Clachan, Kintyre, 26th July 2014

The weather, although not exactly promising, was mild, any breeze was light and it was not raining! The group set off from the village hall car park at the pre–arranged time of 10.00 and proceeded along the track beside the Clachan Burn with swallows, house and sand martins all quickly spotted as they hawked for insects over the fields and above the burn. Also in evidence were members the crow family namely raven, rook, hooded crow and starling all making use of the surrounding fields and trees. Further down stream a grey wagtail provided some excitement (being in short supply this year locally), pied wagtails and meadow pipits were about throughout the walk but alas, no dipper. Before reaching the estuary, blue and great tits were in evidence, together with willow warbler, gold crest, blackcap and, at last, a spotted flycatcher! Walking along the shore line buzzard and more ravens couldn’t be missed as they noisily soared above the cliff, lower down song thrush and blackbirds foraged for food amongst the shrubs and sodden grass. On looking out to sea as we continued along the path, eider ducks and mallard were present; gannets were seen to be fishing in the middle distance while a grey heron was quietly fishing at the edge of some rocky pools.

The previously light rain was becoming a little more pronounced by now and, with dark clouds looming, we stopped and enjoyed our packed lunches in relative comfort. Sitting on convenient rocks, and between mouthfuls of sandwich etc., we pointed out to each other oystercatcher, ringed plover, sanderling, dunlin, and curlew. Gulls, including black-headed, common, lesser black-backed and herring were noted here, as well as European shag. With rain now becoming heavier, we got to our feet (somewhat stiffly) and proceeded along the track where common redstart and stone chat helped to re-charge the batteries! Rock doves, collared doves and skylarks braved the rain and further on as it abated a little, wren, dunnock and robin flitted amongst the stunted trees. Towards Corran Farm, Northern wheatear, and sedge warbler were observed and a large flock of house sparrows as well as many chaffinches were making use of the farm surroundings. As we made our way back to Clachan along the quiet B road, linnet, lesser redpoll, and reed bunting were present in the bordering fields while a single bull finch was spotted in a small copse of trees at the edge of the road.

List of birds spotted in the order they were seen as the walk progressed: Barn Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Raven, Rook, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Common Eider, Mallard, Northern Gannet, Grey Heron, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Eurasian Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Shag, Common Redstart, Common Stonechat, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Sky Lark, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Northern Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Reed Bunting, Bullfinch.

Katie Pendreigh