Thursday, March 1, 2012

New month, new start?

If sunlight, warmth and brightness had anything to do with it, then it certainly felt a corner had been turned this morning. A murmuring flock of 120 Starlings on wires near the house drove the local male representative into a frenzy! In addition to the usual whistles and calls he must have drawn on any and every species he'd ever imitated in an attempt to faze the unwelcome incomers!
With daffodils fully out, singing Skylarks and Pied Wagtails more in evidence it was time to give seawatching another go in the hope things had improved a little set against recent days. As it was nothing different was seen , but the circumstances were more pleasant. Offshore Fulmars, a few passing Gannets, local Common Gulls proclaiming possession of territories and the odd Shag on a feeding foray were very much a repeat of what had gone before, but possibly with a more elevated sense of purpose.  Outer Loch Indaal showed a few Herring Gulls, a single in-flying Kittiwake and a small raft of Razorbill , but little else. On the very gradual journey back home down the southern Rinns a flock of around 80 Fieldfare and a single Redwing was of note , but singing Song Thrush and Robin added some additional scant evidence that we were finally moving forward in calendar terms. Contrasted against all this was a nicely varied flock of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch at a friend's garden feeding station whose members continued to feed voraciously as if in preparation for what lay ahead based on some insider knowledge! Time will no doubt tell!

As for the local grass moor areas near home, little appears to have changed or, indeed, be around. The list of species encountered on recent daily walks since returning from up north sadly duplicates that of over a month ago with, as yet , no Stonechat in evidence or of returning Meadow Pipit. The only discernible change is of more gulls around the cliffs and visiting a nearby foddering out area for the local cattle.