Thursday, 25 May 2017

23rd and 24th May

Nice and sunny with a fresh westerly breeze but it was hard work out in the field as it seemed that few new birds were out there to be found; all that changed in the space of ten minutes late afternoon though when first a lovely female Red-necked Phalarope appeared on Gretchen Loch and then, shortly afterwards, a cracking diminutive Temminck’s Stint dropped in to land on the same loch!   The Stint is not surprisingly much rarer than the Phalarope with only nine previous records.

                A full summer plumaged Ruff also appeared on Hooking while other waders were still present in high numbers including 60 Knot, 223 Sanderling, 26 Purple Sandpipers, 105 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel and 426 Turnstone.   The Black-throated Diver was still in Nouster along with 4 Great-northern Divers and 3 Red-throated Divers while a Common Tern was noted amongst 858 Arctic Terns who are busy displaying and setting up territories and 19 Lesser Black-backed Gulls in a recently ploughed field was the year’s high count so far.

                Landbirds were quieter as migrants comprised 2 Woodpigeons, a Collared Dove, a Short-eared Owl, 12 House Martins, 10 singing Sedge Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaff and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.

Baby Starlings by the bucket load are now starting to appear,  photo Simon Davies

                A slower day on the 24th with mist and murk coming and going throughout the day; waders showed some slight increases including 298 Sanderling, 40 Purple Sandpipers, 118 Dunlin, 102 Knot, 700 Turnstone and the Ruff still with the Black-throated Diver still present among 24 Great-northern Divers and 9 Red-throated Divers counted on flat calm seas.

                Other birds included a Collared Dove, a Short-eared Owl, 6 Sand Martin, 9 House Martins, 11 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler trapped at Holland, a Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Spotted Flycatchers and a lingering Chaffinch.

We've made a few wader catching attempts with Dunlin and Oystercatcher among the captures,  photos Simon Davies

There are also many goslings running around now and inevitably some of them get separated and have to be gently guided back towards their parents!

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