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Occasionally I'd come across a Red-throated Diver, still almost in full summer plumage. Loch Ryan held good nos. Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank and Ringed Plover. While seeing large numbers of kites is an amazing sight, some of the better photographic opportunities present themselves when fewer kites visit; they are far more leisurely in their approach to feeding and frequently float around the area in front of the hides for some time before taking their morsel of choice. With breathtaking feats of aerial piracy red kites compete with buzzards and ravens for choice pickings.

Cronking


Kittiwakes of all ages along the coastline Kittiwake A great adventure on the sailing back Sunday evening when once again, more technical issues caused havoc! Several Red-throated Divers seen offshore With the coast road, literally covering the whole of the Island, stops were inevitably every 5 minutes or so to scan the many beaches, rocks and channels. Permalink Got back a few days ago from a couple of weeks birding which got off to a good start with a ringtail Hen Harrier hunting over the back of the caravan site as I arrived,and got even better later in afternoon when a pod of 30 Bottlenose Dolphins appeared on the sea in front of caravan and spent the next hour performing up and down the bay some nice footage on youtube,google in- bottlenose dolphins mull of galloway. Highlightswere Skylarks in an hour and half,lots of Linnets,Meadow Pipits,Swallows etc,an impressive flock of 27 Ravens,and daily sightings of one or more Merlin taking advantage of the abundant food supply. The conditions were good for the crossing with a slight swell and the odd squally shower passing through. A real abundance of Rock Pipits Around the rocks I don't think I've ever come across so many Rock Pipits, mainly feeding on the seaweed, along with equal numbers of Pied Wagtails, the occasional Grey Wagtail within. Luce Bay had small nos. Just 20 miles long and 10 miles wide, the island has earned it's somewhat cliched title, "Scotland in miniature", thanks to the dramatic granite peaks in the north and lush, low-lying terrain to the south, and it boasts miles of sweeping moorland, wooded glens, wide sandy beaches and impressive waterfalls. Also a Spotted Flycatcher present till 12th Oct,a couple of male Blackcaps and 2 probable northern race Coal Tits,as well as other common migrants like Redwing etc. The number of kites visiting the feeding station can vary from a to or more depending on the weather and the time of year. Unfortunately, my best-laid plans didn't get off to the greatest of starts when I received a text on Friday evening informing me that the ferry would be passenger only due to technical issues, apparently, a crane had damaged the ramps on the MV Caledonian Isles. Having driven the six hours up, almost painlessly, on Friday afternoon with an overnight stay in Adrossan the plan was for me to take the first ferry across Saturday morning. At nearby Auchie Glen I found a Yellow Browed Warbler which unfortunately was very elusive due to the still abundant leaf cover. I simply didn't have the time during my brief stay to do much walking, a must really if you want to see this fantastic Island in detail. It actually took 3 hours but provided some great Pelagic birding, the highlights being many Manx Shearwater and a couple of stunning Sabine's Gulls as the light faded! However, with a quick phone call from my travel agent Dazza I was thankfully rebooked for the next available ferry, MV Isle of Arran, a few hours later Kittiwake on route to Arran The crossing takes around 55 minutes and is, of course, a perfect opportunity for a mini Pelagic. I also had a couple of Merlin sightings around the site and a Barn Owl put in an appearance at dusk posing on top of its breeding barn at rear of site. Also still plenty of Gannets feeding on the same Herring shoals. No-one tells the kites that the clocks change twice a year! Waders were thin on the ground with the only four species recorded: With the meat clutched in its talons the kite will make for clear airspace where it can feel secure enough to feed. The Squirrels are Red, not Grey and Arran has a healthy population. As the first crows land amongst the meat the kites go on the offensive. While seeing large numbers of kites is an amazing sight, some of the better photographic opportunities present themselves when fewer kites visit; they are far more leisurely in their approach to feeding and frequently float around the area in front of the hides for some time before taking their morsel of choice. Off shore, many Gannets could be seen constantly diving around fish shoals and the odd small group of Eiders would feed alongside the many Guillimont.

Cronking

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5 thoughts on “Cronking”

Nezilkree

22.01.2018 at 10:12 pm
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With the onset of bad weather the numbers can increase dramatically, but on blue sky days in spring or summer the kites may well take their time in coming down for their lunch! With breathtaking feats of aerial piracy red kites compete with buzzards and ravens for choice pickings.

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