A night of Wagnerian proportions, or so I was told, which offered strong winds, rain, lightning , thunder ...the lot. However, it was within sleeping time so I'm afraid I missed it!!!
The weather wasn't that good throughout the day with continuing strong winds and heavy squalls. I took advantage of the opportunity to look at the results from the Grey-lag Goose survey, talk to other counters and, generally, to get a feel of the situation which had emerged. So saying, I'm somewhat confused!
The total was very close to that of last year, i.e.1600, which I'm loathe to believe is correct, although duty bound to accept until something higher is obtained. Given there were plenty of broods around, and that only around 50 birds have been shot in the interim, this would mean that we'd either missed some birds or that some birds had moved on already. The alternative, of course, is that the popultion has remeined relatively stable as has happened elsewhere after a period of growth. Similarly, of the birds which did move off last winter, a reduced number may have returned to breed. In the circumstances it seems sensible to continue counts until at least the end of September to keep checking the figures. Whilst there did seem to be a lot of birds around, conjecture as to the reasons surrouding the count, or the reality, is pointless and only the counts can be taken as representing the true situation. In my opinion the total still represents what could be present "island wide" as a breeding /non-breeding population and little evidence exists this early in the season of any immigration. So, we press on to find the answers!! Elsewhere in Scotland the matter is being debated by the Scottish NFU as similar trends have been noted at other locations and concerns are being expressed by the farming community. So, back to the counting board........
Had what appeared to be a good hebridensis Song Thrush locally. A very dark bird compared to the local ones and one whose provenance was presumably Skye or further north.