Wednesday, May 12, 2010

11th May,2010.

A weatherman would have described it as changeable! At 0700 hours it was calm and there was even a little warmth in the sun; at 1000 hours we were in the midst of snow flurries! Such continued all day, but with an improvement by evening.

A notable change since March when I was here, and which I forgot about yesterday, was the much increased presence of Greenfinch. This is a species which, on Islay, since the midst of last summer, has progressively visited my garden less and less, with other people making similar comments. Here, in March, there was the odd bird only but,now, the hedgerows have a reasonable complement of calling, territorial birds; an almost essential component of our countryside! Siskins are everywhere, calling and flying over the nearby woodlands.

The evening fell calm and, close to dusk, the air was filled with a "thrush chorus" of impressive dimensions, an absolute delight when, as at present, birding opportunities are a bit limited. Almost as if to register its wish not to be left out, an early calling Tawny Owl allowed its muted call to drift over the quietening landscape, an atmospheric scene only poetry could properly do justice to.

Sad news that the Dumfries and Galloway E-mail network has been closed due to the exchange of personal criticism and silly actions by a minority. What's new!! As a provider of details from an area on the Scottish mainland farther south than Islay it's a great shame and thanks must be extended to all those who repeatedly tried to keep it "alive". Many useful comparisons arose relating to passage birds, winter movements and so on. It raises the question why some people feel it necessary to pursue personal objectives and vendettas and divert attention away from what is the primary purpose , an enjoyment and study of birds and other wildlife by us all. Hopefully it might yet arise in some renewed guise!

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