January 2006

I spent a bit of time at the beginning of the year attempting to photograph the huge Fieldfare flock at Aberlady Bay. As is always the case with large flocks, they are much jumpier than small groups and it took a lot of patience to wait on any birds coming close enough for decent photos.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) - Aberlady, Lothian

Further along towards the golf course, a male Stonechat was a lot easier to photograph, and back at Musselburgh another one was even more obliging.

Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) - Aberlady (above) and Musselburgh (below)

There doesn't seem to be as many seaducks offshore at Musselburgh as there usually are and most are very distant. This Velvet Scoter was the only duck I saw close enough for a decent shot.

Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca) - Musselburgh, Lothian

In the middle of the month, I took a trip over to Linlithgow Loch to see the female Smew which is overwintering there. Unfortunately it was frequenting the wrong side of the loch and was in bad light the entire time I was there.

Female Smew (Mergellus albellus)

On the other side of the loch the light was perfect and I spent a few happy hours photographing the common stuff...

Male Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Male Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Female Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

male Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

female Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

One of the female Tufted Ducks had a white undertail. This is an uncommon, but well documented, plumage variation in female Tufted's.

female Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

A pair of Coots were sharing an intimate moment, and indulged in a spot of courtship preening...

Coot (Fulica atra)

Coot (Fulica atra)

The light was so good it even made the gulls look nice...

Coot (Fulica atra)

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

A couple of Tundra Bean Geese spent the latter half of the month in the middle of a large field next to Torness Power Station. They were, however, a bit too distant for a decent photo and I had to stack both my 1.4x and 2x converters onto the 600mm to get the shot below.

Tundra Bean Goose (Anser fabilis rossicus)

December 2005 2006 Diary Index February 2006