After a significant lapse in Blog entries, covering quite a period, I thought it sensible to bring matters up to date by outlining what has been happening and, more importantly, what is also going to happen over the ensuing months.
In recent times I've been out in Ethiopia........ a tremendous country , a tremendous trip and something upon which I'll provide a " block series" of Blogs in the near future. Returning back to low temperatures ( 3C ) after being in up to 35C was a bit of a climatic culture shock , but thank heavens for cuppa soups! In parallel, the open wars between Montezuma and Immodium, which bedevilled my final days away, now seem to have reached some sort of peace ! Normality can now resume.
I have resigned my positions as both BTO Regional Representative, which also included WeBS, and as Moth Recorder for Butterfly Conservation. Both these positions have been taken on by David Wood , Site Manager, RSPB Oa Reserve , Islay ( David.Wood@rspb.org.uk ). This was discussed whilst we were both on holiday following the BirdFair and met quite coincidentally at the Three Swallows pub in Cley! The timing of 1st November was chosen to link with the new BTO NEWS survey so that David could be involved from the onset. David has already embraced the change with enthusiasm and I suspect BTO activities on Islay will move forward accordingly. In recent times two "new" birders have moved to live on Islay which will help things enormously. Best of luck to all.
And what will I be doing with my time? Well, I intend moving from Islay in the Spring after 16 years in residence. New opportunities, easier access to family and more convenient links to transport facilities are all part of the mix besides more immediate birding and foreign travel.. Something to look forward to. What was it Mussolini said (?), "Better to live a year like a lion than a lifetime as a lamb" or something to that effect.
On a rather sadder note, I've learned of the recent untimely death of Islay's optician, Dunstan. He was a consummate professional, a first rate communicator and a real friend to all clients. I remember his support in advance of my having an operation on one eye which, in the end, I looked forward to rather than dreaded. A sad loss indeed and sincere condolences to his family, he'll be sorely missed on Islay.
So there we are, a sitrep as at the end of November and an opportunity now to get the site in order and a series of entries flowing forth!!!