It’s a bit of a misnomer to call these “Spring 2021 Photos” as they have been in my inbox for months, continually reminding me they haven’t been processed. Finally I succumbed and I’ve now caught up with the backlog for the Photo Gallery. I’ve included a few here – please see the Gallery for the others. You’ll notice that the ones here are (mostly) our common ones but still stunning or odd (such as Angus’s partial albino Ringed Plover). Pictures of our rarer winter guests are covered in other posts. Despite my vow to not indulge the Gull Brigade, Bruce’s picture of an Iceland Gull was just too good…
My thanks (again) go to Dave Grant, Angus Hogg, Bruce Kerr and David Lynn and for their contributions.
Angus Hogg has been busy writing up his sighting of a Sooty Tern at Maidens in 2020. This not only covers this first for Ayrshire but is an excellent example of how to write-up such a sighting. This has been added to our growing list of longer Articles. Please enjoy.
Now that “Spotty” the Spotted Sandpiper has headed off from Ayrshire, it is a good time to record his stay. (For those of us living outside South Ayrshire, a lot of people are very grateful Spotty hung around until the lockdown was eased!)
Are you bored watching Christmas “specials” of something fraudulently labelled as “comedy” on the box? Want to escape the “joy” of the family while stuck in tier 4? Not quite ready for Angus’s masterclass on Pipits but still want to brush up on the differences between Rock Pipit and Water Pipit? Well, fortunately, Dave Grant has put together a cut-out-and-keep poster of the things to look out for. Just click on the icon on the left and soon you too will amaze your friends† with your new Motacillidae knowledge.
I thought I’d book-end two classic Christmas card species with two that should be somewhere much warmer but yet decided to stay around into Winter. However, there are lots of other additions to the Photo Gallery to lift our spirits. I’ve exercised my editorial powers to drop Yet-Another-Iceland-Gull but I took pity on the “Larus Lads” and have included a picture of a Common Gull (or should that be Mew Gull?) as it’s only the second one in the Gallery.
My thanks go to Dave Grant, Bruce Kerr, and Angus Hogg for their contributions.
The recent discovery of a Spotted Sandpiper at Croy prompted me to tackle the backlog of photos send in for the Photo Gallery. And we’ve got a nice collection of Spotted things: Sandpiper, Crake and Flycatcher, plus a whole pile of others. Please see the Gallery for the full set. The Spotted Sandpiper is a first for Ayrshire and so Dave gets the glory of another entry to the Ayrshire Species List having just beaten Bruce to my mailbox.
My thanks go to Dave Grant, Bruce Kerr, Angus Hogg and David Lynn for their contributions.
If there is anything positive in these locked-down times, it is that it’s very quiet and our garden birds are helping keep us entertained. So it’s no surprise that our seasonal batch of entries for the Photo Gallery are from gardens and where we can exercise. I’ve included a few here – please see the Gallery for the others.
My thanks go to Dave Grant, Angus Hogg, David Lynn, and Bob Ross for their contributions.
Dave McGarvie, our new BTO Representative, has put together an article describing a survey he performed near Carsphairn last Easter. Hopefully it will encourage people to sign up for surveys of other squares in SW Scotland. (Disclaimer: great weather not guaranteed!)
We have a new BTO Representative for the county: Dave McGarvie. Dave introduces himself in the attached BTO Ayrshire Newsletter .
In just under a month Dave is helping run a training event in Dalmellington, on Sunday 8 March. This will be an all-day event, designed to introduce people to the methods that the BTO use for its main breeding bird surveys. ID training will be included, though with an emphasis on songs and calls, and assuming a solid baseline skill level with respect to visual ID of upland species. It’s a great way of finding out more, and will be especially useful if you are wondering whether your bird skills are good enough to do the main breeding bird surveys – the Breeding Birds Survey (BBS) and Waterways Breeding Bird Survey (WBBS). If you’re not quite there yet, then you’ll be able to get a good idea of where and how you need to improve. And you can also learn about other surveys that you could do that don’t require such a high level of bird identification skills. Further details can be found here.
In recent years the flock of Brent Geese at Maidens has become a regular and growing feature. As the series of photos in the Photo Gallery shows, this flock has been closely monitored over the years by Angus Hogg. Now Angus has brought all the information on these geese at Maidens into a new article: the Maidens Brent Geese .