In like a Lion, out like a Lamb, so bad news for Wildebeests at the beginning of the month but mint growers can expect bumpers sales of their excellent sauce before the traditional moist April gets underway. March is a month that can be ‘right mardy’ as they say at home, that means you never know whether it will be naughty or nice, weather-wise. The first few days were on the naughty side with crap birding weather, then we had a brief hiatus before a southerly system brought wet, but mild weather. And it is still only the 8th day of the month!
We had to visit the big shops a couple of days ago and so took the opportunity to search for the two semi-exotic goose guests that have been around Yarmouth all year now, the Pink-footed and the Greater White-fronted Geese. Our initial searching was fruitless but then it is March and a bit early for even GM apples. We eventually tracked them down at the back of the old mill on Water Street. The views were OK, the photo op average.
Earlier we’d searched for the two male Barrow’s Goldeneyes in the harbour. No luck, they might have pushed off, but we did get nice looks at a bunch of Surf Scoter, never managed a decent shot of this species.
The next day our regular yard Merlin made itself inconspicuous by hiding in plain sight! It didn’t work.
Over the course of the winter I’ve adopted a little spot at Swimm Point, Cap Sable Island, Mostly because it is a convenient spot to sit in bad weather and just see what flies in. Now that the gulls are reducing in number and variety interest turns to anything else. There has been a regular bunch of Greater Scaup there, known as bluebills locally, and in with them, two Lesser Scaup. Here is a bit of a panorama shot and a couple of Lesser Scaup images. Not great.
The same spot has just started attracting Brant, I still call them Brent Geese, right into the bay. One bird was banded but I could not get any detail, even with photoshop manipulation, not even a number of any sort.
At nearby West Head, CSI, this Thick-billed Murre hung off the end of the breakwater on 3/7, it might well be one seen at the end of February although, given the abundance of Great Black-backed Gulls, maybe not. Does anyone know why Black Guillemots openly consort with the murre chomping gulls and come away unscathed when the murres and the Dovekies always seem to end up as an entree? Never seen that happen to a Razorbill though, perhaps because they are so heavily armed.