Sunday 26 March 2023

Sunday 26th March

A lovely day of bright sunny, quite warm weather – most appropriate given that we put the clocks on to British Summer Time last night.

The Nature Scotland team sent in some additional records for yesterday 25th March:

Loch Gorm - 20+ Tufted Ducks and 2 Slav Grebes.

Loch Indaal (scanning from Bowmore) – apart from the female Surf Scoter reported yesterday were a Black-throated Diver, 30+ Great Northern Divers, 15+ Red-throated Divers, 50+ Red-breasted Mergansers, 30+ Slavonian Grebes, 1 Little Grebe, 6 Long-tailed Ducks, 8 Goldeneye. 130+ Eider.

Kintra - 5 Long-tailed Ducks, 15 Great Northern Divers.

Other news from yesterday comes from Fiona Mcgillivray who saw a House Martin at Port Wemyss – first for the year here.

Today’s bird news includes some very spring-like records of new arrivals, nesting and migration:

Summer Arrivals: Jarred Johnson had a Wheatear at Gruinart this morning and no less than 8 at Ardnave this afternoon. Along the woodland trail at Gruinary he heard the first Chiffchaff of summer on Islay – or was David Dinsley’s 2 Chiffchaffs at Kinnabus the first? Jarred also had a Sand Martin at Ardnave.

Migration: there were several flocks of Whooper Swans moving through today on their return journey northwards. Jarred first had a group of 8 at Gruinart, then a flock of 62 dropped in. Steve & Lynn Rogers had 53 over Kilnaughton. James How notes that by the evening there had been several groups of whoopers moving north at Gruinart today, the largest flock being a whopping 96. Also on their way north were 10 Redwings seen by Jarred at Gruinart.

Nesting: Ed Burrell notes his first Lapwing incubating eggs at Cornabus this evening.

Other Stuff: There were the usual 4 Little Egrets at Gruinart where up to 4 White-tailed Eagles and a Golden Eagle were noted. 3 more WTE were at Cairnmore woods near Port Ellen and yet another down at Lossit/Kelsey area. Rarity of the day was another relocation of the long-staying Red-breasted Goose by Mark Shield up at the Gruinart North Hide.

Non-Avian: the sunny summer theme continues with sightings of 4 basking Adders at Foreland, Common Lizards at Glenegedale and Peacock, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies hither and thither.

Corrections; Regarding yesterday’s note about duck hybrids, Malcolm Ogilvie clarifies and corrects my note saying: “hybrids of 121 species of ducks have been recorded, some species with just one hybrid, while Mallard has hybridised with over 60 other species. The total number of duck hybrids known amounts to over 400. One obvious reason for this is that wildfowl have for long been kept in enclosures with multiple species in a single enclosure. Perhaps fortunately, the great majority of hybrids are infertile!"


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