Sunday, 23 August 2015

Brandon Marsh :: 22 August 2015

So the spotted flycatcher became the 100th species tick for 2015. Brandon turned up a few extra species and with favourable weather, if not a little hot in the hides - 28.5 C if the car temperature gauge was to be believed.

Blue morph snow gooseThe usual start with a sandwich in the Badger Tearoom. Nothing on the feeders, partly due to them being mostly empty. Still on the reserve and surprisingly few people around; perhaps the Birdfair at Rutland had drawn them all away, leaving only those avoiding Rutland due to the Birdfair. On the outward trail we saw a large range of butterflies, including a beautiful small copper. While photographing a willow or marsh tit flushed from the bushes but disappeared before an ID or record shot could be taken.

The main purpose was to get onto East Marsh Pool as there were reports of ruff. Ruff in the roughNothing from Wright but distant views from East Marsh hide itself. A bonus was the blue morph snow goose either cruising with greylag or sleeping just off the scrape.

In Carlton we were lucky to meet a chap who had spotted a spotted flycatcher. While waiting for it to emerge we caught a willow warbler passing by. The flycatcher eventually rose and showed high into the sky - 100.

Today's sightings (32) included: great tit, blue tit, black-headed gull, swallow, house martin, dunnock, cormorant, magpie, wood pigeon, carrion crow, coot, mute swan, greylag goose, canada goose, moorhen, lapwing, blue morph snow goose, grey heron, lesser black-backed gull, shoveler, mallard, sand martin, robin, green sandpiper, ruff, teal, gadwall, willow warbler, spotted flycatcher, kestrel, shelduck and wigeon.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Clyde Marina / Ardrossan Harbour :: 07 August 2015

While the girls were off shopping in the supermarket Sandwich Tern. I took the opportunity to walk around the Clyde Marina / Ardrossan Harbour. A beautiful sky and calm waters in the harbour and beyond.

Only a herring gull in the marina itself but then three black guillemots around the harbour entrance. A few gulls were bobbing or flying around and these were accompanied by a group of fishing sandwich terns.

Waited for the call to come back to the car watching the terns successfully feed until I had to leave.Black Guillemot

Friday, 7 August 2015

Portencross Castle and Beach :: 06 August 2015

Today the weather improved so after lunch we went for a walk between Portencross Castle and Ardneil Farm. The pavement was slightly overgrown which made passage with the wheelchair a little more difficult. We saw swallows in the usual nests in the eves of the house at the top of the path leading down to the beach, but there appeared to be few visits to the nests themselves.

When we returned to the car park near the castle, we decided to have a sit looking out over the water. Seamill, West Kilbride, Portencross.From here we spotted gannets fishing past us, a single ringed plover which flew past into the rocks beyond and also terns diving as they fished close to shore. In the distance we could see what looked like guillemots or manx shearwaters quartering the waves; unfortunately they were too distant to be sure of an ID but shearwaters are often seen in this area in number and we have seen them from the Ardrossan-Arran ferry previously.

The sky and sea were looking blue in the breeze which Sandwich ternset off the rocks and castle walls beautifully. Once Dad felt uncomfortable in his chair Mum, Dad and Magnus headed back up to the house while we continued down onto the beach. The gulls were all close due to the tide being quite close in. At the turn we could see that the fishing terns had been sandwich terns and were being kept company by curlew on the rocks offshore. A beautiful day for a walk on the beach.

Today's sightings (29) included: house sparrow, kestrel, feral/rock pigeon, blackbird, house martin, collared dove, chaffinch, blue tit, great tit, jackdaw, pied wagtail, woodpigeon, willow warbler, goldfinch, magpie, herring gull, swallow, lesser black-backed gull, greater-black backed gull, gannet, oystercatcher, ringed plover, redshank, curlew, sandwich tern, common gull, black-headed gull, rook, and cormorant.