Monday, 24 April 2017

Monday 24th April

Well, the weather forecast certainly proved right, not exactly the weather we had yesterday, a cold Northerly wind blowing most of the day with some cold, raw dirty showers in the mix too...
Yesterday, Allen and Fiona Skinner had seen a Golden Eagle while out on a walk along to Granny's Rock.. Mark had noted 3 Coal Tits on the reserve at Gruinart yesterday. Here at home between showers I saw Linnets in the garden, a pair of Greenfinches, many Goldfinches, a single Robin, a Blackbird, best bird for sure was the sighting of 3 Chough on the ground, so I can now class them as a house bird, rather than a bird flying past.... The Siskins and also 3 Redpoll are visiting the food on offer still as well!!

Remember, Bird Nerds will be meeting below Foreland (NR271617) tomorrow night at 6.30, wellies advisable...

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunday 23rd April

Mary Redman had seen a male Hen Harrier at Tormisdale on Friday evening.. Michal yesterday had 120 Golden Plover at Lossit and a short while later on, a male Hen Harrier as he approached Portnahaven. Yesterday, Botswana Dave had 32 Barnies out from the South hide along with 2 White Wagtails there as well. He had also heard a Corncrake calling there too. Today, while on the Moorland Trail, Dave had 2 male Reed Bunting and also a male Hen Harrier. Mary had heard a Grasshopper Warbler along from her house this morning, up on Claddach Loch, she saw a Canada Goose along with 8 Greylags, and in one of the fields, 6 Golden Plover were present. Mary also saw a Marsh frit caterpillar cross the road!!! This morning, Michal had heard a Cuckoo, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and also Mistle Thrush all singing at Foreland. He also saw and heard a male and a female Blackcap there as well. Michal also had another Mistle Thrush along at Rock Mountain. Also this morning, Mandy had seen 5 Sand Martin at Machir Bay, 10 male and 7 female Eiders were displaying there as well, with 4 Ringed Plover, some Curlews and around 70 Common Gull present there too. Prior to going down to the beach, Mandy had noted 20 Greenland Whitefronts at Carnduncan, but these were not seen on her return home!! Peter Gill had been up at Ardnave today where he saw a pair of sub adult Golden Eagles being mobbed by a male Hen Harrier. On the shoreline he had 30 Whimbrel, while on Ardnave Loch, 20 Blackwits were seen before being chased by a Peregrine. Over Ardnave Point in the air, Peter had over 700 Golden Plover. David Barr had seen 4 Common Sandpiper and GND at Bunnahabhain. Later, over at Bruichladdich, Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Tystie, 4 Pale bellied Brent Geese and GND were present. Going out of Bruichladdich, at the Gleaner oil depot, he saw 6 Mallard ducklings cross the road and finally  in the fields between St Kiaran's church and Loch Indaal, David had 20 Whimbrel and also 2 Blackwits. James had seen the Green winged Teal also 2 Dabchick and a Orange tip Butterfly at Gruinart

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Saturday 22nd April

What a glorious day it has been with wall to wall sunshine, better still, the sun is streaming in though the windows as I write the blog..
Gary yesterday had a count of around 200 Pied and White Wagtails on the sand, down at Crosshouses. Gary reckons that there were at least 15 White Wagtails present. Some sightings also yesterday from James at Gruinart. On reserve he had the Green winged Teal, a male Garganey, a Greenshank, 162 Blackits, 10 Whoopers, a Golden Eagle and also a Merlin. Peter Gill yesterday evening had seen 4 Woodcock calling and flying low over the moor up behind Port Charlotte. Today, Peter had walked round the far side of Loch Skerrols and then down past the North Lodge and along the "Strath" back to Bridgend. At Skerrols itself, a Great spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming and soon afterwards, it was seen. 6 Blackcaps were heard there as well, more than down in Bridgend Woods. 2 Chiffchaff were also heard on his walk, with 2 Grey Wagtails seen on the River Sorn as he approached The Woollen Mill. Just past Uiskentuie, 10 Whimbrel were seen, while up at Gruinart, an Orange tipped Butterfly was present. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday 21st April

Yesterday, Michal had seen 2 Whimbrel at Easter Ellister, a Common Sandpiper was on the shore with 2 GND offshore. Michal is back over for a few days carrying out some survey work, great to see you Michal...  Peter Gill yesterday evening had seen a Red throated Diver in breeding plumage on Loch Indaal out from Port Charlotte. Over at RSPB Loch Gruinart, today Peter had seen 9 Whoopers, the Green winged Teal was present out from the South hide, a Corncrake was heard calling briefly. Up at the North hide he counted a flock of 300 Blackwits and finally on the ploughed fields down at the Coastguards between 150 - 200 Golden Plover were there. Mike Peacock had seen a Peregrine up behind Port Charlotte this afternoon. Here at home, while I was looking at the birds on the ground at the base of the niger seed feeders, I saw that one of the Redpolls had a BTO ring on, but sorry to say that all I could read was "29", never saw the letters at the start, let alone the other numbers... and we have not rung any Redpolls here, so wonder where it has come from...
Before I forget, on Tuesday evening at 6.30pm, the "Islay Bird nerds" will be meeting up at NR 271617 for a walk through the Woods at Foreland House, wellies could be advisable as I believe that it may be muddy in certain places, so if you are around, see you there...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Thursday 20th April

Visitor, Simon Cohen had heard a Blackcap singing close to the North hide at Gruinart  on Sunday, and later on the same day, he had a Merlin over close to Sanaigmore. Yesterday,  over at Kilchiaran, he saw a Common Sandpiper and 2 White Wagtails. Gary yesterday had seen a Grey Wagtail on the stream beside Ballygrant Quarry, and later on, he heard a Cuckoo calling in Ballygrant Woods. Today Sam had been out with Gary, down towards Knockangle Point on the Big Strand, below the airport, they saw 10 Sanderling and also 40 Golden Plover. While going home along the Glen road back to Ballygrant, they saw 3 different Hen Harriers, a Merlin and also a Golden Eagle. Mark this morning had a count of 19 Blackwits on Ardnave Loch. Louise had seen a pair of Merlin as she drove round Loch Gorm. Peter Gill today had seen a large Canada Goose, South of Bowmore, in the trees around Avonvoggie, he heard and then saw a Cuckoo, and finally over at Blackrock, he had a Whimbrel and also 6 Dunlin.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wednesday 19th April


I know that this image is not a bird, but I was really surprised to see this young leveret this morning, just as well that I had my camera in my hand!
Late yesterday afternoon, Margaret had counted 22 Chough out on the Machir. Also yesterday,  visiting birder Angus Hogg had seen 2 Arctic Tern on Loch Indaal, on Monday he had a Cuckoo over at Ballygrant with a Whimbrel and a Little Tern seen at Gruinart on Sunday. Peter Roberts today had gone out to see if he could locate the Little Gull, no joy , but he had 15 Eider at Uiskentuie with a raft of 35 R b Merganser out on Loch Indaal, Peter also had seen a further 20 Eider earlier on back at Bruichladdich.  Today, Bob had seen 32 Golden Plover in summer plumage and a Whimbrel in the Octofad fields behind Port Charlotte. Peter Gill had been over at Bunnahabhain today where he had Golden Eagle flying over from Jura, 4 Common Sandpiper on the shore, heard a Chiffchaff singing there as well, back close to Ardnahoe, 3 Red legged Partridge were present. Down at Loch Allan, 2 Long tailed Tits were seen, a Cuckoo heard as was a Blackcap. Here at home, there were 4 Swallows hawking the fields looking for food. Maggie Bell was in touch with Mark Shields to say that she had seen 9 Pale bellied Brent Geese on Loch Leodamais Bay at Port Ellen.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tuesday 18th April

A lot cooler over here today, in fact we have had the big fire on today...Mary Redman yesterday sent  sightings from down at Portnahaven. She had seen some Swallows back at Claddach with 6 of them hawking over the fields looking for any insects for some food. Mary had a Snipe drumming close to Portnahaven Hall, a pair of Redshank were seen busy calling and displaying down near to Currie Sands while a pair of Meadow Pipits were trying to lure Mary away from their nest site!! Mary also commented on the lack of geese around as well.. Dave Protherough had 3 Sandwich Terns in Kilnaughton Bay while he was out with his kayak.  Peter Gill, yesterday had been down on the Oa, seeing a really close Golden Eagle, a male Hen Harrier and a single Chough. At Kintra, they had seen 2 Common Sandpiper with 2 Pale bellied Brent along at Blackrock. Top birds today from Peter were Siskin, Grey Wagtail and Dipper at The Wollen Mill. Later on up past Carrabus, a flock of 20 Twite was seen and shortly afterwards 22 Golden Plover spotted, all in summer plumage. Andy and Dot had 2 Golden Eagle up at Bunnahabhain. Mark had 8 Twite and 386 Golden Plover up at Ardnave this afternoon. Carl today had a Golden Eagle at Glenegedale, a Hen Harrier at Cragabus, a large Canada Goose at Kilnaughton as well as lots of GND present in the Bay there as well. Louise had 4 GND seen on the Sound of Islay as she headed over to Islay this morning. This afternoon, I had a White tailed Eagle over Port Charlotte flying South along the coast. Here at home, with the weather being colder, the feeders have been really busy, top birds included 2 Siskin, 3 Redpoll, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Linnets and late afternoon a count of over 70 Goldfinch, 55 at the feeders here at the house and around 20 over at the garage, the largest number here so far.. Gary has had a busy day, out with some clients. At Blackrock, this morning they saw a Little Gull, later on a couple of White tailed Eagles up towards Bunnahabhain, another White tail over at Port Charlotte, possibly the same bird that I had seen as well,  5 different Hen Harriers on their travels, including a pair sky dancing, great to see... A count of 40 Goldfinch at Octofad, and many Meadow Pipits seen around. Gary reckons they also had seen at least 10 Buzzards and a Kestrel while out and about. Finally, back at Blackrock , Gary stopped to check if the Little Gull was still present, but was content with a Glaucous Gull instead.