Thursday, April 24, 2008

23rd April, 2008.

A drastic change in the weather brought light winds, sunshine and warmth to such an extent that I had both Green-veined White and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies during the day, the first for the year. For once birds could actually be heard singing as opposed to everything being subdued by the wind!!!

A very obvious fall of Wheatears throughout the whole of the recording area in the morning with numbers even increasing in the late afternoon. Odd numbers of Whimbrel passing northwards again with a group of 12 feeding at the head of Loch Indaal, as was a Common Sandpiper alongside one of the nearby streams. Strangely, and despite searching extensively, few other summer migrants were in eveidence other than Willow Warbler numbers having increased with singing birds now being heard quite widely.

Good numbers of feeding Gannets (150+ ) off the SW in the morning but little else of note. A routine "sweep" of various lochs found a Greenshank, Goldeneye and, at Loch Gruinart, 51 Black-tailed Godwits on the RSPB reserve. 67 Barnacle Geese out on the merse had apparently arrived from on high, quite literally, the previous evening and were now resting before setting out on the next leg of their migration northwards. Various people keep commenting about the numbers of Goldfinch visiting their feeders and it seems apparent that we're probably in the midst of their arrival back from wintering further south and generally filtering through.

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