Tuesday 2 January 2024

Tuesday 2nd January

The weather went back to damp and dreary for much of the time as portrayed by Phil Edwards:

"A quieter and slower day today.  Woke to wind and rain again and thought there’s only so much bad weather a birding holiday can take, so turned over and went back to sleep.  When we did venture forth at c. 11.30 things were a bit brighter and there were plenty of geese at Ballinaby.  Glenda (why Glenda?) was still absent from Uiskentuie but there were 2m and 1f Eider offshore.  We stopped at various points around the top of Loch Indaal but our main focus was to try and see Calum’s Scaup at Bowmore.  We caught up with six of them (2m, 2 imm m, 2f) in a raft of 178 Common Scoter with 4 Slavonian Grebes also present.  There were 6m Goldeneye around, one close into shore (photo), with 5m and 3f Red-breasted Merganser and three Great Northern Diver.  A flock of c. 100 Dunlin flew south over the Loch.  We also walked out to the end of Bowmore Pier where a GND was in close (photo) and a Rock Pipit was foraging on the fishing boats (photo).  We checked out Loch Skerrols where there were 15 Tufties and a female Goldeneye; then to the Woollen Mill where there were 1m 1f Siskin, but a walk in the woods produced nothing but a Woodpigeon."

Other bird news came from Clive McKay who diligently counted Bar-tailed Godwits roosting at high tide along the western shores of Loch Gruinart. He was understandably surprised to arrive at a figure of 970. This is the highest count ever (there was a count of 650 in 2017, then 863 on the recent WeBS count on 15th December 2023).

(It is also noteworthy that Phil's Spotted Redshank seen yesterday was a very good find as Jim Dickson informs us that there were none seen in Argyll at all in 2023).

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