The day promised much until the mist and drizzle rode in in successive waves , persisting until mid afternoon. Undeterred it provided an opportunity to get out after a couple of days necessarily involved in other issues. Incidentally, the Hato Pinero problem in Venezuela appears to be on "hold" for some strange reason, as no further action has taken place. Possibly the fact that the Government has now taken over the country's airline, Aeropostal, initially introduced by the French over 80 years ago, is engaging the process of "social progression" to saturation point!! Despite another attempt to enlist help and advice on the subject from the Parliamentary Labour Support Group linked to Venezuela their Chairman has not deigned to respond!
Some evidence of GBBG's and LBBG arriving down on the Rinns, a few Gannets around but nothing of particular note arising from a sea watch. The last few days has seen Meadow Pipit numbers increase, with many birds assuming territory more or less immediately. An attempt to count Great Northern Divers on Loch Indaal came to nought after a while given the visibilty. I'm amazed at the number of pairs of Grey lag Geese at various spots, besides the presence of small parties too. Do these filter in to Islay ,via the Rinns, from some, as yet unknown ,wintering area on the mainland? I suspect we might see another increase in our population this breeding season.
Given the weather the opportunity to visit friends appeared the most sensible option and provided the wonderful chance to have excellent views of the female Great Spotted Woodpecker in their garden. The bird has been here most of the winter and is a real "bonus" bird for Islay. Whilst there have been many claims of brief sightings over the years, usually in late autumn, it isn't a species we have in residence and many local birders had yet to see one until this individual arrived. It will be interesting to see whether it moves back, presumably to the mainland, or remains.
And finally, by way of an update!! At the very point, literally, of Ian Brooke intending to explain the intricacies of transferring photographs on to Blogs, we had an electricity supply failure. This threatened to be serious as it alledgedly was affecting the whole west coast of Scotland but, thankfully, all was restored a couple of hours later. In such circumstances the irony of having a wave generation plant a couple of kilometres down the coast from me, which has been proved viable but never linked to the grid, fails to placate!!