Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 th May,2011. Divers save the day!

The strong winds of late finally appear to have settled down somewhat having provided another period of easterlies and south easterlies in spring, a sure fire invitation for us to receive a period of westerlies!!

The day provided an opportunity to be on Jura , although the outcome was a little quiet in many respects. Best of the bunch were two Greta Northern Divers during the day, one in full breeding dress and the other not quite there and looking a little scruffy. Two or three Red-throated Divers were around, including one that flew past very close at eye level calling and then completed a U-turn and disappeared back up the Sound.

A lot of birds are now on breeding territories with Common Sandpiper in good numbers along both shores. At the beginning of the day the fresh southerly wind encouraged both Buzzard and Sparrowhawk into display over the Islay coast. Of interest was a small movement of Swallows south down the Sound, almost as if they had overshot on their first attempt at returning to their breeding grounds and were readjusting. By contrast a pair of Canada Geese had no doubts about their conviction towards their final location as they flew north along the Jura coast all the way up the Sound and beyond. An examination of records on Islay over, say, the last five years would show a small, but well defined migration or temporary presence of birds developing in spring. Last summer also showed breeding birds and an itinerant party of non-breeding birds on Jura suggesting a gradual extension from the mainland.

As the afternoon closed so did the weather, with a heavy downpour and more cloud in evidence. It's to be hoped that, even with the recent cold winds , the bright and dry weather of late is not the only prolonged interval we receive! Certainly as I listened for Corncrake from home around 2215 hours the calling of a lone Cuckkoo inserted some optimism towards this still being summer!!

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