As we moved into August, the number, variety and frequency of certain birds increased around the reserve.
We were delighted to see a Mandarin duck on four separate days in the first half of the month, and a peak of 14 great-crested grebe, 20 goldeneye, 20 lapwing, 8 gadwall, and two days in which 200 tufted duck were counted and another day featuring 120!
Mandarin duck (male)
Unusually, we had a visit from a common tern, which despite its name, is pretty uncommon around here! The water bodies around Lochwinnoch mean the area is used as a flyway to and from the coast, so this particular bird was likely just passing through. It was exciting to see it stop to check out the artificial floating rafts on the Aird Meadow, so perhaps they will become a little more common round here in the future?
Also out and about were teal, water rail, oystercatcher, snipe, common sandpiper and little grebe.
Four bullfinch were seen on 14th August, three on the 18th, and then every day from 20th-28th August. A kingfisher also made an almost daily appearance from 24th August until the end of the month – a delight every time you see one!
Kingfisher photographed by Robert Conn.
Swallows and house martins were still around and a host of migrant songbirds were a delight for the ears, even if you couldn’t spot them in the trees! These included: blackcap, willow warbler, whitethroat, sedge warbler, grasshopper warbler, chiffchaff and spotted flycatcher.
Common whitethroat photographed by Robert Conn.
Other highlights included a peregrine falcon, 3 goldcrest, a nuthatch and 5 raven.
Raven are the biggest members of the crow family and are distinguished by their diamond-shaped tail.
Little grebe: seen on 23 Aug
Great crested grebe: 14 seen on 8 Aug, 6 seen on 24 Aug
Mandarin duck: seen on 4, 16, 17 and 18 Aug
Gadwall: 8 seen on 26 Aug
Teal: 2 seen on 28 Aug
Tufted duck: 200 seen on 11 Aug, 120 seen on 28 Aug
Goldeneye: 20 seen on 14 Aug
Sparrowhawk: 2 seen on 3 Aug, 1 seen on 23 Aug
Peregrine falcon: seen on 13 Aug
Water rail: seen on 4 Aug, 7 Aug, 14 Aug
Oystercatcher: 2 seen on 21 Aug
Lapwing: 20 seen on 1 Aug, 17 seen on 26 Aug
Snipe: 2 seen on 7 Aug, 3 seen on 31 Aug
Common sandpiper: seen on 1 Aug and 4 Aug
Common tern: seen on 29 Aug
Kingfisher: seen towards the end of the month (24, 25, 26, 28, 29 and 31 Aug)
Swallow: 6 seen on 8 Aug, 5 seen on 24 Aug
House martin: 3 seen on 3 Aug
Grasshopper warbler: seen on 11 Aug
Sedge warbler: 3 seen on 13 Aug, 2 seen on 19 Aug
Whitethroat: seen on 19, 24 and 28 Aug
Blackcap: seen on 13 Aug
Chiffchaff: seen on 4 Aug, 25 Aug
Willow warbler: 6 seen 12 Aug, 4 seen on 16 Aug
Goldcrest: 3 seen on 28 Aug
Spotted flycatcher: 1 seen on 16 Aug, 4 seen on 21 Aug
Long-tailed tit: 10 seen on 28 Aug
Nuthatch: seen on 13 Aug
Raven: 5 seen on 4 Aug
Chaffinch: 12 seen on 15 Aug, 27 seen on 30 Aug
Goldfinch: 23 seen on 31 Aug
Siskin: 3 seen on 6 Aug, 4 seen on 22 Aug
Lesser redpoll: seen on 8 Aug and 30 Aug
Bullfinch: 4 seen on 14 Aug, 3 seen on 18 Aug, seen every day from 20-28 Aug
Reed bunting: 3 seen on 26 Aug
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