The day dawned bright and fine in total contrast to what had gone before. The early morning walk provided an uplifting comparison to yesterday with both dogs appearing to be in a more enthusiastic mood. Whilst it was clear and calm, even slightly warmer, the snow atop the hill summits to the north attested to the fact that winter was not left far behind, nor may have withdrawn its final effects even!
Yellowhammers sang and "twicked", Tree Sparrows called, as did a couple of Bullfinches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, all species that , on Islay, are only met with occasionally. Great, Blue and Coal Tits called from the woodland or hedgerow, and, most encouragingly of all, several Greenfinch whose numbers generally now seem to be depressed. A little later one of the Red Kites, which are settling nearby, flew languidly across an open field near to the house and , as we left, a Goldcrest sang from a conifer close to the garden. This in itself seemed such a positive portent following the understandable concerns over their status after the crippling winter. It reminded me that I'd also had several Wrens singing out from the nearby woodland edges that morning and that perhaps we should be optimistic that the situation wasn't perhaps as bad as feared.
As ever the journey was necessarily drawn out, but the sun shone, the sea passage was fine and we eventually reached home on Islay as the final vestiges of light were lost. On the adjoining moor Lapwing and Curlew called and a Common Snipe drummed and called from the bog opposite. a wilderness welcome!