Monday, February 10, 2014

Geese,thrushes and water!

A "routine" goose counting day with the usual concentrations within the Kilmeny route and nothing remarkable discovered. Noticeable that Greenland White-fronted Geese have, in some cases, reverted to exploiting deep" juncus marsh", as opposed to feeding out on open fields, and are turning up in a few unexpected places too.  Many pastures are absolutely saturated with a very obvious slick of water moving across them, particularly within undulating topography.

In a number of locations , particularly nearby to coverts, thrushes were feeding out in open saturated fields. There's a noticeable presence of Song Thrushes here at the moment , but Blackbird numbers are quite high too. Whether or not they are more obvious because of feeding habits and abandoning the cover of woodlands is uncertain. In the Finlaggan area the above situation was supplemented by a few Fieldfare and odd Redwing , all presumably feeding on invertebrates brought to the surface. On a couple of fields Grey Herons could be seen  patiently picking there way across saturated areas, doubtless with the same fare in mind, although, for once, "worming Buzzards" were not much in evidence.

The one opportunity to be at the coast saw several Great Northern Divers in onshore waters, a situation which appears to be mirrored at various points around the island. Doubtless birds driven towards land due to the somewhat hostile conditions offshore at various times!

Whilst they didn't contain much else , other than the odd Reed Bunting, it was good to see several reasonable flocks of Chaffinch in the vicinity of certain farms, along with a number of Starling flocks.