An early post for reasons outlined later!! Despite the mist and light rain I went around the local coastal " circuit" nurturing the possibility of seeing some of the naval vessels returning south that had been involved in the NATO Joint Warrior exercise in the Minch.. With 12 NATO and Allied Nations involved I reckoned on seeing something as odd ones of them dodged southwards via the Irish Sea . Suffice to say my hunch reinforced the idea I should never have considered being a navigator!!
Basically spent the remainder of the day around Loch Indaal, particularly the Inner Loch. Almost 20 Slavonian Grebes, good numbers of Red-throated Divers with some diverse plumages on show, 400-500 Golden Plover ( finally ) but nothing amongst them, increasing numbers of Greater Scaup with over 30 Light -bellied Brent Geese in amongst them, Wigeon on the increase and parties of resplendent Eider. All topped up by a variety of waders and other duck species that provided a really good day!! At one point there was around 5000 Barnacle Geese simply resting or hanging around following the possibility of them having fed overnight given the moonlit conditions. Given the absolutely overcast conditions now in evidence they must then forgo feeding for 12 hours or so and then "flood out" tomorrow morning!!
Given there was no Grey-lag Geese included with them I checked a local area and found 150/160 which are using a loch and nearby stubble area for resting and feeding. It stll suggests over 500 have moved on in recent weeks and poses where they go to?
In some ways pride of place must go to a single bird which turned up in the garden early this morning! A species I record perhaps once a year... the humble House Sparrow. A very alert male arrived, stationed himself in "the bush" and took in the situation before moving on, testament to the fact even this species we very much take for granted moves around to a limited extent.
And so the final chapter of the day! Late evening my young daughters Katherine and Rachael will be arriving for most of their half term. Doubtless I shall become acquainted with new specialities ( Facebook ....already threatened ) making me into a silver social networking advocate!!