Sunday, October 17, 2010

16th October,2010.

Across on Jura on what was an absolutely glorious day. Calm conditions, sunshine and the azure blue waters of the Sound contrived to persuade me of the possibility of being somewhere else other than NW Scotland!!

Early morning saw a couple of Lapland Bunting flying south and providing a perfect rendition of their flight calls. Whilst the overall day was again rather quiet a flock of Ringed Plover and two Dunlin flying up the Sound, and then alighting close, were of interest. Their immediate action, on landing, was to freeze for quite a while in a fairly tight knit group, only after a few minutes moving around slightly. Most went to sleep for a period, followed by a period of preening before beginning to feed. A classic sign of migrants. Years ago I remember being way out on the sand flats around Ainsdale (Merseyside) attempting to read ring numbers on terns which were being brought towards us on an incoming tide. A fierce thunderstorm arose ( not the best predicament to be in sitting on a tubular framed chair holding your tripod!! ) with the usual lightning and accompanying bangs, besides the rain! A large group ( 40-50 ) of Sanderling appeared and formed a very close packed group nearby, remaining motionless throughout the storm. as soon as it ceased they became active and moved off. Almost a reaction to a new environment until things became more familiar.

Calling at Inner Loch Indaal on the way home it was obvious a further large arrival of geese had taken place with 5000/6000 Barnacle Geese being present interspersed with a wide variety of other species. Many of the geese were asleep which suggested they'd not been there all that long. All until an idiot with a camper van rehearsed the inaugural presentation of the Car Door Closing Cacophony followed by a walk out on to the Merse. Suffice to say the air was alive with disturbed birds, a very impressive spectacle I have to admit, but bringing to a compelling close the counts I'd embarked on!

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