Saturday, 14 March 2009
I arrived at St Gothian Sands nature reserve at about 6.55am, it was a lovely clear morning although a strong breeze was coming in off the Atlantic. The forecast stated that wind speed would be about 23 mph which I thought was about Right. St Gothian Sand's is quite a new reserve about 4 yrs in existence and was a sand excavation works for many years. Two areas have been fenced off to keep the dreaded dog walkers out and to give wildlife a chance. Don't misconstrue my comments I like dogs ,its their inconsiderate owners most birder's find the problem, leaving dog fetus everywhere even when they have taken the trouble to place it in plastic bags and instead of putting in bins provided leave it hanging off bushes and on pathways'. As most people know plastic and wildlife do not mix. Ok moan over back to pleasure, I had three species in mind to look for today two are early Spring migrant's the Sand Martin (which overwinters in West Africa) and the Northern Wheatear (which also winters in Africa). The third Species is a Ring Ouzal which normally migrates' south but one had been around the reserve for a couple of months, although very elusive. So how did I fare with today's objectives, please read on to find out. First two pic's are of St Gothian Sands.
So after about a hour at the Reserve I met up with Brian another local birder who informed me he had just spotted the elusive Ring Ouzel that I had been trying to see for a few weeks. So we walked into a small closed in area an sure enough on the far grassy bank was the Bird I'd been waiting to get. Things were beginning to get pretty good. So below are three pics of said Ring Ouzel
This is the earliest Spring arrival here in the UK, it is the lovely Sand Martin. I walked round the reserve on the first circuit and saw nothing then out of the blue there were 30+ of these feeding on the wing over the main pool. They were there for about 45 mins, then were gone as quickly as the came. Obviously continuing their migration northwards
last but not least is my very favourite spring arrival, This is the Northern Wheatear. I never fail to get bowled over by its beautiful neat appearance considering it has just flown all the way from Africa. Along with the Sand Martin these are usually the first Spring arrivals on our shores.