Wednesday, April 21, 2010

20th April,2010.

The strong north wind had disrupted the Jura ferry and intended plans for the day had to be set aside. Doubtless the wind had also persuaded both passage Light-bellied Brent Geese and Whimbrel to take time out on Loch Indaal as opposed to battling their way northwards. A group of Whimbrel lifted from Loch Indaal and valiantly strove to make headway northwards before being swept back to the tideline.

A visit to various woodlands suggested little had arrived that was new , although Willow Warblers are now here in strength. It was good to see a pair of Long-tailed Tit and Bullfinch . but disappointing not to record Goldcrest in previously favoured areas, which suggests the winter has taken its toll. Wren numbers appear to be around 50% "down" compared to 2009 figures, but a repeat visit in slightly better weather conditions might yet see an improvement.

Loch Skerrols carried a good group of Shelduck which presumably had left the windswept merse and sandflats for this more protected haven. Many of them breed in secluded spots around the coverts hereabouts and birds can often be seen moving to and fro between Loch Indaal and this inland area. Loch Gruinart appeared to have nothing new, although I was surprised at the numbers of Barnacle Geese and Greenland White-fronted Geese both here and in other places, doubtless being held up now by the northerly winds. Later two or three flocks of "Northern" Golden Plover were seen and scrutinized for any accompanying Dotterel , but unsuccessfully!! A busy feeding group of "alba" wagtails comprised four Pied and 12 "White" showing passage to have increased, many of our local Pieds being on territory now.

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