Saturday, July 24, 2010

24th July,2010.

Well, given visibility from the house is around 75m , and has been so all afternoon, I thought I may as well concede and enter an early posting!! The day dawned fine and clear , which continued until late morning when the mist and rain moved in!!

A seawatch showed good numbers of Manx Shearwater and Gannet moving south, strings of auks moving north and south, mainly Razorbill, a few Kittiwake and Black Guillemot around and local Fulmar and Shag feeding in the waters off Portnahaven. A few adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls moved through south, as did a pale phase Arctic Skua, and single Oystercatcher and Curlew. A lone Common Swift moved offshore into the southerly breeze. I suppose one might infer that autumn movements have now begun, although modestly, but underscored by the fact that many of the local breeding gulls have now moved away from their cliff haunts and the cries of Arctic Terns are suddenly much diminished. The weather then decided to close in and spoil things!!

For those still in bed at 0600 hours (!) the Radio 4 Open Country programme dealt with the newly opened, refurbished bird observatory on Fair Isle off north east Scotland. Evocative sounds and reports from a wonderful place can still be caught up with on Thursday afternoon's repeat by the less energetic!!( or on the iPlayer facility, oh yes, the old boy's going technical these days!! ). I still harbour my long held ambition to spend a whole extended autumn there, rather than a couple of weeks, and emulate holidays of yesteryear when I used to spend idyllic days at Spurn Bird Observatory in Yorkshire.

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