This was really the first "free" day I'd had in 2015 without "other influences" attached so I set off with every intention of indulging every whim and idea that might result in good birds!! First of all I toured the new Patchwork patch and pulled in a number of routine species for this time of year ( Barnacle Goose , Greenland White-fronted Goose, Great Northern Diver ). Whilst I spent some time watching over the sea little was in evidence. Fulmars were back on territory, a few Shags offshore, but generally things were very quiet. A Sparrowhawk along the tip of the SW coast was unexpected.
Outer Loch Indaal produced a few more Great Northern Divers and a couple of pairs of Red-breasted Merganser. A couple of flocks of Grey lag Geese collectively numbered in excess of a hundred and, off Bruichladdich, a few Light -bellied Brent Geese picked at tide borne debris. A mixed group of Turnstone and Purple Sandpiper scuttled rapidly amongst the rocks and a few Cormorant and Shag sat out on offshore rocks.
The head of Loch Indaal had the usual Greater Scaup flock offshore, now in numbers that are a minute reflection of those occurring a few years ago. Red-breasted Merganser, Great Northern Diver, Shelduck, Wigeon, all present in increasingly restless onshore waters. And at various locations around the Inner Loch Barnacle Geese sat out the day having fed throughout last night under the moon. In late afternoon some departed to intended feeding locations whilst others remained, sleeping, preening or simply sitting out until the time arrived for departure. It occurred to me that things must get a bit complicated when cloudy conditions ( as then ) intervened the intended pattern of behaviour!
Despite checking out various hunches my return trip produced very little other than the satisfaction of having had a very good days birding.