Wednesday 1 February 2017

Largo Bay and around

Early one morning last week whilst I was playing carer I managed to sneak out to Ruddon's Point on Largo Bay. I always try and pay a visit when I am up here, it is one of the best places I have ever birded and is simply consistently excellent. I swear I've seen the same drake Surf Scoter here for about six years on the trot now. Not this year though, as I didn't have a scope as I did not anticipate doing any birding on this visit. Largo Bay being vast this was rather limiting, but with perseverance  I still came away with some nice birds including Red-throated Diver and Long-tailed Duck amongst the Common Scoter and Eider.

It is a totally wonderful spot and in contrast to the previous day at Loch Leven the weather was glorious, including the sunrise. There is something about the sun rising.....ok ok, I won't start all that. Anyway, I had the place to myself and didn't see a single person for the entire time I was there - given where I usually bird this was utterly fantastic, a real treat. Unlike many birders I am not socially inept, but I do prefer not having to talk to people for that brief amount of time I am out and about. I do enough being polite and talkative for many hours per day, a break is good now and again.

The tide was right out, which probably did not help my birding cause. I didn't feel confident picking my out to the edge of the rocks; the last thing my wider family needs right now is yet another fracture or break. Instead I observed from the reassuringly solid grass and sand, getting nice enough views of Redshank, Turnstone and Oystercatcher doing what they do, whilst Reed Buntings, and Rock and Meadow Pipits fluttered around inland. The Surfie was surely out there somewhere, but I expect I shall be back up here soon enough and now that I know I can nip out I'll bring a scope and see if I can pick it up. Meanwhile I enjoyed the views and the sound of the sea, the Bass Rock visible from behind Elie, and some distant villages near North Berwick visible on the other side of the Forth, whilst sea duck flew back and forth and the sky gradually grew brighter.

I had not planned to be up in Scotland until much later this year, but despite the circumstances it is good to have seen a few decent winter birds that I would not have seen down south. I've added a new bird to the Scotland list I don't keep, and I also added a couple of birds to my alternative garden list up here. I do keep this one, but I've written quite enough already and so this can wait until next time.

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