Monday, August 3, 2009
mA completely different day with warm sunshine and blue skies until cloud began to build in the late afternoon in advance of the impending weather front.
An initial seawatch showed plenty of birds to be around , but doubtless all were on feeding movements. Shags, Gannets, Manx Shearwaters , Fulmar and Auks were all in evidence and a noticeable movement northwards of Kittiwakes. My guess is that these were also returning to their breeding colony, perhaps some from Sanaigmore cliffs, after feeding off The Oa.
Moving northwards a single Merlin moved south in a determined fashion over an expanse of farmland. Outer Loch Indaal carried virtually no birds at all. Somehow I'd got the tide times wrong so, once I arrived at the Inner Loch, the birds were way out on the mud besides vision being distorted by glare and heat haze. Nonetheless a few birds were seen. Flocks of waders were around and identified with patience ( Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Bar-tailed Godwit ), a Red-throated Diver flew over and a couple of Northern Wheatear were on the edge of the beach. All of the Shelduck present recently appear to have moved away, presumably to moulting grounds.
Over to Loch Gruinart where the same waders species were in evidence but also 4 Greenshank and Turnstone. By contast 38 Shelduck were present on one of the sand bars. Overall on the Rinns I'd counted around 530 Grey lag Geese with the majority being on the RSPB Loch Gruinart Reserve on newly sown pasture!! The build up has started this week and seems a little earlier than in previous years, but the food source may have been the attraction.
A "purple patch" at home on my return showed various species to be around the garden which suggested birds were on the move ( Sedge Warbler, Willow Warblers (3), Whinchat, plus young Reed Bunting, Stonechat and Song Thrush that were presumed to be more locally bred.).