Thursday, 5 July 2018

Thursday 5th July

George E Jackson and his wife Pat are back over to enjoy our great weather again... Shortly after their arrival on Sunday, they had a male Hen harrier out hunting at Rockside, and then around 5 minutes later they had a ringtail, as George commented " probably a pair hunting separately",  out over the same stretch along the burn. Later on on Sunday and on Monday, they had a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds with a large number of starlings< Jackdaws and Rooks swirling around in the air, net result, their car, their son's house, decking and windows all plastered with their droppings...They had a single young Whinchat and also 2 young Pied Wagtail seen on the garden fence for a while too.  Pat had seen 4 young Wheatear at Machir Bay on Tuesday am while a walk there in the evening gave George counted 18 Oystercatcher on the beach with another 22 up behind the beach.  9 Curlew, 2 Dunlin and 5 Chough flew over. On the field beside the car park, 2 Lapwing and 3 Linnet were present with a Sedge Warbler heard calling up on the reed bed. On Wednesday, the Starlings had reappeared , so all the cleaning from their previous visit had been a bit of a waste of time!!!A walk down at The Machrie Hotel along the Big Strand produced a small mixed flock of Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover with also 25 eider loafing on the shore. 
This morning we saw a male Hen Harrier at Ballinaby, George counted 41 Chough down at Machir Bay. He came up for a catch up around midday and so we quickly set the mist nets  to see if we could catch anything... the obvious answer was yes, no trouble at all. Net result, after a short session of around 5  hours, we or rather George and Pat had rung 55 birds and also 4 retraps from previous sessions. We had 37 House Sparrows, a Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, 10 Chaffinch, a Starling a Redpoll, and also 6 Siskin. Not bad going??? While we were almost finishing off, we saw 3 Peregrine screaming around, high up over the big crag, and we had also seen 3 Fulmars gliding along the front of the crag earlier on, mid afternoon.

A great time enjoyed by us all, thanks to George and Pat, sharing their knowledge and being very patient too...

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