I have to say that the most auspicious aspect of today was my eldest daughters birthday, important on its own account, but also because the day was so very quiet ( other than , I imagine, at the celebrations! ). I was again over at the Sound of Islay but, contrasted against yesterday, activity levels had simply been switched off! I don't think I have ever experienced things as quiet.
On that basis I've precious little to offer in terms of comment. However, by way of general interest, I can show you a picture of "our" new ferry boat coasting at noticeable increased speed northwards up the Sound.
It seems to have a blunter bow, and a corresponding larger bow wave that I scoured in vain for Bottle-nosed Dolphins making a run up the Sound, and its coastal "wash" seems stronger than before but, otherwise , an impressive boat indeed.
Later I met up with two past colleagues who are here on holiday. Both were involved in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire in the past and, therefore, we had shared many disappointments relating to breeding Hen Harriers and ,correspondingly, insufficient successes over the years. It was good to have a chat about old times, but also reflect on how, even thirty years on from the outset of our first meeting, the situation has changed so very little and the age old prejudices still remain. News of other colleagues was welcome as, over the past two decades of the last millennium , a whole host of friendships had been forged. Many are still involved in conservation; none, it seems , have suffered any diminution in character that was the mainstay of our focus and strength throughout those challenging times. Good days.
As I returned home with, by then , the rain pouring down, one of the Short-eared Owls I'd spoken to someone about as I left for Jura in the morning, flew parallel with the car for quite a distance. Doubtless hunting for its recently hatched young, its best efforts would be seriously put to the test in the circumstances......