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Ranger Spring and Summer Review - August 2012


It has been a busy summer of sightings and we are thrilled to have seen some basking sharks this season.  IRCT Ranger Mike Werndly gives a quick round up of Spring and Summer 2012.

A good late spring record of a long-eared owl at the Harris tree plot on May 22nd was a welcome change for some.  Two adult Orca were seen off Muck on the 25th June and five were seen again on July 4th.  Four bottle-nosed dolphins were also spotted off Eigg that same day.  Basking sharks have been a wee bit more numerous this season, but still only a handful of records for Rum, including singles in Loch Scresort on 13th and 14th July, and a whopping five seen in the waters off Kilmory on July 21st.

Our White-tailed (Sea) Eagles failed this breeding season, and two pairs of Golden Eagles bred, but only one was successful, fledging one chick.  Other breeding successes include one pair of Greenshank, Short-Eared Owl, Hen Harrier, Merlin, and at least ten pairs of Red-Throated Divers.  Arctic terns did well too, with over ten pairs nesting at Kilmory. 

Other notables include a possible breeding Spotted Flycatcher which was seen on numerous occasions around the Village during May, June and July.   Maybe it was tempted by our warmer, drier summer conditions and the subsequent abundance of insects.

Autumn migration is now underway with a flock of 50+ Twite at Harris on the 5th August and two juvenile Dotterel on Barkeval on the 18th August.

After a lovely warm and dry spring and early summer, Rum had a reprieve from the voracious Midge through most of July.  Rain later in the month, and a wetter August have meant they are now back with a vengeance.  However, we will all remember those beautiful July evenings where we could sit out and relax, rather than just watch out of the window.

For a more detailed report visit Mike’s blog here.


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