Friday, February 6, 2009

6th February,2009.

Actually our weather today was very similar to yesterday, in its pattern, with slight snow overnight and then a reasonable day to follow. Except the wind is now northerly and very cold!!!

Set out with the intention of trying to determine how many "white winged" gulls we actually had in the northern most part of the island. Various birds , both Glaucous and Iceland, have been reported and of varying ages and it's never easy to know if they are wintering or just passing through. In the end I saw the regular immature Glaucous Gull west of Bridgend, at the head of Loch Indaal, and the fully adult Iceland Gull uo at Bunnahabhain, which I believe is now returning for its fifth winter, An absolutely stunning bird!
A prolonged look for the Canvasback amongst the 300+ Greater Scaup on Loch Indaal was unsuccessful but not helped by rather choppy viewing conditions. I did genuinely feel the bird was not with them and we really need the whole flock to appear. It's ridiculous where so many birds can disappear to!!!

A male Goosander near to Bunnahabhain was a good Islay record but, of equal interest, was the absence of any on the loch on Jura , which can be viewed over the Sound of Islay. This latter site was the more reliable until the fish farming enterprise finished and , increasingly, the loch holds few, if any,birds.
As yesterday a few Redwing, a flock of Fieldfare at Ellister but little else that is evidence of change. Hardly surprising with the weather which, incidentally, is more or less our normal winter dosage, not a once in 18years occurence as is being pleaded by southern parts of the UK !!

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