A pretty miserable day, contrasted against yesterday, with a strong blustery wind and rain. Everything seemed to "have its head down" and be hard work. Up to RSPB Gruinart to sort out some arrangements provided an opportunity to spend time at the reserve , but to little positive effect. Around 40 House Martin feeding on the lee side of Gruinart Wood was quite a good gathering for here, although they seem to have been in higher numbers generally this breeding season.
Called to see Clive McKay and family , who are over on holiday. Clive is leading the development of a bird recording programme that subsequently will be made available to all Scottish County organizations and their supporters. It will provide a consistent application out of which both county and the Scottish Reports can be prepared more easily, besides supporting the easy extraction of material for other "facilities" such as the Rare Bird Breeding Panel and others. Its ability to store dataover a protracted period will allow many useful summaries to emerge on breeding and wintering communities. The whole project is being backed by the Scottish Ornithological Club and the British Trust for Ornithology. We did talk of other things as well!!! Clive and Jeanette formerly lived on Islay, but are now in Angus so there was a little discussion on harrier persecution in eastern Scotland too!!
Had a further run around various sites but conditions were poor so returned home mid-afternoon. An immature female Sparrowhawk streaked down the road in front of the car on the stretch north of Portnahaven and managed a very respectable 35mph for quite a distance!!