Friday, July 30, 2010

29th July,2010.

Rather unsettled weather but, nonetheless, fine enough to be out!

Involved in set location observations on Jura overlooking the Sound of Islay for the whole day. Very little on the move although two fast moving groups of Oystercatcher were obviously migrating southwards along the Sound. That they navigate between the various islands off Scotland's west coast is fascinating in itself, particularly when the weather conditions are reasonable and not overly influencing. A couple of Common Sandpiper and, later, on Islay, a large mixed group of Ringed Plover, adult and young Dunlin and a Turnstone showed waders to be on the move in earnest.

The sight of Gannets, both in parties passing along the Sound and odd birds wheeling high against the steep southern hillsides on Islay is always a pleasant surprise set against the more normal assumption of them being associated with the open sea. Evidence of the determined efforts of birds came with the sight of an adult Guillemot and a young juvenile swimming all the way down the Sound towards the comparative extensive waters off the southern tips of Islay and Jura. Our own lives are so cossetted by comparison, except for the poor people caught up in conflicts, or affected by famine, who necessarily have to undertake "migrations".

In the early evening a flock of 250/260 Grey lag Geese on Gruinart Flats signalled the gradual emergence of the numbers which we can now expect to build throughout August.

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