Sunday 10 April 2011

What a difference a week makes...

I have been away a week and at this time of year that means you notice big changes when you return.  Over on the mainland there were singing Chiffchaffs and Willow warblers everywhere, and I had heard neither on Islay before I left - although others had picked up the odd one or two.  I saw my first Sand martin at Lochwinnoch RSPB reserve where I stopped to drip dry for a few minutes on my way down to Prestwick.
Back on Islay now and there are Willow warblers all over the place, and I heard a Blackcap singing as I pedalled past Bridgend woods yesterday.  A big skein of around 120 grey geese, probably Pinkfeet, flew very high over Bruichladdich Distillery the day before yesterday, all neatly arranged in an almost perfect V formation and heading purposefully north.
The bullocks were pictured yesterday crossing a section of marshy ground in the centre of the Shorefield.
One of the Shorefield bullocks has been a bit naughty recently - jumping the fence on a number of occasions.  This is always a bit of a worry as bullocks and roads are not an ideal combination. Even though there are lots of unfenced roads on Islay and meeting cattle while driving is quite a regular event, we still want to keep them in if at all possible.  Cattle will challenge fences though, for all sorts of reasons, most of which are quite unfathomable - particularly in this instance as there is no shortage of really good grazing in the Shorefield.  The grass is fairly flying up at the moment.
The whin too is coming into full bloom - although it is not quite at its dazzling best yet.

There are lots of primroses out now too - this clump was snapped in the roadside ditch opposite the Shorefield yesterday.

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