Wednesday, June 24, 2009

23rd June,2009.

Well, I did press the button, it did work but then, in rolled the sea mist , which persisted for two whole days. Hearing vehicles "feel" their way along the road below the house was both strange and amusing!!

By contrast, today has been "the" day, with temperatures soaring and sunshine from end to end. It was a sheer joy to be out birding again. Rather than chase all over the place I deliberately remained "local" and thoroughly enjoyed it.The sea was like a shimmering sheet of glass, with ghostly images that were ships passing in a distant haze and the outline of northern Ireland appearing in dark relief, sometimes clear, and sometimes obscured by swirling banks of sea fog. Birds were few but Gannets glided by in the calm conditions and odd shearwaters had to rely on their own energies to make any progress.

In the late afternoon, over Portnahaven, 29 Common Swift swirled and screamed after arriving in from the south. Gradually they made their way northwards at quite a height. Swift records here are intriguing, as the only usual breeding areas on mainland Argyll are at Dunoon and in Oban. Whether these were on a feeding movement, or late arriving birds, is difficult to say, but I was later reminded the latter could be the case when I had 5 House Martin around the house for a short period. After feeding they also headed off north in a determined fashion!!

And so, back in harness and with some relief too!!

At the risk of being dubbed "Jonathon Ross Armitage" may I recommend a film I saw a couple of nights ago? "The Boxer" starring Daniel Day Lewis, is set in the time of the Irish troubles prior to peace and the release of internees being fully gained. It's stark, profane and beautiful, compassionate and violent and pays testament in so many ways to the diverse character of human nature, idealism and morality. In many senses it's a little "Old Testament", but in all senses it is powerful, don't miss it!!

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