A breezy day at the onset and, finally, some fine weather too!!
A busy day calling at Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB and elsewhere to talk about forthcoming surveys, goose counting and much else. Any birding was whilst being mobile in many senses! A decision to delay the Grey lag Goose count, so ( hopefully ) some more of the barley harvest could be retrieved , paid off with work in full swing . This will mean more geese are out on the stubbles and much easier to count!
By evening Outer Loch Indaal was quite calm but little had changed. Razorbill groups, a feature of the late "summer", a few Shag, and 15+ Arctic Tern were the only birds of note. Earlier a group of 13 Mistle Thrush was the first seen . The tide in the Inner Loch was quite high forcing waders off elsewhere, although a few Curlew perched stoically on odd wave washed rocks!
Details have emerged, relating to the Tree Sparrows, which possibly makes the breeding on the Oa reserve this summer even more significant. Malcolm Ogilvie had kindly extracted and summarized records held by the Islay Natural History Trust and had added further comment that suggests it may be forty years since the species bred. Indeed some doubt is held over the fact of whether they actually ever bred in the past. Occurences were often during the breeding season but there appears to be no firm evidence of actual breeding, certainly in recent decades as suggested in other sources. So, 2009 might well be the begining of something quite positive!!