Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gulls galore!

Intended arrangements for the day were brought to an abrupt halt when I woke up to a thick fog, and one that persisted all day, albeit clearing for short periods in strange patterns. It appeared to envelope the whole island, including the northern part of the Sound of Jura. Evening finally saw it beginning to diminish.

A trip to the local village to post off survey forms included an examination of all the likely spots where the adult winter Little Gull had been seen yesterday. Sadly it seemed to have moved on, but various people who had seen it were clearly fascinated by this small bird, erratic flight and its "upside down" colouring ( pale above and darker underwings!). In any event the search enabled me to locate the 1st winter Glaucous Gull, the second individual we have had already this winter.

Later, on meeting a colleague associated with the Sound of Islay surveys, we saw the adult winter Iceland Gull whilst I was being shown one of the additional vantage points. Sadly. the visibility was poor and did little to show off this resplendent bird.

Earlier, a brief look at Loch Gruinart, (rather more of a peer given the conditions), revealed two Greenshank feeding with odd Redshank , all of which yelped their escape away into the fog!. Nearby a small flock ( 15+ ) of Linnet was a welcome addition to the very gradual increase in passerine numbers which appears to be taking place.

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