American Golden Plover

American and Europen Golden Plovers, © Dave Grant

American and Europen Golden Plovers, © Dave Grant

American Golden Plover. © Angus Hogg

American Golden Plover. © Angus Hogg

Making good use of dreich day Angus Hogg has written an article on the American Golden Plover that recently turned up at Maidens.  This highlights the points that helped ID the bird and is the second in his series on the importance of writing descriptions and submitting records.  This is the latest in a set of a longer articles you can read here.  My thanks to him and Dave Grant for sending in their photos.

“Birds of Ayrshire” Reprint

BirdsOfAyrshireCoverCastlepoint Press in Dalbeattie are selling a reprint of the classic Birds of Ayrshire by E. Richmond Paton and Oliver G. Pike, first published in 1927 for the special price of £14 including postage.  The publisher’s notes:

As well as a new short memoir of Paton by Dr Mavis R Paton (his daughter) and a slightly longer one of Pike by his grandson Professor Jonathan Dollimore, this reprint includes two letters to Paton from Lieut.-Commander G. Hughes Onslow and a note from Leonora Jeffrey Rintoul. Also included are the short ‘Supplements’, issued in 1932 and 1934, by The Scottish Naturalist. R. Paton lived at Hareshawmuir, by Fenwick and died in 1951.

Please send orders to or to:

Castlepoint Press

Payment by direct bank transfer, Paypal, or cheque.

Autumn Photos 2014

A grey, dreich day gives me the time to catch up on submissions to the Photo Gallery.  And photos for species on the Ayrshire Species List are a bit like buses: nothing happens for ages then three turn up at once (i won’t count my Black Swan!).  So my thanks go to Angus Hogg for his Mistle Thrush and Kittiwake, and Jamie McPike for his Little Stint.  However, it’s not just the glory as they have also sent in a lot of other nice pictures with a few shown on the left to tempt you.

Black Swan in Irvine Beach Park

Black Swan, Irvine Harbourside, 29-Sep-14I’ve had a couple of emails from people about this Black Swan that was at Irvine Beach Park and Harbour this morning.  It appears to have a leg-ring and is almost certainly an escape from a wildfowl collection.  It was getting repeatedly attacked by the territorial Mute Swan at the pond so might decide to move on.  Very attractive white wing patches when it flies.

Events for 2014-15

The Events Page has been updated with the following:

  • Indoor meetings for the SOC Ayrshire Branch
  • Indoor meetings for the Central Ayrshire RSPB Members Group
  • Indoor meetings for the SWT Ayrshire Branch
  • The joint SOC Ayrshire/RSPB Central Ayrshire outdoor meetings (30-July: this has been updated)

Request for Photos

While I was assembling the summer’s entries to the Photo Gallery I noticed that we still have some photographic holes in our Ayrshire Species List and so I’d like to put out an appeal to help fill them.  Obviously I don’t expect to be deluged with pictures of Franklin’s Gull or Pallas’s Sandgrouse but we still need photos of some commoner species such as Mistle Thrush, Kittiwake and even Feral Pigeon.  So please have a go and help fill the gaps.  The only constraint is that you must have taken the picture in Ayrshire.  Glory awaits!