Journeying north, via Cley on the 24th, where it was a real treat to see newly arrived Wood Sandpipers with earlier migrant Green Sandpipers, neither of which we get all that often on Islay. The White rumped Sandpiper showed well and, briefly, the Pectoral Sandpiper, which may have actually left that afternoon based on later information. Whilst time was pressing the array of other good birds was too good to be ignored....Spotted Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Knot, Black-tailed Godwit,Golden Plover, Ruff, Avocet, Spoonbill, Marsh Harrier and many others. A wonderful place but yet inevitably under threat if the loss of the coastal shore line is anything to go by, and that comparison from January too!!!
A visit to see Black-necked Grebe at Potteric Carr NR, near Doncaster, where they have bred successfully this year, also provided an opportunity to see the most recent extension to the reserve. This site is an absolute gem and gives a real sense of wilderness despite it being cheek by jowl with motorways and the very heartland of Doncaster itself.
And finally!! A quick visit back to one of my past local sites near Penistone ( Royd Moor Reservoir ) provided two Willow Tits and a feeling of some comfort that they'd not all been lost to the area.
Whilst South Yorkshire might seem a strange "stepping off " point for Islay it is possible to leave there and catch a ferry all in the same day, weather, road works and caravans apart!!! A Minke Whale in the latter part of the journey signalled a return to familiar waters in what is basically the Eastern Atlantic Seabord.