Tuesday 26 March 2024

Tuesday 26th March

A surprisingly pleasant day - a cold easterly wind, but bright and sunny, though becoming cloudy with stronger winds by evening.

Mike Dilger was at RSPB The Oa this morning and enjoyed the Twite on the feeders at the car park - 17 in total. Back up this way he found a Wheatear on the shoreline north of Bruichladdich and this afternoon scored three diver species at Sanaigmore - just singles of RTD and BTD with several GND.

I wax out this morning at Gruinart with Roger Broad looking for the Red-breasted Goose. We had glorious views of many thousands of Barnacle Geese, but the RBG eluded us. Up at Ardnave Loch there were 12 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldeneye, 3 Canada Geese and 5 Whooper Swans and on the floods, the Lapwings and other waders were very active.

Back at Bruichladdich for lunch it was great to see a very low-flying line of 33 Whooper Swans heading north up Loch Indaal past the house, while David Wood had a further 55 Whoopers on Loch Kinnabus.

Roger went out again this afternoon and connected with Red-breasted Goose albeit briefly, close to the RSPB Visitor Centre. In that area he also had 2 Little Egrets and 200 Bar-tailed Godwits. Out on the flats were 80 Pintail that had been flushed off the reserve floods. On his way back he found 6 Purple Sandpipers in the usual spot opposite the minimarket at Bruichladdich.

Apart from the birds, we were delighted to see a family of Otters (female plus two cubs) on the rocks just outside the house at Bruichladdich this morning. Gary T. saw them a little bit later and Fiona McGillivray confirmed that this was a family that she had been watching via a trail camera on the little  freshwater pools just south of Bruichladdich all this week, where they have been catching and eating frogs.

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