Wednesday, June 9, 2010

8th June,2010.

Finally back on Islay after a hectic trip, but returning with what is now a fully functioning automobile!!! What a relief and a pleasure to be able to contemplate uncomplicated days ahead laced with opportunities for birding, survey work etc.

An evening visit into the Peak National Park last weekend saw us enjoying churring Nightjar and be surrounded by at least three Tawny Owls exchanging calls. Beyond that either the weather or lack of opportunity ensured little other birding could be done before my return.

Setting aside various admin work and domestic chores I thoroughly enjoyed a few hours on Islay simply doing general birding in advance of being able to launch into "fully active mode" after a necessary day sorting various things out on Wednesday. June is always a relatively quiet time compared to many other months with far less birds on the move and the emphasis being on breeding activity, feeding movements and so on. RSPB Gruinart Reserve was a hive of activity with frantic Redshank parents seemingly everywhere. A presumed family of young Snipe was fascinating to watch as they explored absolutely everywhere and then disappeared amongst the emergent vegetation. Six Black-tailed Godwits hung about on one of the lagoons, a presence which seems to get later with each year bringing with it hopes of breeding. I suspect the truth will be that, with the first spell of good weather , they will be off and straight up to Iceland!!! Throughout my stay a Corncrake called persistently and mechanically from the drier area of the lagoon.

An enjoyable time thankfully timed previous to the arrival of rain!.

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