Saturday, 18 April 2015

16th to 18th April

With wall to wall sunshine (well almost) and no wind, the last few days have been rather pleasant so we've even had our meals outside and there's even been talk of Barbeques!! Despite the lack of easterlies, the birds have started to arrive and though there were no real highlights from the 16th, the next day saw a Grey Wagtail (scarce on North Ron) at the Beacon among an arrival of some 82 Wheatears. There was also the first Willow Warbler of the year in Holland gardens, 2 Jackdaws, a Carrion Crow and 16 Snow Buntings on 17th. There was an early start that day for the annual Tystie census and 653 birds were counted with the calm seas also revealing 10 Great Northern Divers and 16 Red-breasted Mergansers. That theme continued into the 18th when a locally rare Black-throated Diver was found off the north end of the Links and 18 Great Northern Divers were visible. A Common Buzzard (equally rare) then flew south, with at least 2 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel also recorded. The first 3 Sand Martins came in off the sea at the links (during time spent scrutinising the BTD for something rarer!), the first Ring Ouzel was at the Mill, a Brambling flew over, there were at least 5 Chiffchaffs and a few more Swallows have been seen plus a Carrion Crow and 2 Collared Doves. Old favourites during the 3 day period have included up to 2 Glaucous Gulls, the Tundra Bean GooseGreenland White-fronted Goose, 5 Pink-footed Geese (on 18th), the 7 Barnacle Geese and the 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were seen again on the latter two dates.

Black Guillemot (photo by Molly Laban)
Merlin (photo by Molly Laban)
 

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