It was the same 'pack drill' today to that of recent days with a dawn start at the Point. The wind was a blustery WSW with full cloud cover. High tide wasn't until 1215, so I knew what I would see would be limited as I only had a couple of hours and by this time the tide wouldn't have really started to run in.
In the end I only watched for an hour and a half and recorded three Red-breasted Mergansers, a Little Gull, three Eiders, a Kittiwake, 340 Knot, 170 Sanderlings, three Red-throated Divers and 37 Ringed Plovers. As I was leaving Ian was arriving, so for a fuller report of what was on the sea have a look at Fleetwood Bird Observatory later.
I headed to the Turnstone feeding station and fed the 'Terry's' and 35 were instantly on the food. None of these had leg flags on and only two were metal ringed, presumably retrap birds from last winter. Turnstones number about 150 at the feeding station and we have flagged 31 so far. If this wintering population was static without birds moving in or out of the population you would expect to see 20% of the birds feeding at any one time to have flags on them. In the case of this morning this would have been seven birds, but as I say none of them were flagged indicating the turn over of birds even during the winter.
I then headed to my farmland bird feeding station but the weather had deteriorated further and it wasn't fit to have a walk round so all I had were a Reed Bunting, a Buzzard, 19 Chaffinches and 84 Tree Sparrows.
The forecast is similar for tomorrow with 25-30 mph SSW winds and light rain towards lunchtime. I am not sure what I will do as yet, but I will be out doing something!
Join us for Dune delights at Killinallan this Sunday (2nd July) - The Best Dune Flowers of Islay This is one of my favourite nature rAmbles each year there is so much to see in a short space of time. A wondrous patchwork...
2 hours ago