Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A bit of variety. 26th September,2011

Decided I'd have a trip out to Munlochy Bay and see what was in the offing. Unfortunately the bright sunlight wasn't too kind and the sheltered bay was bathed in bright light throwing everything into silhouette on the surface of the dappled waters. All very atmospheric and contextual, but not much good for viewing birds. I'll have to remember to visit in the afternoon or evening in future!! Small parties of Wigeon were flighting in to join numbers of birds already present, together with Mallard and Teal. A few Oystercatcher, Curlew and Redshank roosted and fed on the adjacent margins and odd Grey Herons stood patiently on vantage points.

I then moved on to Chanonry Point, although I didn't expect any particular movement to be occurring given the wind direction. A few Gannets circled around and then headed back out to the sea, odd Cormorant were in evidence, a Red-breasted Merganser and a couple of Razorbill were all that was on offer. Travelling back I noticed some good "accumulations " of Black-headed Gulls on stubble fields already being put to the plough, which perhaps accounts for the absence of birds the other day! Nowadays the turn around time associated with arable fields is so short in places where planting of spring crops can occur, contrasted against the stubble fields being left in situ on Islay where the practice is not followed. Such rapid usage of the land and the absence of stubble habitat for birds must have had a profound effect on various populations over the years, coupled with the use of much more efficient harvesting machinery and less grain spillage. The price of progress!

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