Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meet the neighbours!

After two days of routine survey work I got back and was looking forward to the very final part of one of the Premier League football matches ( Manchester United v. Aston Villa ) when all hell let loose outside the house, thankfully viewable from the lounge. As I'd intended to download  material  from my camera to the laptop it was conveniently close at hand to capture several pictures of a frequent visit by "the neighbours".

There was five in all and the activity and racket served to cause my missing the very end of the game and knocking over a supposedly well-earned glass of Chardonnay!!! Several birds are coloured ringed and I can pass on the shots to the researcher concerned as sightings aren't always as convenient as this!!

First thing this morning one of my other regular " neighbours" was captured, this time from the kitchen window.

Common Buzzards are seen frequently close to home, but this one often sits on the nearby pylon and , from the changing inclination of its head, is fully aware of my movements in the house. As I was leaving a surprise visitor was a single Collared Dove sitting out on a fence post that then moved a little further on and commenced to call before moving off north.  Whilst we do have breeding birds on Islay this incidence of  single birds appearing where I live in spring has occurred in each of the four past years. Such movements within the Hebrides were outlined in a paper written by Brian Rabbits in 1999 and are clearly a continuing feature. This was the first species that was colonising Britain  ( Little Ringed Plover had already happened ) that I remember, as was my first sighting in Easington Churchyard, Holderness.  Such memories are nice but carry too much proof of, err, "advancement"......time for that replacement glass of Chardonnay!!

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