Thursday, January 27, 2011

Supplementary goose count. 26/1/2011

A fine day but with a cutting wind from the NW! Helped with a count on the Oa route , which had had to be cancelled before. Conditions were perfect, but numbers of Barnacle Geese were slightly lower than expected.

As usual on goose counts the opportunity to look for other birds is limited, so you've to accept what you come across as the best on offer! A temporary dump for scallop shells near Port Ellen had attracted around 200 Herring Gulls and 15 GBBG, but no white -winged gulls or even Red Kite! As an activity, the catches of scallops must be enormous, judged by the number of shells discarded at this site. The Oa provided fleeting views of a Peregrine, two flocks of Twite, one of 150 and the other of 300 birds, which also contained odd Reed Bunting, Linnet and Chaffinch. The large accumulations of recent times have obviously now reduced ,probably as the food resource has depleted. A flock of 60/70 Rock Doves at the Kinnabus site was also noteworthy.

As I returned home at dusk a single Woodcock made a determined flight out from the Ellister plantations to the open pasture nearby.

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