Tuesday 4 December 2007

Sun 2 Dec- Mon 3rd Dec

The weather has calmed down here after the wind and the rain that we had on Friday and Saturday, although there were no ferry disruptions as far as I know. After the winds there was a young seal pup up on the shore at Machir Bay, looking a bit lost but at least it was still alive rather than a casuality. Looking back on that bad spell of weather, another odd sighting I had was that of a Buzzard sitting on a fence post, with its wings outstretched, just as cormarants do, presumably trying to get dried off. Not much point really as it was still pouring down at the time.
The birds on the bird table on Monday included 23 Greenfinches and 15 Goldfinches along with the House Sparrows, Blue and Great Tits. Looking out the other kitchen window, there was a Golden Eagle soaring past whilst I was having a cup of coffee.
Margaret and Tracey from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have given me the latest count for the geese on Islay. The count, the other week had 46,949 Barnacle geese and 7,980 Greenland whitefronts, wheras last year at the same count there were around 51,ooo Barnies and only 6,000 whitefronts. The counts so far this year have had over 49k of Barnies, but presumably the "extra" birds have moved on, while the Whitefronts are increasing all the time. There is another count this week so it will be interesting to hear from SNH what numbers we are at now, thanks for the info so far to Margaret and Tracey. IKB
The Hutchinsii Barnacle Goose was noted in amongst the rest of the Barnacle geese on Sunday, while a Merlin was observed near to the hut circles at Culbuie. JRH

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