Tuesday, September 15, 2009

14th September, 2009.

A rather grey day, although somewhat bright ,until later when sunshine broke through. A southerly breeze produced a sea with a very slight swell.

At first light a party of 18 Grey lag Geese flew over the house towards the coast and, later, 10 flew south out at sea. This latter is only the second occasion I've witnessed direct movement off Islay and such may tie in with the wider "situation" which continues to intrigue us all!!

A seawatch, within which I did a three hour count, contrasted sharply with that of the 12th. Whilst Manx Shearwater and Gannet numbers were around the same, quite a variety of other birds were on the move. Red-throated Diver, Whimbrel, Redshank, Turnstone, Black Guillemot, a Puffin, a few unidentified auks, a Black-headed Gull ( not common at Frenchman's Rocks ), 3 Arctic Skua and a fine Pomarine Skua. Passerines on the move: Grey Wagtail, "Alba" Wagtails, Meadow Pipit, Twite , Linnet, with, noticeably, not a single hirundine being seen. A "Greenland" Wheatear " was on rocks nearby and a Sparrowhawk sat out on Frenchman's Rocks for a while before departing south, immediately replaced by a Hooded Crow which commenced to feed on what were obviously the remains of some hapless prey the hawk had feasted on!!

At one point what I took to be a Bottle-nosed Dolphin cast high out of the water, twisted, and returned, the whole episode taking little more than two seconds . Later, again for a short period only, a fin appeared which confirmed the sighting.

And, finally, back to the house to examine the moth trap, and wrestle, as always, with identifying some of the less obvious specimens now turning up!!

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