Thursday, 20 April 2017

Bird News

After his owl pictures yesterday, The Raptor is certainly earning his substantial salary as the Diary's chief avian correspondent with this photograph of a swallow. The Raptor writes, "I was just listening to the weather man telling me that it's going to get colder as the weekend approaches when I looked out of the window to see the first swallow of the season arriving."

Meanwhile, in Ormsaigbeg, where the swallows have yet to arrive, we're still seeing redpolls coming to the seed in the pheasant-proof cages on our front terrace. The male must be one of the most smartly feathered of birds, though....

....for sheer brilliance the male yellowhammer is difficult to beat. This one was in bright sunlight and the camera struggled to cope with his glowing colours.

The most recent returnees to the bird-feeding area are the linnets - this is a female. The male has the same sort of red patches on him as the redpoll but the female is much more low-key.

Meadow pipits are here in some numbers, moving around the croft fields along Ormsaigbeg in small, twittering flocks, while....

....the sand martins are making themselves at home in the quarry along the Sanna road and in the larger one at the roadside to the south of Loch Mudle.

A pair of shelduck used to nest regularly in Kilchoan Bay but we haven't seen them for some time. However, this one was flying over the bay the other day so, hopefully, they're back.

A pair of buzzards are very active along Ormsaigbeg, and drawing the unwelcome attention of the local crows, resulting in some interesting aerial confrontations. We couldn't work out whether this one was carrying a stick as a contribution towards nest building, or whether the object dangling from its talons was a snake or slow worm - presumably a gift to his mate.

Many thanks to The Raptor for his photograph.

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