Friday, January 7, 2011

Typical winter's day!

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.

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