Friday 24 March 2023

Friday 24th March


A much drier, warmer and sunnier morning than forecast gave way to more cloud and occasional rain in the afternoon. Winds continues from a southerly direction.

Summer migrants still seem to be very late, but there was our second Wheatear of the season seen by Lucy Atkinson at Port an Eas this morning and Ewan Miles, Theo De Clermont and Jack Waldie from Nature Scotland had our first 2 Sand Martins of the year up at Ardnave Loch along with another couple of Wheatears. They also saw the American Wigeon on Loch Gorm again today, after its “rediscovery” yesterday, while Marc Eden “rediscovered” the long-staying female Surf Scoter with 15 Common Scoter off Bowmore.

Later, the Nature Scotland team spent a couple of hours checking through all the Barnacle Geese around Gruinart / Craigens and found a lone Pale Bellied Brent Goose but no Red-breasted Goose. They found a near summer-plumaged Black-tailed Godwit on the Gruinart reserve and also c31 Knot, c28 Dunlin, 17+ Bar-tailed Godwits. They also found the juv Glaucous Gull back close to its usual haunts just east of Blackrock on Loch Indaal.

I did a walk to the Iron Age fort at Dunosebridge – just to be out in the open in case one of the mythical Alpine Swifts might zoom past - but none did – (there were sightings yesterday on Rathlin Island to our south and Oban to the north). However, there was another lone Brent Goose with a big flock of Barnacles up at Neriby. A drive along the Glen Road and a walk out to Ballygrant Loch didn’t produce any further summer migrants, but it was a lovely sunny morning to be out.

Back at Port Charlotte in the early afternoon there was a fair bit of feeding activity concentrated just off the pier attracting 34 Red-breasted Mergansers, a couple of Eider, 1 Black-throated and 3 Red-throated Divers, a couple of Guillemots and at least 10 Razorbills.


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