Monday, 19 February 2018

Monday 19th February

Rather a misty kind of a day out here on the far west of Islay, but our birders here were undeterred...

Forgot to mention last night that we had a Merlin zip through the garden , boy was it moving along rather smartly... Today we had a flock of 14 Lapwing flying around over the Machir, and then late afternoon, a Fulmar was soaring along in front of the crag. The Rochdale Birders had seen a White tailed Eagle fly from Jura  across the "Sound of Islay" and after a wee while they saw it fly back over to Jura. Later on, while they were driving along the "Glen road" they counted  205 Whitefronts in a field at Cattadale. Another returning birder to Islay, Danny saw a male Sparrowhawk sitting on a fence post over at Coull late afternoon. Mike P. had been down on Machir Bay this afternoon where he had 4 Glaucous and 2 Iceland Gulls, good spotting Mike!! Mark had carried out the WeBS counts at Gruinart today, so here are the birds seen, 2 GND, 3 Heron, 174 Shoveler, 218 Wigeon, 37 Mallard, 3 Goldeneye, 7 R b Merganser, 3 Snipe, 207 Oystercatcher, 32 Ringed Plover, 85 Lapwing, 4 Knot, 30 Sanderling, 57 Barwits, 86 Curlew, 27 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 45 Turnstone, 12 B h Gull and 177 Common Gull.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Sunday 18th February

This morning, Bob, Lesley and myself carried out the WeBS count from Port Charlotte round to Blackrock round the top of Loch Indaal. This is usually the section counted by Gary, but Bob and Gary have changed routes, with Gary counting the stretch from Bowmore  to Gartbreck, so here are our "scores on the doors".....8 GND, 10 Cormorant, 4 Shag, 5 Curlew, 6 Redshank, 8 Lapwing, 12 Ringed Plover, 1 Turnstone, 5 Purple Sandpiper, 15 Common Scoter,  3 Snipe, 3 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, 8 Eider, 5 Goldeneye, 1 Long tailed Duck, 12 R b Merganser, 5 G BB Gull, 36 H Gull, 37 C Gull, 1 Glaucous Gull.  Just as well that we carried the count, early this morning, as the weather turned out in to a miserable, damp, dreich afternoon, just as well too that I spent some time yesterday, tidying up part of the game crop!!! The Rochdale birders had been  out and about, seeing a ringtail Hen Harrier over at Sanaig, up at Finlaggan, they saw a pair of Crossbills. 2 Siskins were present at the Woollen Mill and on their way back to  Port Charlotte where they stay, 8 Purple Sandpipers were seen at Bruichladdich.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Saturday 17th February

Yesterday, Gary had spotted a Gannet off the top of Ardnave Point. Today, he had a Golden Eagle soaring around above Bunnahabhain. Here at home, there were around 40 Chough poking and probing around in the ground out on the Machir. With the weather being a lot better today, I got the wee tractor out with its' topper on and made a start to tidying up the game crop, ready for the plough and reseeding it again for another season for the birds to appreciate, a start in the right direction...
Weather permitting, tomorrow morning, Bob and myself are going to do our WeBs count, but Distillery Dave is out on the mainland, so will not be with us!!!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Thursday 15th February

Not a lot  to report tonight, as the weather out here has not exactly been favourable for birdwatching!!
The Rochdale birders had seen a Raven carrying nesting materials in towards a nest site when they were out yesterday. Today, Bob had seen a Glaucous Gull down on the pool behind Machir Bay.
As the wind never really let up today, I made use of plan "B" when trying to feed the birds, namely put their seed on the ground. Amazing how quickly they adapted to this, perhaps they were just happy that somebody had braved the elements to feed them!!!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Wednesday 14th February

Just as well that I went out in the dark last night and took down our 2 big bird feeders as they might have been down on the ground this morning, smashed to pieces. Yes, it was quite windy. The ferries had ben cancelled this morning with a rescheduled timetable, sailing later on in the afternoon and early evening offering any hardy soul a chance of a bumpy sail across to Islay... Doubt if they sold much food, the chefs would not have been that busy!!!
The Rochdale birders today had braved the elements, up behind Port Charlotte, close to Gearach, they had counted 84 Whitefronts and down beside the War memorial at Port Ban below Coultorsay , over 40 Curlews were present. Mid afternoon as they drove over the hill from Gruinart, between Grainel and the former Kilchoman school, they saw a ringtail Hen Harrier sitting on a fence post.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Tuesday 13th February

The Rochdale birders had counted a flock of 60 Fieldfare over at Finlaggan, and then they had seen over 20 Raven up near to Storakaig on the "Glen road". Finally they saw a ringtail Hen Harrier along the far end of Loch Gorm.  Mike Peacock had seen 2 Glaucous Gulls down at Machir Bay. Our good friend "DJ" had been up the crag behind Kilchoman where he saw the pair of Ravens, a Sparrowhawk and also a male Hen Harrier. All I can add to todays sightings were 3 Reed Buntings seen beside the old church, here at home, seen while I was out "pootering" (not pottering!) around on the wee tractor, boys and their toys...

Monday, 12 February 2018

Monday 12th February

Just to get you all in the mood for tonight's entry, please read the first paragraph of yesterday's blog, as the weather here was similar to yesterday, although I actually met a snowplough / gritter on our road before 9 am!!! The whole of the snowplough looked rather new with its' yellow paint still pristine... Pity they could not sort the potholes on the roads, say no more!!!
The Rochdale birders had ben out again, yes I spotted them. They saw a ringtail Hen Harrier over the merse as they approached Bridgend. Over at Kildalton cross, they heard a Great spotted Woodpecker drumming away on the trees nearby, and they also saw 10 Yellowhammers on the feeders in the middle of the game crop beside Calum's, the head gamekeeper's house just along the road, still on Ardtalla Estate. On their way back home, they saw 2 Snipe at Carnain. Distillery Dave had a ringtail Hen Harrier below Sunderland, on his way home from his work at Kilchoman Distillery.