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Digital Subscriptions > Arran Banner > 18/8/18 > A good breeding season

A good breeding season

While last July was the wettest in my 13 years as bird recorder, this July was much drier with about 50 per cent less rain than last year. Generally, the warm settled spell that start- ed in late May continued throughout July.

In the main, this was conducive to birds raising young and many species had a good breeding season. There were widespread reports of swallow and house martin with young and the sand martin colonies in Sannox and in Catacol were thriving. Another measure of the successful breeding season came from the local bird ringing group, who in three hours in Auchenhew Bay on 24 July caught and ringed 52 willow warbler, 48 of which were young birds. Some observers reported gardens ‘awash’ with young birds including blue tit, great tit, coal tit, house sparrow, robin, song thrush, blackbird, chaffinch, goldfinch, siskin and encouragingly, greenfinch. Other signs of a successful breeding season included: a family of dipper in Gleann Easan Biorach on 4th, seven grey heron on Loch a’ Mhuilinn on 8th, a crèche of four female with eight young eider in Loch Ranza on 18th, a pair of mute swan with five young at Glenashdalewaterfoot on 19th, a female red-breasted merganser with five young by Fisherman’s Walk on 20th, a family of grey wagtail at Port a’ Ghille Ghlais also on 20th, a young great spotted woodpecker in Sliddery on 21st, four young and two adult kestrel over Torr Mhoile also on 21st, a pair of shelduck with six flying young at Kilpatrick Point on 24th, a family of common sandpiper at Whitefarland on 25th and a family of spotted flycatcher at Shannochie on 29th.

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