Friday, February 18, 2011

Canada Goose takes the day !

Rather a grey day with rain eventually breaking out and spoiling things even further!

A day goose counting on the Oa route, which essentially means the whole southern sector of the island. As is usual at this time of year Greenland White-fronted Geese are exploring odd suitable "corners" here and there and can be quite difficult to pick out amongst juncus ridden fields. A large group at Ballivicar also held a parvipes Canada Goose which stood out boldly amongst its feeding colleagues. It has been in this vicinity most of the winter.

Little else of particular note was seen. The large mixed flocks of passerines ( Twite, Chaffinch, Brambling, Greenfinch and Reed Bunting) at Kinnabus and Upper Killeyan on the Oa finally appear to have split up. Hopefully, given a repeat of the same crop management, a similar situation will arise next autumn and winter. In conservation terms the availability of such food must have assisted greatly in getting the attendant species through the extreme conditions of the early winter.

Nearer to home a male Sparrowhawk whipped low over open fields adjacent to forestry but with no joy in interrupting any potential prey. Whilst Chaffinch numbers appear to be on the up, the variety of passerine species on the Rinns still appears to be low with Reed Bunting not as common as usual, and possibly joining the ranks of Stonechat and Wren, as one of the species apparently most affected by the severe weather early in the winter.

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