After four days of intensive academic work the opportunity to count geese today was both potentially restorative and exciting in its appeal!! The day itself proved to be a bit of a surprise with low temperatures and a fresh covering of snow. As I travelled north up the Rinns a Merlin tried vainly to catch one of several Redwings and various geese arriving on their "feeding fields" looked as bewildered as I felt about the weather!
Whilst the day did improve, with some sunny periods, it remained cold. The eventual summarized figures will show the true position, but I had a distinct impression the numbers of geese overall had increased, particularly those of Grey lag Geese, in which I've a personal interest. The last couple of winters has seen around 600 remain with us on Islay, but I suspect that, currently, rather more are present. At one point I located a Greenland White-fronted Goose carrying a numbered collar. Such individuals have reduced over the years and only a few "new" birds have been similarly marked .......renewed effort will be made to identify this one and the extremely useful information it will generate. Even at a superficial level an appreciation of the number of miles such geese have covered, moving to and fro from Greenland, is mind blowing!! Hopefully, more information will follow!!
Finally , after returning home, I went down to the Post Office in the local village and was overjoyed with the following sight!!
It does rather look as if Northern Ireland is on fire (!) but , as a picture possibly entitled " A tea time visit to the Post Office" it captured the end of what had been a very enjoyable day.