What are the other birds up to?


We’ve been hearing plenty about the seabirds slow return to the island this breeding season and we know the Eiders are back on the island but what about the other breeding birds?

 Pied Wagtails have been singing and displaying all around the island. They have also been fighting with other Pied Wagtails and chasing anything raptor or corvid looking away. A good way to detect for raptors is listening for the harsh alarm calls of the Pied Wagtails. If they are not on eggs yet they will be very soon. The same applies to our local Rock Pipits.

This unpaired Carrion Crow has been displaying down at the landing.

There is one or two pairs of Shelduck knocking about the island. You can recognise them flying over by their deep quacks and whistles. They nest out of sight down rabbit burrows and it is difficult to prove their breeding.

Not unheard of on the island but surprising was a Mallard laying an egg in the top garden. She appeared to abandon it’s nest shortly afterwards but fingers crossed it has laid elsewhere. A pair of Kestrels have been hanging around the loch and have even been observed mating. This would be an interesting addition to the islands breeding list!

We await our swallows returning again this year. It would be fantastic if they bred again.

Away from our breeding birds, this Short-eared Owl was seen on Sunday morning flying over the island and out to sea flying along the  not quite straight horizon. It is remarkable these birds make long migrations across the sea.

This fabulous Redstart is the first to be recorded for the year. It is a first summer male. This was trapped ringed and released on Sunday evening. Shortly after a Tree Sparrow dropped in. A Black Guillemot was seen on the island on Saturday and Sunday. Red-throated Diver, Manx Shearwater and Bonxie were seen off the May Princess over the weekend making for a rather good birdspotting on or around the island.

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