Belvide 19.10.14 Cloudy SW 2-5

The male Stonechat was still at the west end. 1 Ruff was on the north shore, also 10 Ringed Plover, 391 Lapwing and 4 Dunlin were noted.

A Vis Mig watch off the dam between 0720-0850 produced 4 Brambling, 26 Chaffinch, 30 Linnet, 39 Goldfinch, 15 Greenfinch, 3 Bullfinch, 58 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 15 Pied Wagtail, 70 Jackdaw, 47 Starling, 369 Wood Pigeon, 5 Stock Dove, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark.

Belvide 18.10.14 Cloudy SSW 2-4

The male Stonechat was still at the west end. 45 Golden Plover were on the north shore, also 10 Ringed Plover 8 Dunlin and 1 Ruff were present. An adult Peregrine and 2 Chiffchaff were noted.

A Vis Mig watch off the dam between 0715-0915 produced 1 Brambling, 18 Chaffinch, 9 Goldfinch, 11 Greenfinch, 3 Linnet, 262 Redwing, 17 Pied Wagtail, 19 Reed Bunting, 18 Jackdaw, 25 Starling, 4 Meadow Pipit, 1 Skylark and 7 Stock Dove.

Belvide 17.10.14 Fair am/Overcast pm SSW 2-3

The Cetti’s Warbler was calling along the south east bay. A male Stonechat (photo by Nigel Talbot) was at the west end. A Little Egret was a new arrival along the Gazebo bay. 56 Golden Plover were on the north shore, also 9 Ringed Plover and 7 Dunlin were present. An imm Peregrine and Chiffchaff were noted. A reminder that there is a work party this Sunday. Please meet at the Scott hide at 9.30am if you can help.

Belvide 15.10.14 Overcast/Late Afternoon Rain SE 3

The first big arrival of Redwing today. There were no morning totals but at least 500 flew over to the north this afternoon. A single Greenshank and Redshank were new arrivals, also 15 Ringed Plover, 70 Golden Plover, 5 Dunlin and 1 Ruff were present. Goldeneye have increased to 6, also 205 Teal were counted. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was present this afternoon. 2 Swallow flew thru, also 1 Chiffchaff was noted. An imm Peregrine was being a constant pain this afternoon.

Belvide 14.10.14 Overcast N 2

24 Ringed Plover were on the north shore, also 19 Golden Plover, 5 Dunlin and 1 Ruff were present. 2 Goldeneye, 33 Wigeon and 1 Little Grebe were counted. 12 Common Gull and 9 Yellow-legged Gulls roosted this evening. The first Redwing of the autumn was along the south east bay this evening.

A reminder that there is a work party this Sunday. Please meet at the Scott hide at 9.30am if you can help.

Belvide 11.10.14 Early Fog/Cloudy SW 1

2 Rock Pipit flew over this morning. 50 Golden Plover flew over this morning, also 1 Ruff, 1 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover and 1 Common Sandpiper were present. 15 Swallow flew thru late morning, also 2 Chiffchaff were noted. An adult Yellow-legged Gull (photo) was in front of the Chappell hide this afternoon. 2 Pintail and 40 Gadwall were counted.

A reminder that there is a work party tomorrow. Please meet at the Scott hide at 9.30am if you can lend a hand.

Belvide 9.10.14 Heavy Showers SW 3-4

Highlights since I’ve been away have been the drake Mandarin again on the 7th, also a Wheatear and Green Sandpiper on the 8th.

Today’s sightings included 1 Ruff, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Dunlin and 12 Ringed Plover on the north shore. 4 Swallow flew thru this afternoon also 2 Chiffchaff were noted. 2 Pintail, 62 Wigeon, 31 Shoveler and 213 Teal were counted.

A reminder that there is a work party this Sunday. Please meet at the Scott hide at 9.30am if you can help. Gloves and tools are provided.

You can read about my trip to Barra below.

The Scarlet Tanager On Barra

On Monday 6th October news was broadcast that a 1st winter Scarlet Tanager had been found on the Island of Barra on the Outer Hebrides. This is only the 7th record for Britain of this North American mega.

A car load left the Belvide car park at 3am to catch the ferry from Oban to Barra. The ferry set sail at 1.40pm and didn’t get into Barra until 8.30pm. This meant that we had to stay in a B&B overnight and pray that the bird was still there the following morning.

The next morning, we arrived on site around 7.30am. The surprising thing was that there was only 9 of us that had come over to look for it. The bird had been frequenting a small wood at Creachan, next to a couple of gardens.

As the morning progressed it was becoming apparent that the bird was not there. A ringer then arrived on site to say that he had trapped and ringed the bird the previous day and said that the bird had a fat score of zero. This raised our hopes slightly believing that the bird would be in no fit state to carry on migrating. Then again it could have died overnight with no fat reserves.

We carried on our search, spreading further afield to the gardens at breivig. As late morning approached we were starting to get really despondent. We decided to search the Castle Bay area in the hope it had relocated there. We checked all the suitable cover with a few Yellow Browed Warblers a Pied Flycatcher and a load of Bramblings as small compensation.

The time was approaching 2pm, so we decided to give the original site one last go. As I got out of the car, I had only taken a few steps when I saw a bird fly up out of the stream. It sat low down partially obscure but I could see it was green. It then tuned it’s head round to show a pale horn coloured bill. I then excitedley announced that I had relocated the Scarlet Tanager. For the next 45 minutes we enjoyed great views as the bird fed in the sycamores in the ravine and in the trees above the road. Then all of a sudden the bird flew low out of view and wasn’t seen again for the rest of the day.

The relief from all that was there on site was huge. I just felt gutted for the 2 birders that had come over with us and had missed it, having been else where when the bird was showing. They were going to stay overnight, so I just hope they get it today.

So another trip of trials and tribulations has ended up with the right result. Phew!!!

Scarlet Tanager photo below by Mark Rayment

Belvide 5.10.14 Cloudy SSW 1-2

A Turnstone was along the south east bay between 12-12.30pm when it flew off west, also 1 Ruff, 4 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover and 22 Golden Plover were present. 3 Water Rail were showing well in the muddy pool 50 yards east of the Scott hide. A drake Mandarin on the north shore was the first of the year, also 7 Pintail, 55 Pochard and 220 Tufted Duck were counted. A single Reed Warbler was in front of the Scott hide, also 2 Chiffchaff and 4 Swallow were noted.

A Vis Mig watch off the dam between 0700-0915hrs produced 147 Meadow Pipit, 89 Chaffinch, 28 Linnet, 11 Goldfinch, 9 Greenfinch, 2 Yellowhammer, 7 Reed Bunting, 76 Pied Wagtail, 4 Grey Wagtail, 62 Skylark, 2 Mistle Thrush, 8 Raven and 1 Snipe.

A notice to permit holders. Tomorrow, work will start on the capital projects. Machinery will be on the north west shore to create 2 scrapes, while a tree surgeon will be in the south east bay cutting down any mature willow trees. The work will take at least one month to complete, so there will be some disturbance. Please be patient during this time.

Belvide 4.10.14 Rain am Fair pm WNW 3

50 Golden Plover flew over this afternoon, also 5 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 2 Ruff and 11 Snipe were present. 10 House Martin and 6 Swallow flew thru this afternoon, also 4 Chiffchaff were noted. 6 Pintail, 50 Wigeon and 42 Pochard were counted. An imm Peregrine with an orange ring was on the north shore this afternoon.

A reminder that there is a work party tomorrow. Please meet at the Scott hide at 9.30am if you can lend a hand.

Belvide 30.9.14 Fair SSW 1-2

57 Golden Plover were on the north shore this afternoon, also 4 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin, 2 Ruff and 1 Common Sandpiper were present. A Reed Warbler was still in front of the Scott hide. 7 Pintail and 1 Peregrine were noted.

A reminder that there is a work party this Sunday. Please meet at the Scott hide at 9.30am if you can lend a hand. Tools and gloves are provided.

Belvide 28.9.14 Fair SW 1

2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper dropped in early afternoon and showed well from the Chappell hide, also 1 Ruff, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Ringed Plover and 7 Golden Plover flew thru. 8 Pintail, 192 Tufted Duck and 72 GC Grebe were counted.

A Vis Mig watch off the dam between 0700-0900hrs produced 250 Meadow Pipit, 23 Pied Wagtail, 4 Grey Wagtail, 38 Chaffinch, 15 Linnet, 9 Greenfinch, 12 Goldfinch, 31 Swallow, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Song Thrush, 4 Skylark and 3 Snipe.

Belvide 27.9.14 Overcast SW 1

A Vis Mig watch off the dam between 0710-1100hrs produced 664 Meadow Pipit, 17 Reed Bunting, 36 Linnet, 54 Chaffinch, 8 Goldfinch, 7 Greenfinch, 2 Yellowhammer, 2 Tree Sparrow, 14 Skylark, 21 Pied Wagtail, 4 Grey Wagtail, 3 Song Thrush, 8 Mistle Thrush, 5 Jay and 27 Swallow.

A 1st winter male Stonechat was below the dam until 9.25am when it flew off high to the south west. 2 Green Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper were on the dam this morning, also 1 Ruff and 3 Ringed Plover were noted. 7 Pintail were counted. 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff and a Peregrine were noted.

A reminder that there is a work party tomorrow. Please meet at the Scott hide at 9.30am if you can lend a hand.

It’s all gone very flat at the moment with probably the worst September I can remember. 3 Ruff, 3 Ringed Plover and 134 Lapwing were present. 247 Teal, 50 Wigeon and 5 Pintail were counted. A Wheatear was on the north shore this morning.

Belvide 23.9.14 Cloudy WNW 2

A juvenile Arctic Tern and juvenile Common Tern were present this afternoon. It has been a very poor autumn passage for Arctic Terns when usually several are noted over the autumn. 4 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 4 Ringed Plover and 1 Common Sandpiper remain at the west end. 6 Pintail, 310 Teal and 38 Wigeon were counted. A juvenile Hobby and a Reed Warbler were noted.