Its been months since I wrote a blog so thought I would let you know of my little jaunt up the Blackcraig Hill in Ayrshire.
I had heard through the grapevine that dotterel had been seen over the weekend on this site. It seems its a regular place for them to stop off on the amazing journey North, but they are there for only a few days during the whole year, so the window of oppotunity to see them is very small!
I set off very early on Monday and arrived at 6:20am at the foot of the hill. Its about a 90min steady climb to the summit so not bad at all. The summit is approx 700m and when I arrived it was extremely windy! So windy that I couldn't hear anything but wind blowing all round me. It was clear blue skies but the wind was something else! I searched for about 3 hours and all I saw was a few pipits and a nice Golden Plover in Summer plumage. No Dotterel.
So I decided to head back to the car, thinking I had missed them and they were probably near the Cairngorms by now. Then all of a sudden a small flock of 5 birds flew past me and landed about 100 yards away. Quick look through the binoculars and YES...Dotterel!
Something I learned from an acquaintance is that they are like phalarope birds. In that the male bird is the less colourful and the female is the one with the stunning plumage. Not normally the case in the bird world, its usually the males with the smart colours.
Anyway, this was a highlight for me as not only was it the first time I have ever seen these birds but happy to come away with these images....hope you like them too?