Well, the autumn equinox has been and gone, the nights are drawing in once more, the leaves are falling off the trees faster than we can clear them and there is an AMAZING amount of fungus about this year. It is officially autumn! As regular readers of this blog may know, I love autumn, it's my favourite time of year for so many reasons - the colours, the smells, the end of the hayfever season(!) and over the past few years, September and October have produced some terrific bird sightings for us!
You may remember these from last September:
On the 16th Sept 2010, 22 juvenile gannets flew over the Aird Meadow towards the Barr Loch. There were another seven seen on the 20th September and two more on the 24th.
This year we have recorded two juvenile gannets flying south west over the meadow on the 21st September and one juvenile on the 26th.
On the 2nd September last year we recorded and osprey fishing on the Aird Meadow and a marsh harrier. That day we also had two snipe, a kingfisher, a dipper, a whitethroat and 35 goldfinches.
In early September this year we had a male mandarin duck on the Barr Loch, over 100 tufted ducks, a marsh harrier on the 5th and 6th Sept, seven buzzards on the 4th Sept, two peregrine falcons on the 5th Sept, a hen harrier on the 7th Sept, a greenshank overhead on the 3rd Sept and a barn owl on the 7th Sept.
Other highlights from Sept 2010 included single guillemots seen flying over on the 15th and 17th Sept, 30 snipe on the 19th, multiple sightings of up to three black terns between the 11th and 21st Sept and three common terns on the 7th. Lots of sightings of a single kingfisher on the River Calder throughout the month and two otters on the 22nd Sept.
And this September since the 9th our highlights have included:
Hen harriers on the 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th, 17th & 25th Sept.
A jay and a linnet on the 10th Sept.
50 lapwings and 40 goldfinches on the 11th.
Two gadwall, 120 tufted ducks, three water rails, 13 snipe, a juvenile marsh harrier and otter and a 'commic' tern on the 13th Sept.
A scaup and a whinchat on the 14th Sept.
A kingfisher and a dipper on the 15th.
Approx. 20 linnets on the 18th and 24 on the 19th.
A kingfisher, two greenshank, and a singing chiffchaff on the 22nd.
300 tufted ducks, 11 lapwings, four snipe, one dipper, 200 carrion crows, and 16 linnets.
One gadwall and a female pintail on the 28th and finally a gadwall, a pintail, a redshank, and a merlin on the 29th.
What a month, let's hope for more of the same in 2012!