|Barnacle Geese on the wetland at Mersehead RSPB, Dumfries & Galloway 11 April 2012.|
|Male Northern Wheatear, Mersehead RSPB, 11 April 2012.|
I hadn't seen the regular wintering flock of Purple Sandpipers at Southerness Point this winter so I was delighted to find 5 on the rocks as the tide came in yesterday afternoon. The flock "grew" to 14 as the water covered the rocks. They were there all the time; just tucked down the other side though. Four Sandwich Terns over the point and at least 3 Red-throated Divers were the only birds of note on a flat-calm sea with a less than favourable (for local seawatching) WNW wind.
I paid a late afternoon visit to the RSPB reserve at Mersehead where The Barnacle Geese were close to the Bruaich Hide and at least 8 White Wagtails were on show on the wetland. Chiffchaffs and Yellowhammers in the hedgerows, Water Rails calling and Wheatear and Swallow on show from the hides.
Migrating skeins of Pink-footed Geese, half a dozen Whooper Swans and 48 Fieldfare over the Galloway Hills with my first Willow Warbler of the spring make a nice mix this week and signs of movement. Not that you would've believed it on Easter Monday, when I sifted through 4000 Pink-footed Geese on Crossens Inner Marsh at Marshside in the pouring rain. There were 2 Tundra Bean Geese, 2 Barnacle Geese, a Greylag Goose and a whopping 18 European White-fronted Geese in them. Who would've thought that the best Ribble goose watching of the "winter" would be in April?
A Swallow and 4 House Martins made it feel a bit like spring at least.