Sunday, March 1, 2009

28th February,2009.

With lengthening days and improving conditions anything we get thrown at us weatherwise now is soon despatched. Winter's not quite over but certainly spring is on its way!!
Birdwatching locally to, er, fit in with the Six Nations Rugby matches if the truth be known. Wothwhile, although nothing exceptional yet. The sea was much as before with Gannets and Fulmars around but nothing distinctly on the move. Common Gulls and Herring Gulls are now begining to come out over the local moorland and fields to feed and congregate and the calls of the latter can be heard at the house from the nearby cliffs. For the first time this year Lapwings were up on the moor, twirling and diving and giving out of their display calls....a wonderful sound. And equally, two Choughs were flying to and from their breeding sites with a group of 12 non-breeders (?) seen from the house later. The local Ravens sail out over the moor occasionally and "cronk" their way around on the look out for food.

News has come of a proposed wind farm to be sited around eight miles from the south -west coast of Islay. Given the probable spacings of the turbines my concern would not necessarily, or particularly, be for seabirds moving south at sealevel, but for the geese and swans which can move offshore at greater elevation and in inclement visibilty conditions and how they might fare. Whilst having been involved in many surveys and proposals over the years associated with land based wind farms, I have no experience of how "sea based" farms are evaluated and will follow developments with a great deal of interest, not least due to the site being straight opposite my seawatching "sector"!!

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