Jeremy Hastings: It seemed with the weather this week, Spring finally arrived. Although one must be carefull. Full of care really because although daffodils are out, Lesser Celandine shows it's yellow head and the willow in the garden has more than just buds, this afternoon the wind is lazy. It is cold and does not go round you but rather right through, tearing into uncovered crannies, around ones neck and up ones sleeves. It reminds us that winter, although gone is still lurking to keep us aware that summer is still sometime off.
It is Mother's Day, here and people have been out and about, spring puts folks in gardens and walking along beaches and noticing new growth. If you are really lucky you may even be witness to birds passing too. Ian Brooke did just that this week when he spied a Gyr falcon at the coal yard. He had his camera and got a fabulous picture of it. This bird is seen in Iceland and Greenland and although we know it visits every so often actually seeing is a very lucky occurance. Of course the word went out and lots of folks went looking for the white falcon. As far as I know this was the only sighting. Continue reading......Spring is here and coming with it was a House Martin as we watched young eagles at Knockdon on Friday. It was a magnificent sight. The colours on the hills with new growth allow us to be even more alive. If you look carefully birds are busy building nests, divers on the loch are getting their summer plumage - we have seen two full summer red Throats already as well as winter visitors - Long tailed Duck and Scaup. Whooper Swans gather on Skerrols and we even saw wild brown trout nebbing and rising to eat flies. Fantastic.
We have allowed our woodburning stove to go out this week, the first time since the geese arrived back in the autumn. This is always a good sign, although we still light it in the evening to warm our wee house and cook on. The house Sparrows also know it is spring too. They feed and collect items to take to their nests and when we are quiet we can hearing them setting their nests once more in the walls of our house. Something they have done since the stones were first laid two centuries ago. I is good to be part of this great circle and be part of the web - even if it is just be default!
Spring, after such a long winter - it is most welcome!
House Sparrow image courtesy Birds of Britain magazine
Other relevant Islay Wildlife and Birding Information Resources:
- Jeremy's News Blog
- Previous Islay nature reports By Jeremy Hastings
- Islay Seasonwatch by Teresa Morris
- Islay Birds blog by Ian Brook
- Islay Birder blog by John Armitage