It hasn't half rained these past few days and this morning there was a narrow window of birding opportunity; namely first light until about 9:00 am! I was working at the end of last week in southwest Scotland and it didn't half rain there as well. Birds were a bit thin on the ground but I did manage to see Red Kite, Hen Harrier, lots of Barnacle Geese and winter Thrushes so it wasn't all bad. I also managed an hour in the brewery tap of the Sulwath Brewery in Castle Douglas which was an excellent way to escape the rain!
There was a morning tide today so I hit the coast at about 7:00 am and it was just about light enough to start birding. I sought some shelter and spent about an hour and a half watching the sea. A few waders were about on the incoming tide including 190 Oystercatchers, 33 Sanderlings and 53 Turnstones.
There was enough interest on the sea to keep me occupied in the form of 141 Cormorants, five Eiders, ten Common Scoters, six Red-throated Divers, 23 Auk sp., ten Red-breasted Mergansers, two Great Crested Grebes, two Razorbills and four Shelducks.
There was some vis this morning as it was probably the first morning in several days when there was the possibility of some movement based on the weather conditions. It was clear across the bay and high flying continental Chaffinches in particular were taking advantage of this. I kept hearing Chaffinches calling but couldn't see them and then walking back to my car I managed to get on to a few high flying birds, and when I looked at them with my bins there was a flock of 70! So how many actually went through this morning I'm not sure, but several hundred I would guess! The only other vis was a single Meadow Pipit and 34 Pink-footed Geese.
Just as the rain came in I was topping my feeders up at the feeding station and all the food had gone since Monday, so that's a good sign. I couldn't really say what was there as it was absolutely lashing it down as I was putting the food out.
It's looking very unsettled this week but hopefully I'll get more than a narrow window of opportunity to get out birding.
Billinge: 9th to 23rd April 2017 - Apologies for the lack of updates recently but other things have just got in the way. I put in quite a bit of effort at Billinge in the two weeks following...
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