Friday, July 23, 2010

22nd July, 2010.

A much better,sunny day with a light northerly wind. The sea was rather quiet with a few Manx Shearwater south, Gannets and auks "tooing and froing" from feeding grounds, low numbers of Kittiwakes returning north and local Shag and Fulmar in evidence.

Outer Loch Indaal was serene and virtually empty of birds with only a few Common Gull around. Inner Loch Indaal contained its now accumulating Oystercatcher, Curlew and a few Lapwing and Redshank but was much disturbed by people walking over the exposed golden sands. Loch Gruinart displayed similar interest, but also held three Greenshank. Asleep at first, they then became extraordinarily active and fed voraciously, suggesting they may have been migrants.

Locally Pied Wagtail,Skylark and Meadow Pipit appear to have had a good season with 30+ of the latter on wires near home, which is good for this date. Northern Wheatears largely appear to have moved off , although some are still on the Rinns and an odd bird was at the head of Loch Indaal. A few juvenile Stonechat were in evidence at odd locations, doubtless a result of the reasonable summer and contradicting the pessimism expressed about their status in earlier times. Linnet, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Twite are also apparent, which is pleasing. So, probably a good breeding season which, hopefully, some of the more scientific assessments will confirm in due course!!

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