Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Another good day over here again for the time of year, with the temperature in double figures... This afternoon, Mary had been up at Ardnave where she saw a Merlin out over the dunes, also there were 7 Ravens, a Buzzard and 2 Hooded Crows. Back down on Ardnave Loch, Mary counted 65 Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, 10 Wigeon, 9 Goldeneye, 1 Heron, 1 Pochard, 39 Whoopers including 3 juveniles and a family group of 2 Mute with 2 youngsters. There were also a further 2 Hooded Crows present there as well. Over the reserve at Gruinart James saw a Golden Eagle, while down at Blackrock he counted a group of 53 Pale bellied Brents.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
For sure, it has been a day to see some raptors. Mid morning there was a Sparrowhawk cruising around above the wee wood here at the house. At lunchtime, the Buzzards were out crying about as they do. This afternoon down close to McNicoll's croft, a Merlin was seen and then coming home, another Sparrowhawk was down at the Coastguards'. In between times, there were 2 different groups of Pale bellied Brents on the go, one at Glenburn close to Blackrock, the others were along at Gortan, the exact numbers I was not sure of as I was driving and in the middle of traffic so could not slow down or stop, possibly the 40 odd group from Bowmore split in 2 groups...
Monday, 9 December 2013
The word dreich should not be used today to describe the weather, as it has been a not bad day considering that it is December.... Back on Friday, James had a count of the geese present on the reserve at Gruinart, a low count so I am told by James with the tally coming through at 3,475 Barnies, 260 Whitefronts and 34 Greylags. Also seen were a male and 2 ringtail Hen Harriers as well as a female Merlin. Today, James had a male and a female Merlin having a tussle above the floods... Peter had a Merlin and a Sparrowhawk over at Killinallan with a few Snipe down on the foreshore.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
If yesterday was a dreich sort of a day, well I am not sure how to describe today, well it was dreicher if there is such a word, around midday the question was, "will it get any brighter today", the answer was NO. Cut a long story short only birds I saw was a small flock of 40 Golden Plover round at Ballinaby along with a few Starlings apart from the usual culprits on the bird table and the Pheasants.
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Rather a dreich sort of a day out here, but for sure the wind has dropped, the ferries are sailing and the plane came in this morning, what else can you ask for??? On a different tack, not birds either, down at Bowmore there was a large mobile generator delivered in, possibly in readiness for a switch in the power supplies to Rockside as it is soon to get 3 phase electricity, we will just have to wait and see...Right back to the bird blog now, at Bowmore on Loch Indaal at Bunanuisg (where Islay Farmers used to trade from) there were over 40 Pale bellied Brent, hard to get an exact count as they bobbed about in the water, 10 Whoopers including 2 cygnets, a pr of Goldeneye, 7 Red breasted Merganser, several Wigeon. On the shoreline 11 Greylags rummaging around on the tideline, 3 Turnstone and a few Oystercatcher at the water's edge. Further along there were a few Mallards and the odd Redshank. Coming home down at the Coastguard cottages, a Peregrine screamed past putting everything up in panic! Nina had 4 Whitefronts with collars on, 2 HX, 3 HX, 5 HX and 3 HU, and I have passed these on to Ed who will update Nina with their history. I think that these are some of the geese that were caught and rung last Winter over at Ballinaby, but Ed can keep us right.
Friday, 6 December 2013
Better get a move on and write this entry as the power is liable to go off at any point, don't fancy the lot of a linesman with the power companies over the past few days....Bob had been out today, up at Ardnave Point a male Hen harrier seen, on Ardnave Loch 47 Whoopers were present, coming back towards Gruinart along the road, a Sparrowhawk while on the reserve 300 Golden Plover were present, back down at Bowmore there were 42 Pale bellied Brent Geese. Amy today on the reserve had counted 40 Pintail and also 100 Shelduck. Peter was down on Machir Bay, and counted 35 Ringed Plover, on the tideline there were over 50 Rooks, 6 Chough and 12 Hooded Crows. Along on Loch Gorm there were 45 Curlew and also a pr of Goldeneye. Paul G. was on the phone to say that over the past few days that there have been more Goldfinches on the bird table over at Scannasdale outside Ballygrant. Paul has been seeing Hen Harriers regularly out behind Ballygrant of late as well. This morning, here at home on the grass in the garden there appeared to be more Blackbirds around, rather than just the odd one. The Goose count yesterday was cancelled because of the weather out and about....
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Apologies to those of who may have kept looking last night for yesterday's entry, well I did write it up but due some computer glitch somewhere, it just would allow me "publish" the said entry until today. And even then I had to wait until our power supply was restored, by which time it was almost midday today... On Monday Ed had seen 3 Hen Harriers whilst he was out round the Rhinns, later on up on Ardnave Loch, he counted 14 Goldeneye. On Tuesday, down at Uiskentuie, Ed saw an adult WTSE, and at Cruach behind Bowmore, 2 Golden Eagles were present. Yesterday, down at Ballivicar outside Port Ellen, Ed had a ringtail Hen Harrier flushing a Snipe. Also yesterday, James a Woodcock on the reserve at Gruinart, and also a count of 1,000 Golden Plover. James also was telling me that Ed's 2 Whitefronts with neck collars 21 and 22 are still present at Gruinart, so keep your eyes open for those neck collars and we will pass any sightings on to Ed. Thanks should be given to the hard working crews who have been working hard through today's weather in re-connecting us on again so quickly, well done lads! By the way the plane did not come today at all, while Calmac' evening ferry was the the only ferry connection here today, mind you I would not have thanked you to attempt either method of attempting to go to the mainland today, I heard that the strongest gust was 79 mph over at Airport today....Boy the sea was rough this morning!!!!