Basin Notes - July 2010

Migrants Arrive

It is still very much summer for us but for many wading birds it is time to head south!

Already, at Montrose Basin, over 300 redshanks, 15 greenshanks, 171 curlews, 17 common sandpipers, eight black-tailed godwits and a few whimbrels have been gathering to feed and roost as their breeding summer is over.

It is highly likely that most of these birds have come from Iceland or Scandinavia, but very recently I watched a golden plover leave the Angus hills to head for the coast.

Once again, it might seem a little premature but swallows are beginning to flock with around 500 coming in to roost in our reed beds.

It will be very interesting to discover what number might be roosting around the end of August!

It really is still summer as our 130+ tern chicks will testify and it is a great sight to stand on the Montrose bridge to watch these 'sea swallows' passing to and fro, carrying fish if they are heading towards the Basin.

Another success story is the sand martin colony, visible from the centre window, with around 40 birds in constant action feeding young.

An osprey has been visiting to catch flounders in our shallow waters and it has been a wonderful story over at SWT Loch of the Lowes with the very old female managing to see her two chicks fledge.

Back at the Basin, we have had higher numbers of common seals on the sand banks with up to 19 being spotted through our public telescopes.