Some years ago birders visiting Strathspey, and then venturing a little further north, christened the (Upper) valley of the Findhorn "Raptor Alley". Such came back to me yesterday morning travelling the Lossit -Kilchiaran road from home with Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, an absolutely stunning male Merlin perched on a gate post and Golden Eagle and Short-eared Owl earlier. What a place! Despite having undertaken a lot of monitoring of Merlins over the years , ringed birds etc this will be the "stereotype memory" I shall always carry with me from now on. It really was a beautiful bird, and so confiding!
Quite a slice of the day was spent in Bowmore and then , later, in the southern part of Islay. Grey lag Goose pairs seem to be everywhere, and unless they move on somewhere, we are surely going to see the population burgeoning. I recollect saying this last year, which only then happened in part; what I don't recollect is seeing this many birds, this widespread, in springtime!!