Trip reports

Baron's Haugh

Baron's Haugh
Grey heron and mute swan - Hugh Conner

Sunday, 10 April 2016

On rather a cool, but at least dry, April morning, a dozen of us gathered at the RSPB Baron's Haugh reserve. On the walk down to the first hide we picked up some woodland species, with some of the group getting a treecreeper, while others watched a great spotted woodpecker flying over. Chiffchaff and willow warbler gave us our first summer migrants, and from the hides sand martins and swallows were seen. Teal, wigeon, gadwall, and a single whooper swan showed that not all winter visitors had left yet.

At the second hide a few people thought they heard a water rail calling, though we were unable to locate it. Further on, an elusive song thrush kept us entertained with its repertoire of calls. Several goosander were present on the river, but we didn't get the hoped for kingfisher, probably because the river was too high and muddy. A heron was hunting along the edge of the reeds near to where a mute swan was nesting, and we wondered if there would be a conflict, but the swan wasn't bothered at all. The RSPB have been doing a bit of work on the reserve, and several new information boards have been put up giving information about the history of the area as well as the wildlife to be seen. We ended the walk by going through Dalzell Park, in the hope of getting nuthatch. Unfortunately, the feeders that they used to come to have been taken down, and although we heard a couple calling, we didn't manage to see any.

Hugh M. Conner