Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lothian - 3rd-5th February 2007.

2+ Killer Whales in the Firth of Forth prompted a hastily arranged birthday weekend in Edinburgh.

Above: Orca watchers.

Below: Part of the view of the Firth of Forth and Forth Railway Bridge from Carlingnose Point.

Though always distant, several good scope views of 1+ Orca were had in a 5hr vigil from Carlingnose Point, North Queensferry and also seen from South Queensferry. Sadly it proved impossible to get any images due to the brief time the Orca/s broke the surface, mostly showing just a back and fin, but on a few occsions it/they broke the surface sufficiently to show both the black and white colouration on the body. Pam and I both left the whales happy that it had been worth the trip up.

On the final day we made our way east along the coast to Dunbar, stopping off enroute first at Leith where ten Waxwing showed well.

Above: Waxwings at Leith nr Edinburgh.

A stop-off at Portabello seafront revealed good numbers of Velvet Scoter close in, with 30+ Long-tailed Duck further out and several Slavonian Grebe. These species were also noted at Gosford Bay, where three Red-necked Grebe were also offshore (low tide). The estimated Velvet Scoter total was c250, Slavs totalled 15+ and LTD's 60+. I didn't see a single identifiable Common Scoter!

Above: Velvet Scoters off Portabello.

The main target bird of the day was the long-staying 1stw Caspian Gull at Dunbar Harbour. However, a three hour vigil revealed no sign of the bird. 10 Eider, 2 Shag and a Kingfisher were noted.