Machrihanish, 27th April 2014

Five members converged at the observatory around 10.00hrs – Nigel Scriven, Rab Morton, Malcolm Chattwood, Chris Todd and Richard Green. It was a bight day, but the brisk north easterly wind kept it cool outside the building, with the wind turbines turning in the distance. As usual, warden Eddie Maguire made us very welcome, and the mugs of coffee were much appreciated. Birds trickled past at a slow but steady rate, the early excitement provided by Great Northern Divers a moderate distance out, and disappearing in the troughs between the waves. Jackdaws were collecting wool for their nests from the grazing nearby, and a Pied Wagtail was also carrying nest material to a site under a boulder in the rubble bank below the car park. Other thrills were the groups of Whimbrel on their passage north stopping for rests on the shore. It was hard to be sure of their numbers, but it was approaching 30. There were a few Twite and Goldfinch coming to the nyjer seed bait on the ground outside the hide window, but not in the numbers that will be found in the late summer.

Unusually there seemed to be no raptors around, and by lunch our species tally was only in the high 30’s, so we bad farewell to Eddie and headed for Aros Moss. Hear we did pick up Buzzard, warblers and other passerines, despite the noise from the nearby field being mown for silage by a huge and very noisy new tractor and mowing rig. Taking our tally over 50, we then made for Campbeltown and the chance of something new at Stinky Hole. We picked up Blue Tit on the way through Kilkerran by the cemetery, and just Raven and Merganser were new at the Dorlin, finally adding Common Sandpiper at Kildalloig, before calling it a day, with a tally of 58.

Species list Machrihanish: Shelduck, Mallard, Eider, Great Northern Diver, Gannet, Great Cormorant, Shag, Grey Heron, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Wood Pigeon, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Common Whitethroat, Blackbird, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Twite.

Species added Aros Moss: Common Buzzard, Sky Lark, Meadow Pipit, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Rook, Chaffinch, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll.

Species added Kilkerran Cemetery: Blue Tit.

Species added Stinky Hole (Dorlin pool): Red-breasted Merganser, Raven.

Species added Kildalloig: Common Sandpiper.

Nigel Scriven