Wednesday, June 30, 2010

29th June, 2010.

Essentially a necessary admin day acknowledging the need to sort out a variety of tasks. Initial preparations are now in hand to carry out Low Tide Counts for the BTO this winter on ( Inner ) loch Indaal after arrangements last season had to be halted. Whilst there is no absolute imperative to have this information, given it appears unlikely there will be any imminent major developments around the loch, past experience elsewhere has shown it is always useful to have such data to hand as new initiatives can suddenly emerge.

The day brought arrangements too relating to the wildfowl counts for a variety of water bodies on the island. Other than Loch Indaal and Loch Gruinart none are spectacular as far as their wildfowl numbers go, but, in aggregate, there is certainly a worthwhile interest. With the sheer number of waters here it would be good to have more field workers available but, as elsewhere in the UK, and despite the burgeoning interest in birdwatching, willing volunteers with the necessary expertise can still be a rare commodity. Possibly the regularity of monthly counts is off putting but occasional, one off counts, even from visitors, can still be a valuable source of data to the system.

Discussions with some local fisherman saw some real concerns expressed about the offshore wind farm proposals for western Islay and fears that any development would lead to problems within the lobster fisheries in that area. Similarly the suspicions associated with the proposed siting of an underwater turbine in the Sound of Islay link more with the feasibility, and man's ability to actually install such technology on site, than with interference effects with any natural history value. Currently the necessary work to evaluate such proposals is taking place and will hopefully provide answers to such concerns in due course.

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