Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday---- a hint of what's in store?

A moderate frost clothing the landscape at dawn didn't deter the first bubbling and displaying Curlew over the adjacent grass moor. A single Skylark offered a very subdued, half hearted song and a couple of Lapwings again went through their display. Later, and on lower ground near the coast, 60/70 Lapwings were all feeding together on improved land, obviously not yet tempted away from a better prospect.

The day was glorious with the warmth of the sun actually discernible for what I think is the first time in the year! Buzzards were in display,gulls could be heard from the adjacent coastline and it felt that we are at least moving very gradually towards spring! A local male Hen Harrier , again hunting over the open moor , then suddenly went through the crowns of the trees in a nearby conifer plantation using a very languid flight, a technique I've never seen before.

The sea was very quiet other than for a few auks speeding south,local Shag and a few Fulmar patrolling back and forth, doubtless birds from the local colony within which 30+ pairs or individuals were present on the ledges. Several groups of Grey lag Geese ( 24,29,6,5 )were in fields along the coast but little else.

In conversation with friends from Orkney here on holiday I discovered that their wintering population of Grey lag Geese now numbers around 80,000, with 70,000 of these thought to hail from Iceland. Figures that make our "mildly increasing" population pale into insignificance by comparison.

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