Monday, April 27, 2009

Somewhat of an anticlimax!

A pleasant day following a period of quite heavy rain overnight. Light winds and plenty of sunshine. Again Northern Wheatears noted in numbers throughout the Rinns including one fine male "Greenland" type
Seawatching to commence with produced a steady passage of Kittiwakes north, languid processions of Gannets north and south, a few Manx Shearwaters north and a group of Whimbrel arriving and then resting on the rocks off the SW shore. The hoped for skuas were missed or by passed us completely!!
Travelling up the Rinns another pair of Common Sandpiper was found, the first Mallard ducklings of the spring seen and a group of seven Black-tailed Godwit at Easter Ellister.

A running total of Great Northern Divers for both the Outer and Inner loch Indaal area eventually reached 27, but strangely with no Red -throated encountered! At the head of Loch Indaal a restless flock of ca.90 Black-tailed Godwit, all in resplendent summer plumage, and a quite separate loose flock of Bar-tailed Godwit, in winter plumage still, were in evidence but an extremely low tide meant most waders were at a considerable distance out from the shore. Ten Whimbrel flew around, adjusted and went off nortwards and a further four other rested up at Uiskentuie. The remnant flock of ca.65 Greater Scaup were still around and a total of 24 White Wagtail was noted in the Crosshouses area. A number of Black-headed and Common Gulls wheeled and swooped in the manner of terns near Bridgend providing a trap for the unwary or inexperienced, although later a single Sandich Tern was north of Bruichladdich. Some nice pairs and small groups of Red-breasted Merganser, similarly Eider, were scattered around but the loch is begining to lose its volume of birds as the breeding season advances.

At the RSPB Gruinart Reserve an intensive search for the two waders seen yesterday proved unsuccessful. However the Corncrake called as persistently as ever , the Barnacle Geese, single Pink-foot, and a small flock of Greenland White-fronted Geese were around, a flock of "Northern" Golden Plover sped nortrhwards and a male Blackap conveniently showed itself. As a further example of time and events inexorably moving forward, Michal Sur reached the ripe old age of 31 (!) providing a fine excuse for the magnificent chocolate cake produced by Sally How celebrating that event! A more than adequate compensation for the disappointment of vanishing waders!!

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