18th-22nd May

 It's been another good period of birds with plenty to get stuck into and good numbers of migrants, the winds haven't really deviated away from easterlies, which we can't complain about! 

The 18th started in fine fashion with a male Red-backed Shrike trapped in Holland, it was very quickly followed by a Golden Oriole, also trapped in Holland, a male Bluethroat was discovered in the irises near Scottigar. The day finished with a Black-throated Diver in Nouster and a pair of Common Scoter off the Links.

The 19th was the quietest of the days with just Red-backed Shrikes to keep staff going, the following day saw a brief period where all hell broke loose, the morning was once again smattered with Red-backed Shrikes. This was all interrupted by the first Short-toed Lark of the year in the field just south of Lurand. A Little Gull that bombed around Gretchen, Nouster and Loch Park then followed the first Hobby of the year which circled over Gue Park before departing high to the south, all this took place before mid-day. Twenty minutes later a Wood Warbler trapped at Ancum was a welcome addition to the day list. Red-backed Shrikes continued as the day went on giving a day total of eight.

Three Red-backed Shrikes trapped on the morning of 21st was a very strong start, this took the running total to nine birds ringed over the spring. A smart male Ruff was present for its second day on Garso and the second Yellow Wagtail of the year was seen near Hooking mid-afternoon. An Icterine Warbler quickly followed and late evening birding turned up an unseasonal Brambling at Purtabreck, the first Little Stint of 2024 at Ancum and the second Quail of the year was flushed from cover at Sandar.

The morning of the 22nd started with a female Bluethroat at the nets in Holland but it was dominated by a cruise ship landing so staff time was taken up with guided walks, these proved fruitful with a further three Red-backed Shrikes (all females) seen on various walks, the Ruff was also present at Garso. The most frustrating moment of the year then occurred as an odd looking Bunting giving two toned calls was seen on the wires near Holland, it quickly vanished without giving adequate views and we ultimately failed to relocate it. During all this Marsh Warbler was discovered at Ancum where it eventually bundled into a net. The afternoon was once again dominated by Shrikes of the Red-backed variety, at the very least 12 were seen throughout the afternoon but the actual number is likely to be higher. 

                                    Red-spotted Bluethroat - GG
                                   another photo of a Red-backed Shrike - GG
                                    Little Gull - GG
                                    Golden Oriole - Craig Forsyth
                                   a rubbish photo of a Short-toed Lark - GG