Summer migrants are certainly dropping in thick and fast here at Montrose and since my last post on returning migrants, we have had our first sightings of sandwich tern and common sandpiper on the reserve.
The latter was seen by one of our volunteers as he was out walking his dog near the Bridge of Dun and the former recorded resting on a marker buoy in the Basin, both on Sunday afternoon. It’s a pity neither species turned up an hour earlier when they would have been seen and included in the WeBS count!
Also on Sunday, male blackcaps were heard singing at Old Montrose car park and the Visitor Centre, something which has continued every day since, and just this morning as I was walking along the Lurgies Path I heard a grasshopper warbler in reeds on the Drum of Dun reeling away.
If you have never heard a grasshopper warbler call, it is often described as being similar to the line on a fisherman’s reel, hence the term “reeling”. It is a constant trill which in calm conditions can reputedly be heard up to 1km away. “Groppers”, as they may be referred to by us birder-types, are more likely to be heard than seen, so as the evenings grow longer, get out of the house and down to your nearest reedbed and listen out for the reeling call of this wonderful warbler, you may just get lucky!
Adam – Montrose Basin Ranger