Wednesday 3 January 2024

Wednesday 3rd January

Yet another fairly grey and rainy day, with just a couple of visiting birders doing the rounds:

Phil Edwards reports thus: "Rain and wind meant another lazy morning, but when we opened the bedroom blinds around 10.00 there were two Golden Eagles hanging over the hill at Smaull, close to the cottage.  Nice start! We finally made a move at midday and had lunch in the South Hide at the RSPB reserve where a male Peregrine was playing havoc with the waders – some 1,200+ Lapwing, 1,500+ Golden Plover, and 60 Ringed Plover being airborne at once.  Also c.400 Common Gulls which is the most I have ever seen.  Also present among the ducks were 2 ad 4 imm Whooper Swans, 2 Little Egrets and three Roe Deer.  We had just left the hide when all the ducks and previously unseen geese flushed and of course a White-tailed Eagle was flying close by!  Rushed back into the hide where we were able to watch it be joined by a second bird and both then engaged in three bouts of talon-grappling – very nice.  From there we headed to Machir Bay and while on the way encountered two Golden Eagles over Sunderland Farm on the south shore of Loch Gorm – presumed to be the same pair we had seen first thing this morning.  Having braved heavy rain while walking Machir Bay at sunset, we had two Chough and then unexpectedly encountered the 2CY Glaucous Gull standing on the northern end of the beach with 3 GBBG, c.60 Common Gulls, and 47 Oystercatchers.It flew off around the headland heading for Saligo Bay".

Kevin McCormick, newly arrived, sent in his first report: "First I was in Bowmore and had the scope out across Loch Indaal. Nice close in views of a pair of Long-tailed Duck, male Goldeneye and a Great Northern Diver. A Kingfisher by the distillery rocks too. Further out, a small raft of Eider, a larger raft of Common Scoter (150+ birds) plus 4 Scaup, 3 Slav Grebes, a few Black Guillemot and several pairs of Red-breasted Merganser. At Carnain I had a sparrowhawk - plus at least 13 light-bellied Brent Geese in with Shelduck. Over at Machir Bay/ Kilchoman - 1 Golden Eagle + 2 Raven, a Buzzard and 32 Ringed Plover".

His Kingfisher is the first for a while, and in a slightly different location as most are seen up at Bridgend where the River Sorn flows into Loch Indaal.

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