Saturday, November 15, 2008

15th November, 2008.

A reasonable day, mild with the occasional shower and mixed visibility allowing a series of BTO WeBS Counts and Atlas surveys to be completed.

Sadly the passage of birds over the sea is now much reduced, although a Great Northern Diver, a few Kittiwakes, an immature Gannet and a couple of Fulmars moved south. Outer Loch Indaal was almost devoid of birds and numbers of divers seem to have reduced, perhaps influenced by the recent storms. Hopefully another good day will arise that allows an unbiased count to take place. By contrast two or three flocks of Common Scoter were present, restless and chasing as ever!.

The Gorm/Sunderland area held some nice flocks of Barnacle and Greenland White-fronted Geese which are now begining to be a little more trusting and are providing tremendous views. The stubbles in that area saw good numbers of Rock Dove present and,feeding along with Rooks and Jackdaws, 54 Hooded Crow, a testament to how common this species actually is on the island. A few Scaup, along with a flock of Tufted Duck and a single Pochard, some Goldeneye, odd Mallard on Loch Gorm and a fine group of displaying Teal on nearby Loch nan Cachie provided a good selection of wildfowl to view.

Whilst flocks of Redwing are scattered here and there, Fieldfare are in much fewer numbers and, currently, Blacbird numbers seem to have dropped generally. A report from my local "postie" advises Woodcock have appeared this week at various places which seems a little earlier than last year. My house usually receives its delivery half an hour or so after dark and so the "explosion" of odd birds feeding alongside the moorland road is something of a feature at this time of year.

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