Playing catch up with entries at the moment, until the 20th, for which apologies.
As mentioned yesterday this weekend had been designated for the second census of the winter for Light-bellied Brent Geese, for the monthly BTO waterfowl counts , but also for the International Census of Whooper and Bewick's Swans. We rarely get any of the latter anyway, and almost qualified as having the same status for Whooper as only two could be found. Normally there are a few remaining with us through the winter, but the severe weather appears to have encouraged them to leave!
Initially I'd checked the site where the Gyr had been seen , but without success, although it was seen later. I managed to complete a survey of Outer Loch Indaal, mainly for divers, but an increasing southerly wind saw conditions deteriorate and it will be necessary to repeat it. Up to that point I'd had 20 great northern diver and a small flock of Common Scoter. At a couple of places on the Rinns numbers of Redwing, Fieldfare and Starling were noticeable, their appearance certainly being a feature of recent days.
The Inner loch was also being affected by tidal swell , but a reasonable array of birds was to be seen. I actually got the impression bird numbers were increasing after apparent "lows" of the last few days. The Greater Scaup flock showed better numbers than yesterday but it appears to be "down" by almost 50% compared to the last few years. Recent days have seen quite high tides and some waders like Bar-tailed Godwit may be commuting between Loch Indaal and Gruinart, as quite a lag in tide times occurs. A visit to Loch Gruinart also produced a good selection of waders including two Greenshank with another mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare on adjacent fields and a good flock of Linnet.
Another good day, but with the weather eventually deteriorating and heavy showers coming in during the evening.