South Ayshire Hogmanay

Having made our way up to Girvan yesterday afternoon, we awoke to a bright and sunny morning though bitterly cold. There's little snow around here but plenty further east and north. A quick glance towards Arran revealed snow covered mountains - a spectacular view from here.

We decided to have a quick look along the coast north of Girvan and up to Maidens. The first stop was Dipple, next to the alginate processing factory. Here there were 45 Lapwing, several Turnstones and Redshank. A few Wigeon and Eider were off shore but otherwise there was very little. Next was Maidens harbour where a Black Redstart had been seen lately. We didn't see it but the wrack in the bays was covered in birds. You don't often see Song Thrush, Grey Wagtail and Turnstones feeding together. There were plenty of Meadow and Rock Pipits including a greyish one with a hint of a salmony coloured wash on the upper breast - probably a Water Pipit or possibly littoralis Rock Pipit. The bird showed briefly before flying off never to be re-located. There were Goldeneye in the harbour and five Brent Geese - four pale-bellied and one dark-bellied.

Calling in at Turnberry pool on our way back, I counted 66 Teal, 22 Tufted Ducks, 7 Snipe, 2 Little Grebes and single Mute and Whooper Swans. A brief scan offshore revelead a single Black-throated Diver as well as the usual Eider and Red-breasted Merganser and small flocks of Linnets.


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