V signs

A message from Tristan this morning that he had heard Pinkfeet going over Stornoway in the early hours raised my awareness, but a morning walk around Barvas provided no Pinkfeet (or sign of ydays Buff breasted Sandpiper, but there were 20 Lapland Buntings) so I thought I had missed out.

Heading back across the Barvas Road tonight and a skein of 40 Grey geese following the road south eastwards were surely Pinkfeet. Arriving in Brue another group was coming in-off. Pinks they were moving low ahead of a squally shower. They were quickly followed by another two groups – 130 total for the evening

For me the real interesting thing was the way these birds came in. Certainly on Lewis I have never seen Pinks coming in so low. The second flock skimmed in, and I thought were going to alight on Loch Barvas. They kept going though, slightly gained height, and headed east – again following the tarmac.

The next flock came right overhead and took the road route. Do they follow the road as a navigation route (are they that clever?) or is it the natural valley that the road follows across the plateau like moor that takes their fancy?

Counting skeins of geese (or flocks of Great Shearwaters!) is always fun – but how accurate is it? Naturally some folk count high, and others low. Give the game below a go.

http://staff.jccc.net/dseibel/birds/birdcount.htm

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One Response to V signs

  1. Clive says:

    Hi Martin – on yuor photos I got 34 first time – counting as quickly as I would in the field, and the 35 the next two efforts. Hope thjat’s right. I’m not sure about the reality of the bird count game though – birds have certain ways of flying in flocks which if you get it right can help to make the counting easier! That’s my line anyway. Tristan and I never got the same flock size twice for any flock of anything!

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