The wind has picked up, still from the north-west and as a result birding has been quiet. The male Garganey remains, commuting between Utra Scrape and Da Water, whilst the pale-bellied Brent Goose remains faithful to South Harbour. A superb summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe is in Furse. Five Pink-feet are with the Greylag flock and a Long-eared Owl was spotted roosting in Vaila's Trees. The first Tree Pipit of the year was seen on 15th and a Carrion Crow today. Passerines have been generally scarce with hardly any thrushes or warblers, a single Yellowhammer and six Siskins being the only other things of note.
The big talking point has been (as in the rest of the country) the volcanic eruption in Iceland, which has sent a huge cloud of volcanic ash in this direction. The air smells and tastes decidedly odd (sulphurous) and there is a fine covering of ash deposited on the Burkle Velux windows. It has disrupted air travel nation/world-wide and even the local islander has been ordered not to fly. It does not stop sea travel however and the Good Shepherd made an extra sailing today to deliver passengers to/from Shetland and pick up some more supplies for the new Obs.
The auction for Stuart Thomson's historical spinning wheel, made from pieces from both old & new Observatories towards the funds for the latter is going well and I received a bid of £750 this morning!