Tag: Jim Cassels

Look out for turnstone in their breeding plumage
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Look out for turnstone in their breeding plumage

In breeding plumage, the correct name of the Ruddy Turnstone is apt.  These delightful shore birds have been reported in every month of the year on Arran, turning, not only, stones with their bill in their characteristic way, but seaweed and other items on the shore in the search of insects and other invertebrates.

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Birds flock together ready for migration

September was cooler than August. There were no ‘named storms’ and the second half of the month was particularly dry and settled. September is the start of the peak migration season when many birds are on the move. The weather was conducive for watching this migration.

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House martin had a good breeding season

August was warmer than July but wetter. The mean temperature was 1.6 degrees higher and the rainfall was 16 per cent more. In comparison to last August the mean temperature and rainfall were very similar.

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Gulls with rings on Arran

In June this year there were two reports of gulls with rings on their legs on Arran. Both were lesser black-backed gulls a familiar bird round the coast in the summer months. This species is in decline. Both birds had coloured Darvic rings enabling the bird to be identified at a distance. 

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Birding in lockdown

We may be in lockdown but for the birds life goes on as normal. In April migration continued and breeding got underway. As the bird recorder for the Arran Natural History Society, I rely on people sharing their bird observations with me and in lockdown I was heartened not just by the quantity of sightings that I received in April but also by the quality of them.