Saturday 9Th January
A bit of a thaw at last, the first time in over three weeks that I have gone out in the car without having to clear the windows first. There was however a bit of an easterly breeze that was keeping the temperatures down and in fact making it seem colder at times, cloudy with the threat of rain but not really materialising. Jamey and I went for a drive without any real idea of where we were going but heading out of town on the west road. Again Lapwings were a feature, they are being seen in almost every field I look in, even one in front of the house this morning when I lifted the blinds. There were several in the fields towards the Craigs and also a small flock of 5 Greylag Geese opposite Kilmicheal. Taking the turn off for Tangy Jamey remarked that we hadn't been along this road for a while and he was right, the last time being on a swallow ringing trip in July, how time flies. Yet again Lapwings were evident and in larger numbers as we climbed towards Tangy farm, a quick estimate of 130 birds in the fields along with a flock of c.40 Golden Plover. A Pair of Raven were displaying here too and wont be too long until some of these birds will be on eggs. Nice views of a male Stonechat on the fence, showing signs of summer plumage as the winter one wears away. Several Starling flocks were also seen each with about 40-50 birds. Several Song Thrush were seen and it has been very noticeable over the last week that these birds are being seen in good numbers. I seen lots of Song Thrush a few days before in the Langa Quarry area and am unsure if this is due to a influx from the Continent or as was suggested by Rab, birds moving out of the conifer plantations in response to the cold weather. A good sized flock of wintering Chaffinch were seen near the semi derelict farm and these are definitely catchable and will keep an eye on them for the next couple of weeks. We climbed up to the wind farm and there found the road a bit treacherous as the fallen snow had frozen and a couple of times I thought the car was going to end up in a ditch. Very quite up here though I did get a glimpse of an female Black Redstart perched on the post of the entrance gate. By the time I got the camera out it was well gone and an extensive search of the area didn't find it again. As we were turning to head out of the wind farm a fox darted across the road in front of us and disappeared into the snow covered grass. We left Tangy by the north exit and headed up the road the Ballochuntuy before turning and heading back down to Campbeltown
On returning to the town we took a quick tour around the piers, again in the hunt for a white winged gull, and again in vain. However there were good numbers of Eider with a count of 86 of one pier, also seen a single Cormorant and the first summer plumaged Black Guillemot of the year, the longer days are on there way yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!