December 2005

I returned from New Zealand at the end of the first week of December and spent the next 10 days recovering from the jet-lag and starting the long job of editing the photos, so it wasn't until near the end of the month that I got out birding again.

The week before Christmas, an Arctic Redpoll was found in a small mixed flock of Lesser and Mealy Redpolls at Aberlady Bay (only the 3rd record for Lothian). That was all the enticement I needed to drag myself away from the computer. Since it was just 10 miles from my flat, I spent every sunny day down there between Christmas and the end of the month.

Coues's Arctic Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni exilpes)

They were not particularly visible most of the time, feeding on seeds in the long grass, but with a lot of patience and by positioning myself ahead of their direction of feeding, they eventually approached to within 10m of me.

Coues's Arctic Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni exilpes)

Coues's Arctic Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni exilpes) - more photos here

The characteristic pure-white rump of the Arctic Redpoll was usually only visible in flight.

Coues's Arctic Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni exilpes)

Mealy Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)

Mealy Redpolls (Carduelis flammea)

Mealy Redpolls (Carduelis flammea) - more photos here

A few Roe Deer were also on the saltmarsh at Aberlady...

Roe Deer (Notiomystis cincta)

Back at Musselburgh, it was just the usual common stuff...

Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

...and a small flock of Greylag Geese. Not sure how wild the geese were, but the golden early morning light of Christmas day was perfect for a good portrait...

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

November 2005 2005 Diary Index January 2006