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Caerlaverock &

Solway Firth

Dumfriesshire Scotland

   

22 - 29 December 2011

Observers: F. Simpson &

L. Ketchen

 

INTRODUCTION


 

We stayed in the farmhouse at Caerlaverock WWT over Christmas and birded in the immediate area with trips to Mersehead, Ken-Dee Marshes and Loch Ryan. The entire week was blanketed by overcast cloud and mild temperatures and photographic opportunities were limited. Birding was also quiet and very few Whooper Swans were present on the reserve (though a hard freeze a few weeks previous had seen a record 500+ roosting on one evening). Each evening we watched Badgers, Red Fox and a Barn Owl from the farmhouse. Along the coast, strong winds meant observations were difficult and rain showers often curtailed extended viewing. The following list summarises our observations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Species List


 

Mute Swan  Cygnus olor

58 (5 juvs), Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

73 (5 juvs), Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

20 (3 juvs), Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

2, Loch Ken, Mains of Duchrae, 27/12.

2, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Old Hide), 27/12.

 

Ringed birds on Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12: AVP white, ASY white, ATN white, AYC white, BBC white, BBZ white, BCF white, 619 white, TZY red.

 

Whooper Swan  Cygnus cygnus

70 (15 juvs), Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

71 (9 juvs), Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

31 (6 juvs), Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

15, nr Creetown, 28/12.

 

Ringed birds on Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12: H3P yellow, U96 yellow, Z5L yellow, V7P yellow, BPL yellow, U54 yellow, N6T yellow, Z5C yellow.

Ringed birds on Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12: NT6 yellow, BJF red, 7YZ yellow.

 

Greenland White-fronted Goose  Anser albifrons flavirostris

56, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

 

Pink-footed Goose  Anser brachyrhynchus

400+, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

 

Greylag Goose  Anser anser

100+, Saltcot Merse, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Whooper Swan, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

2, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

 

Canada Goose  Branta canadensis

56, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

91, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

 

Barnacle Goose  Branta leucopsis

4000+, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

59, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1000+, road in to Caerlaverock WWT from B725, 24/12.

2000+, Low Middle, from Avenue Tower, Caerlaverock, 25/12.

167, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

2000+, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Brent Goose  Branta bernicla hrota

141, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

3, Stranraer, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Shelduck  Tadorna tadorna

58+, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

86, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

47, flew over, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos

224, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

206, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

23, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Beeches Hide), 27/12.

 

Gadwall  Anas strepera

pr, Whooper Swan, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

pr, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1m, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

3, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

14, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Pintail  Anas acuta

230+, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Northern Shoveler  Anas clypeata

14+, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

pr, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 24/12.

34, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

28, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Eurasian Wigeon  Anas penelope

400+, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

30, Glencaple, River Nith, 24/12.

92, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

170, Campbell Hide flood water, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

30+, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

140+, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Green-winged Teal  Anas carolinensis

1m, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23-24/12.

 

Eurasian Teal  Anas crecca

500+, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

120, Campbell Hide flood water, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

18, Back Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

12, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

504, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

66, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Beeches Hide), 27/12.

 

Greater Scaup  Aythya marila

Distant rafts on the Solway, from the Saltcot Merse Observatory, 23/12.

106, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

Hundreds, off Bishop Burn, Loch Ryan, 29/12. (see from the car while passing in heavy rain).

 

Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula

37, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

46, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

 

Eider  Somateria mollissima

15, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

11, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Common Scoter  Melanitta nigra

19, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Velvet Scoter  Melanitta nigra

1st-w, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Long-tailed Duck  Clangula hyemalis

2, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Goldeneye  Bucephala clangula

2, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

3, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Beeches Hide), 27/12.

2, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

8, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Goosander  Mergus merganser

2, Whitesands, River Nith, Dumfries, 22/12.

4, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Glencaple, River Nith, 24/12.

3, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, near Mains of Duchrae, 27/12.

 

Red-breasted Merganser  Mergus serrator

12, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

10, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Pheasant  Phasianus colchicus

2, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock, 23/12.

1, Shearington, 24/12.

1, Campbell Hide flood water, 25/12.

1, Avenue Tower trail, 25/12.

10, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

Numerous, Laurieston-Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB area, 27/12.

 

Red-throated Diver  Gavia stellata

1, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

1, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Black-throated Diver  Gavia arctica

1, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Great Northern Diver  Gavia immer

1, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

1, Cairnryan, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Slavonian Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

6, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

7, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Little Grebe  Podiceps auritus

2, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Great Crested Grebe  Podiceps cristatus

1, Loch Ken, 27/12.

1, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo

Distant flocks, Blackshaw Bank, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

6, off Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

1, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Old Hide), 27/12.

1, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Shag  Phalacrocorax aristotleis

4, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

9, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

2, hunting rodents at roadside, Shearington, 24/12.

3, entrance road to Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

1, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

2, nr Glenlochar, 27/12.

1, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Beeches/Old Hides), 27/12.

 

Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus

1f, New Abbey, 26/12.

1f, Shearington, 28/12.

1, nr Creetown, 29/12.

 

Red Kite  Milvus milvus

3, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Beeches Hide), 27/12.

30+, flying to roost at 16:00 south of Laurieston, 27/12.

 

Buzzard  Buteo buteo

1, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Bankend, 26/12.

1, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

1, Bankend, 27/12.

1, Crocketford, 27/12.

1, Castle Douglas, 27/12.

1. Laurieston, 27/12.

1, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Old Hide), 27/12.

1, Bankend, 29/12.

 

Kestrel  Falco tinninculus

1, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Castle Douglas, 27/12.

 

Merlin  Falco columbarius

1, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

27, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock 23/12.

19, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock, 25/12.

1, Caerlaverock Castle moat, 28/12.

 

Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus

Distant flocks, Blackshaw Bank, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

2000+, Carsethorn, 26/12.

160, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

60, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Ringed Plover  Charadrius hiaticula

12, Carsethorn, 26/12.

 

Grey Plover  Pluvialis squatarola

Distant flocks, Blackshaw Bank, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

 

Golden Plover  Pluvialis apricaria

Distant flocks, Blackshaw Bank, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

70, Glencaple, River Nith, 24/12.

 

Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus

500+, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

20, over Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

4, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

58, Glencaple, River Nith, 24/12.

10, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Knot  Calidrid canutus

Distant flocks, Blackshaw Bank, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

2, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Turnstone  Arenaria interpres

110+, Carsethorn, 26/12.

25+, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Dunlin  Calidris alpina

Distant flocks, Blackshaw Bank, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

 

Redshank  Tringa totnaus

Distant birds, Blackshaw Bank, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

10, Glencaple, River Nith, 24/12.

250+, Carsethorn, 26/12.

50+, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Black-tailed Godwit  Limosa limosa

5, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

11, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

 

Bar-tailed Godwit  Limosa lapponica

6, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

36, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Curlew  Numenius arquata

30+, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

3, Glencaple, River Nith, 24/12.

46, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

41, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

73, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Common Snipe  Gallinago gallinago

1, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

4, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Old Hide), 27/12.

 

Black-headed Gull  Larus ridibundus

300+, on pasture south of Shearington, 24/12.

 

Common Gull  Larus canus

14, Mersehead RPSB, 26/12.

 

Mediterranean Gull  Larus melanocephalus

1 ad, Carsethorn, 26/12.

 

Herring Gull  Larus argentatus

1, argentatus, Glencaple, River Nith, 24/12.

 

Great Black-backed Gull  Larus marinus

3, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

3, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, near Mains of Duchrae, 27/12.

1, Lock Ken (Old Hide), 27/12.

3, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Kittiwake  Rissa tridactyla

1, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Black Guillemot  Cepphus grylle

3, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

3, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Feral Pigeon  Columba livia

Widespread & common.

 

Stock Dove  Columba oenas

1, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus

Widespread.

60, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Collared Dove  Sreptopelia decaocto

2, Glencaple, 24/12.

10, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

22, visitor centre car park, Caerlaverock WWT, 28/12.

 

Barn Owl  Tyto alba

1, Folly Pond, Caerlaverock, 23/12.

 

Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopus major

3, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, Beeches Hide & Old Hide feeders, 27/12.

 

Skylark  Alauda arvensis

1, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Rock Pipit  Anthus petrosus

2, Carsethorn, 26/12.

2, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

2, Soleburn, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis

2, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea

1, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Pied Wagtail  Motacilla alba

1, Gretna Services, 28/12.

 

Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes

Widespread & common.

 

Dunnock  Prunella modularis

2, Avenue Tower trail, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

1, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Old Hide), 27/12.

 

Robin  Erithacus rubecula

Widespread & common.

 

Blackbird  Turdus merula

Widespread & common.

 

Song Thrush  Turdus philomelus

1, Avenue Tower trail, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

 

Redwing  Turdus iliacus

24, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, near the Old Hide, 27/12.

 

Mistle Thrush  Turdus viscivorus

2, Mains of Duchrae trail to hides, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

 

Fieldfare  Turdus pilaris

7, Eastpark Farm, Caerlaverock WWT, 24/12.

12, Mains of Duchrae trail to hides, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

 

Goldcrest  Regulus regulus

1, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Old Hide), 27/12.

 

Long-tailed Tit  Aegithalos caudatus

Heard, farmhouse hedgerow, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

Groups of 21, 6 and 2, Mains of Duchrae trail to hides, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.
 

Coal Tit  Periparus ater

2, farmhouse feeding station, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Whooper Swan, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

Max 4, Beeches Hide feeders, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

Max 3, Old Hide feeders, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

 

Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus

Max 6, Whooper Pond feeders, Caerlaverock WWT, 24/12.

Max 7, Beeches Hide feeders, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

Max 4, Old Hide feeders, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

 

Great Tit  Parus major

Max 3, Whooper Pond feeders, Caerlaverock WWT, 24/12.

Max 13, Beeches Hide feeders, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

Max 4, Old Hide feeders, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

 

Willow Tit  Parus major

2, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB (Old Hide feeders), 27/12. Another heard along the trail.

 

Nuthatch  Sitta europea

6, Beeches Hide, Old Hide & trail, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

 

Treecreeper  Certhia familiaris

2, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, near Old Hide, 27/12.

 

Jay  Garrulus glandarius

3, Mains of Duchrae trail to hides, Ken-Dee Marshes RSPB, 27/12.

1, nr Glenlochar, 27/12.

 

Magpie  Pica pica

1, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

 

Jackdaw  Corvus monedula                    

10, visitor centre, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

60+, Eastpark Farm-Blackshaw Farm, Caerlaverock WWT, 26/12.

 

Rook  Corvus frugilegus

500+, Shearington-Glencaple, 24/12.

350+, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Carrion Crow  Corvus corone

Widespread.

 

Raven  Corvus corax

1, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

2, Low Middle, from Avenue Tower, Caerlaverock, 25/12.

 

Starling  Sturnus vulgaris

220+, over Whooper Pond, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

Only small flocks (<50), Gretna Services, 28/12.

 

House Sparrow  Passer domesticus

100+, hedgerows between farmhouse tower & Peter Scott Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

 

Tree Sparrow  Passer montanus

4, hedgerows between farmhouse tower & Peter Scott Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

2, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs

Max 26, Whooper Pond feeders, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

60+, in stubble, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.#

100+, visitor centre car park, Caerlaverock WWT, 28/12.

 

Greenfinch  Carduelis chloris

1, Whooper Pond feeders, Caerlaverock WWT, 24/12.

2, Whooper Pond feeders, Caerlaverock WWT, 25/12.

40+, visitor centre car park, Caerlaverock WWT, 28/12.

 

Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis

6, Peter Scott Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

1, Mersehead WWT, 26/12.

 

Siskin  Carduelis spinus

10, Caerlaverock Castle, 28/12.

 

Linnet  Carduelis cannabina

18, Saltcot Merse Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

Twite  Carduelis flavirostris

12, Wig Bay, Loch Ryan, 29/12.

 

Lesser Redpoll  Carduelis cabaret

1, Mersehead RSPB, 26/12.

 

Bullfinch  Pyrrhula pyrrhula

1, Dumfries, 28/12.

1, Annan, 28/12.

1, Gretna Services, 28/12.

 

Reed Bunting  Emberiza schoeniclus

2, Mersehead, 26/12.

 

Yellowhammer  Emberiza citrinella

7, hedgerows between farmhouse tower & Peter Scott Observatory, Caerlaverock WWT, 23/12.

 

 

 

 

All photographs 2011  F. S. Simpson

Fraser's Birding Website  fssbirding.org.uk

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