Saturday 22 February 2014

Quick stop at Echna

Had a quick stop at Echna on the way back from town this afternoon. Couldn't stay for too long as some of the shopping needed to get into the freezer.

Echan Bay had calmed down quite a bit from when I passed through this morning, the sea was relatively flat compared to the rolling waves that were present earlier.

As soon as I lowered the car window you could hear the Long-tailed Ducks calling and a scan of the water with the bins gave me a count of 12. The only other ducks I spotted out on the sea were a pair of Eider. No sign of any of the Scoters that have been around recently but I may need to do a better scan with the scope to find them.

Also out on the sea were two Great Black-backed Gulls.

There was a count of 43 Fulmars either on or flying by the low cliffs on the North side of the bay. Below the cliffs on the tide line were 17 Oystercatchers and a single Lapwing. These had moved round the beach from their roadside position of this morning.

Flying in from Scapa Flow were 10 Greylag Geese who ended up on Echna Loch. A Grey Heron flew from below the cliffs on the North side of the bay across to South side of the bay, presumably finding it a bit more sheltered from the wind in its new location.

Echan Loch itself was fairly quiet. Apart from the Greylags, of which there were another 30+ in one of the fields between the loch and the main road there were a few Common Gulls and some Wigeon.

So not a great deal to report but this was my first birding session on patch, albeit a brief one, since the 18 Jan !!

An added bonus came once I got home and was unloading the car in the form of a female Hen Harrier which flew up our track and spent about five minutes quartering part of our land.


  1. Oooh, Hen Harrier on the garden list, tremendous Dave!

  2. Not the first time I've had Hen Harrier around here Seumus but usually it is a male bird so nice to see a female for a change. Still no sign of any Short-eared Owls yet.