Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Wednesday 31st August

Yesterday afternoon, Bob had seen a Peregrine about 300 metres along the "high road"  from the junction at Springbank. He saw another Peregrine over close to the airport, down the big strand, he saw 6 Sanderling and 8 Ringed Plover were present. At the Bird nerds meeting held at the Gaelic College, the following birds were seen, 22 Wigeon, 30 Eider, a small flock of Dunlin of around 15 in total, a few Oystercatcher, some Curlew, 30 Greylag and 12 Mute Swan further out on Loch Indaal. We also saw a very inquisitive Stoat who was easily "squeaked in". Gary this morning, had seen Curlew, Whimbrel and Ringed Plover at Bruichladdich, along at Port Charlotte in the bay, there was a Great crested Grebe. This morning, Mike and Peter had done a stint down at Frenchman's Rocks, the wind was sou' westerly, 17 to 20 mph, birds flying with the wind.... the birds seen over their 2 hour stint was as follows,  2 Great Skua, 3023 Manx Shearwater, 35 Sooty Shearwater, 363 Gannets on passage with around 500 fishing around the rock itself, 193 Fulmar, 31 Shag, 23 Kittiwake, 8 Guillemot, 8 Turnstone, 2 Red Knot and 3 Tufted Duck. While out and about today, Michal had seen 4 different ringtail Hen Harriers between Bushmills and Ardnave Point. Michal also saw 11 Black tailed Godwit at Gruinart and a Whooper Swan on Loch Lageadail. All I can offer was a Wren as it hopped along in the shelter of the dyke from the wind here at home, the first I have seen for sometime.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Tuesday 30th August

Louise had seen a leucistic Wagtail, almost all white, over towards Saligo, she also had counted 30 Kittiwakes on the Sound of Islay as well. James had a Peregrine chasing a Linnet through his garden the other day and today he saw an Osprey from his house down on Loch Gruinart itself.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Monday 29th August

Nothing  to report really on the birdfront here today... But, the monthly meeting of the Islay Bird nerds will be held tomorrow evening at 7pm at he Gaelic College at Bowmore, so if you are around, feel free to come along and have a look out over Loch Indaal, to see what is around...
While we were down at the Bird Fair, good friends, Ken and Karen from Bearsden came and house sat and looked after Donald Dhu, Oscar and Angus... On Tuesday 16th, they counted 14Swallows and saw a Snipe on their walk from Killinallan up to Gortantoid. The next day,  Karen had 12 Pied Wagtails out on the lawn. After a very heavy shower of rain, on Friday, 37 Jackdaws and 82 were on the lawn with Pied Wagtails peaking at 14 around 6pm.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday 28th August

Some sightings through from Gary and Sam who have had no internet connection over the past few days. Back on Thursday, they saw a male Bullfinch fly across the road between the trees close to Bridgend and later the same day, they had a ringtail Hen Harrier out quartering the fields opposite their house. On Friday, they saw a smart looking male Hen Harrier out on the wing up towards Finlaggan. Today they had walked out from Bunnahabhain towards the lighthouse at Rhuvaal. They had seen loads of Stonechats, Meadow Pipits and Whitethroats on their walk and then saw a Golden Eagle overhead. Yesterday evening, just after we watched the Chough flying to their roost, there were 32 in total, we had a probable Marsh Harrier fly past before it briefly landed on the crag, giving us a better view of it through the scope. Today Bob, David and myself carried out the WeBs count from Bowmore down to Gartbreck, a week late I know , but as we were at Rutland last Sunday, the old saying that you cannot be in 2 places at once, comes to mind... Today's birds were as follows, 1 Gannet, 5 Heron, 12 Shag, 45 Greylag, 10 Mallard, 4 Eider, 35 Oystercatcher, 41 Curlew, 3 Arctic Tern, 78 Dunlin, 8 Redshank, 11 Knot, 1 Lapwing, 87 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling,6 GGB Gull, 110 H Gull, 3 C Gull, 6 BH Gull, 1 Buzzard. We also saw a Wheatear as we took one of the vehicles down to Gartbreck and another during survey as well. On my way down to Bowmore,  I had a Merlin flying along in front of me before it swerved into a field close to Sunderland Farm. Back at home a Sparrowhawk zipped through the garden at lunchtime and then early afternoon, over the crag we counted 8 Buzzards before they split into 2 groups of 4, one following the crag inland, with the others flying along the ridge towards the masts above Kilchiaran. In between times, we have been watching various liners sail past, be it from a distance...
Remember to read the blog tomorrow night as we will let you know where the monthly meeting of where the birds will be on Tuesday evening

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Saturday 27th August

This morning, Peter had spent some time down at "smelly corner" at the top of Loch Indaal around 10 o'clock. His birds included around 180 Dunlin, 80 Ringed Plover, 75 Curlew, 120 Oystercatcher with smaller number of around 10- 15 Redshank and a similar number of Bar tailed Godwit. There was also an Osprey seen eating a fish on the ground, but when disturbed, it flew off with the fish in its' talons. Finally Peter saw a juv/ young Peregrine testing out its' flying skills by chasing Common Gulls all around!
Not much to report from here at home, been busy in the garden carrying out various jobs today, including planting some potatoes to eat at Xmas time! This evening, we have been watching the liner, Queen Elizabeth sail past en route to Dublin.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Friday 26th August

Yesterday evening, around 10 o'clock there was a really spectacular thunderstorm with lightning to match it, for around 20 to 30 minutes out over the sea. First thing to do was to unplug the phone and the computers as well as the tv too... Earlier on, I had seen a Whitethroat and a wee while later on a Willow Warbler over the game crop.
This morning, Margaret spotted a Buzzard, a Peregrine and 2 Ravens having a tussle with each other out towards the War Graves cemetery. Then this afternoon on our way home, a Peregrine was plucking its' kill, probably a Rock Dove, just as we came up the hill to our house, out on the warren. Bob this evening had a count of 102 Teal out in front of the new hide at Gruinart, a Black tailed Godwit flew in to join the party!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Thursday 25th August

Yesterday, Ron from Islay info had seen a couple of Hen Harriers over close to Saligo, one a ringtail, the other was a male bird. This morning, Martin Armstrong had 3 Goldcrest in his garden at Glenegedale. Mary Redman had a Great Skua fly over Claddach Loch, down at Portnahaven this morning and then she saw an Osprey flying from Gortan over Loch Indaal towards Bowmore. This afternoon, Raymond at Foreland Estate had his combine out harvesting the spring barley for Bruichladdich Distillery, the start of the harvest!