Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Six pack of goose species. 5.4.2011.

Mixed day as far as weather was concerned but, generally, the penultimate goose count wasn't too dreadful. Allocated the Laggan and Glen route, which is a bit protracted, but which carried fewer geese than normal, so not quite as intensive as in mid-winter.

In some senses it proved to be an interesting day with two separate "hutchinsii" Canada Geese, three separate Pink-footed Geese plus the usual Barnacle, Greenland White-fronted and Grey lag Geese throughout. A few Light-bellied Brent Geese on the way home brought the day total to six , which is not bad for a day tally. Some years ago I did manage seven different species in the day when we had single Snow Goose and Red-breasted Goose on the island , but it was hard work and I couldn't find the single "Canada" on that occasion that was here. Islay can seem a big place at times!.

A remnant flock of ca. 150 Rock Dove was at Gartbreck and a couple of places had 60+, which is in stark contrast to the pairs which are around at other locations. A few Wheatear noted, but little else. Noticeable was the amount of land under the plough that, presumably , will be put down to barley destined for the local distilleries given current transport costs or even for the open market given the soaring prices of grain. Whatever the intention, stubble fields are good news as far as Islay's birds are concerned as they are generally left overwinter and play host to Skylark and other passerines unless the weather really closes in.

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