September can be an exciting time to be a birder

Pink-footed Geese (45) - Harry Bickerstaff - resized & copyThis month heralds the return of the Pink-footed Geese back to Montrose Basin after a long summer in Iceland and Greenland. We were fortunate to have a large influx of Greylag and Canada geese (1350) at the beginning of September, but these are now giving way to our fabulous Pink-footed Geese. The first 7 were spotted on 10th September, with a steep climb to 253 individuals the following evening. We can only hope to match the spectacular peak number of 2014 (79,970 individuals) this Autumn. They may surprise us and surpass that number breaking our records once more – only time will tell.

Goose breakfastIf you are interested in gaining a unique experience, you might be interested in attending our famous ‘People’s Postcode Lottery Goose Breakfast’. Booking is essential as places fill up fast for this event. Call the centre on 01674 676336.

Peregrine
(c) Andy Wakelin – Peregrine in action pursuing a Lapwing

However, it’s not all about the Geese. Here at Montrose Basin we are very lucky to witness some stunning sights over the Autumn. In the last 2 weeks we have had several sightings of Peregrine Falcon. One afternoon, we witnessed one pursuing a Lapwing, fortunately for the Lapwing it was unsuccessful but fascinating to watch none the less.  We have had daily sightings of Osprey, many of which are now passing through on their migration south to West Africa. Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and juvenile Buzzards have also been making frequent appearances in front of the visitor centre windows.

Long Eared Owl 1-p19v3fafe31k4f367872doe118f
(c) Scottish Wildlife Trust ~ Long-eared Owl – Winter 2014

Our most exciting visitor by far this month has been the Long-eared Owl! An eagle eyed visitor spotted this shy bird hiding in a bush in front of the Visitor Centre. Hopefully this won’t be the last time we see it this autumn.

Turnstone Harry Bickerstaff (327)
(c) Scottish Wildlife Trust – Turnstone

Other less common visitors include Spotted Redshank on the Lurgies walk, Great Crested Grebe out in middle of the Basin, Curlew Sandpiper and Turnstone on Rossie Spit.

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(c) Simone Keeley – Kingfisher on the Lurgies

Our resident male Kingfisher continues to visit daily and fish in the Salt pans, delighting everyone.

Emma – Visitor Centre Assistant Manager

Preface

This month heralds the return of the Pink-footed Geese back to Montrose Basin after a long summer in Iceland and Greenland. We were fortunate to have a large influx of …

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