This blog seems to have degenerated into a half-yearly epistle!! Apologies about that!! And apologies also that my feedback is so far behind still - currently just over a month!! As I keep saying, I ought to be sacked, but no-one else would be mad enough to take it on!!
However, as quite a large team of us prepare to head out on our annual pilgrimage to the staging grounds in Iceland, records coming in tell us that this is timely (although there are conflicting stories of cold weather there......).
Out in Iceland, Ólafur Torfason has been sending us in records of marked birds from the south Reykjavk area since early this month. From the Scottish Islands, such as Tiree, Barra, Islay, North & South Uist, records have been coming in from numerous observers (many thanks!!), all indicating that birds are on their way.
Here in Ireland the same is the case, with places like Dublin Bay reportedly going down radically in numbers, whilst here, in Northern Ireland, we are starting to see some turnover at our sites, despite numbers also reducing, but more gradually. Places like Killough Harbour and Dundrum Bay seem to be used by birds with families to nurture up the weakest juveniles for their long journey north, first to Iceland, then onwards to High Arctic Canada.