Tuesday, 22 February 2011

How far off is Spring ? ....................

  That's a question that lots of folk often ask at this time of year. A while ago on Martin and Dave's blog , Martin mentioned that he'd seen Magpies carrying nest material and that spring wasn't far away. I've just read in my daughters junior RSPB magazine 'Bird Life', that if spring arrives at Lizard Point in Cornwall on March 1st, it won't arrive at Muckle Flugga (a few miles north of here) until May 8th.  Apparently spring moves north at a rate of half a mile per hour - it's going to be a long wait ! However, spring is on its way - even if it is coming slowly - as the Shalders (Oystercatchers) have started returning in numbers and are now feeding back around the shorelines and on the short grass fields. The first proper breeding migrant to return however, will be the Lesser-blackbacked Gulls, which head south for the winter from these islands.

  On the bird front locally, things are still pretty quiet on Unst. In Uyeasound the Coot and Goosander are still on Easter Loch and in Baltasound the Morehen is still around. Brydon had the immature drake King Eider again on Bluemull Sound this morning - I've not yet seen this one :( and he also had a Glaucous Gull at the weekend over at Lamba Ness

  Just looking at Magicseaweed it looks like the strong wind and gales are going to continue well in to next week which is a pain.

   While I was sitting having my breakfast this morning and watching the news, I heard strange noises coming from the chimney (which has a board in front of the fire place to stops the draught). My first thoughts were that it was the wind playing tricks with my hearing until I turned off the tele and realized it was a Raven sitting on the chimney stack making a sort of gurgling noise. Something else that I've still not yet got used to when I come down the road and that is seeing Fulmars sitting on the chimneys - I don't know why but it just looks a bit odd.



MarkW said...

I read a piece about someone saying that "british" ravens make a boring cronk sound & nothing else!
Certainly the gurgles, croaks, oinks, etc that our ones in West Wales make are brilliant; it would be great to get a good recording of half their sounds!

I wonder if the fulmars would like a ledge high up on the chimney stack :-)

robbieb said...

Hi Mark, the Ravens here certainly make some interesting sounds. As to the Fulmars, with this wind they can settle almost anywhere !