Monday, 20 October 2014

Monday 20th October

Steve Percival who is over at present sent through this image of a Canada Goose which he had taken down below Rockmountain at Sunderland Farm. Steve reckons that it is one of the small "Todds" species. Later on Albert, his father was telling me that they had seen a Barnie that they had rung 20 years ago, and a pair that were rung 15 years ago, the pair are very true to their location, being caught in the same field and also seen there too over all their visits to Islay! The Barnie that Andrew and Jane saw last week, Steve had caught and rung back on October in 2008! George Newall from Dunoon was on the phone this evening and said that the day that they had the Snow Buntings and the Choughs over at Ardnave was last Tuesday, we had a good blether great when you folk out there speak rather than just an email! Yesterday the Horwich birders had a Dipper on the River Sorn. From the old hide, they saw a great mix of birds, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Snipe , Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler and Mallard. Good sightings of Barnies and Whitefronts close at hand. They spotted one of "Ed's" whitefronts with a collar numbered 22 there too, if I recall it was caught and rung the last winter. They also saw Mute and Whoopers there as well. Over at Loch Skerrols they counted 24 adult Mutes along with 5 young. 1 Gadwall, 3 Dabchick, 4 Tufted, 8 Wigeon,70 Whitefronts, a Buzzard and 2 Whoopers. Down at Bridgend, on the "pink berried" Rowans had feeding Song Thrushes, Redwing and Fieldfare in small numbers. The reason I have put pink berried rather than ordinary Rowans is that back home the birds do not eat them apart from Waxwings when they come. They also saw Siskin and a Goldcrest, Blue Tits, Great Tits as well as some Coal Tits. Martin from close to Aberdeen had a White tailed Sea eagle on Loch Gorm. Emily had 5 Whoopers come in to Gruinart this morning while we had 2 different groups of 6 Whoopers fly over en route to Ireland. Ann and Noel Herd returned home at the weekend after a great week's birding. They had 2 Golden Eagles on Jura, with another 3 around the Loch Gorm area. Where they were staying, they often saw Hen Harriers, a flock of 40 Golden Plover and also the big flock at Gruinart. Merlin were seen a plenty as well as many Chough. In the wee burn going in to Machir Bay, a Grey Wagtail was added to their list. On Loch Indaal, (14th) 4 Slav Grebes, 45 Scaup, RTD and GND were seen, also on the 14th, a Wheatear was seen down on the Oa. 16th, a mixed flock of around 30 Redwings and Fieldfares, Goldcrest, Blackbird, Robins and Stonechats around the Rhinns. The following day down at Machir Bay, 3 Sanderling and 44 Ringed Plover, over on Loch Indaal, 50 Scaup and 40 Eiders were seen. From their cottage they had a count of 145 Twite and also a Brambling. Finally on their way out to the early ferry, they saw 2 Barn Owls! There are some sightings from today which I will keep for you tomorrow as I am getting tired...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday 19th October

From the ferry yesterday as they returned back to Kennacraig, Andrew and Jane had over 100 Kittiwakes and an Arctic Skua. George Newall had seen 3 Snow Buntings and a count of 52 Chough up at Ardnave, not sure exactly when as I think that George headed back to Dunoon the other day. Visitor Danny had seen 2 Peregrine upsetting the Rock Doves up behind Machir Bay and round the other side of Loch Gorm, close to Ballinaby, a juvenile Golden Eagle. This afternoon we had a few Whitefronts at Ballinaby mixed in with the Greylags, 2 of the Whitefronts had neck collars and another was wearing a transponder, must mind my scope so I can read the said collars Ed! Steve Percival had another one with a transponder over at Gruinart which James told us was one the Ed fitted last winter and was often seen in a tight location throughout, once it had been "fitted". We also saw a few Brent just coming out of Bowmore and the Barnies at the head of Loch Indaal being pushed in with the rising tide.. James saw 2 Pinkies amongst the Barnies on the reserve. Robin from Malham Tarn had see a Merlin from the new hide as well as 2 Grey Plover. Returning along through the "woodland trail" Robin reported the trees were "full of Goldcrest" and he also had 2 Treecreepers there as well. On the Bridgend Flats, Robin saw a further 2 Grey Plover, a ringtail Hen Harrier, Knot around 20 Pale bellied Brents and also Common Scoter.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Saturday 18th October

Yesterday, Andy and Jane from Bowland had their last full day on Islay before heading home today. At Octomore yesterday, they had Redwings, Reed Buntings, Song Thrush, Robin, Wren, Goldfinches and Chaffinches. Later on from the old hide at Gruinart, they saw 3 Shoveler, 15 Pintail and 12 Snipe and along at the new hide, amongst the Barnies they had a Pinkfoot, several Brent Geese before a White tailed Sea Eagle came along and put the whole lot up in the air. The big bird then flew across the loch in the direction of Craigens. They also had a Barnie with a darvic ring on, so once I hear back from Steve Percival, we will know more about it! On Loch Gruinart itself, they had the large flock of Golden Plover, 30 Sanderling and 3 Grey Plover with Tufted Duck seen on Loch Gorm as well. In all during their stay, Andy & Jane had 102 species seen, thanks for sharing your birds, just great... Today, James returned from his week away, from the ferry in West Loch Tarbert, he saw a Velvet Scoter, an Otter in the Sound of Islay and at Lyrabus a Merlin was seen. Changeover day today, with the birders today, so may well get some new contributors tomorrow...

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday 17th October

Yesterday the " Bowland birders" had been out round the Rhinns, a quieter day compared with their trip earlier on this week, but they still managed to see a Golden Eagle, in the forest at Ballimony, Siskins and Redpolls were both seen, round at Gearach they saw a small flock of 8 Fieldfare. Finally back on the hill at Octomore, 7 Common Snipe, a Mistle Thrush and a pair of Stonechats. Emily last night had spotted an Otter over at Killinallan. Robin from close to Settle in Yorkshire returning for another return Autumn to Islay. Yesterday from the afternoon ferry, Robin had an Arctic Skua. Today at Blackrock, he saw 3 Long tailed ducks, 2 Slavonian grebes and a small raft of 45 Scaup. Over on Loch Gruinart, he had a count of 550 Golden Plover. He also had 2 Pink footed Geese, 3 Greenshank and also 31 Pale bellied Brent. Emily today has been cross eyed counting geese with her tally coming through at 22,908 Barnies, there may have been more as Emily said the geese were quite mobile, moving around... She also counted 164 Whitefronts, 137 Greylags and 16 Whoopers. On the loch, the flock of 550 Golden Plover along with Barwits, Sanderling and Curlew. On the floods there appeared to be a big rise in numbers of Teal and Wigeon today. Mary had seen a Grey Wagtail at the silage pit on the reserve, up at Nave Island a pod of Dolphins and also 50 Twite at Ardnave. At Lyrabus, Mary had 2 Yellowhammers and over 40 Skylarks together in a flock. Emily was also saying that the Geese and Whoopers are still arriving by the day with more Redwing seen around today.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Thursday 16th October

A big bumper edition tonight, so here goes, it's great when you all send in your sightings.. Earlier this week, think it was either Monday or Tuesday, the blog was hit by 414 folk looking at it on the one day....Andrew and Jane (the Bowland birders)Had seen 27 Scaup and a Goldeneye at Blackrock. At Loch Skerrols and the surrounding woods, they had 50 Greenland Whitefronts, 4 Canada (large), 1 Pinkfooted Goose, 3 Dabchick, 4 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 15 Mute Swan, 12 Woodpigeon, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Long tailed Tit, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Coal Tit and a Goldcrest. On the River Sorn, a Dipper and a Grey Wagtail were seen with pr of Mistle Thrush nearby. Emily had 3 Golden Eagles down on the Oa on the guided walk on Tuesday, at Kilnaughton Bay, she counted 8 GND. This morning, Bob had a large flock of Redwing up behind Port Charlotte. They appeared to be coming out from roosting in the trees around Gearach, in his garden alone, Bob counted 48 Redwing and 20 Blackbirds! Alan and Jill from Arran who are staying with Carl, had a flock of 600 Redwing at Kildalton and a House Martin at Craigens. Carl himself had 4 Herons at An Toran as well as 7 Whoopers also there. Mary had a Chiffchaff on the Moorland trail, along the flats at Gruinart, 9 Snipe were in a "loose flock". The Brambling was still present amongst the flock of Chaffinches. Going up to Ardnave, a Kestrel, a male Hen Harrier was spotted and 2 Chough were seen soon after. On the guided walk this morning, a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen, 25 Pale bellied Brent Geese with also 15 Red legged partridges (? released birds). On the floods Teal, Wigeon, Pintail and Shoveler were present while out on the loch, a lonesome Black Guillemot was not looking too happy as it was getting surrounded by GBB Gulls and Hoodies, did not hear the final outcome! Here at home this morning, while I was looking out the window, the wee birds, well all the birds cleared off the feeders, and hey presto a male Sparrowhawk stopped by for a few moments perching on top of the small fence less than 15 feet away!!! Coming home from Port Charlotte this afternoon, a Stoat hopped out on the road, saw us coming and did a u turn and jumped back into the verge, it had a lbj (Little brown job) in its' mouth, of the furry kind rather than of the the feathered ilk! Emily was also saying that a juv Golden Eagle has been seen regularly out from the Visitor Centre at Gruinart, wonder if it is keeping an eye on the geese!!! Wally was telling me today of another visiting birder had seen a Kigfisher down close to the mouth of the River Sorn. Wally himself the other day had seen 2 Grey Plover on Loch Gruinart, and he is now up to 98 species seen, wonder if he can get to 100 before he leaves...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday 15th October

Yesterday the Bowland birders had done the walk from Gartbeck up to Bowmore and then returned back to their starting point. Their tally came through at 50 Lapwing, 30 Twite, 150 Golden Plover, 4 Knot, 12 Blackwits, 50 Barwits, 1 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 6 Turnstone, 1 Jack Snipe, 12 Whoopers, 2 Pale bellied Brent Geese and a Merlin. Earlier on at Gartmain they had seen 25 Pale bellied Brent Geese and 14 Whoopers which included 4 youngsters. There was a small raft of Scaup at Blackrock late afternoon and 7 Whoopers flew in to rest up, and just before we came along to Rockside road end, a Fieldfare flew across the road in front of us

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tuesday 14th October

Another not bad day for time of the year, a bit cooler, but the main thing about today was that it was another dry day.. Back on Sunday, Wally and Jude had a Velvet Scoter off Bruichladdich. They also had a Slavonian Grebe there, as well as 5 GND and a Black throated Diver. Yesterday down on the Oa, he had a close sighting of a Golden Eagle. This morning at Craigens, Wally had a pr of Grey Wagtails and also a Pintail from the new hide. At Gruinart Farm, a Kestrel was seen with a ringtail Hen Harrier being classed as a near miss (to the car!) as he drove round Loch Gorm! Wally and Jude's total is now up to 96 species. The Bowland birders, Andrew and Jane yesterday had 25 Ringed Plover at Bruichladdich, a Black Guillemot in winter plumage and 25 Common Scoter. From Blackrock, 9 Slavonian Grebes, 3 of which were "associating" with a raft of 35 Scaup, 2 male and 2 female Goldeneyes and also 4 Red breasted Merganser. Up on Ardnave Loch, there were 13 Whoopers along with some Mute Swans. 80 Golden Plover, 40 Chough and 50 Twite were also present as well. Up at Ardnave Point, they saw a Grey Plover.. They had no sign of the Snow Buntings there or of any Canada Geese down at Gruinart reserve itself. Here at home, a new garden bird, a Redwing and late afternoon 3 lots of Whoopers 11, 10 and a further 11 flew directly over and out to the sea and they all turned South to Ireland.