Thursday, March 5, 2009

4th March, 2009.

Given that I'd be in the way of the contractors I set off early in quite bright weather, but with a stiff,cold SW wind and had a session seawatching. Noticeably more Gannets around generally and Fulmars still sailing around offshore. A few Auks were in evidence, virtually all singles and flying south. A single Red-breasted Merganser south and single figures of GBBG moving north more or less saw the totality of passage. The onshore wind resulted in the odd "mega" wave crashing on the rocks and the sea was being forced in constrained fury into the various inlets and bays. In one bay the unseen, sub-surface strength of the currents was evidenced by the large piles of kelp stalks at the limit of the strand line, stripped from the seabed below and flung high on the shore.

Further round a flock of Purple Sandpiper, soon to be on their way further north, was another reminder of the greater regularity with which we're seeing this species this winter. As I went farther north the visibility closed in and, it began to snow, infrequently at first, and then more regularly. Undeterred I tried to check a heronry, but whilst I could hear the birds I couldn't see them through what was now a serious effort by the weather resulting in local roads infilling rather quickly!! It was amusing to see a gathering of hares spread around a snow covered field, doubtless believing they were still invisible within their cosy forms against the increasing carpet of whiteness!!

Eventually it seemed sensible to return home as it did rather look as if we could be receiving more than a fair share of snow and I wasn't acheiving much anyway. I'd visions of all windows being out at the house and a carpet of snow gracing the kitchen but surprise, surprise, immediately south of Craigfad, green fields appeared and even a weak, infrequent sun!!! I did feel a bit of a wimp..... Surprisingly many parts of the island had had none at all!!

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