Thursday, 28 May 2015
A mixed sort of a day with the weather, but still on the cold side, never happy are we? Yesterday the Teme Valley birders had seen a male Hen Harrier out quartering his patch over at Kintour, further on, at Claggain Bay they saw 2 GNDs. Today, down at Easter Ellister they saw 5 pairs of Greylays, along with 15 goslings. At the coalyard at Gortan, 6 Eider were seen on Loch Indaal while up in a ditch beside the road at Gruinart, they had a pair of Shoveler. Bob today, had a Stonechat along with its' brood up on Bolsay moor. Round past Ballinaby, we had a pair of Common Sandpiper, some Wheatears, 2 Mallard and a Stonechat.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Back on Monday, Alistair Hutchison had seen 2 male Hen Harriers whilst out and about on Islay, he had one close to Cladville just out of Portnahaven and the other one was near to Kildalton. On Monday night, some of us went out and did the first run of the Corncrake survey this year, not sure of the overall tally yet. We only heard 6 on our patch, a bit on the low side but some other routes had better figures. It was rather windy and hearing some of the birds proved rather difficult, also the temperature was a bit on the low side too. Apparently, they do like calling when it is cold....Today, certainly not really a day for bird watching as it has been rather miserable, cold and wet, a poor day for the "open day" at Bowmore Distillery and also for Islay Ales, and tomorrow looks not much better!
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
The Teme valley birders had seen a pair of Teal on the wet scrape towards Coull yesterday evening. Today they had a couple of Cuckoos, one below Sunderland Farm, as you take the turning down along "the hedges" and past the wee quarry at the foot of the hill. The other one was up at Ardnave . At the Bird nerds meeting this evening we had seen/heard 24 different species from the carpark leading to Islay House square, from there we walked along the bank of the River Sorn and returning along the other bank. The birds we had were as follows Siskin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Wood Pigeon, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Spotted Flycatcher, Treecreeper, Starling, Jackdaw, Herring Gull, Robin, Willow Warbler, Wren, Blackcap, Mallard, Cuckoo, Mistle Thrush, Dipper, Blue Tit, Sparrowhawk, Swallow, Peregrine and Goldfinch. Highlight for me was seeing the 3 male and a female Bullfinch together! Coming home, down on the barley field at the coastguards were 43 Greylags, but none with any collars on...
Monday, 25 May 2015
A better sort of a day here today, I even took a wobbly and looked out a paint brush and started to paint the garage with some wood preservative, better still, yes, the correct shade too, might even get some more done tomorrow all going well...The Rochdale birders are back for another "Islay fix", yesterday on their travels round Islay, they had seen 4 male Hen Harriers. Today down at Bruichladdich, they saw 2 Shelducks taking their brood of 7 youngsters down onto Loch Indaal. Other returnees , the Teme Valley birders yesterday had seen a Cuckoo on a fence post at Machir Bay, needless to say a Meadow Pipit was mobbing it. Later on over at the reserve at Gruinart, they saw 2 ringtail Hen Harriers. Today, down past the Coastguards Houses, they counted 17 Greylag geese and the along at Coull, there were another 17 Greylags including the one with the red neck collar , again to far to read... Also at Coull were 6 Curlews. At Coulererach they saw their first Whitethroat of the year. As they went round Loch Gorm , they commented on seeing more Linnets and also more Wheatears than they usually see when they are here.
Sunday, 24 May 2015
Andrew and Jane (the Bowland birders) yesterday while on the ferry going back to Kennacraig had seen a Bonxie on the water, just out of Port Ellen, 4 Arctic Skuas were present 3 off Ardbeg. They also saw many Guillemots and Razorbills from the ferry but no cetaceans. This morning I gave Bob a hand to carry out the monthly count from Bowmore out to Gartbreck along the shoreline of Loch Indaal. The tally came to 7 Shag, 21 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, 100 Eider, 42 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 20 Barwit, 62 Dunlin, 24 Ringed Plover, 4 Lapwing, 24 Bh Gull, 6 Common Gull, 2 Herring Gull, 2 LBB Gull and 1 GBB Gull. We also saw a Willow Warbler and heard a Sedge Warbler as we walked down the lane leading to the shore. The weather was not great and quite windy, and we managed to avoid the showers, thank goodness!!! This coming Tuesday (26th May), the Islay Bird nerds will be meeting at the car park leading in to Islay House square. We will be taking a walk up the River Sorn and then returning back along the other side of the River, not really a strenuous walk, more a gentle stroll, so if you are around, come along ,all welcome.... by the way we will meet at 6.30pm
Saturday, 23 May 2015
Yesterday was the Bowland birders final full day here on Islay, before heading home this morning.. Yesterday, they managed a spot of sea watching at Frenchman's Rocks. Birds seen were Bonxie, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Guillemot, Arctic Tern, Common Gull, Pied Wagtail, Manx Shearwater, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Rock Pipit and Gannet. Over their stay, Andrew and Jane had recorded 120 species, but there might be more as they went over on the ferry... Many thanks for your input, most welcome as ever. This afternoon, we saw 2 Cuckoos being pursued by some LBJs at Gartloist between Bridgend and Bowmore, coming home we had a male Hen Harrier close to the road near to Foreland House. This evening, the weather is not too good with a damp, wet, smurry dampness, not a lot, but enough to lay the dust, and possibly help the plants that we put in yesterday afternoon...save me watering them!!!
Friday, 22 May 2015
A not bad day today, once the mist had lifted of the crag... the morning flight from Glasgow was delayed, in fact not sure whether it came or not.... The Bowland birders yesterday had a walk round Loch Skerrols where they had a good cross section of birds, Dabchick, Mute Swan, Mallard, Heron, 3 Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers, Blackcap, Wren, Buzzard, Robin, Common Sandpiper, LBB Gull, Song Thrush, Starling, Blackbird, Goldcrest and Goldfinch. James reported through to say that there are still 4 Barnies at Gruinart. Mary had led the guided walk at Gruinart yesterday and had seen the following birds, a group of 6 Whoopers were seen on the flats, out in front of the hide a pair of Tufted Ducks were present as were 20 Blackwits. Along the Woodland trail, a Cuckoo was calling away, fledgling Greenfinches and Chaffinches were seen, a Treecreeper was feeding its' young on the nest, a Starling was seen at its' nest, a Goldcrest seen, a Whitethroat heard, while from the viewing platform the Swallows and Martins gave a superb aerial display as they swooped down low over the floods as they preyed on the insects present. A great walk by all accounts. Yesterday evening, Bob had a mixed group of around 400 Common and Black headed Gulls as they were fishing on the surface fish on Loch Indaal off Bruichladdich Pier. Here this evening, one of the hen Pheasants came to door and proudly presented her brood of 7 young....