Thursday, October 10, 2013

100's and then 1000's !

Some years ago I recollect a song with the title or first line  " The day that the rain came down ".  Well, the rain did come down at intervals with some pretty fierce showers sweeping through aided by the strong wind, but that was nothing compared to the arrival, as predicted, of our wintering geese.

Apparently birds had been heard on the move over Loch Indaal during the night of 8th/9th, but with strengthening northerly winds the real avian downpour began.  As mentioned previously, the birds appear to have an uncanny ability to predict how they might use positively developing weather conditions in order to make their migration passage easier. Faster, much less energy used and, simply put, better than battling away into a head wind.

Numbers at the head of Loch Indaal ranged variously between 4-5000, with a core element resting out on the exposed mud or on the Merse , but with other birds more mobile.  RSPB had counted over 31,000 on the Loch Gruinart Reserve, so at least 35,000 had arrived in a large advancing "cloud" from Iceland, which they use as a staging point. What a sight, what a noise!   As ever, odd skeins of birds could be seen flying north, having overshot Islay and then adjusted their trajectory.  The calls of these and other arriving birds are a great experience to take in , representing contact no doubt, but I suspect what could also be described as avian relief and joy, wind assisted or not.  A good day!