Friday, 18 April 2014

Friday 18th April

A glorious day on sunny Islay, blue skies too.. what else do you want? Some sightings through from yesterday, Mary saw a male Snow Bunting in summer plumage down at Claddach at Portnahaven. Carl Mitchell, one of Ed's bosses who is over for a few days had seen 6 Sandwich Terns perched on the rocks at Bruichladdich and he also heard the Corncrake calling below the viewing platform at Gruinart. "Solo" had been round Ardnave Point and had 6 GND, a Red breasted Merganser, 4 small groups of Ringed Plover, pr of Shelduck, 30 Eider and also 5 Gannets fishing off Nave Island. He also had seen a few Chough and back at Kilchoman, he had a Chiffchaff. The Bearsden birders had around 40 Shelduck at "smelly corner" on their way back from Bowmore in the evening. Forgot to mention that back on Monday evening that we saw the International Space station as it passed by, wonder if the crew spotted us waving to them!!!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Thursday 17th April

Some sightings through from Pete Morris who is a BirdQuest guide who is over with his family on holiday rather than leading a group! Sightings were gleaned from Pete by Peter Roberts over a dinner table! On Monday, they had the Green winged Teal and a Greenshank on the reserve at Gruinart, the North side of Loch Gorm a flock of 300 Golden Plover were seen. On Loch Indaal, from Bowmore, at least 5 Slav Grebes present while on the Oa they had a Golden Eagle and 2 Peregrines. Tuesday, at Killinallan, an adult White tailed Sea Eagle was present and also a second yr Golden Eagle as well as a small flock of 10 Twite. Over at Finlaggan, they had a sub adult Golden Eagle and also Hen Harriers "sky dancing". Yesterday, they had a count of 27 RT Divers on Loch Indaal, over 40 Barwits and heard the Corncrake at Gruinart. At Bunahabhain, another Golden Eagle and also a Red Grouse were present. Portnahaven had several Manxies offshore and also 3 Common Sandpipers, Bruichladdich, 2 Sandwich Terns, Bowmore a single Pale bellied Brent Goose and at Gartbreck, 3 Sandwich Terns were seen. Solo from Dumfries saw a Common Sandpiper on the Sound of Islay yesterday

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wednesday 16th April

Better late than never... I went over to Colonsay and then with the tide being out over the strand to Oransay, so once I came home, I was tired out and did not do the blog, sorry... On Tuesday down at Portnahaven Mary had a Grasshopper Warbler and at Gruinart, James had a Ruff, 6 White Wagtail and also noted the fall of Willow Warblers that Bob had too. On Colonsay/ Oransay and going over there on the ferry, we saw the following birds, Black Guillemot, GND, Greylags, Barnacle geese, flock of over 300 Golden Plover, Golden Eagle, Rock Doves, Kittiwake, Skylark, Chough and also 2 Snipe "chipping" at Scalascaig. The weather out with the rain only coming on near the end.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tuesday 15th April

Another good day here, there might have been a wee edge to the air, but by the sound of the forecast,tomorrow is not looking too clever with rain here by midday! On Sunday, Mary Merrall had a Common Sandpiper down at Claddach at Portnahaven. George had 2 Golden Eagles up the back of Carrabus at the tail end of last week, possibly the same birds that Mary had seen there around the same time. Today, George had a Willow Warbler today down at his house at Bruichladdich. Bob, yesterday had noticed more Willow Warblers around with a Merlin up on Bolsay Moor. Down at Knockdon on a field being ploughed Bob counted 64 Lbb gulls, 120 Herring Gulls, 36 Common Gulls and 16 Black headed gulls. Today "Solo" from Dumfries had walked from Saligo round Coull Point to Machir Bay, his birds included a group of 3 Swallows, several pairs of Fulmars on the cliffs on thier nest sites, 2 Wheatear, pr of Chough, on Machir Bay iteslf, 6 Sanderling and 2 Turnstone were seen. The Beardsen Birders had seen a Swallow at Kilchoman, 1 Wheatear at Ardnave, over the reserve at Gruinart, a pr of Hen Harriers and then at Rock Mountain a further male Hen Harrier was present. This evening they saw 5 Hares while going over to Saligo from Kilchoman and then 2 Roe Deer at Rock Mountain. Armin and "London Dave on their way to their walk today over from Port Ellen had sen a Kestrel being mobbed by 2 crows on the high road, coming home the same road 2 Hen Harriers were seen.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Monday 14th April

A glorious day over here today, a great day for Mary's walk over to Kilchiaran. On the way we had Sand Martin, Swallow, Wheatear, Buzzard, Chough and Raven, over at the bay at Kilchiaran, Kittiwake and Fulmars were seen on the nest! The Rooks at Gruinart have started to hatch their eggs....Michal had a Chiffchaff in the woods around Gortantoid and had 4 singing Yelowhammer up along the coast from there as well. David Griffiths had a Dipper at The Woolen Mill on the Sorn the other day After the walk, this afternoon, we had a Peregrine high up in the air, here at home, and then it must have seen some prey, and it just dropped out of the sky, wings tucked in, no mercy shown there!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sunday 13th April

Yesterday, Carl had 2 Sandwich Terns at Bruichladdich while Bob was over at the hide at Gruinart where he saw a White Wagtail and also the male Green winged Teal. Today Bob carried out a count from Bowmore down to Gartbreck with the scores on the doors being as follows, 2 GND, 1 Slav Grebe, 1 Shag, 2 Greylag, 10 Barnies, 10 Greenland whitefronts, 1 Goldeneye, 27 Shelduck, 6 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 2 Pintail, 119 Eider, 17 Red Breasted Merganser, 65 Oystercatcher, 4 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Barwit, 6 Redshank, 20 Knot, 18 Turnstore, 3 Lapwing, 17 Golden Plover,76 Ringed Plover,1 Snipe, 2 Arctic Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 GBB Gull, 2 LBB Gull, 10 Common Gull, 25 Herring Gull and 16 Black headed Gulls.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Saturday 12th April

John Hughes who has been over for a few days gave me through his sightings, so I have selected some of his birds. On Tuesday on Loch Indaal, John had 21 Eider and also 5 Sandwich Terns. Wednesday, at Gruinart the flock of around 700 Golden Plover were seen as well as a pr of Gadwall, 137 Shelduck from the hide and also a male Hen Harrier as well. On Thursday, John had a Peregrine at Kilchoman and also 2 Chiffchaff at Loch Allan. On Friday, John's last day, a flock of around 40 Twite as he went up to Sanaigmore, also another Peregrine. In the bay at Sanaigmore a Slavonian Grebe, Black throated Diver and also 3 GND. At Gruinart he had 18 Sand Martin while down on the shore of Loch Indaal, 13 Turnstone were seen. Thanks to John for your birds. "Ken's IKIP birders" have also had a good week, starting off last Sunday with 3 Buzzards close to Bunnahabhain and a futher 2 at Finlaggan, one being hassled by a crow! On Monday on the Oa, a Golden Eagle was soaring lazily minding its own business but it was being constantly battered by a a particularly angry seabird! They also saw a ringtail Hen Harrier close to where they are staying. Tuesday highlight was seeing a White tailed Sea Eagle at the head of Loch Indaal. Wednesday was a Jura day watching Hen Harriers, another 2 Buzzards and also 5 Herons. Thursday on the Oa they had seen 2 different Golden Eagles, but in peace this time nobody hassling either of them today! They also had their first Swallow. Friday early evening they watched a male Hen Harrier eating some prey which it had caught. Thanks Ken. Yesterday Alistair Paterson had a Hobby down at Port Ellen at 7 am and it flew across the bow of the ferry as it left to go to Kennacraig!. Today Peter had been over to Loch Allan where he heard Willow Warblers singing away as well as Treecreepers and also Goldcrest singing too.