Monday, January 4, 2010

Treacherous winter's day!!

Pre-dawn saw me up-end whilst walking across the concrete canopy to the barn due to serious black ice! Rain overnight had frozen in a thick layer that was an absolute nightmare. By lunchtime we managed to get out to attend to a few things, despite no one having managed to travel along our road. Later the consequent reasons for the road conditions became probably apparent when viewing the much diminished stocks of salt/grit at the depot near Bowmore!.

Managed to oversee Inner Loch Indaal for a absolute bonanza! Duck and waders were spread out and utilising any and every feeding niche they could exploit. Shelduck, Mallard, Greater Scaup, Pintail, Wigeon, Goldeneye, Eider, Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser plus Curlew , Redshank, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Oystercatcher. Add to this a never ending succession of changing numbers of Barnacle Geese, some Grey lag Geese and Light-bellied Brent Geese and odd Slavonian Grebe and the picture was complete despite the intervention of sleet showers and variable visibility. A lovely start to a New Year's birding however short in duration.

Elsewhere, as often happens after the turn of the year anyway, geese were tucked into all sorts of new and odd feeding "corners", particularly Greenland White-fronted Geese. I'm surprised that there has been no mention of the Bar-headed Goose recently which was afforded such notoriety last winter. Still here , possibly with "son of", and I think well ensconced with the feral farm yard lot he's now associated with! I suspect it may have been picked up by either Barnacle or Greenland White-fronted Geese in Ireland, when they had skipped across early on in the passage period or due to bad weather, given it's known there's a few "loose" individuals there!

The day ended with No 2 daughter skating on Loch Finlaggan, me scalding my hand doing the final meal of "the visit" and the weather appearing "iffy" in the face of our intention to take on Islay and the mainland tomorrow! What's new?

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