Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things on the move!

A rather mixed day , not for weather, but getting various things done. It resulted in a later than anticipated birding session around Loch Indaal and the southern part of the Rinns.

Northern Wheatears in different places on the Rinns suggested migrant birds. Willow Warblers are still in evidence as are mixed parties of Lesser Redpoll and Linnet. Mixed flocks of Herring Gull, LBBG, Common Gull and even the odd Black-headed Gull range recently cut silage fields, the vast majority, if not all, being adults.

Few birds were in the Outer Loch except odd gulls and a couple of parties of Gannet. The Inner Loch is beginning to take on some modest transformation with 60/70 Bar-tailed Godwits, a "tight" flock of Redshank that were undoubtedly on the move and increasing Oystercatcher numbers. Curlew and Ringed Plover were also present at various places but in no concentration. Surprisingly the godwits held no birds in summer plumage but already looked as they will do over the next several months!

A moulting flock of Red-breasted Merganser were offshore and a mixed flock of 15+ Common Scoter, which were more of a surprise. Dark hulks of moulting Eiders occupy favourite spots, an utter contrast to the pristine immaculate colours exhibited eventually by adult male birds! Odd Arctic Tern were still around but the vast majority appear to have gone. These , and Common and Black-headed Gulls too, sadly don't enjoy a great breeding success here most years and one wonders whether marauding Otters, Polecat Ferrets or even odd Mink ,( despite efforts to remove the latter), are responsible. Human disturbance in some areas doesn't help either!

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