Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - JOHN MILES

Pas a burgh in a char­ter signed by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1550, and is more fa­mous for its world­wide sales of mar­ble jew­ellery (ac­tu­ally ser­pen­tine rock) than its rare birds. But now even for­eign bird­ers are head­ing to this lit­tle vil­lage for sight­ing of the White-billed Divers that are reg­u­lar here in spring. It’s not a one-species vil­lage, though, as sea­watch­ing has turned up a great mix of Mo­ray Firth clas­sics. Port­soy pro­vides the main­land’s best chance to see White-billed Diver, once only seen in num­bers off the Isle of Lewis. Up to 14 seen from the shore is a record, with as many as 20-plus seen from a boat tour up to three miles off­shore. This has made the vil­lage a must each spring – I was amazed to bump into French bird­ers in 2015, pick­ing There is park­ing at sev­eral sites around the vil­lage. Look over the har­bour for your first birds.

1 2up such good­ies as King Eider and even Har­lequin Duck en route to this vil­lage. Long-tailed Ducks are of­ten found in good num­bers along with Eider, Gold­eneye and Com­mon Scoter. Gan­nets are al­ways pass­ing by from their breed­ing area to the east at Troup Head and species of terns like Sand­wich and Arc­tic Tern can at­tract pa­trolling skuas, with both Arc­tic and Great Skuas seen at this time of the year. Ar­eas for waders sur­round the vil­lage, such as Links Bay, with com­mon species like Red­shank, Ringed Plover, Curlew and Oys­ter­catcher, but the rocks can have both Turn­stone and Pur­ple Sand­piper. To the east of Links Bay is a Sand Martin colony, which can at­tract rap­tors such as Mer­lin and Spar­rowhawk for you to en­joy. OTHER WILDLIFE Bot­tlenosed Dol­phins in the Mo­ray Firth, plus Har­bour Por­poise

White-billed Diver

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.