The intended long seawatch was frustrated by fog which enveloped the whole of the South Rinns until almost 0900hrs. Picnic breakfasts in a soggy atmosphere with little to occupy you have little attraction!! By contrast the "developing day" was probably the warmest this year so far and an absolute joy with birdsong and butterflies abounding!!!
Small groups/parties of Whimbrel, too numerous to mention, were on the move. I've never known them this obvious with possibly the largest numbers yet to move through. Arctic Terns are now obvious, with their calls echoing around the Inner Loch ( Indaal ), and with a group of around thirty resting together, giving the impression of having just arrived. A small party of Bar -tailed Godwit and, similarly, Black -tailed Godwit were on Loch Indaal.
Whitethroat is now beginning to arrive, with several in evidence, and Grasshopper Warbler and Sedge Warbler are increasing in numbers and distribution. Despite having been here for a while Willow Warblers are obviously still arriving, or moving through, with several seen in atypical spots or habitats, including the very centre of Bowmore!
The last of the wintering Scaup are still around with birds seen on Inner Loch Indaal. Three Pale bellied Brent Geese seen, presumably on their way northwards from Ireland given our wintering birds moved on some time ago. Good numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers are evident although the numbers of Eider are now begining to reduce as birds move on to breed.
At Gruinart the group of Black-tailed Godwit remains, raising hopes further that they might decide to breed! Similarly, all but one of the Wigeon males in evidence had no female present which suggests ( surely and hopefully!! ) that they are breeding!!!
Although there were various waders present at Loch Indaal numbers of everything, other than Oystercatcher, were low. At Gruinart a flock of at least 150 Dunlin flew off ( towards Indaal ) with around 40 returning later. From now on the turnover of waders will increase with numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover en route to their northern breeding grounds changing almost daily into early June.
For those who prefer to avoid midnight forays some consolation might be drawn from the fact that at least three Corncrakes were calling at Gruinart at 1340hrs this afternoon!!!