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November 2023

Bird Sightings
November was much colder than October with the mean temperature four degrees lower. November was drier than October. In comparison to last November, it was colder with less rain.
Not surprisingly in November, winter visitors were to the fore. There were six reports of Waxwing, three from Lochranza area and three from Sliddery. The largest group was thirteen in Lochranza on 11th. Fieldfare and Redwing reports were down compared to October but included forty Fieldfare at Lenamhor Farm and one Redwing at Dereneneach both on 3rd. Other reports included three Twite in Blackwaterfoot on 3rd, five Yellowhammer in Sliddery on 25th, a Brambling at the entrance to Cnoc na Daill on 26th and two reports of wintering Blackcap in gardens, one in Pirnmill on 18th and one in Sliddery on 25th.

Other records of wintering birds included: three Dunlin on Silver Sands on 1st, two Bar-tailed Godwit at Lenamhor on 3rd, five Rook in Clachaig on 4th, nineteen Turnstone at Porta Buidhe on 17th, four Purple Sandpiper on Silver Sands on 28th, seventy Golden Plover in Machrie on 30th and thirty Lapwing in Clachaig also on 30th.

Reports of wintering wildfowl included: eleven Whooper Swan flying over Fairy Dell on 11th, thirty-five Teal at South Carlo on 16th, a male Common Scoter in Catacol Bay on 17th, a male Goldeneye at Clauchlands on 19th, seventy-four Wigeon at Merkland Pointon 28th and eighty Greylag Geese at South Feorline on 29th.

Gardens are safe refuges during the winter months with many people providing regular food and water for their feathered friends. These are a small selection from the many reports from gardens round the island in November: fifty Chaffinch in Pirnmill on 1st, four Goldcrest at Dereneneach on 3rd, eleven Blue Tit at Corriegills on 10th, eight Coal Tit in Lochranza on 18th, two Treecreeper in Clauchlands on 26th and twenty Long-tailed Tit in Corrie on 29th.

There were some November records of birds usually associated with warmer months of the year. One House Martin in Kildonan on 2nd, two Lesser Black-backed Gull in Catacol on 6th and the last Gannet was reported off Pirnmill on 7th.

Here is a further selection of highlights from what has been another exceptional month for bird-watching on Arran: a Little Grebe in Loch Ranza on 1st, two Goosander also in Loch Ranza on 5th, four Black-throated Diver off Corrie on 7th, a Kingfisher by Fisherman’s Walk also on 7th, five Great Northern Diver off Pirnmill on 11th, a Shelduck at Carlo on 16th, two Red Grouse in Glaister on 17th, one hundred and fifty-three Eider at Kingscross Point on 21st and a Dipper at Sandbraes on 24th.

Finally, Little Egret: In November twenty-three reports of Little Egret were received from both east and west coasts of the island. Almost all were reports of a single bird. There were two at Drumadoon Point on 6th, two at Rubha Salach on 29th and also on 29th on the other side of the island, there were three at Cosyden. This suggests that there could have been at least five Little Egret on Arran in November.  Egrets exploring before becoming established?

In December continue to look out for Waxwings.
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