Monday, 24 April 2017
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Saturday, 22 April 2017
The first bit of good news is that Mr Thrush is helping to feed his young, and he's now singing very cheerfully in the mornings from the top of the conifer opposite our house.
Friday, 21 April 2017
Kilchoan Early Bird writes, "This ring was found near the lighthouse by a crofter who told me that he'd taken it from a heron who'd come a long way west to die."
It was easy to report the ring as it belonged to Stavanger Museum in Norway. Within two days they had emailed back with this report:
The main points are that it was a grey heron ringed in its nest in May 2016 in Karsto, Norway. It was one of a brood of four. To reach the point of its demise, it had travelled 744km - nearly 500 miles.
The British population doesn't migrate but Wikipedia states that, "some populations from the more northern parts migrate southwards in autumn." So it may be that the heron had been on Ardnamurchan for some time.
Many thanks to Kilchoan Early Bird for pictures and story.
Thursday, 20 April 2017
After his owl pictures yesterday, The Raptor is certainly earning his substantial salary as the Diary's chief avian correspondent with this photograph of a swallow. The Raptor writes, "I was just listening to the weather man telling me that it's going to get colder as the weekend approaches when I looked out of the window to see the first swallow of the season arriving."
Many thanks to The Raptor for his photograph.
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
From The Raptor:
On arrival at the property I approached slowly and immediately saw the window owl tucked up on an upstairs window ledge, head turned and watching my every step. The owl I noted as being a tawny owl, not a daytime flier unless disturbed. So, could this bird be breaking the tawny owl rule book or had it decided that this very open window ledge was its daytime roosting spot? This is very unusual as, being a predator, they are harried at every turn by the wee birds who would be in fear of loosing young or their own lives to a tawny owl.
Luckily I had permission to enter the building so I very quietly climbed the creaking stairs and peered into the bathroom in which the window was situated. The owl was unaware of me getting to within three feet of it on the other side of the glass, but my luck ran out in two ways. One, this double window was clean and clear on one side and all fogged up on the other. I wondered which window the owl was behind - yes, it was the fogged up window. Two, I snapped one picture, took another step and a floorboard gave the game away with a loud creeeeeeek. The owl was off in an instant, leaving the ledge empty apart from one feather stuck to the concrete.
Many thanks to The Raptor for pictures and story.
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Back in Kilchoan, at least two white butterflies were exploring the hedgerows, while the heather in our front garden was a mass of insects.
The gannets are just beginning to reappear in these waters, and there are few of them around so far this year, so it's sad to see one come to such an horrific end.
The spectacle lasted a few minutes before the sun lost the gap through which it was lighting the undersides of the cloud, and the sky quickly returned to an overcast grey.
Monday, 17 April 2017
At this point, Mr Thrush is supposed to start to help by providing some food, but we've not seen anything of him, and there hasn't been a thrush singing anywhere around the house