Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dawn of a new year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Bright lifts the light of dawn,
And kindles in the breast of all,
Hope that what lies ahead
Is better than before

Airigh Sgallaidh, Jan. 2011.

The day proved fine, but cold in the NNE wind, and cloud soon moved in. A trawl around the coast showed little over the sea, but the 2nd calendar year Glaucous Gull was eventually located, seemingly enjoying dive bombing a couple of Hooded Crows nearby! Odd Curlew and a flock of 35 Lapwing suggested the first half of winter, at least, was over and birds were moving back already. Such can be a bit of a see-saw process if bad weather returns!

Outer Loch Indaal held very little and, overall,even adding in birds within the Inner Loch , numbers of Great Northern and Red-throated Divers were low. Slowly moving north around the loch, which was to take the whole day, but provide some good birding, the variety of birds soon mounted.....Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Eider, Goldeneye, Long-tailed Duck, Wigeon, Greater Scaup, Pintail, Mallard, Teal, Shelduck, Slavonian Grebe, Mute Swan and the various goose species, including Light-bellied Brent. Waders also were much evidence with Oystercatcher,
Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Grey Plover, Knot, Purple Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, and Dunlin.

As I finally returned home, calling in at a small loch usually devoid of birds, proved to be a surprise, with Whooper Swan, good numbers of Mallard and Teal and a fine showing of Common Gull. Nearby a mixed feeding flock of titmice held Blue and Coal Tits , but also a party of Long-tailed Tit, all of which had obviously survived the rigours of the recent severe weather. All in all, a good day!!

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