We've had a new visitor on the river over the past week or so: a Pintail.
It seems perfectly happy lazing around with the resident Mallards, and they in-turn seem happy enough for him to stay for a while!
We've also had a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers; maybe the same pair as this time last year. I've seen them from the mouth of the river all the way down toward Firhall Bridge. Has anyone seem them further up river?
The above two pics are female Mergansers. The bottom bird in the pic below (taken last year in completely different lighting conditions) is a female Merganser. Again, click to enlarge and look at the colour pattern in the neck and look at the difference in the bill.
The other day I spotted a Great Northern Diver out in the firth off the west beach. Well, I say I spotted it, it was actually a very experienced bird watcher from Inverness paying a visit to Nairn. I saw him with his telescope, and as always, I can't resist the temptation to strike up a conversation with someone who looks interested in birds! He said there was also a Red Throated Diver off the east beach. Whilst looking over that way I saw a large flock of Dunlin settle on one of the sand bars just away from a crowd of Scoter.
On the same sandbar were a flock of Curlew; talking of which, I counted 173 Curlew in a flock feeding in a field on the Ardesier side of the airport today.
Finally - the geese! Thousands are back already and plenty more to come!