The numbers of Pink-footed Geese have increased this week to 346, as seen on the Monday. This number is lower than the 3,000 seen last year and the awe inspiring 63,844 of 2012> It is likely that the milder weather has meant that they’ve stayed in Iceland and Greenland to feed for longer before their migration of 2,250km to Montrose. Others migratory cues (such as day length) will have taken over though and the numbers will probably increase rapidly over the next week.
The Kingfisher continues to make its daily appearance on ‘its usual perch’ in the Salt Pans in front of the Visitor Centre and numbers of Red-breasted Merganser and Goosanders remain high and visible (89 and 96 respectively) throughout the Basin. Numbers of Wigeon and Shelduck have also greatly increased in the Basin and the elusive Teal can still be seen in the Salt Pans, with 11 spotted on Monday.
Some of our summer visitors have also remained with us this week; 12 Swallows have been seen flying around the centre’s eves, 2 Sandwich Terns spotted on Buoy 2, and a juvenile Osprey in the centre of the Basin.
Other sightings this week have been 23 Goldeneye mid Basin, 3 Golden Plover and 80 Lapwing in front of the Visitor Centre, 3 Greenshank at Rossie Spit, and a Little Egret at the Old Montrose Pier. Canada Geese continue to make an appearance with 15 seen on the 14th and 9 Greylag have also been seen on the Basin on a regular basis. Grey Heron numbers also remain relatively high, with 23 seen at the Salt Pans on the 17th. The Stoat has made another appearance this week, at the Dipping Pond which seems to be its regular Rabbit watching spot.
Georgina Bowie, Visitor Centre Assistant