FINDHORN BAY GOOSE WATCH

The Ringed Plovers are most numerous in the spring and to a lesser extent during the autumn migrations, occasionally rising to or more. Burghead Bay from Findhorn beach. The bay is also well known for its wildfowl. It is a spectacular, almost land-locked, tidal bay covering some six square kilometres. Where to watch birds o n Findhorn Bay. Much of it is very dependent on the tide, with the best times usually hours either side of low tide. Other waders breed locally and are present year-round including Oystercatchers and Curlew, although even these will drop in number slightly for a while in the summer.

Much of it is very dependent on the tide, with the best times usually hours either side of low tide. The sands on the southern end of the bay are a good area for waders just as the tide is receding. Richard Somers Cocks 6 September Like anywhere, the seasons vary for birdwatching and although the summer is fairly quiet as water-sport activities take over much of the bay, there can still be some good birdwatching available for anyone visiting the area. The channels of the Findhorn River in the south western corner are some of the hardest to get to but some of the birds that can be seen here include Little Grebe, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and on rare occasions Kingfisher and Little Egret. The point at the mouth of the Bay is also sometimes used as a high tide roost for the Dunlin and Ringed Plover during the spring. Apart from Mallard and Shelduck, that are present year-round and breed locally, most of the duck will not arrive until September.

Knot can also be quite numerous at times but their numbers fluctuate throughout the winter.

Apart from Mallard and Shelduck, that are present year-round and breed locally, most of the duck will not arrive until September. At low water the bay almost empties so the sand and mudflats provide a valuable source of food in the form of worms, crustaceans and molluscs.

Where to watch birds o n Findhorn Bay. Much of it is very dependent on the findborn, with the best times usually hours either side of low tide. As mentioned earlier, the summer is the quietest time of the year but it is also when one of the most spectacular birds is present — the Osprey.

The Black-throated always seem to keep fairly well off shore but the others will come in much closer and occasionally will even venture into Findhorn Bay. Wigeon are the most numerous and will typically reach in excess of though even this number is well down on the figures that were seen 20 years ago. Teal and Goldeneye will also be present all winter, but in smaller numbers.

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Recent records — Birds in Moray and Nairn

Also worth checking are the pools on the southern edge of the embankment — Green Sandpipers are occasionally seen here. Most of these species will stay out at sea, but a few will venture into the bay where close views can be obtained. Bar-tailed Godwits feed by the channels bah the northern central area. The last birds depart in late September for their migration to southern Europe and western Africa.

Greylag Geese are also present but in smaller numbers than formerly. Terns are also summer visitors, but these too do not breed in the Findhorn area. Whimbrel can sometimes be seen on the sands and grass near the watcg hide.

Findhorn Bay — Birds in Moray and Nairn

It is a spectacular, almost land-locked, tidal bay covering some six square kilometres. The bay is also well known for its wildfowl. The Golden Plover breed on the moors inland and by October their numbers in the bay often exceed Eiders can often be seen feeding off the mouth of the bay where there are large areas of mussel banks. Small numbers of Sanderling are often present with the Dunlin.

Recent records

These numbers drop as the winter progresses and many continue their migration to estuaries further waatch, but several thousand remain. The sands on the southern end of the bay are a good area for waders just as the tide is receding. When the huge flocks arrive, careful searching can occasionally reveal birds fidnhorn other goose species, such as Barnacle, Bean, White-fronted and Snow, accompanying them. Along the village foreshore a group of around 30 Turnstone can usually be seen in winter.

Findhorn East Dunes area. At the same time, or more Dunlin arrive forming spectacular flocks. These are probably best viewed from Findhorn village at lower water levels — as the tide fills the bay most of these duck findjorn move back to the southern end of the bay. The channels of the Findhorn River in the south western corner are some of the hardest to get to but some of the birds that can be seen here include Little Grebe, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and on rare occasions Kingfisher and Little Egret.

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From mid September onwards, large numbers of geese arrive from their summer breeding grounds in the Arctic regions. By contrast, only a handful of Pintail could be seen 10 years ago, but in the winter of there were regularly over and their numbers seem to be steadily increasing year after year.

They can be seen flying around the bay throughout the summer, with sometimes as many as ten or more fishing or perched on logs and posts in the bay.

Findhorn Bay

In summer it is a good area to watch Ospreys fishing. The channels running along the eastern half of the bay will usually have plenty of Goldeneye and Red-breasted Mergansers in winter. Large flocks of waders flying around the bay can also be a sign that there is a Peregrine hunting, which they do throughout the year.

On the fields near Netherton Farm there are often Lapwing, and Grey Partridge can sometimes be seen by the hedgerows. Long-tailed Ducks arrive offshore in October and at the same time scoters, both Common and Velvet, start to appear in good numbers. But by August several hundred of each can be seen. Other waders breed locally and are present year-round including Oystercatchers and Curlew, although even these will drop in bsy slightly for a while in the summer. Like anywhere, the seasons vary for birdwatching and although the summer is fairly quiet as water-sport activities take over much of the bay, there can still be some good birdwatching available for anyone visiting the area.

Red-throated, Black-throated and Great Northern. Burghead Bay from Findhorn beach.

Black-headed Gulls do not breed in the area, but outside the breeding season several hundred are present. Oystercatchers and Curlew will be widely scattered around the bay. However, even at higher water there are still some areas that are good particularly where the waders are roosting.

Black-tailed Godwits occasionally appear, particularly in the autumn, as they move to and from their breeding grounds in Iceland but Findhorn is too far north for them to stay over winter.

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