Ne'er clast a clout till May be out could well turn out to be true this year! Instead of enjoying some early signs of summer, the weather across Scotland and indeed the rest of the UK is currently more reminiscent of a typical April. It seems that the jet stream, coupled with a stubborn area of high pressure over Greenland and Iceland which is forcing areas of low pressure over Europe is to blame.
|An area of high pressure is blocking the movement of the jet stream northwards|
The jetstream is currently positioned well below the UK and is preventing any warmer and more settled conditions from heading our way. Until the high pressure is displaced allowing the jet stream to move north, these conditions will unfortunately persist. The good news is that things could be changing with a lot of forecasts predicting the jet stream will move north late next week!
We did actually enjoy a brief period of southerly winds in the early part of this week but they already seem a distant memory as once again we find ourselves back to the more familiar north, northeasterly. Anyway, I'm thankful for small mercies as that brief period seems to have allowed for an increased arrival of warblers, thus far thin on the ground. My first Garden Warbler at Dalmadilly Ponds on Wednesday, along with larger numbers of Blackcap, Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat. Swallows are now far more prominent and the first Swift at the pond was noted during today's morning visit.
|Pochard ~ An increasingly scarce visitor.|
On Wednesday an addition to my waterfowl list with two Pochard on the pool when I arrived.
|Pied Flycatcher ~ A record snap of this scarce visitor to the north-east|
One particular species, the Pied Flycatcher, that I'd mentioned in my previous post as being an uncommon passage migrant to the north-east, with just ten records according to the 2019 North-East Scotland Bird Report suddenly popped up on Birdguides. A male in 'The Plantation' at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg. This is actually a remote part of the reserve on the northern side of the loch but once I discovered where to park I found it to be a pleasant walk out to the wood, although the low cloud and occasional mizzle didn't help.
|Corn Bunting happily singing in the gloom on route to the plantation|
Wheatear, Corn Bunting, and Whimbrel all noted before I reached the plantation and almost immediately the Pied Flycatcher showed for long enough to obtain a quick snap. A bonus while here were my first Spotted Flycatchers of the year.