Rain at both ends of the day but quite reasonable in between. With the girls at friends, and overnighting, it gave me the opportunity of looking at Loch Indaal during the late afternoon. A lazy high tide left wide expanses of mud and sand uncovered, but with very few birds in evidence. Curlew and Oystercatcher numbers are begining to build up slowly and a few Shelduck were around, a marked contrast to the frenetic atmosphere of autumn and winter!
Young birds continue to call from all available cover, an indication that we've not had a bad summer at all. The Outer Loch was virtually bereft of birds and, despite a good "trawl" of all suitable areas no summering Great Northern Divers could be found. July and August, (and then until late September) , are about the only months we never seem to have birds.
Hugh Harrop had been in touch yesterday ( see his comment , thanks Hugh! ) in connection with the cetacean sighting. It's his belief that it is a Risso's Dolphin. Given that I've never actually seen that species, nor was the observer anyway , it's difficult for me to comment. However, after having looked at a wider variety of pictures than in intial efforts, Hugh's advice appears to "fit the bill". Whilst there has been previous records from Islay, such are by no means regular. The Hebridean Whale and Dophin Trust web site shows only one reported record this year and three in 2008, so we're not dealing with an invasion folks!!