Saturday, May 23, 2009

22 nd May,2009.

An absolutely glorious day!! The low temperatures overnight had ensured a rather poor moth catch but data will slowly accumulate!! At the other extreme Green-veined White butterflies were everywhere once the sun had a little warmth.

Gathered in a few "Roving Records" fot the Atlas, including a couple of broods of Grey lag Geese. Earlier discussions with the Chairman of the Islay Goose Management Group confirmed my feelings that we are very probably going to see quite an increase this year followed, again, by increasing numbers remaining overwinter. Time will tell!! Further discussions on Corncrakes later at RSPB suggested the situation at the southern end of the Rinns may reflect the pattern whereby increasing numbers of birds can "concentrate" at suitable locations, particularly former strongholds, from which a more widely distributed population can result. It will be interesting to see what happens once the males start dispersing after the first brreding attempts!

This year appears much better for numbers of breeding Northern Wheatears, Whinchat, Grasshopper Warblers and Common Whitethroat on Islay so it will be interesting to see what the situation is elsewhere. Little seemed to be happening as far as migrants were concerned, with no unexpected surprises arising. Duck broods are appearing and the RSPB Gruinart Mute Swans are the proud parents of at least six cygnets!! This is where Atlas work really comes into its own!!!

As i'm writing this on the Saturday morning of the 23rd I feel vindicated in the decision not to complete further survey work on Corncrakes last night. Early morning showed mist clothing the whole landscape, rain lashing the windows and penetrating cold. In the words of the song, " What a difference a day makes", Islay is contrary in the extreme , but I suppose that's the attraction.

AND, if you haven't seen it, watch the film " RENDITION", a tribute to the paranoia and flawed decision making that goes on in national governments with reference to terrorism, matched against tha actual justifications given and actions taken of those that actually are involved!!

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