Wednesday, February 11, 2009

10th February,2009.

A harsh frost but with a beautiful day to follow made it a joy to be out. Counting geese on the Oa and SE Islay sector for what is the international count. Driving into Bowmore, before commencing, thousands of Barnacle Geese were present on Bridgend Flats, presumably preparing to spend most of the day resting up after a night feeding below the full moon.
Our counts too saw most geese congregated in given areas, which obviously makes the counting easier. Nothing else of particular note around except a few Redwing here and there. The opportunity to access various farms, and their stackyards, helps to confirm how widespread and how many Reed Buntings we actually have on Islay. In many places more obvious than Chaffinch!
A White-tailed Eagle has turned up on the Solway generating much conjecture as to its origin. It too appears not to carry any wing tags or rings. In 2008, due to a licensing difficulty, no White-tailed Eagles were wing tagged. They do have a ring on the left leg carrying two no.s. Having said all that the bird at Bridgend last week wasn't tagged but, despite good views, I think it would have been an act of faith to say it wasn't ringed!
Had another look for the Canvasback, but without any success. Indeed the Greater Scaup flock appeared to have reduced even more by about 40/50 birds. It was in the same place as previously, in relatively calm conditions, which normally would see a lot of birds present.

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