Saturday, January 8, 2011

A day of several parts!

Dawning was cold , even icy in places, but as I wound northwards along the Rinns circumstances got no worse. Then, a little before reaching Port Askaig, it snowed, and conditions were poor only to reverse completely with blue skies and sunshine developing. Later the former conditions returned and the wind rose........a fairly typical winter's day!!!

Survey conditions over the Sound were generally good for a few hours. Activity levels of Black Guillemots were both apparent and new, and, strangely, several parties of Rock Dove moved northwards. A local shoot disturbed several Woodpigeon and, eventually, 10-15 perched up in nearby woodland, a good figure for Islay in winter. Odd Red-breasted Merganser were around, a Great Northern Diver at intervals in addition to more normal species, but best of all were two Little Auk in typical winter plumage that flew south with extremely rapid wing beats!

Daylight was falling as I returned home, but Inner Loch Indaal looked bleak and forlorn and not exactly holding an excess of birds. With Low Tide Counts imminent, time will tell!

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