Sunday, January 8, 2012

A disappointing outcome.

The day dawned somewhat murkily to say the least and conditions continued until late afternoon. After delivering a couple of sets of BTO WeBS forms for waterfowl counts within the next few months my intention had been to try and establish more precisely how many "white winged gulls" ( Glaucous and Iceland ) there were on Islay at the present time. Various reports of birds at a number of locations suggest we've a reasonable number, which mirrors reports of small numbers of birds being seen on Lewis within the past couple of weeks too. I'd planned a route commencing at Portnahaven and then taking in all the locations in sequence where birds had been seen. However, visibility and the weather overall made it less than worthwhile and I decided to postpone things half way through the exercise given we're to have better weather later in the week. In the meantime I'd had good views of both a 1st winter and a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull between Foreland and Bridgend, but birds were being moved around a lot by numerous walkers.
At Gruinart I could hardly see beyond the lagoons across to the saltmarsh so, by mid afternoon, I packed things in altogether, only to find the last hour of the day improved a little.
"Distraction of the day" was the ever exciting clash between Manchester United and Manchester City football teams which, thankfully, I'd remembered to record! Later the second programme on the Great Barrier Reef showed some phenomenal footage of Great Hammerhead Sharks, White-bellied Sea Eagles and Spectacled Fruit Bats.  Best of all, for me , was the shot of the Queensland Grouper fish, which is known colloquially as the VW Grouper as it's as big as a VW car!!  Blimey.