Last week I was finalising a plan for a significant twitch to try and catch up with spoonbill on the Montrose basin and Temminck's stint at Letham pools in Fife- both species being needed for my 'Scottish' list. Whilst packing my bag an RBA alert came through at 18:10 informing me that a Kentish plover had been found near Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye. With a minimum 3 hour drive to the site and 4 hours of light left it was a non-starter. A quick phone call to my birder friend Bob Mcmillan confirmed that he had found the bird and he obligingly provided an accurate grid. ref. for the site location. Plan B was set in motion very early the following day. As any twitcher knows, the feeling of total desolation following a major dip is not something to dwell on, so I'll just say that after a 03:00 start, a 6 hour return drive of 280 miles and 6 hours on site searching for the bird without success my mood could not really be described as jolly! The bird had obviously been a one- dayer and flown on overnight. To rub salt into my wounds I had received a couple of alerts during my travels informing me that both the stint and spoonbill had stayed in place all day- bummer. Highlight birds for my efforts were limited to 3 bar-tailed godwits and two pairs of very tidy whinchat. Enough said. I did enjoy spectacular views of the Cuillin range on Skye however.
Anyway, moving swiftly on, a few days later I teamed up with former Highland recorder Al Mcnee for a very early twitch to Loch of Strathbeg to try and see a Savi's warbler. We left Inverness at 01:00, arrived on site shortly after 03:15 and had located the bird shortly after 03:30. Although distant we enjoyed intermittent 'scope' views for the next couple of hours. Although the bird was perched in an upright stance in the tops of the phragmites reed stems, the distance and wind direction did not allow me to hear it. Some you win, some you lose……..