Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Wednesday 14th November

The other week, Ivan & Jenny Harding from Lyme Regis were over on Islay on holiday when they saw 3 barnacle Geese with fitted darvic leg rings on which they managed to read. They sent the info through to me and the other day I forwarded it through to Steve Percival . Steve e mailed through to say that 2 of the birds had been rung in the same field at Gruinart back in October 2013 with other goose being rung by Steve and his family the previous day to Ivan and Jenny seeing it...
Yesterday, Paul and Jill Harris from Yorkshire had seen the Chough coming out from the roost up in the crag, close to here they are staying and counted 25 birds in total. Later on, down on the Oa they had seen a flock of almost 500 Twite at Upper Killeyan. Along at the car park, they had a male Hen Harrier, with another seen at Risabus with a third present at Claggain Bay. Coming back up along the low road and they counted 320 Whoopers at the north end of the airport. Finally at Blackrock, 29 Scaup were present.
Today, Mike P. had seen a 1st winter White tailed Eagle over the raised beach at Gortan. Along at Sunderland Farm, Mike had seen a flock of 200 Chaffinch and also a Brambling was there with them. At Machir Bay, Mike counted 22 Chough and he also saw a Sparrowhawk.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Tuesday 13th November

Bob and Lesley had carried out WeBS count from Blackrock along to Port Charlotte, the scores on the doors coming to... 29 Cormorant, 4 Shag, 13 GND, 4 RTD, 3 Eider, 9 R b Merganser, 21 Oystercatcher, 10 Snipe, 3 Turnstone, 20 Herring Gull and a Gbb Gull. Returning visiting birders with whom I met in with last night had seen 4 Merlin on their travels around Islay as well as 5 Hen Harriers. They were well pleased seeing the Hen Harriers especially as they are not seen very often where they live on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors...Their previous visit to Islay was 15 years ago....Armin is back on Islay for his Autumn fix and also the Islay sessions, a trad music weekend held mainly in Port Charlotte. The other morning, he had seen 10 Oystercatchers and also 100 Herring Gulls down on Machir Bay and then a Buzzard down at the Coastguards. Yesterday afternoon, down on the merse at Bridgend, Armin was armed with his camera, hoping to get some images of the geese on the mudflats , but the tide was in , net result, not many, if any images were taken. By the time he got over to Gruinart, the light was poor... Just as the light was starting to fade, at home we counted 25 Chough going in to the roost....
Today, Mike Peacock had seen 39 Tufted Duck , 149 Teal and 4 Whoopers on Loch Gorm along with a Merlin close by. Val, his wife had been taking a walk down through the trees below Foreland and seen a Greater spotted Woodpecker , a Treecreeper and a Woodcock.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Monday 12th November

The other day James and Shonaisla had carried the WeBS count on the floods at Gruinart, their tally came as follows.... 282 Teal, 1,900 Teal, 254 Mallard, 62 Pintail, 7 Whoopers, 4 Mutes, 2 Dabchick, 39 Shoveler, 11 Blackwits, 31 Snipe, a R b Merganser, 5 Heron, 332 Lapwing, 14 Curlew and 1085 Golden Plover. Later the same day, James had seen a Little Egret and also a White tailed Eagle up the east side of Loch Gruinart. ShonaIsla and Mark had seen a Golden Eagle and a Ringtail Hen Harrier, not far from Craigens the same day.
Today, James had seen 2 male Hen Harriers and also 2 ringtails on the reserve at Gruinart. The Little Egret was  on the flats and a Merlin present out in front of the North hide. Mike P. had been in at Loch Skerrols this afternoon where he saw a Coot, a new Islay tick in recent times for Mike. The pair of Pochard were still present along with 125 Whoopers, 19 Tufted Duck who were all duly spoofed by an immature White tailed Eagle which flew past.

Not exactly the best of images of one of the Brambling seen outside up here at home today, there were 2 of them in amongst the flock of at least 60 Chaffinches...

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Sunday 11th November

Back on Friday, Mark and ShonaIsla Macintyre had carried the WeBS count on Loch Gruinart, the following were their birds counted. 2 Cormorant, 3 Heron, 18 Shelduck,  84 Wigeon, 43 Mallard, 18 R B Merganser, 177 Oystercatcher, 161 Lapwing, 14 Ringed Plover, 114 Sanderling, 8 Dunlin, 114 Barwits, 60 Curlew, 46 Redshank, 53 Turnstone, 3 Snipe and 2 Little Egret. They also saw 3 Common Seals as well. 
Yesterday, James had counted 93 Whoopers, a male Hen Harrier and a Kestrel on the reserve at Gruinart.
Today, Peter Roberts had counted 175 Whoopers in a field,out on the low road out of Bowmore. Distillery Dave was saying that the pond has returned down at where you can park your car up when visiting Machir Bay, not surprising when you know that we have had 3.4 inches (86.4mm...) so far this month, with the last 30 hours being dry!!! Down there this morning, Dave had seen 9 Turnstone, a Sanderling and some Ringed Plovers as well. Along at the Rockside road end, he had a ringtail Hen Harrier, with a Sparrowhawk up at Rockside itself. Also this morning, up here at home, Margaret had the Sparrowhawk on top of the willows less than 4 meters away...This afternoon, Dave's wife Ann had a Peregrine at the Coastguards.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Saturday 10th November

Yesterday was the last full day on Islay for this visit for Mike Bell and also the Bolton birders... Many thanks for all your birds folks... Not to be outdone, no, I have not gone without their sightings from Friday... the Bolton birders had seen 200 Whoopers on the merse at Bridgend and a juv. White tailed Eagle was also present there as well. Over at Keills, they counted 6 Brambling among the Chaffinch flock there. They also saw the 2 Golden Eagles out from Storakaig. Over at Bun an Uisg, at the edge of Bowmore, 34 Scaup were sheltering up from the wind, as were 16 Pale bellied Brent at Carnain. Mike made the most of the windy day as well, a bonus as he should have gone back home yesterday, but had to delay his trip on the ferry as it had ben cancelled... On Loch Skerrols, Mike counted 32 Mute Swans, 4 Whoopers, 98 Wigeon, 24 Teal, 29 Mallard, 2 Pochard, 19 Tufted Duck, a Moorhen, a Heron, a Grey Wagtail with 20 Siskins seen in the Alders there as well. He saw an imm. White tailed Eagle up towards Octovullin with an adult Golden Eagle seen over Scarrabus. Close to Skerrols House, Mike saw a male Merlin. Up the East side of Loch Gruinart, he had 400 Dunlin, while on the fields at Craigens, 1,550 Golden Plover and also 350 Lapwing seen. Along the flats at Gruinart, he had a flock of 220 Linnets. Along the road, his "friend" the ringtail Hen Harrier was seen again!!! On the barley stubbles at Coull, the Whoopers were up to 120 in total while the Starling mumeration came to 1,500 birds. Down on Machir Bay, he saw 42 Ringed Plover, a Sanderling, 3 Turnstone and 10 Chough. Coming back up from Machir Bay, down at the Coastguards' a female Merlin zipped across the road in front of his car!!   Thanks again for your birds folks....
This morning, Martin had walked from Bridgend down along the River Sorn to where it joins Loch Indaal. Martin saw the following birds, a pair of Bullfinch, 12 Siskins,  a pair of Goldeneye, a Peregrine Falcon, 26 Wigeon and also 2 Whoopers. Back home at Glenegedale, Martin had a Sparrowhawk and a Treecreeper along with the usual Blue Tits and Coal Tits in his garden. Up here today in our garden, the Sparrowhawk was perched up on the fence while the Brambling was still along with our "wee" flock of 47 Chaffinches!!

Friday, 9 November 2018

Friday 9th November

Just as well that I have got some sightings up my sleeve from yesterday. The weather has not been that great here today, ferries cancelled with heavy, dirty squally showers in the mix as well as the wind huffing and puffing as well...
Back on Wednesday, the Bolton birders had seen 6 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, 2 Turnstone and they also counted 30 Dunlin at "smelly corner". Yesterday, they had seen a female Merlin as they drove up towards Rockside, and also 2 distant Golden Eagle were seen out over Gleann Osamail.. Over the moorland they saw 2 different ringtail Hen Harriers. Over behind Kilmeny, they had a Sparrowhawk, and past Storakaig 3 Golden Eagles. Down at Mulindry and towards Ballytarsin, 400 Whoopers were present. Mike Peacock had seen a male and a female Pochard on Loch Skerrols. Also yesterday,  James  had 2 Brambling, as well as a Golden Eagle on the reserve at Gruinart while up at Sanaigmore, he saw a Merlin. Mike Bell yesterday,  had counted 104 Whoopers at Rockside with a further 117 at Sunderland. He also had counted 240 Rock Doves at Sunderland. A walk from the car park at Bridgend up to wards Octovullin was quite productive...a total of 140 Redwing seen, 26 Fieldfare, 65 Skylarks, 450 Chaffinch along with 2 Brambling noted up close to Octovullin. Raptors/ birds of prey seen included an imm. White tailed Eagle and a Raven picking a carcass, a male and a ringtail Hen Harrier, an adult and also a imm. Golden Eagle, Mike also counted 180 Woodpigeons and he also saw the 2 Pochard on Loch Skerrols as well. On a drive from Ballygrant along the Glen road, he saw another adult and an imm. Golden Eagle in the air up past Knocklearoch while out past Storakaig another Golden Eagle away out over the hills. He also saw 65 Redwing and 3 Fieldfare at Barr Farm with 45 Redwing and 5 Fieldfare down at Cattadale. At Gruinart, on the floods, Mike counted  2,150Teal, 165 Wigeon, 65 Pintail, 20 Shoveler, 9 Blackwits, 1,500 Golden Plover and a ringtail. On his way back to his cottage, Mike had a male Hen Harrier at Carnduncan and then another seen past Ballinaby and then a ringtail just before Coull road end. Up at Coull, in at the farm steading, Mike had a Starling mumeration of around 1,000 birds in all

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Thursday 8th November

Bob, yesterday had been on the "Gruinart run" while helping out with the goose count. On the reserve at Gruinart, he saw the Little Egret as well as a Pale bellied Brent goose. Up at Killinallan, he had a flock of 300 Redwings and also 2 male Merlin seen together close by. Over at Ardnave, a flock of 800 Golden Plover was seen with a smaller flock of 150 present at Grainel. Mike Bell yesterday had 88 Whoopers at Rockside, with another 110 along at Sunderland. Later on, he had seen the imm. Golden Eagle  between Carrabus and Coullabus. Over at Gruinart, Mike had the sighting of the Little Egret in full view, not like the other day when it had been lurking in one of the muddy creeks!!! On the floods, Mike counted 1,900 Teal with 1,550 Golden Plover in the air. A Buzzard flushed 65 Snipe. Also seen there were 4 Greenshank, 141 Curlew and 40 Redshank while on the flats, on the fields which have been cut really short recently, 100 Barwit and 6 Knot kept dropping in and out.
This morning, Louise, on her way to work this morning, had seen 3 White tailed Eagles, 3 Buzzards, a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk, between Gatehouse and the ferry at Feolin on Jura. Here at home the wee birds have been busy on the feeders for most of the day and the Brambling was evident in the mix this afternoon.