Seabirds Suffer

June 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Pied Billed Grebe

Another week on Islay and everywhere you go you are reminded of the gale in May with Westerly facing woodlands looking like they have suffered a nuclear blast.

I took the opportunity of visiting the seabird colonies on the West coast to ascertain what damage had been incurred in 100mph gale. Guillemot numbers were only half what they normally are and Razorbills were only slightly down on normal. However, whilst initially Kittiwakes looked to be in normal numbers a close inspection through the binoculars revealed another story. At least half the birds present were sat on empty nests and must have had their eggs blown out of their nests in the storm.

The weather has been very mixed and generally poor for Islay in June. Two sessions looking for Otters failed to find any. Hen Harrier sightings have been well down and even these ground nesting birds may have suffered in the gale or perhaps the recent days of pouring rain.

Flowers are now beginning to appear in good numbers with sixty four Lesser Butterfly Orchids in flower in one field. It is also good to see Roe Deer with their fawns at the just able to walk stage.