Mike sent some highlights from his WeBS count, carried out on Outer Indaal... 20 Lapwing, 37 Golden Plover, 40 GND, 3 RTD, 15 Common Scoter and 44 Common Gull. Mark carried the WeBS on Loch Gruinart counting 1,340 Golden Plover, 584 Teal, 95 Wigeon, 105 Sanderling, 48 Turnstone, 154 Lapwing, 97 Barwits, 11 Snipe, 3 Greenshank and also 27 Redshank. Yesterday, Fiona had seen a juv. Golden Eagle fly past down at Sunderland Farm. Gary today, while sitting down at Whinpark, saw a Peregrine chasing after a wee bird which attempted to dive into the water but not noting that it was ice on the top of the surface of the creek, net result the Peregrine got its prey!!! Later on, back at home, Gary had a male Hen Harrier fly through his garden and on over the moorland behind his house. Mid morning, we saw a ringtail Hen Harrier fly past through our garden and fly on down over the game crop, here at home
Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Monday, 11 December 2017
It has been a bit on the cool side still over here on Islay, with the snow still remaining well down on the Paps of Jura, usually the snow does not last that long...Mandy apologises to you all as it was at Carnain not Gartmain, that she saw the Long tailed Ducks yesterday...
Today, Gary had seen the juv 2 yr White tailed Eagle on the merse at Bridgend, he also saw the Kingfisher coming into its perch, close by. Along at Carnain, Gary counted 11 Snipe, over 250 Rock Pipit as well as 2 Snow Bunting there as well. At the start of the High road, at Springbank, he saw a male Hen Harrier and then another quartering its' patch over on the moorland opposite John Calderwood's former smiddy. Back up near to Ballygrant Gary saw an adult White tailed Eagle and then 2 Crossbill in the treetops of the plantation in at Finlaggan, while on the Loch itself, there were a pair of Goldeneye
Sunday, 10 December 2017
Like the rest of the country, we all appear to be sitting pretty cool today, the temperature hardly rose above freezing point, the saving grace being that we had little wind, otherwise it might have felt a lot colder...
Back on Friday, Mandy had seen numerous Brambling in a field down close to Newton. Yesterday while out walking with a friend's dog, James almost walked on top of a Golden Eagle which was eating its' prey, a hen Pheasant in amongst some rushes. Today, James seen a male Hen Harrier out on the wing over beside the former Kilchoman School, and then a ringtail down beside the Machrie Croft. Down on Machir Bay this morning, Peter and Pia had seen 3 Snow Bunting and also 24 Ringed Plover. This morning, Bob and myself did the WeBS count from Bowmore down to Gartbreck, our birds seen were as follows, 1 GND, 43 Shag, 3 Cormorant, 80 Greylags, 8 Pbb Brent, 181 Whitefronts, 1,100 Barnies, 9 Shelduck, 91 Mallard, 430 Teal, 465 Wigeon, 30 Eider 17 R B Merganser1 Heron, 111 Curlew, 5 Barwit, 40 Knot, 10 Redshank, 11 Dunlin, 4 Turnstone, 1 Snipe, 22 Ringed Plover, 46 Golden Plover, 4 Grey Plover, 97 Lapwing, 4 Gbb Gull, 200 Herring Gull and 120 Common Gull. Also today, Mary Redman had seen the Chifchaff in her garden again. Mandy today saw 2 Ruff at Aoradh and also a pair of Long tailed Duck at Gartmain.
Saturday, 9 December 2017
The reason why that you never got an entry on the blog for Friday, last night when you should have done, well our satellite broadband system which we have went on the blink, and their engineers do not work after 6pm....say no more..
Yesterday Mary Redman had a probable Chiffchaff in her garden down at Port Wemyss/ Portnahaven. Garry had seen the Kingfisher at the mouth of the River Sorn. He also saw 2 White tailed Eagles up behind Ballygrant and then later on, another couple flying over Jura, up from Inver.
This morning, Paul Graham had a second year White tailed Eagle trying to spoof the Barnies off the merse at Bridgend. Bob came across a dead Great crested Grebe down at Carnain. Along at Bruichladdich he saw 2 Purple Sandpipers. Mike Peacock saw the 2 Bottle nosed Dolphins today at Port Charlotte. This afternoon, we saw a single Whooper Swan down on the wee lochans below Rockside as well as a Heron flying past there as well. Later on, in the gloaming, we saw a Barn Owl out on the wing, no doubt rather hungry after the windy weather over the past few days.
Thursday, 7 December 2017
Yesterday, Bob had counted a total of 48 Pale bellied Brents down after Blackrock, beside Cash Kelly's former house on Loch Indaal. Today, while coming back out of Bowmore, Margaret counted 31 P b Brents just below where Islay Fames used to trade from at Bun an Uisg. As the wind was quite strong today, I decided to take the big bird feeders down, rather than seeing them being broken. So the birds got fed on the ground instead, no large numbers of Starlings around, just as well.
Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Like a lot of other folk, we are just going to wait for tomorrow, to see what the weather brings in. The ferries have already been cancelled for tomorrow morning, so perhaps there might have been some panic buying by some folk down in the Co-op in Bowmore already...
I did a quick count of the birds that George E. Jackson has caught and rung with BTO rings over this past year... A total of 119 birds in all comprising of 34 House Sparrows, 18 Goldfinches, 1 Dunnock, 56 Chaffinches, 3 Starling, 1 Brambling, 1 Great Tit, 2 Robins, a Blue Tit, a Blackbird and also a ringtail Hen Harrier. He also had 5 retraps, a Goldfinch plus 4 Chaffinches, with one of the chaffinches coming from elsewhere, the other birds being "local" retraps!!
Dave Wood along with some ringers from the mainland had caught and rung 87 Twite down on the Oa over the past few days. All the birds are fitted with a BTO ring and also a Black ring with white lettering on the other leg. This project will continue for a few more years, so if you manage to see any of Dave's birds and manage to read the black ring, give us a shout and I will send through the details to Dave himself, many thanks in anticipation.
We counted 33 Chough flying in to the roost this evening. Earlier on this afternoon, there were 2 large mumerations of Starling around 800 birds in total, a few more than we one we had earlier on with just under 700 birds counted then. Just a well that they did not all come in for a feed!!!!
Tuesday, 5 December 2017
This morning, Gary saw a Kingfisher at the mouth of the River Sorn and out on the merse a White tailed Eagle was siting there. Up at Bunnahabhain this afternoon, Gary saw 3 White tailed Eagles. Today James had carried out a goose count on the reserve at Gruinart and he also commented about seeing so many geese, "perhaps due to the full moon". His tally came to 9,685 Barnies, 589 Whitefronts and 51 Greylags. He also counted 1,925 Golden Plover and saw 2 Hen Harriers (a male and also a female) and a Golden Eagle. Here at home, the birds are busy eating the food put out for them, at one time we looked out and the big Niger feeder had 20 Goldfinches tucking in, a full house.