Wednesday, April 1, 2009

31st March,2009.

At last, a day of reasonable weather. Light SW winds, cloudy with even a short period of warming sun in the afternoon. Is winter now behind us?

A seawatch saw good numbers of Auks flying north, mainly in groups of 20/30 and probably totalling in the low hundreds. Light sea mist confused things a little!Surprisingly little else seemed to be on the move!

A full circle of the recording area saw around a hundred Grey lag Geese in evidence, many in pairs, so earlier comments need to be followed through. Greenland White-fronted Geese are to be found in small groups in all sorts of rough corners not used earlier in the winter, although Barnacle Geese are still mainly in the most regular areas. I had the distinct impression there was fewer around so some may have already departed northwards. Counts at the end of the week should give an insight into it all.

Finally , a count of divers on Loch Indaal revealed almost 70 Great Northern Divers, very few Red-throated Divers and no Black-throated. Groups of 6/7 of the former suggest them gathering together prior to moving, although they might also be ones gradually moving north and simply using this overall area as a collecting ground, much as the convoys did in the Second World War. A couple each of Slavonian Grebe and Long-tailed Duck seemed to be all that was left of their wintering populations, even Light bellied Brent Geese were in very low numbers ,unless some were tucked away somewhere.

Hopes of migrants were realised by a single Wheatear, an obvious increase in Pied Wagtails, but not as high as I have seen in the past, a small party of Twite and two Whooper Swans present at East Ellister spending time calling and preparing themselves prior to a noisy and spectacular "wheel around" before heading off on a NNW bearing as true as any one of us could have plotted!!!

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