Having returned to Islay early morning saw bright, sunny weather in place, although the temperatures are still pretty low. Nonetheless, this is a sufficient precursor of Spring as far as birds are concerned and local Lapwings tumbled over the grass moor above the house, whilst Curlews provided a bubbling background of song. A Common Snipe provided its repetitive call to the chorus and various Meadow Pipits, which have arrived during my absence, added their songs and parachute displays to the outpouring of territorial joy. Sadly the Choughs, who seemed so interested in occupancy in the outbuildings, have moved elsewhere, much to the relief of the Common Starlings who have now sole usage of the access arrangements. A Song Thrush added its notes to the chorus as a couple of Fieldfares flew over the adjacent moor, their journey "home" doubtless frustrated in part by the persistent easterlies which seem to have presided for so long.
Later a Pied Wagtail uttered its hesitant little song before flying over to inspect the woodpile where there has been a nest in each of the past six years Surely the same birds can't be involved? These nesting attempts have enjoyed little success over the years and the nocturnal prowlings of Feral Cats, Brown Rats and even Otters can't be discounted as being responsible. A pity really as they're nice birds to have around.
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