April brought some warmer dry spells interspersed with periods of wetter southerly and westerly winds, which kept the lochs and wetlands topped up, but also kept many fields wetter than normal. In general, spring migration was a little earlier than last year with the Barnacle Geese departing en masse from Ruaig on the evening of 12th – three days earlier than in 2008, with the bulk of the Greenland White-fronts setting off northwards the day before. Some spring arrivals were also early with the earliest ever record for the island of a Blackcap at Balephuil (11th) and the earliest ever Cuckoo at Carnan Mor (17th). By the end of the month, most of the regular breeding migrants were back, albeit in small numbers so far, including Willow Warbler (from 10th), Little Tern (from 14th), Arctic Tern (from 25th), Sedge Warbler (from 28th) and Common Sandpiper (from 29th). The first Corncrake was also early (9th) and some 30 or so calling males had been widely reported around the island by the month-end. Co-ordinated night time counts of calling male Corncrakes will start later in May to see how numbers compare to last year. With numbers of birds dropping on both Coll and the Outer Hebrides in 2008, Tiree’s currently thriving Corncrake population has become even more important.
The preceding was extracted from the paper version of An Tirisdeach.
Changes at An Tirisdeach mean that Mr. Ian Sharp will be the new editor, and Ms. Angela Sutherland will be sub-editor, and business centre administrator.
Both are looking forward to working on An Tirisdeach, and hope to produce an Island paper which reflects the broad spectrum of people, businesses, and interests of Tiree.
This issue has been published by Mhairi Byfield & Angela. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mhairi for her invaluable help and support during this transitional time.
Due to staff changes at An Tirisdeach you have no doubt noticed that the Business Centre opening times have been rather erratic. Sincere apologies for the disruption of normal operating times to anyone who has come into the business centre and found the office closed!
Normal Opening times will resume on Monday 30th March 2009
Opening times will be 9:30am – 12:30pm
On Friday 13th Tiree High School was dressed in red!
All Dressed In Red
Pupils and staff entered into the spirit of raising money for Comic Relief by paying to dress in red, buying cakes and biscuits, buying and wearing red noses, and taking part in a talent show.
The total amount raised was £406, and of that £40 was sent to the British Heart Foundation with £366 going to Comic Relief. Also included in the Comic Relief total were discreet donations from two families. Thanks to all those who helped in any way to make this a succesful fundraising event.
Winter really limits outdoor work, although many useful tasks can be done now.
If Crocuses or Snowdrops are overcrowded lift, divide, and replant them after they have bloomed.
Now is also the time to get your Roses ready for the Summer. Prune to reduce the size, remove diseased stems, or stems that are crossing each other. As a general rule, prune back stems by about half to two thirds.
Dig over any empty beds in preparation for Spring sowing. Now is the time to plant Gladiola, Dahlia, Begonia, etc.
Newspapers will often show good plant offers at this time of year, so be on the lookout!
Written by Peggy Cameron