Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wednesday 25th May

Becky Austin who works with the RSPB as an Assistant warden on the Loch Lomond reserve had seen a Red Kite down at Coillabus on the Oa on the 7th of May, apologies in the delay about that one.... Yesterday, the Rochdale birders had seen a Shelduck with 8 Ducklings at "Smelly corner", a Sparrowhawk at Avonvoggie. Up at Bunnahabhain, 3 Whinchats were on territory, also there was single Yellowhammer. Later on, they had 4 Cuckoos chasing after each other at Foreland. This morning, I gave Bob a hand to carry out the BTO survey along the River Sorn down from The Woollen Mill to where it enters Loch Indaal down below Bridgend. We heard and saw 31 species in total compared with 34 earlier this month. Top birds included Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher and Bullfinch.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Tuesday 24th May

After a misty start this morning, the sun came out and burnt it off,  giving us a nice sunny afternoon and now a beautiful evening.
Last night was the first night when we carried out the Corncrake counts round the island, not sure of the grand total, but we heard 6 in total on our patch, but heard no Sedge Warblers calling anywhere on our travels....  James had covered the reserve at Gruinart and heard 8 Corncrakes, a Water Rail, a Barn Owl was seen and also a Short eared Owl. Michal today had seen a male Hen Harrier mobbing a juvenile female Golden Eagle up at Ardnave. Over on Nave island, Michal had spotted 3 Barnies still present and also a pair of Great Skuas there too.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Monday 23rd May

Wall to wall sunshine, although there is a slight edge to the air, at  least it has stayed dry... Later on tonight, all going well, tonight around midnight, some of us will be going out and around Islay, trying to hear any Corncrakes that may be calling, so fingers crossed and I will let you know tomorrow evening how we got on...
Here at home I saw my first Wren for some time, a Greenfinch was in at bird feeders, a Reed Bunting flew past and late afternoon, a House Martin was in the sky. Earlier on a couple of Sand Martins touched down briefly on the road outside the house. Yesterday, we saw another hen Pheasant out with young chicks, this one had 9 youngsters, wonder how this one will finish off with...

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sunday 22nd May

A better day again, it has to be with Bruichladdich Distillery having their open day today, and usually they manage to get a good day with the weather, today was no exception...
Andy and Jane, the Bowland birders left yesterday, but kindly sent their sightings seen from the ferry. At Port Ellen, they saw Arctic Terns. On passage, 7 Turnstone were seen flying towards Islay, 2 Manx Shearwater, 6 Kittiwake, Razorbills, Guilliemots, Gannets and GND. In West Loch Tarbert, some Common Terns were seen. A total of 110 species were seen during their visit. Many thanks to you both for sharing your sightings with and look forward to seeing you in the Autumn...
Today, the Rochdale birders had seen a Peregrine carrying prey over close to Coal Ila and later on they saw a Swift flying North at Foreland.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Saturday 21st May

Jim Dickson kindly sent through this image of a Spotted Flycatcher at Gruinart which he took earlier this week while he was over on Islay.
Yesterday morning, Peter had been over at Loch Finlaggan where he saw the Ring necked Duck. Later on, he had been over at the old hide at Gruinart from where he noted 7 Canada Geese. The weather has now fared up, today we saw the hen Pheasant with her brood, now down to only 3 in less than a week, they really are poor mothers.....

Friday, 20 May 2016

Friday 20th May

Another miserable sort of a day with more rain, it will all help the seeds to germinate...
Down at Carn below Port Charlotte, Bob had seen 18 GND along with 12 Common Scoter out on Loch Indaal. Today had been the Bowland birders last full day before heading home tomorrow... At Islay House, in the Community Garden, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers were seen. Over at Coal Ila, a Sparrowhawk flew across the Sound to Jura and a pair of Ravens were busy feeding their 2 fledged youngsters. A walk down to the Lily Loch and also to  Loch Allan produced Willow Warblers, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, 4 Cuckoo and a pair of Coal Tit feeding young in their nest which was in the ground.... hope they are not getting too wet tonight. Earlier today, in one of the barley fields at Sunderland Farm, we saw 6 Hares in a huddle...

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Thursday 19th May

A miserable sort of a day with the weather, another dreich sort of a day, the weather last week is long forgotten by now!!
At the weekend, Fiona MacGillivary had seen a Short eared Owl on the wing, at the far end of Loch Gorm. Yesterday, the Bowland birders had walked from Gartbreck back to Bowmore (the reverse way to Bob's WeBs count) with largest flocks (not totals) being 100 Dunlin, 100 Ringed Plover including 2 chicks, 3 Shelduck, 10 Eider, 3 Red br Merganser, 15 Whimbrel, Grey Plover in summer plumage, Rock Pipit on the rocks, 4 Arctic Tern, pr of Stonechats + 2 youngsters, Whitethroat, pr Redshank, 5 fishing Gannets and a Heron. Along at Gartmain, 3 Turnstone were present with a further 2 over at Gortan. Yesterday, forgot to mention that we had a Grey Wagtail at The Woollen Mill and then later on a distant White tailed Sea Eagle over towards Bunnahabhain. Louise yesterday had led a walk out from Craighouse  on Jura. She had a Grey Wagtail and alsolocated nests of Robin, Starling, Great Tit and Blue Tit. Louise had also seen a Short eared Owl down at Ardfin on Jura. Michal had been down on the Oa and had seen 2 Whinchats as well as a Peregrine yesterday. James told me today that the Spotted Flycatcher is back in his garden. Peter's house guests had seen an Osprey while waiting for the ferry at Kennacraig yesterday