Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Today - shrikes and seas.

 We are getting some "weather" at the moment. The south-easterlies have been picking up since Monday and building a big swell that is thundering onto the island. It makes for some impressive back drops as you get on with everyday tasks on the island. And your eye keeps getting drawn back to the next rolling curler coming in looking to see if it was bigger than the last.

 Kirkhaven harbour closed! Entrance impassable.

At least someone is enjoying the seas.

And here on the island easterly winds mean usually migrant birds and often interesting ones. The last few days have been a steady succession of species pouring onto the island, often tired and wet and desperate for food. In amongst them have been some specials, today we had our first great grey shrike of the year - a raptor songbird adapted to eating other songbirds (plus insects, small mammals and ringers).

Also found was a reed warbler, a rare and hard bird to find on the island and a long way from its normal breeding habitat of reed beds. It is a real skulker and this bird was comparatively speaking a show off, appearing on the side of a bush 2 or 3 times fleetingly.
Another day of strong easterlies bearing migrant promise before the wind goes round to the south-west, it is enough to get me out in the buffeting gusts early tomorrow morning just to see what has come in next.

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