Friday, 3 February 2012

Wigtown and beyond

Wigtown marshes
Mixed duck population
Another clear day and cold. Just as we were leaving the house a pair of jays turned up in the trees - typical, as the camera was packed ready to go and by the time I got it out, they had moved on. as I thought I saw them the previous day I have now staked the garden out with kitchen scraps and I'm hoping the flurry created by the large flock of finches currently busy on the feeders will attract them back!
Currently I'm feeding what feels like half the chaffinch population of Galloway (well more that 20 of them!), plus 4 lovely greenfinches, goldfinches and multiples of blue, great and coal tits, a pair of dunnock and a robin are all regulars.

Yesterday's trip to the Isle of Whithorn was very quiet.  The RSPB site below Wigtown was frozen solid but for a patch in the middle of the pond where the ducks gathered and the tide was well out, so all waders were following it.
Nevertheless rhere was plenty to see.
Mud hunting teal
The ducks proved to be a good mix of teal, pintail, widgeon and mallard, with a prominient male goldeneye.  Out on the seemingly empty marshes were infact a huge flock of curlew, interspersed with oystercatchers. Around and about there were up to 30 mute swans grazing.

We headed down the coast, but found no more geese - fields were full of crows, rooks and gulls. We caught a distant glimpse of a raven playing in the updrafts on a small hill, but too distant to capture.
Robin flashes dark underwear!
The only bird life at the Isle of Whithorn was also low key, matching the very low tide- distant ringed plover on the shoreline and a very friendly robin patrolling the path, ruffled by the sharp breeze.
 At the point the monument to the crew of the Solway Harvester overlooks the sea where she sank off the Isle of Man with the loss of 6 Whithorn men. The air was clear enough to see the Isle of Man itself, emphasising how close to home they were when they died.

We went home via the coast road and Port William, watching a small crab boat working pots along the edge of Luce Bay, but no more wildlife!

1 comment:

  1. Always lovely to see all those birds around. Love the Robin, such a sweet bird.