We've also seen the first sand martins flying over the small lochan in front of the Ferry Stores. We wait in anticipation for the arrival of some house martins: for the last two years there have been hardly any.
Meanwhile, Jenny Chapman who lives at Achnaha and, with her husband, runs MacAvon Media from their house in Achnaha, writes, "Readers of The Diary may like to know that we have been hearing the rasping call of a corncrake in the centre of the Achnaha township over the past couple of days. Yesterday it sounded as though the bird was almost beside us in the garden, but we could see no sign of it at all. It's extremely shy and secretive, as the RSPB information page says! It seems likely that it may just be passing through on the end of its migration route, as there isn't much suitable cover for it here, but it will be interesting to see. We haven't heard one here before. I'll try to make an audio recording of it if I can, and post it on The Adventures of Algy for everyone to hear, but at present the wind noise is making that very difficult."
Jenny continues, "For readers who don't know about this bird, the corncrake is a very rare bird in Britain, classified as a 'Red status' bird, with not many more than 1,000 calling males in total in all of the UK. We are therefore very privileged to be hearing one! The bird belongs to the rail family, and migrates here from Africa like many other of our summer visitors. Some basic information is available on this RSPB Web page
Photo of corncrake courtesy potbic on Flickr, photostream here.