A bit of a mixed day weatherwise but generally acceptable!!
A couple of small parties of "Greenland" Wheatears near home, all females as far as I could establish, showed migration still to be in full swing. Suddenly too, Swallows appear to be in increased numbers and generally distributed. On Loch Indaal a flock of around 80 Bar-tailed Godwits , all still in winter plumage, were avidly feeding prior to continuing on migration and a party of Whimbrel in nearby fields showed their passage still to be continuing and vocal Arctic Terns moved mechanically to and fro along the shore.
At the RSPB Reserve at Gruinart the Wood Sandpiper was still present along with a number of resplendent male Shoveler, several Wigeon , both males and females, and at least three male Gadwall. Several adult Grey Heron hunted over the pools and periodically departed back to their nest areas. Throughout a Corncrake called incessantly as if spurred on by the occasional rain showers.
As I returned home two Cuckoo erupted from the garden followed, soon after,, by the wonderful bubbling call of the female bird. Later news that at least four Corncrake ae now in the general vicinity of the village which suggests birds have arrived in the last few days.
May I take this opportunity to make mention of the American Birding Association. At the beginning of the year I renewed a previous membership which, for whatever reason, went astray. On querying what happened I received a personal E-mail from the new President, Jeff Gordon, putting things right and passing on good wishes. May I simply say that it's a great organization and if you're interested in American birds then join! Regular magazines , occasional conventions, a regular Newsletter and an infrastructure that is geared to support birders and with a good web site. Follow it through!!
May I also draw your attention to a critique ( bit of a rant I suppose ) that I've put on one of my other Blogs ( Conservation Concerns.....see the link opposite or http://www.conservationconcerns.blogspot.com/ ) that deals with Scottish sporting estates and raptor persecution, as dealt with in a recent BBC TV documentary. Blood boiling stuff!