Friday, 24 March 2017

Friday 24th March

Another great day with the weather and to end it all, a beautiful sunset.... Martin Gooch, the winner of the free holiday draw at the Bird Fair, courtesy of Islay cottages, has had a tremendous stay here this week. On Wednesday, he had seen a male Hen Harrier out quartering his patch along at Rockside. Shortly afterwards he saw a Golden Eagle being chased off by a determined Raven. Over at The Woollen Mill, a walk along the River Sorn produced a Dipper, and also a Grey Wagtail. In the trees, a Bullfinch and a Treecreeper spotted. Yesterday, they saw 2 White tailed Eagles up past Ballygrant and then a ringtail Hen Harrier out on the wing. This morning they saw 9 Pale bellied Brent Geese on Loch Indaal. Bob, today had a Gannet up at Ardnave. Also seen there by Bob were 4 Wheatears,12 Barwits, 15 Sanderling a few Redshank and some Snipe as well.
Before I forget, on Tuesday evening, the bird nerds will be meeting at 6 pm at the old hide at Gruinart, so if you are around, see you there.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thursday 23rd March

A big difference with the weather today, so much so that I was out working in the garden in my shirt sleeves cutting the grass...
David Wood had seen little and large down on the Oa, David had seen 2 Goldcrest and 2 White tailed Eagles as well today. Late afternoon, here at home 15 Whoopers flew in from Ireland and kept on going. David Barr had 2 White tailed Eagles sitting out on Loch Indaal as he headed to work this morning. At the weekend David had counted 29 Chough down on dunes at Machir Bay.
Last night, I mentioned about the Blue Tit on Fair Isle, it seems that it was the fourth sighting by David Parnaby since he became Warden a few years back.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

WEdnesday 22nd March

Got a bit of a shock when I looked out the bedroom window this morning, not snow but the grass was white with frost which we do not get here that often...
This morning on the bird table we saw 3 Greenfinches, the first for a long time, in fact the first this winter...A Sparrowhawk zipped through the garden just after lunch. Later on, coming home a male Bullfinch flew into the trees beside Foreland House and a short while later on, a pair of Golden Eagles were added to the list. Over at The Woollen Mill, many Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits and Chaffinches were present on the feeders there, a great sight to see... I read last night that a Blue Tit was seen on Fair Isle, only the FOURTH ever record of one present there!!!
Gary today had 2 Siskin on his feeders at his house along the road from the turn off to Finlaggan. Along at Emeraconart, he had seen a Sparrowhawk. A visitor had been telling Gary of seeing a Wheatear at Machir Bay while Tom and Mike, the 2 longterm vols at Gruinart, had spotted 2 more Wheatears along at Saligo today as well.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Tuesday 21st March

A bit cooler out here today with the Paps of Jura wearing a white dusting of snow. I looked out of the window at one point this morning, just after a dirty hail shower to see some of the birds trying to eat some of the hailstones...
Nothing much to report tonight, so you will have to make do with this image of Cape Teal, taken recently when we were out in Tanzania

Monday, 20 March 2017

Monday 20th March

It was meant to be the first day of Spring today, it certainly did not feel like it...and the weather does not look too promising tomorrow either !!!
Mike Peacock yesterday saw a Sand Martin and also a House Martin at RSPB Gruinart, both the first report as far as I know for Islay this year. Mike also saw a male and female Peregrine Falcon thee too, as well as a White tailed Eagle.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sunday 19th March

A better kind of a day, but I believe that the wind might pick up a bit through the night... The Fulmars were back over the crag this morning!!!! Malcolm was in touch to say that he had seen a Jack Snipe down at Foreland road end yesterday, and flushed it again today! He also was saying that he has a female Blackbird in his garden which is nest building already which as Malcolm says "rather early"..
Gary had seen a White tailed Eagle on the merse at Bridgend, down from the mouth of the River Sorn. Along at Uiskentuie, at the mouth of the burn, Gary saw a Slavonian Grebe in summer plumage.
Martin Gocch who won the "Gie's a brek" free holiday draw at the Bird Fair back in August last year is over with a birding friend and their respective wives...Their first visit to Islay. Well impressed noting Chough on arrival at Kilchoman, hearing a Goldcrest in the wood and seeing so many geese, and that was only on their arrival yesterday, wonder what birds they saw today???

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Saturday 18th March

A similar story to yesterday with the weather, but not quite as bad, more dreich rather than miserable if you get my drift..
Yesterday, somehow, David and Jenny managed some birds.... Out on Loch Indaal, they had 30 Common Scoter with 6 Pale bellied Brent Geese seen at Blackrock. Closer to the shore at Blackrock they had seen a Red throated Diver. This morning, here at home over 400 Barnies flew in and landed out on the machir. Many thanks to David and Jenny for sharing their sightings while they have been over here this past week. See you both at the Bird Fair in Rutland come August!!!