Thursday, 27 November 2014
James had gone out on the ferry yesterday morning to a RSPB Argyll team meeting which was held up in Oban. On the ferry to Kennacraig, he saw a Black throated Diver and 2 Red throated Divers. Coming back this afternoon, he had a further 2 Red throated Divers and a raft of 24 GND at one point along with several Tysties coming up the Sound of Islay. This morning, Bob had a White tailed Sea Eagle from his kitchen window out over Carn being chased by a Buzzard which in turn had been followed by a couple of Ravens! Here at home, a beautiful ringtail Hen Harrier swooped low over the garden fence and across the grass and out over the other fence.. just great! By the way, another nice dry day outside, not the warmest, but not bad for the last few days of Autumn. I will not complain if we get the same sort of a day tomorrow!!!
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
A glorious day out here today with a beautiful sunset to round the day off by, another day like that tomorrow would not go amiss... Ed's talk on his work with the Greenland Whitefronts here on Islay was last night at the bird nerds turned out to be very informative with a lot of questions by all of us who attended including visitors Chris and Ann from Wigan. On the way home last night, I had a Barn Owl sitting on on a fence post just after the Coastguards as I came up the hill. Today while Bob was out on Bolsay Moor, a late group of 18 Whoopers flew overhead heading in a Southerly direction. He also had 10 Bullfinches together, not sure of the collective name for Bullfinches!
Monday, 24 November 2014
Forgot to mention last night that I saw a Fulmar fly along the front of the crag at Kilchoman yesterday afternoon, not that I really expect the wind to pick up in a few days time after seeing only 1 Fulmar! This morning out on the feeders, here at home, there were 16 Goldfinches. On Bolsay Moor this morning, Bob had a female Red Grouse, close at hand and also 5 Bullfinches also there troo. More sightings as promised last night from John Miles and his son from last week. A Water Rail was seen down in the reedbed between the Coastguards and Machir Bay, a count of over 90 Twite up at Kilinallan, Long tailed Ducks seen on Loch Indaal too with Bottle nosed and Porpoises seen through their stay. A possible Goshawk was seen briefly and from a distance down over the forestry at Kintra. Returning back over on the ferry to Kennacraig, they had a total of 42 GND, with 19 together in one group alone. Thanks for sharing your sightings folks.. Look forward to reading your Islay article in the Birdwatching magazine in the near future! Remember, if you are around, on Tuesday evening at 7.15 , the Islay bird nerds will be meeting at the Gaelic College, just outside of Bowmore when Ed will give us an update about the Whitefronted Geese, see you there!!!
Sunday, 23 November 2014
A not bad day out here today considering it is almost the end of November... Bob today had 2 Chiffchaff in his garden, 3 Red grouse were seen on Bolsay Moor as was a ringtail Hen Harrier. Along on the strand/ top of Loch Indaal, Bob counted a group of 30 Turnstone along with 35 Dunlin. John Miles who was over last week sent through the highlights of his stay. Golden Eagles most days along with the odd White tailed Sea Eagle as well through his stay. John and his son had seen the Kingfisher at Bridgend as reported earlier, but they had spotted another up at Loch Skerrols on Wednesday, possibly the same bird, but they had heard a heard a Jay over at Margadale which is in from Bunnahabhain. More of John's sightings will be shared with you tomorrow night...
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Forgot to mention last night... Many thanks to Morven and her team from SNH for sharing with us the stats through for the International Goose count. Today, George had 5 Snipe down at Bruichladdich. There had been quite a few squally showers moving through the night last night, with the burn up a bit this morning. The long range forecast for Friday does not look good, rather wet to say the least, perhaps it is has its' advantages living on top of a hill sometimes!
Friday, 21 November 2014
Morven sent through the figures from the International goose count carried out earlier this week, the figures do not look too good...36,252 Barnies, 5,172 Greenland Whitefronts and 907 Greylags, the comparable count for last year was 46,931 Barnies and 5,888 Whitefronts. Out here on the machir this morning there were 128 Whitefronts along with 48 Barnies. At the same time in and around the feeders in the garden there were around 50 Chaffinches, 9 Goldfinches, 1 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Robin, 1 Blackbird with 3 Pheasants as well. The Fieldares and Redwings appear to be "staying" around a bit longer this Autumn, one welcome sign at least!
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Over the last couple of days the first "International" Goose count has been carried out. I have not heard through yet the tally but I heard that 6 Pinkies were amongst the Barnies down at Cornabus valley yesterday. Visiting birder, John Miles had seen an albino Reed Bunting down the same area, so possibly the same bird that Wally and Jude had tried to get an image of, but a van appeared of of nowhere and the bird flew off before Wally had a chance to snap it! Also yesterday, Mary had seen a Bean goose at Lyrabus around 10.30 in the morning before it flew away. Late afternoon another Bean goose (or was it the same one?) had been seen over close to Keills. Amongst the Barnies at Craigens, Mary had a Cackling goose as well as 3 large Canadas. Earlier, she had a huge Peregrine up behind Blackpark and and a dead Buzzard below the overhead wires there too. On her way round Mary also had a Kestrel at Leck Gruinart, 2 Ringtails at Mill cottage and up at Ardnave she counted 14 Ravens. Today beside the coalyard, a Sparrowhawk dropped out of the hedge and then we saw it a few seconds later as it flew past while we came up the road home. If you are around, it is that time again next week, with the monthly "meeting" of the Islay bird nerds. We are meeting centrally at the Gaelic college at 7.15pm when Ed from WWT will be giving us an update on his work on the Whitefronts. Ed was telling me this evening that they have caught and put collars on a further 8 geese along with transponders, so we will here more about them next week. so if you are are over next week, come along... This will be our last get together for 2014 with our next gathering will be at the end of January for a meal to sustain us all somewhere, sometime!