Wednesday, July 1, 2009

30th June, 2009.

Another great day with lots of sunshine. Had a session seawatching, more to underpin simple enjoyment rather than realise an expectation of anything turning up that was special. The pleasure of sitting in the sun (no midges)just watching endless lines of Gannets moving to and fro against a backdrop of a shining blue sea was great. Artic Terns wheeled incessantly in the nearby bay, confirming their increased numbers locally had arrived quite late this year.

However,my laziness wasn't quite without intent. I've been looking recently at the various work which has been done on seabird passage off Islay and decided to try and repeat some of it over the next couple of years or so. Way back in the 1970's various observations were made off Frenchman's Rocks, and then repeated again in the mid 1990's. Looking back at the results it appears some quite radical changes have taken place in the numbers of certain species, suggesting it to be worthwhile to revisit the situation. Seabird numbers appear to be on such a rollercoaster of a change at present and it seems to me to be quite important to try and generate data at this point in time. Doubtless many of the future sessions will be far less cosy than was today's!!

On to Bunnahabhain to try and get a photograph of the Common Rosefinch which appears to have taken up residence there. Despite a period hanging around the area where we saw it last week, the bird never showed and may now have moved on. It wasn't all a wasted journey though! Confirmation of breeding Raven, Whinchat, Lesser Redpoll and Siskin were all welcome additions to the BTO Atlas project. Returning home a further confirmation near to Bridgend of breeding Bullfich was a bonus as it's not a particularly common species on Islay.

No comments: