Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Tuesday 15th January

Another windy day out here again but not too windy as the ferry has been sailing back and forward all day, and better still, it was not too windy for the first day of the International Goose count taking place.
James had been out today helping out with the Goose count today. Out over Borichil Mor, he had seen 2 Golden Eagles, a Sparrowhawk and also a male Hen Harrier. Down on the reserve at Gruinart, James saw a White tailed Eagle, a Merlin and also the Little Egret was spotted as well. All we can add to James ' list was the sighting a Sparrowhawk flying back and forward, at least on 3 different occasions across our garden...

Monday, 14 January 2019

Monday 14th January

Sorry not many birds tonight, partly due to the fact that nobody has been in touch with any sightings and another reason is that I have got a cracker of a toothache, so just some armchair birding from here... This morning, Margaret had a ringtail Hen Harrier doing a fly past out in front of the big window... This afternoon, she the Sparrowhawk out on the wing here as well, and all I saw was 4 Whoopers fly over just before I set out for the dentist!!!

For those of you who might be over on Islay on Tuesday 29th of January, it is the date for the evening out  when the bird nerds will be having their evening bar supper in the Lochside Hotel in Bowmore. All welcome, give me shout by Friday 18th, so I can confirm numbers. Another request, please check out the menu online and let me know what you want to eat, so that Archie knows what to prepare...

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Sunday 13th January

I might have joked about winding the camera up in last night's entry, well today  was not exactly the day to go and use it, 2 small problems, the weather and there was not a lot of birds out there to get some happy snaps taken... may be tomorrow..

Bob was on the phone at lunch time with some birds... Yesterday, he had a couple of Mistle Thrush in Gleann Mor up beside his house. Bob too has been having Barn Owls visiting him. In his garden he has been seeing 2 pairs of Collared Doves and today he counted 50 House Sparrows in his garden.

Distillery Dave and his wife Ann were round for a natter, over a well deserved cuppa this afternoon. Round at Rockside, they saw a Kestrel and then a ringtail Hen Harrier down at their road end when they came up to here. Later on "DJ"  and Derek dropped in for a "newsie", great to see you folks..

On a footnote, the wind is still puffing away good style outside at present....

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Saturday 12th January

2 sightings through from Mandy which she told me about today while in for a cuppa and catch up...

She had seen a juv Glaucous Gull down in one of  the fields below her house at Carnduncan at the tail end of last week. On Wednesday, when she was out helping with the Goose count, she had seen a Whitefront with a neck collar fitted to it. Once I hear back from the folk in charge of the Whitefronts, I will let you know of where and when it was originally fitted with the collar.
Malcolm had emailed through earlier on today to say that he had 31 Collared Doves in on his bird food, before the holidays he was only feeding 20 of them so wondered where the "extras" had come from.. Another point of interest through from Malcolm was that he counted 55 House Sparrows. SNH had published some stats earlier this week which show that the population of House Sparrows had increased by over 50% between 1994 to 2017, down in England and Wales over the same time period, the Sparrows had declined by 20%. I know our numbers are well up here at home, but do not have any base period to relate to... George E Jackson caught and fitted rings to 92 House Sparrows up here this year over a total of 11 sessions, and there are still a lot of them with no bling on yet.... So may be that could be a wee job for tomorrow, to try to count who is about, better go and wind the camera up!!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Friday 11th January

A few birds again, so here goes...
This morning around 9 o'clock, when I was on the phone, I happened to look out the window and saw 2 Fulmars soaring along the front of the crag, a sure sign that the winds are due to pick up ... And now I have just read that Calmac have cancelled tomorrow's sailing from Port Askaig to Colonsay, and also the return ferry tomorrow evening back from Kennacraig, which has a knock on effect as thee will be no sailing from Port Ellen on Sunday morning either.. "Normal service due to resume on Sunday at 13.00 from Kennacraig".
Back to birds again.. Gary was up for a catch up later on this morning, and we all saw a Golden Eagle out from another of the windows. We watched it being mobbed by the 2 local Ravens and then being dive bombed by the other locals, the 2 Buzzards. Shortly afterwards that pesky Sparrowhawk skipped past low down and away on...

On a closing note, the wind has started to pick up already with a huff and a puff outside already!!!

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Hursday 10th January

Today, Gary had been down on the Oa where he had a flock of Twite, numbering "several hundred birds". He had also seen 4 Choughs down there as well. Coming back along the "Low road", Gary saw a male Hen Harrier close to the Machrie. Back up at Finlaggan , and he had another male Hen Harrier seen. Here at home this morning, and Margaret had a ringtail Hen Harrier float over the garden out from the big gable end window....  Fantastic, a real garden bird, it better be here for the "Big garden bird watch" at the end of the month!!!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Wednesday 9th January

Some sightings through from Gary seen yesterday. Between Torabus and Ardnahoe, he saw a Peregrine chasing a Rock Dove. Out on the water on Ardnahoe Loch, he had 2 Dabchick, and then Gary saw a juv. White tailed Eagle out over the surrounding hills. Down at Finlaggan, there were 4 Dabchicks present. Down between Bowmore Harbour and the Gaelic centre, Gary counted 56 Pale belied Brent Geese.
This morning in the wee sma' hours, here at home, the Barn Owl was caught on camera for less than a minute..
Mike, this morning, in near perfect, calm conditions, had counted the following birds out on Loch Indaal from Blackrock...6 Long tailed Duck, 32 Red breasted Merganser,  21 Eider, 2 Goldeneye, 16 Slavonian Grebe, 21 GND and also 3 RTD.