Saturday, 23 October 2010

Spot the Stonechat at the beach

Walking along the links path I noticed a small bird balancing on the top of the long grasses, holding on with all it had to fight against the northerly wind. Instinct told me immediately that this was a Stonechat because this is what they do! They show themselves to all passers bye by balancing on the side of the grass and jumping up and flitting down to the next perch in the grass. So when you see a bird the size of a Robin with a dark (to black) head with a white collar and reddish breast, that it is flitting among the long grass in full view, you’ll know what it is even without binoculars. It’s that easy; strange then that this was my first Stonechat of 2010!

The geese are well and truly back in business in Nairn. The regular trip to and from the old bar is a great spectacle, even for the most seasoned birders. I’ve also seen flocks of Fieldfares readying themselves for the cold winter. I’ve not been at the harbour often in the past few weeks so don’t know if the large flocks of Knot and Dunlin are back on the sand bar near the harbour entrance. Any sightings? The usual 100 or so Redshanks and 30 Turnstones are around and about the harbour though.

Every time I cross the river on the footbridge our two resident Dippers fishing in the fast flowing river. This is a sign of a healthy river; I could spend all day watching them!

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