Here are the WeBs counts on Loch Gruinart through from Michal and the "vols" who carried it out...9 Heron, 112 Shelduck, 109 Wigeon, 7 Red B Merganser, 154 Oystercatcher, 40 Ringed Plover, 500 Lapwing, 340 Dunlin, 9 Barnies, 106 Curlew, 500 Golden Plover and 91 Common Gull. Mike, a returning "vol" had done the survey on Ardnave Loch, with the tally being, 23 Wigeon, 4 Mallard, 10 Goldeneye, 18 Mute Swan,13 Whooper, 9 Tufted Duck, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Greylag and 20 Lapwing. Today Gary from Wild Islay Birding had done some counts of gulls on Loch Indaal. At Gartmain, Gary counted 33 Herring Gull, 20 Common Gull, 19 Black headed Gull and a Glaucous Gull. Over at Carnain, Gary saw 5 Gbb Gull, 47 Herring Gull, 30 Common Gull and 24 Black headed Gull.
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
Yesterday, Michal and the "vols" had carried out the WeBs count on the floods at Gruinart. Their tally was as follows, 1 Green winged Teal, 69 Mallard, 2 Whooper Swan, 8 Mute Swan, 53 Pintail, 10 Shoveler, 700 Teal, 314 Lapwing and a Greenshank. Mandy, yesterday evening, had a Barn Owl fly across the road at Rock Mountain. Today, while out carrying out the International Goose Count, Mandy had seen the leucistic Barnacle goose amongst the other geese present on Daill, a small Canada Goose amongst the Barnies at Skerrols, a Mistle Thrush was heard singing there as well with some Dabchicks noted out on Loch Skerrols. Along at Esknish, a juv. Golden Eagle was spoofing the geese. Up between Finlaggan and Mulreesh, a male Hen Harrier was seen. Neil MacGillivray had seen the Greater spotted Woodpecker again on his feeders at home.
Monday, 16 January 2017
Almost Spring like, the weather that is, forgot to mention the other day, like quite of other folk, I spotted a couple of Crocus in bloom..
Gary had carried his WeBs today from Port Charlotte round to Blackrock, so here are the tallies from his patch...31 GND, 4 RTD, 8 Slavonian Grebe, 19 Cormorant, 7 Shag, 1 Tystie, 85 Eider, 31 Common Scoter, 4 Mallard, 5 Goldeneye, 58 Curlew, 1 Redshank, 62 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 10 Turnstone, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Gbb Gull, 42 H. Gull, 31 C. Gull, 19 BH Gull, 3 Heron, 22 Greylag, 6 Barnies and 5 Pbb Geese. On the edge of the shore at Bruichladdich, a Grey Wagtail was seen and along towards Uiskentuie, Gary saw a Merlin was attempting to spoof the wee birds into the air from the cover of the rough grass. Mary had seen a possible Hawfinch along at Bluehouses as she was driving along. She quickly turned her car around, but no joy in spotting it again. Here at home this afternoon, we watched an immature Golden Eagle as it dipped and dived around along the top the dunes, great to watch...
Sunday, 15 January 2017
Yesterday, James had seen the drake Green winged Teal on the reserve at Gruinart. Also yesterday, I helped Bob and David Barr with the WeBS count from Bowmore down to Gartbreck, so here is the list of birds seen...3 GND, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Heron, 3 Cormorant, 11 Shag, 1,450 Barnies, 82 Whitefronts, 39 Pbb Geese, 3 Eider, 20 R b Merganser, 45 Mallard, 95 Teal, 90 Wigeon, 8 Shelduck, 2 Goldeneye, 90 Oystercatcher, 5 Redshank, 19 Barwits, 57 Curlew, 1 Snipe, 40 Lapwing, 2 Ringed Plover, 11 Grey Plover, 3 Turnstone, 2 Gbb Gull, 60 H. Gull and 20 C. Gull. At the very end, while walking back tour wheels, there was a group of 12 Skylark sitting on the ground, in the sun...
This afternoon, over at James and Sally's, we saw a Treecreeper on one of the trees beside the burn in their garden. In the field, in front of their cottage, some Barnies were present, oblivious to us watching them. What a show of snowdrops in the garden too... On the downside, later on in the afternoon, the mist has returned, so the plane did not come in, just as well the ferry is sailing!!!
Saturday, 14 January 2017
As promised some birds on the blog tonight... Mandy earlier this week had a Lesser Black backed Gull over at Ballinaby, and a few moments earlier she spotted a male Hen Harrier out quartering its' patch close to Saligo. Last night, she saw a Barn Owl hunting along the verge side on the "high road", near to Avonvoggie. Gary yesterday, while out walking the dog, had seen a White tailed Eagle fly over Keills. Mike Peacock had carried his WeBS count on Outer Loch Indaal today, his highlights included a count of 36 GND, 4 RTD, 6 R b Merganser, 8 Eider, 10 Shag, 2 Cormorant and a Tystie. David Barr had a male Sparrowhawk as he was driving along the "Glen road" about a mile out of Ballygrant. Bob had around 70 Scaup, close inshore at Blackrock at midday, earlier on he had spotted the albino Barnacle goose amongst other Barnies over at Gartmain.
Friday, 13 January 2017
Another quiet day on the bird front...but all going well, some of us should be out over the next few days carrying out the WeBS counts on various different parts of Islay, so if the weather is kind to us, we will get some sightings on again...the weather is beyond our control!!
Thursday, 12 January 2017
The spell of wintry weather continues, with even some snow which is relatively rare here on Islay. The lorries coming off the ferry at Port Askaig this morning had to wait for the road gritter to come and put some more grit on the road on the brae leading up the hill away from Port Askaig. It had been salted earlier on, but required more put on to make it safe for the lorries...
Earlier this week, James had seen a Canada Goose, hutchinsii sp along the flats at Gruinart. Today, down on the pools beside the cottages at Carnain/ Crosshouses, Margaret saw a Coot.