat trip to Skomer the staff inform us that the boat crossing was touch and go today and although the boat did make the crossing we decided against going.
Instead we head back down the road and head for Marloes Mere. Parking the car in the National Trust car park. Something to remember here is that if you have already paid to park your car in the car park near the Lockley Lodge centre, then this ticket will also be valid to park at the NT car park at Marloes Mere on the same day. Otherwise it's going to be £5 to park the car here. So if your planning on a short trip to try for the Glossy Ibis after a visit to Skomer or the Deer Park, make sure you keep hold of your ticket.
As we arrive at the metal gate to scan for the Ibis the heavens open, and we run for the hide further along the track. This does me the world of good after the events on the Deer park!
No sign of the Ibis, and with the staff at Lockley Lodge centre informing us that the Ibis has been elusive of late we head for the car when there's a break in the rain.
A brief visit to Fishguard Harbour, after a tip off that a pair of Black Guillemots may well be present, proves in vain. It doesn't help that a huge ship is in the harbour at the time of our visit.
Back at Brian and Sue's holiday cottage, and dad gets lucky when a Raven is seen from the garden. He missed the one on the Deer park earlier so is pleased to have seen this one.

Sunday morning and although it's a bit out of the way, we decide to try again for the Ibis. Leaving the lodge at 5.45am, it's a 14 mile drive back to Marloes Mere. We park the car and start to scan the area from the metal gate. At first there's again no sign of the Ibis, but from beneath the bank in front of us the Ibis takes flight and lands in front of the reeds. It's distant and dark overhead but I took this shot as a record.

Glossy Ibis
From here it's off to Dinas Rspb reserve. It's roughly 70 miles from Pembroke Dock, 10 miles North of Llandovery on a minor road to Llyn Brianne.
Arriving at the empty car park, we stock the bird table with some food and wait to see what will come down. It's not long before Chaffinch, Robin, and Dunnock's are all feeding. A bit of a surprise was a Yellowhammer which came in to feed briefly. Normally Nuthatch can be attracted to the table, but not today.
Heading along the boardwalk the first bird seen is a male Pied Flycatcher. Shortly afterwards a female is seen. A scan of the paddock area produces both male and female Redstart, but there's no sign of any Spotted Flycatchers.
Another year tick is added when a Garden warbler pops into view among the tussocks. A Dipper flies past along the river and heads downstream. We take the longer route round the reserve. Climbing across rocks and making use of the wooden steps that have been placed at certain parts of the route.
We head past the cave location of Twm Sion Cati (The Welsh Robin Hood). It's a bit of a climb up hill to reach and with not much to look at when you reach it, I decide to give it a miss this year. Wood Warblers are heard frequently, but it takes a while before we get good views. It's butterfly-like flight eventually helps track the bird down.
On the return walk back towards the car, Nuthatch, Redstart, Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Dipper and marsh tit are all seen.
By now the rain has once again started to fall, so we decide to make for the car.

Time to head for home. The trip to Dinas has managed to knock 30 miles off the trip but it's still another 240 miles ahead of us.
The weather wasn't great, but much of the time it was dry and it could have been a lot worse. 
A couple of weeks at home and then it's a short trip to Scotland. I can't wait.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Red-footed Falcon: Lakenheath

A late text message from Brian has us meeting up at 5.45am and heading for Lakenheath in Suffolk.
With the failed attempt to add Red-footed Falcon at Ouse Washes on Saturday fresh in the mind, we pull into the car park not taking anything for granted.
Setting off along the grass bank, the reedbeds are alive with both Sedge and Reed Warblers plus Reed Buntings. Whitethroats are also present in good numbers.
Scanning the Mute Swans along the Little Ouse River we locate the Whooper Swan among them.It's an ideal opportunity for a few photos.

Whooper Swan

Reaching Joist Fen in glorious sunshine, we take advantage of the vacant bench and start scanning the fen. Cuckoo's are calling frequently and it's not long before one is found perched at the top of a tree, giving decent scope views.
While Scanning for the Cuckoo I spot my first Whinchat of the year, it's sitting up in the bush next to the Cuckoo. A year tick for all three of us.
The sun is out and the temperature is hotting up. It's not long before the first Marsh Harriers are spotted in the air. A male flies through with it's catch and the female comes up to meet it. But the expected food pass never materialises.
Soon afterwards the first Hobby is seen in the sky, it's hawking at the back of the fen and then briefly lands in a tree.
More Hobbies become active, and while scoping them the Red-footed Falcon flies into view. A cracking male bird. Staying in the air for twenty minutes or more. It stays out of range of the camera, but the scope views are superb. All the disappointment of the dipped bird on Saturday gone in an instant.
That's birding for you!

News that a Purple Heron had been seen to drop into New Fen, sees us put in another hour search here, but  it's not to be found.
While scanning the fen a Grass Snake swims across the water in front of us. It heads straight towards a Mute Swan, but at the last minute turns away and heads for the reedbeds.

Grass Snake

On the walk back a dead Mole is found along the grass track,  no doubt it will become a meal for another bird or mammal later in the day. 

 The circle of life continues.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Bonaparte's Gull at Elmley

Starting the day at Rainham Marshes this morning, on what would ultimately end as another failed attempt to add Ring Ouzel to the year list.
I did manage to add a Common Scoter to my London list, when Barry a local birder pointed me in the right direction. Apparently it's been hanging about on the Thames for a few days now.
Apart from the Scoter, it was pretty quiet. With Linnets and Whitethroats seemingly everywhere you looked. The highlight being a male Wheatear that flew to the top of a nearby tree giving superb views before heading across the road and onto the roadside slopes.

Leaving Brian at Rainham, We headed off down the M2 towards Elmley Marshes.
The target being a  recently reported Bonaparte's Gull. It would be a life tick if I managed to connect with it, but with yesterday's triple dip day still fresh in the mind I'm not as optimistic as usual.
Heading out along the dirt track towards the farm car park, there's plenty of Yellow wagtails present on both sides of the track. As usual Lapwings and Redshanks are very much in evidence,  along with 3-4 Marsh Harriers and a single Buzzard.

Yellow Wagtail 

At the car park there are good numbers of Swallows flying overhead, with 2-3 frequently landing on the telegraph wires nearby.
On the 1 mile walk down towards the reserve, Sedge Warblers are very vocal and Whimbrel are present in large numbers.
Shortly after entering Wellmarsh Hide and taking a seat, The first Hobbies of 2013 are seen when four are  spotted hawking in the skies above the hide.  
A scan of the skies and the call goes up that the Bonaparte's is heading straight towards us. I pick it up in the bins almost immediately and follow it as it heads in and then turns away and goes behind the hide and out of view.
Happy to add a life tick to my list, but hoping it's not the only view I was to get of the bird I started to scan the skies again.
Ten minutes of being entertained by the groups of Avocets on the pool in front of us goes by and then the Bonparte's comes back into view, this time it heads away from us and gives longer views, Looking small and almost tern-like in it's flight it turns and gives good views of the slender looking black bill and more clean cut black trailing edge to the wings, it also looks much cleaner/paler on the underside of the wings than Black-headed.


The walk back to the car park is much more pleasant than yesterday's. Stopping along the track to grab a few shots of  the noisy Sedge Warblers.

Sedge Warbler

A new addition to the life list and two year ticks added today.
A good morning's birding in glorious weather conditions.

Triple Dip Day birding in Cambridgeshire

A triple dip day yesterday, where we started at Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire more in hope than expectation that the two Dotterels had stuck around overnight.
Not surprisingly they hadn't, but it didn't stop us driving around all the likely looking fields in hope.
From here it was a trip to the Ouse Washes, this time hoping to connect with the male Red-Footed Falcon that had been reported the previous day.
Walking from the reserve centre we headed across the bridge and made our way along the dirt track heading towards Pymoor Bridge, a couple of miles in the distance.
Stopping on route to pop in to a few of the hides as we made our way along the track.
A Spotted Redshank was seen by both Brian and dad, but while I was trying to get the scope manoeuvred into some sort of usable position the bird flew, and I didn't manage to relocate it. Three Ruff were found along with 3-4 Marsh harriers and plenty of Redshank and Lapwings.A male Garganey was seen from Stephens Hide.

After around 4 hours of scanning the surrounding area there was still no sign of the Red-footed Falcon. Then the bird comes up on the pager as having flown West towards Purls Bridge.
Spotting the wardens jeep parked up along the track, we meet him and he tells us that he had just seen it briefly, and that he had put it out to the news services.
A Whooper Swan is seen from Kingfisher hide on the walk back, but it's another dip for the day, as the Red-foot  is not seen on the walk back towards the car park.  
It was a two mile walk to the furthest hide, but walking back straight into a head wind that stopped you in your tracks at times, added to that a couple of walks back to retrieve my hat made it seem more like four miles on the way back to the car park.

A short stop off on the way home to the Brecks, does produce a year tick in the form of a single Stone Curlew. It's quite distant and it's through a heat haze, but it's a very welcome sight.
Heading home, news comes through that there's a Long-tailed Duck and a Ring Ouzel reported from Fairlop Waters. 
Fairlop Water's is less than 5 miles from home, so we stop off on the way home. Before arriving the Long-tailed Duck is reported as having been flushed by a windsurfer. 
Although it would have been a great bird to have seen, I was more disappointed when we failed to find the Ring Ouzel. Having tried and failed at least five times to add it to this years list.

So just the one addition to the list today.
Here's hoping for better luck tomorrow.