Monday, May 11, 2009

10th May,2009.

A major change in the weather with light WSW winds and, finally, some warm sun! The overnight conditions had seen new arrivals of summer migrants and the onshore wind ensured sea passage was improved.

A seawatch saw Manx Shearwaters (c.250) scudding south and around 100 Kittiwakes moving north. The usual processions of feeding Gannets and Auks were more in evidence too. Arctic Terns had finally arrived with one party and dispersed birds around and over 40 Red-throated Divers made their way north in eight different parties. Whimbrel were arriving high, most flying through and none in big parties. A party of 6 Greater Scaup flew south, wrong direction , wrong season!!! At last, a dark phase Arctic Skua put in an appearance and had local Common Gulls in uproar.

Over the day it was obvious increased numbers of some summer migrants had arrived (Swallow, Cuckoo, Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler ) and that Common Whitethroats had staked claims in a widespread fashion!! Three Greenland Wheatear were in the NW sector of the Rinns and, finally, Northern Wheatear numbers appear to have stabilised!

At Gruinart some nice Black-tailed Godwit were present , raising hopes , as has happened in recent springs to no avail, that they might remain to breed. A couple of small broods of Mallard and a few Teal were around, but Wigeon and Pintail appear to have left. A small number of Barnacle Geese are still presenr , as is a Whooper Swan, whilst on Loch Indaal odd Great Northern Divers remain.

A thoroughly enjoyable day and a respite that hopefully remains for a few days yet!

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