Finally, following hours of pursuing them and listening to one excuse after another, BT have got us back on-line! NOT great service!
However, birders out there have not really missed much. June was relatively quiet with small numbers of common migrants and the occasional Common Rosefinch, Red-backed Shrike, Marsh Warbler, Bluethroat with highlights of a Honey Buzzard (6th), Blyths Reed Warbler (10th), Rustic Bunting (15th), Common Crane (16th), Turtle Dove (22nd), Shorelark (23rd) and a Hobby (28th). July too has been predictably quiet. Waders are beginning to return south, including Green Sandpipers (3rd, 9th) and a few parties of Common Crossbills (max 18 on 10th). We have been delighted to note that several pairs of Swallows are nesting, with nests in the new Obs garage, the airstrip shed and the buildings at the Communications Mast!! We also have a few summering migrants, including a Robin, three Chiffchaffs and a Common Whitethroat.
Following the troubles of the builders going into receivership, leaving us in limbo and several islanders owed money we are trying to sort out getting the project finished. However the legalities of it all take time........Meanwhile we are delighted to be able to be open for guests and listening to all the appreciative noises they make. Of course with a new building there are always teething/snagging issues (such as showers draining into the bedroom!!) but on the whole it is a fabulous place. Luckily, the bulk of the work still to be done does not affect the guesthouse side of the operation.
At Burkle, where we barely spend any time now.........just returning there at night to sleep, Lachlan is in charge! Luckily, the three younger ones have gone south with grandma for a couple of weeks and as always they are having a great time, including a trip to Eurodisney!!! Lachlan & Lubo are left to their own devices, but manage to turn up at the Obs at lunchtime and dinnertime!!
The other animals haven't had much attention either but we have had to de-mite the hens and their house AGAIN! Our sheep are waiting to be clipped and the ponies waiting to be ridden but we have barely had time to even think about these things. All the Obs crew helped out with the Hill gather though and virtually everybody had a go at hand-shearing a hill ewe, with one of our team preferring to tackle the big hairy fellas!!!