Yellow-rumped Warbler

A bit of excitement as Ayrshire’s first Yellow-rumped Warbler (aka Myrtle Warbler) turned up in a birder’s garden in Kilwinning. Cue the twitch. It was surreal standing with a bunch of birders in a back garden watching it while the neighbours were putting out their bins (and not the Leica kind). Here’s the first photo received, this from Dave Grant. Expect to see more of this obliging bird…

Dave has put together an identification sheet from photos taken of the Kilwinning bird that will help you should you join the twitch. Click on the icon below.

The Myrtle Gallery

Ayrshire Bird Report 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Ayrshire Bird Report.  With the completion of yet another bird report, and it seems like we might even manage to get the report back on track by 2025.  Of course, none of this would be possible without help from a great variety of people, and particular thanks must go to our local recorder, Fraser Simpson, for his assistance with numerous queries regarding records. 

The report is available for free as a PDF download by clicking here.

Angus Hogg and Dave Grant, Editors

Ayrshire Bird Report 2020

Welcome to the 2020 Ayrshire Bird Report: the COVID Special Edition.  With the completion of yet another bird report, and it seems like we might even manage to get the report back on track by 2025.  Of course, none of this would be possible without help from a great variety of people, and particular thanks must go to our local recorder, Fraser Simpson, for his assistance with numerous queries regarding records. 

The report is available for free as a PDF download by clicking here.

Angus Hogg and Dave Grant, Editors

January 2024 Photos

A quick update of the Photo Gallery seemed in order given we have a new entry for both the Ayrshire Species List and the Rarer Birds List thanks to Andrew Russell‘s photos of the adult White-tailed Eagle that has been frequenting Hunterston (except when I’m there!). My thanks to Dave Grant, Angus Hogg, Bruce Kerr, David Lynn and Andrew Russell for sending them in.

November 2023 Photos

A dark, dreich day meant I had no excuse but to catch up on submissions to the Photo Gallery. My thanks to Dave Grant, Bruce Kerr and David Lynn for sending them in.

Red-throated Diver Recovery

David Lynn came across this “very feisty individual” at Loanhead quarry in Beith and managed to catch it. Hoping it was just bedraggled he took it to the nearby Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust. Happily, after some TLC it made a full recovery and was successfully returned to the Clyde.

Storm Petrel Ringing Recovery

I recently bumped into a fellow dog-walker, Vivienne Glew and her dog Baillie, who told me that she had recovered a moribund Storm Petrel that had dropped into the sea near Irvine harbour mouth. While the bird didn’t last long, Vivienne did notice that it was ringed. She sent the details off to the Natural History Museum and the BTO returned the following ringing info:

Ringing Scheme: London
Ring Number: 2694931
Species of bird: Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus)

This bird was ringed by D Manley as age at least 1 year, sex unknown on 12-Aug-2015 00:30:00 at Annagh Head, Bellmullet, Mayo, Ireland (54deg 14min N -10deg -7min W).
It was found 2883 days after it was ringed, 379 km from the ringing site, direction ENE.

My thanks to Vivienne and Baillie for such an interesting chat.

August 2023 Photos

With the autumn migration underway (really!) it made sense to clear away images from this Spring. The above are just a sample of the stuff added to the Photo Gallery. My thanks to Dave Grant, Angus Hogg and Bruce Kerr for sending them in.

Sand Martins of Gailes Marsh

I recently bumped into local artist Hugh Loney at Gailes Marsh SWT reserve in Irvine. Like me he was enjoying watching the Sand Martins at their new purpose-built colony. He had set up a video camera and told me that it was an old model that was a bit slow which had a lovely effect and showed me the some of the ghostly images. He has kindly sent some in and they are shown below. I’m sure you’ll agree that they are wonderfully different from the usual photos.

Continue reading

The Stories behind the Photos

Angus Hogg has been having a wander down memory lane and is putting together a series of articles giving the stories behind some photos of the famous bird species seen in Ayrshire in years gone by. So far we have:

  1. Wilson’s Phalarope at New Cumnock 1978
  2. Yellow Wagtail at Bourtreehill mid 1970s
  3. Leach’s Storm Petrel, and the Girvan Police
  4. European Storm Petrels at Turnberry Point
  5. Eurasian Spoonbill at Hunterston in 1978
  6. Harlequin Ducks at Kennedy’s Pass in 1996
  7. Bewick’s Swans at Shewalton, 1978
  8. Green Sandpiper at Tarholm, 1975
Juvenile Wilson’s Phalarope at Knockshinnoch Lagoons,
7 September 1978  (© Angus Hogg)

These articles are just the latest in our growing set. Angus will hopefully find time to put together a few others, as I’d argue, no-one has more knowledge of birds in Ayrshire going back decades.