Saturday, August 2, 2014

Birds on the move! 1.8.2014

If ever an updated edition of that excellent TV programme, Fawlty Towers , emerges I think they should add Broadband and WiFi facilities to the advice about not mentioning the war..........

Following a party of Siskin, all males, in the garden yesterday evening this morning showed further species to be on the move. Odd Willow Warblers have appeared over the past few days and more were present today, along with several Chaffinch, Blackbird, a family party of Song Thrush and a small group of House Martin flying straight through. The first real evidence in recent days of actual movement derived from the "bonus" of noticing anything new that appears given the isolation of the house and garden.

A seawatch provided little by comparison. Good numbers of Gannets were moving south on a feeding movement back to Ailsa Craig, and a string of Kittiwakes similarly moved south derived, one imagines, from the breeding colonies on Colonsay but to the north.  A group of around 15 Manx Shearwater fed in the mouth of Loch Indaal and that was it!!  The Outer Loch was virtually devoid of birds, a situation that will no doubt change quite significantly in the near future.

Moving on up the Rinns provided little that was new, although I was pleased to see several young Stonechat suggesting a good breeding season. A check around Loch Gorm to get some early indication of how Grey lag Geese had fared this season produced several small flocks, but no large total, although it's still a little early for the congregation of birds in that overall area. A walk alongside the loch showed numbers of Willow Warblers to be present in the dense shrubbery adjacent to the track, suggesting a mass exodus had not yet begun.

A gradual journey through the farmland of NW Islay produced more Stonechats, Whinchat, and several Wheatear, these latter birds possibly being migrants..  Sedge Warbler and a couple of Sand Martin showed them too to still be around. Parking up alongside a favourite patch of conifers for a late lunch provided further evidence some birds might already be on the move. Several Willow Warbers and 3/4 Chiffchaff, ( which were a surprise ), a group of Lesser Redpoll and a couple of Spotted Flycatcher fed around the edge of a plantation as well as numbers of Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

So, all in all, a suggestion that dispersion and autumn migration may have begun , but that there is more to follow.  When I got back home not a bird was in sight ..........