Lit­tle egret makes a rare visit to the is­land

The Arran Banner - - News -

Oc­to­ber was cooler and wet­ter than Septem­ber. In com­par­i­son with Oc­to­ber 2017 it was colder and drier with a fine set­tled spell in the sec­ond half of the month.

Oc­to­ber is ar­guably the busiest bird­ing month, as sum­mer breed­ers de­part, mi­grants pass through, win­ter vis­i­tors ar­rive and there is al­ways a strong chance of some­thing un­usual. This Oc­to­ber there were plenty of in­ter­est­ing birds to en­joy with more than 100 species recorded.

A par­tic­u­lar high­light was a lit­tle egret with records from a range of coastal ar­eas through­out the month in­clud­ing Loch Ranza, Imachar, Pirn­mill, King’s Cave, Merk­land and Carlo. The last re­port was from Cor­don on 28th. This is only the third oc­ca­sion that this species has been re­ported on Ar­ran.

The build up of the num­ber of win­ter thrushes, field­fare and red­wing, was a fea­ture of the month.

There were wide­spread re­ports of the birds feast­ing on the au­tumn berries, with flocks in the hun­dreds be­ing re­ported from the north to the south of the is­land in­clud­ing 400 red­wing and over 1,000 field­fare at Slid­dery on 20th.

Bram­bling, an ir­rup­tive species from north­ern Europe, not recorded every win­ter, was also a fea­ture in Oc­to­ber with re­ports from many ar­eas in­clud­ing Cor­don, Glen­loig, New­ton, San­nox, Slid­dery and Tor­beg.

Other win­ter vis­i­tors ar­riv­ing in­cluded: 21 bar­na­cle geese at Sand­braes on 3rd, 100 teal in Cosy­den on 4th, four wigeon at Kil­patrick Point on 11th and at Slid­dery on 28th 300 grey­lag geese, 52 rook and 10 yel­lowham­mer.

In ad­di­tion, flocks of mi­gra­tory whooper swan filled the au­tumn skies with their honk­ing and trum­pet­ing calls, in­clud­ing nine over White­far­land on 19th and eight over Brod­ick Golf Course on 20th.

Mi­gra­tion was in full flow in Oc­to­ber as birds were mov­ing out of colder north­ern Europe to milder climes. Th­ese in­cluded: 230 lin­net and 80 meadow pipit on Cleats Shore on 1st, two sander­ling at Dru­madoon Point on 5th, 200 goldfinch at Black­wa­ter­foot on 11th, 12 lap­wing in Shisk­ine on 12th, 16 turn­stone in Whit­ing Bay on 13th, 150 sky­lark and 30 twite on Cleats Shore on 18th, 600 com­mon gull on Slid­dery Shore on 25th and three dun­lin at Dru­madoon Point on 30th.

There were some ‘last sight­ings’ of sum­mer vis­i­tors also mov­ing south in­clud­ing: 20 Manx shear­wa­ter in Brod­ick Bay on 6th, a com­mon sand­piper at Pirn­mill on 8th, a wil­low war­bler at Auchen­hew Bay on 18th, two swal­low at Slid­dery on 21st, a chif­fchaff at Tor­beg also on 21st and a wheatear at Porta Buidhe on 29th. Other in­ter­est­ing records from a month with a plethora of birds in­cluded: a jack snipe on Slid­dery Shore on 20th, four great north­ern diver off Porta Buidhe on 24th, two lit­tle grebe at Loch Ranza also on 24th, a great spot­ted wood­pecker in Whit­ing Bay on 26th, two moorhen on Mossend Pond on 29th and the first re­port this year of Slavo­nian grebe with two in Whit­ing Bay on 30th. In ad­di­tion there were two re­ports of white­tailed ea­gle in Oc­to­ber, an adult over Auchen­car on 21st and a ju­ve­nile over Lochranza on 24th. En­joy your bird­ing Please send any bird notes with ‘what, when, where’ to me at Kil­patrick Ken­nels, Kil­patrick, Black­wa­ter­foot, KA27 8EY, or e mail me at jim@ar­ran­bird­ I look for­ward to hear­ing from you. For more in­for­ma­tion on bird­ing on Ar­ran pur­chase the Ar­ran Bird At­las 2007-2012 as well as the Ar­ran Bird Re­port 2017 and visit this web­site­ran­bird­ing.

Photo Arthur Dun­can.

A rare sight on Ar­ran and only the third recorded, a lit­tle egret is pic­tured with a grey heron.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.