Well, finally back on Islay after a two stage journey of return. Farther west one travelled the easier it became and now it's just cold , with no snow in evidence. Remarkably the journey back was relatively devoid of birds. There was a strange stillness to the Great Glen, almost as if one was in a frozen vacuum!
A quick visit to the harbour in Oban showed the returned Ring-billed Gull nowhere to be seen, which is par for the course when you've scant time available!!! Whilst I did have a look for the Snow Goose , present with Grey lag Geese farther down the coast,it too was absent but apparently it has now been "downgraded" and declared an escape, although the criteria for its avid acceptance previously and its recent relegation aren't at all clear!
There appears to be little news for Islay, which is probably more a product of reduced coverage than actuality. I suspect some birds will have moved out altogether, as elsewhere, due to the very cold conditions or be relying on the food made available at feeding stations. A BTO Press Release states that, in many parts of Scotland, birds have piled into gardens including species like Fieldfares.
At least the forecast for this part of the UK suggests slightly warmer conditions are in the offing........