December 2021

There has been no real sign of winter weather yet. So far very few Bramblings have been seen. I went out for a walk one day to a spot where we had seen Bramblings one winter before. We did not see any, but lo and behold when we got back one appeared at the feeders in my garden. It stayed around most of the afternoon but has not been seen since. We sometimes get Collared Doves in the garden and they are very attractive birds. However, they are easy prey for any passing Sparrowhawk. A Lesser Redpoll came in on a few occasions and a few Long-tailed Tits.

I have mentioned Burghead lots of times here before and I realise how lucky we are to live so close to it. The Slavonian Grebe and Guillemot are still there. The Eiders are coming in to the harbour and can usually be found there at different times over the winter months. I have noticed a reduction of Shags and Cormorants there over the last few years. I am not sure if this is unusual or just a general trend round the coast. The Herring Gulls usually hang around the fishing boats when they arrive in the harbour but on one occasion when I was there someone emptied their left over bread into the harbour and it was quite spectacular when seized upon by the gulls.

The highlight of the month and indeed a good end to the year was a Little Auk in the harbour. This was the first time I had actually seen one but it did not hang around for long.

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