Thursday 30 October 2008

Thurs 30th Oct

Although we had frost on some puddles, and on the grass first thing this morning, it has turned out to be a nice sunny day. The Paps of Jura and the hills on Mull as well as here on Islay, are still wearing their snow caps.
With this colder snap, and with the fallen fruit on the ground, Redwing, Blackbird and Fieldfares were making the most of it. Within an hour today, our contributor had seen 7 different raptors, Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Peregrine, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. Good going by anyone's books.
James had been doing a count on the floods yesterday and had the following, 2 Snow Buntings, 802 Teal, 148 Wigeon, 58 Mallard, 2 Whooper, 5 Mute, 1 Moorhen, 34 Pintail, 42 Shoveler, 3 Black tailed Godwits, 42 Greylags and 2 Gadwall. On Tuesday he had some time to count the geese on the reserve which tallied at 11965 Barnies, 510 Whitefronts and 2 Canada Geese. He also had 15 Redwing, 1 Kestrel and a Ring tailed Hen Harrier. Out on the saltmarsh yesterday afternoon, James had 2 Buzzards on the ground being quite peaceable, and then along came a male Peregrine which gave one of them a real clout on it's head! JRH
On to migration news now and Catherine has gone to sunnier climes, to St Helena, to do survey work relating to the Wyre bird and Airport habitat mitigation. She should return early in December. We ourselves, are off today to Bird Island in the Seychelles and other islands out there. Trust that there is no frost, it was only 33C on Monday, so I hope the weather has not changed since than. James in our absence will keep you updated what is happened here at home.

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