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Showing posts from August, 2008

Having a whale of a time

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Arran from Girvan

Sunday morning saw me at Turnberry - far too early for the golfers but just in time to watch the Manx Shearwaters passing in their droves. I was watching a group of Gannets when suddenly this fin appears out of the water (at least a mile away). I excitedly trained my scope on the area and was rewarded with the huge bulk and fin of a Minke whale three times in five minutes as it made its way UP the Clyde between me and Arran - absolutely fantastic.A couple of juvenile Wheatears popped up and then everything was spooked first by a Sparrowhawk and then by a Peregrine. One of the Knot on the rocks still had its orangy plumage and the Trunstones were still in their summer finery. More medals ensued!!!!!!

Girvan in August and an unexpected find

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Time for a well deserved week off and we've headed back to Girvan. I love the tranquility of the place (away from the main road of course) and plan to spend more time searching out some good birding spots.Anyway, we arrived on Friday evening so as there was a stiff wind blowing on Saturday morning (16th Aug), I decided to get up early-ish and do a seawatch from the harbour wall where I'd seen some good birds earlier in the year. It was a good decision to make as straight away there were plenty of Manx Shearwaters passing (though distant) as well as the usual Gannets and Sandwich Terns. I was totally taken by surprise when a Storm Petrel flew south not too far off the coast - the wind wasn't too strong and southerly so it was completely unexpected - as was another (and eventually 4 in the hour I was there). Then came something I was very pleased to see - a couple of Manxies appeared followed by a dusky brown version - a Balearic Shearwater. This was a UK tick for me and it w…