It seems our great white egret was a different bird to the one that was around at the beginning of the month – the first one was ringed, but the second one wasn’t, and bill and leg colours differed. The little egrets are still around, the wood sandpiper lingered until the 23 May, when it was seen along with a male ruff which is coming into breeding plumage. Up to five little gulls have been recorded on the Starnafin pools, including an adult pair trying to take territory amongst the black-headed gulls and common terns on the island in front of the Visitor Centre – quite a hazardous occupation! An odd assortment of wildfowl are still hanging around from the winter visitors – three barnacle geese, a pair of greylags, five pinkfooted geese, and at least one whooper swan (seen from Bay Hide). On 24 May there was a pochard on the loch, and on 25 May, a drake American wigeon turned up, visible from the Visitor Centre, although it proved elusive after the initial sighting. On 1 June, at least 160 swifts were over the loch, a real sign that summer is on the way, despite the current spate of wild weather.

Fowlsheugh – Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

As the seabird breeding season swings into action, life on the ledges at Troup Head and Fowlsheugh is getting lively, and the wardening team are busy with the annual seabird counts. Our ‘Pick Out a Puffin’ guided walks continue at Fowlsheugh, with the next walk scheduled for 9 June. Further walks are planned for 16 and 23 June; there are a limited number of places available, so book soon to avoid disappointment. We do ask that folks confirm on the day before the walk that they’ll be able to come along, so that any last-minute spaces can be filled.

 

Puffin – Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

The Natura 2000 network of sites (Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation) protect the most important homes for wildlife in Europe. These amazing places are protected by the EU Nature Directives, but these laws are under threat. We hope you will ‪#‎DefendNature with us. Visit  rspb.org.uk/defendnature to ask the EU to protect the laws that protect nature today.

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing photos of some right here in NE Scotland on our Facebook page. If you have any photos you’d like to share, we’d love to see them!

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