Wednesday, 17 February 2010

West of Nairn

It's been a while since I had the chance to do some spotted, but I was in Inverness for a meeting and on the way home I stopped at the sewage works near Alturlie Point. There were 118 Widgeon relaxing near the shore (with many of them calling their distinctive calls). In the distance toward Inverness there were a number of Tufted and other Ducks, but the sun on the water made it difficult to identify clearly.

Nearer home I stopped by Loch Flemmington to see yet more Widgeon, but smaller numbers. Two Tufted Duck and lots of Mallards too. A treat for me was 11 Whopper Swans behind some rushes with two of them trying to walk on the ice (yes, it’s still frozen in parts!). Great to see them in the same vision as Mute Swans to compare and contrast!

There were two other smaller ducks which I struggled to identify due to my position. One may have been a Little Grebe (nearly sure), but the other? Larger than the Grebe (?), small head, large forehead leading to a tiny bill. Darkish brown head with yellowish eye, distinct separation of dark neck from greying breast, with a white underbelly and light smattering of white on the wing. Any ideas?

10 Moorhens hurried around the grass near the houses in the lochside village.

A beautifully sunny day with still water on the firth, compared to the wonderfull waves at Nairn Beech!