This week has continued to be a great week for wader watching and gull gawking. On almost a daily basis hundreds of Black-headed, Herring, and Common Gulls can be seen diving into the water at mid-tide usually joined by the three Tern species found at the Basin. We can’t be a hundred percent certain what it is they’re hunting for but, judging from what the Common Terns are bringing back to their chicks on the raft, it looks its Sandeels.
Today’s count of waders includes 134 Lapwing, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Dunlin, 380 Oystercatchers and 100 Redshank. A large group of 120 Goosanders were also seen at high tide today, near the Tern raft and, among the waders at Rossie Spit, 12 Sandwich Terns and 50 Herring Gulls.
Numbers of Mute Swans seen on the Basin also increases around this time of year as moulting makes them more vulnerable to land predators. Today’s count was 160 individuals. A number of juvenile Shelduck can also be seen on the Basin – 10 were seen with 8 adults today in front of the Visitor Centre.
Other sightings this week include Osprey hunting mid Basin, a Snipe spotted near the Shelduck Hide, a Common Sandpiper at the Mill Burn entrance and a Marsh Harrier, all on the 5th. A Willow Warbler was also spotted that day on the Visitor Centre feeders and a Sparrowhawk near the same spot on the 8th.
Georgina Bowie, Visitor Centre Assistant