Thursday, 2 July 2015
Yesterday Armin had spent some time over in the hide at Gruinart. He had seen the pair of Sedge Warblers busily carrying food in to their young. A single Whooper Swan is still present and with a Mute Swan appearing later on, but they kept their distance from each other! A Heron was seen too, but it was having a difference of opinion with the Lapwings present. There were a few Teal and also a single Shoveler. A Meadow Pipit and a Wren were also seen out in front of the hide. While returning back to his car, Armin had a ringtail Hen Harrier out on the wing. I have not heard of any further news of yesterday's Bea eaters, Jim Dickson came over from Lochgilphead to try locate them with Peter Roberts, but no joy... they did spot an eclipse male Wigeon at Gruinart. Martin, when he was out on the Oa, had seen a male Hen Harrier, a distant Golden Eagle, Stonechats and Wheatears. Over at Storakaig this afternoon, we had a cracking male Hen Harrier out quartering its' patch. There were many Stonechats as we went along the "Glen road". Here at home, there has been a Hooded Crow coning down onto the grass regularly over the past few days, so I can now call it a "garden bird"...
Wednesday, 1 July 2015
The tally in the rain gauge came to 2.25 inches for the month, almost an inch less June last year. the temperature rose to 22 degrees today on Mike's weather station, not as high as other places, but bearable at least... Forgot to mention last night that Bob had heard a Cuckoo calling up beside his house on Monday, other birds seen last night at bird nerds were Swallows, House Martin and a Song Thrush. Paul Graham saw a Barn Owl last night down at Bruichladdich, and a Corncrake was heard there too!!! There was a Cuckoo calling away up the hill behind our former house this afternoon and the 2 Greenfinches are still present here as well. This morning Gary had account of 23 Ravens flying out the hills on the East side of Loch Gruinart. This afternoon Gary counted 40 Swifts over his garden and over the surrounding fields over at Coullabus. There was a reported sighting 4 Bea eaters down on the Oa today, but ever news is a bit sketchy as to where they were seen exactly, when they seen and who saw them... and the news came from Tiree to the mainland and then back to Islay...
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
The last day of the month and not a lot of rain in the rain gauge for the month, and come to think of it not much last night at all, more a dampness rather than much rain in itself! You will just have to wait until tomorrow night for the final figure for June... Tonight, the bird nerds met and took a leisurely walk, a great time for us all to catch up, with a couple of new faces present as well... We were fortunate to see a male Hen Harrier several times, probably 2 different males, but great to see all the same. Redpolls were seen and heard, a Goldcrest heard, Stonechats seen and heard, Goldfinch seen, Chaffich, Willow Warbler heard. Several Red Deer were seen as well out on the moor, one hind was seen with a young calf. Probably the best part of the evening was that there was a slight wind and so no midges were out as we could have been easy prey for them!
Monday, 29 June 2015
In case some of you may not have seen the wee note the other night about the Islay bird nerds, well it is that time of the month again, so weather permitting we are meeting at the entrance to Foreland House at 7pm (NR270638) and from there we will take a short walk out and about, not a strenuous walk I hasten to add, no dogs allowed, but humans are welcome...so come along if you are around... Yesterday, Armin had taken a walk out from behind Loch Skerrols. At the start of his walk at Eollabus, he heard a Corncrake calling and then further on at lunchtime, taken up close to Loch Drolsay, he saw a distant female Hen Harrier. There were many Skylarks seen along the way with some Whinchats sheltering from the strong winds. Today, the rain basically has been kept at bay, although there is some forecast with a band of showers to pass through tonight, and then, tomorrow and on Wednesday it is supposed to be warmer, we will just have to wait and see....
Sunday, 28 June 2015
The other day, Alistair Hutchison had seen a pair of Bullfinches down at Bridgend with their brood of 4 fledglings. Carl reported through that there is still a Corncrake calling away down at Shorefield at Bruichladdich. Armin had spent some time down at the hide at Gruinart yesterday. From the viewing platform, he had a ringtail Hen Harrier. Down at the hide there was a Corncrake calling away, all the time he was there! The pair of Sedge Warblers were busy carrying food into their young at their nest. A Snipe was both seen and heard, along with plenty of Lapwings. Armin also saw a Linnet from the hide as well. Today, Gary and Sam had an Osprey, mid afternoon at the head of Loch Indaal where the River Sorn enters the bay. 2 Greenfinches were seen here at home this afternoon by Margaret and this evening, the young rabbits are out playing on the grass, will have to "order" the cats to rectify this matter rather than sleeping inside all day....
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Many thanks to George E. Jackson and his wife Pat for their sightings and also Ken and Karen Graham from Glasgow, both sets of folks are away back home now, but no doubt will be back over later on through the year! Before they left, the Jacksons had done a trip out to look for the Bee eaters and also the Great White Egret but to no avail! They had seen a flock of 47 Rooks close to the steading at Kilchiaran and then a couple of Choughs as they walked up to the radio masts. Later on, over at the mouth of the River Laggan where it enters Loch Indaal, they had 2 pairs of Ringed Plover "alarming", on Loch Indaal itself there were 8 immature male Eiders with around 20 Sand Martins hawking over the water there too. Back on land they counted 30 Sand Martin burrows but not sure of how many were in use this season. The Islay bird nerds will be meeting on Tuesday evening at 7pm at the bottom drive to Foreland House, the bottom drive (NR270638). If the weather is in doubt please contact Ian on 01496 850 303 by 6.30pm in case we have to cancel out! So as ever visitors made welcome, but as ever no dogs allowed.
Friday, 26 June 2015
Better late than never, so here we go.. Gary and Sam today had done the loop from Port Charlotte down to Portnahaven and returned back by Kilchiaran. On the pond at Easter Ellister, they had a female Common Scoter. Whitethroats and Stonechats were seen in numbers. A male and a female Hen Harrier were present close to Ballimony, 10 Arctic Terns were seen at Claddach with Gannets noted flying South past Frenchman's Rocks. Linnets were added to their list and at Gearach, 8 Ravens were present. Finally, closer to their home, between Craigens and Coullabus, a female Marsh Harrier was seen. Back home here this afternoon, a Greenfinch was in our garden along with the ever present Goldfinches!