Thursday, April 16, 2015

Solway's splendour. 21.3.2015

Out early in what was calm, cloudy, but bright conditions, with even a hint of improvement in the temperatures. Blue skies, broken cloud  and sunshine later was a real tonic despite the received warmth being a bit on the modest side of things. First stop was Carsethorn although, disappointingly, the tide was way out which rather limited the variety of things on offer. A few Oystercatcher, Dunlin and Teal were found but little else. Calling Greenfinches were a nice bonus given the low populations in recent years and a suggestion perhaps that they were finally increasing.  Southerness Point was something of a repeat and hastened my moving on to the RSPB Reserve at Mersehead.

I'd only ever paid brief visits to the reserve since it was set up and so had resolved to spend some time there. A great place with a fine assortment of passerines present as well as waterfowl. Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrows were in evidence and a single Chiffchaff sang along the approach road.  Wigeon, Pintail, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mute Swan as well as numbers of Barnacle Geese were present and seen in good light from the hides. A single Merlin sat out on a fence post and gave good views.

A good tour around past areas brought back memories, but little in the way of birds. The countryside does seem to be at low ebb at the moment, but I suspect the populations of Lapwing and other breeding waders of yesteryear are fast becoming a distant memory to many and haven't even been present at all within the more recent experiences of some.