Friday, July 24, 2009

Wader passage increases.

With little happening over the sea I decided to follow a route that took in Loch Indaal and then passed by some of the conifer plantings on the island in the hope of finding some crossbills. That part of the mission failed completely so will have to repeat the approach later!

Oystercatcher and Curlew numbers are begining to increase on Loch Indaal with the paler juveniles of the latter being noticeable, their bill length being significantly shorter too. Ringed Plover seem to have flocked, but I suspect the majority are local birds. A few groups of Dunlin were present, with the majority still in summer plumage and showing off their black bellies. Best of all was a single adult Sanderling, still in summer plumage and an absolutely stunning bird.

Whilst the majority were well offshore 27 Shelduck, with the majority being juveniles, was welcome news as it's a species ( like Eider ) that doesn't appear to enjoy the highest breeding success on Islay. Both Arctic Terns and Little Terns were at the head of the loch, seven of the latter being a good number!

Later, whilst checking out butterflies along the "Glen Road" two distant adult Golden Eagles were sailing high over the tops of the distant hills, a good contextual sighting!!! Later, and whilst gossiping about a possible past Common Rosefinch record, a Corncrake called from a nearby field west of the RSPB Gruinart Reserve.

Our passerine summer visitors are begining to deplete. During the morning, as expected, several sightings of Willow Warbler, all young birds were seen flitting along fence lines in the very south west of the island. Northern Wheatear numbers appear quite low now compared to previously although still widely present.

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