An early start today - straight out to help Steve Percival with a catch of 30 Barnies on the Bridgend Merse. Then back to the reserve for a goose count - a few birds while counting the geese - 9 Whooper Swans and a Greenshank on the Floods, a Grey Plover on the Loch and 2 Hen Harriers and a Sparrowhawk around the reserve.
A couple of birds the blog seems to have missed both I think spotted by Tom Lowe, A Ring Billied Gull 2ndCY on Craigens and a Viking gull 1st winter outside Bowmore and around the Bowmore tip both records from around 15th Feb - but they could still be about. Have to admit don't know much about viking gulls so I better do some research.
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
WWT Larry and Ed, caught another 9 White fronts to apply collars, 2 getting fancy tracking collars, just off the reserve at Gruinart on Craigens farm. Whilst processing the geese a Merlin flew over. Gary had 3 Lesser Black Backed Gulls at Machir Bay, are these the first reported of the Spring on Islay. Today Tom Garner had been at the hide at Loch Gruinart - had no sign of the Green Winged Teal, but had seen plenty of Teal, Pintail and 3 Red Breasted Mergansers as well as great views of a female Hen Harrier catching a Teal. Yesterday Tom had seen 20 Pale Bellied Brent Geese just West of Bowmore.
Monday, 20 February 2017
Sorry no posts over the weekend, I was busy and the computers wouldn't work. A few records, Tom Garner had been out at Ardnave yesterday - 20 Tufted ducks on Ardnave Loch, 30 Sanderling along with Ringed Plovers and Turnstone, a pair of Ravens, 6 Chough, 4 Shelduck and 2 Great Northern Divers all around the coast. At Gruinart Tom volunteers Dad re found the Green Winged Teal on the Floods and Michal Had a Barn Owl at Smelly Corner. I had a Barn Owl at Erasaid and a 1st winter Glaucous Gull outside Bowmore.
Friday, 17 February 2017
A sunny day on Islay with the Skaylarks and Lapwing starting to display on the Gruinart Flats. A quick count of Ardnave Loch by Tom - 10 Whooper Swans, 7 Mute Swans, 17 Goldeneye, 26 Tufted Ducks, 34 Wigeon, 16 Teal, 6 Mallard, 2 Pochard, 37 Oystercatchers, 2 Lapwing, 1 Greater Black Back and 2 herring Gulls. No further reports of the Shrike at Bridgend.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
On the blog last night, I should have said that Steve Percival's image was a Cackling goose and then later on, on the blog, and I omitted to say that it was 13 small Canada Geese reported by Fiona and Mandy which were with some Whitefronts and Greylags out of Port Ellen.
Today, James had a Water Rail on the flats at Gruinart, while visitors reported through Gary that they had seen a Great Grey Shrike on the bushes opposite the entrance to Islay House Hotel at Bridgend.
I shall be off Islay until the 10th of March, so if you have any sightings, please can you send them in to James on 01496 850 505, or email him on James.How@rspb.org.uk Many thanks to James for keeping the blog going in my absence...
Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Steve Percival sent through this image of a Canada Goose taken yesterday amongst the Barnies present at the top of Loch Indaal yesterday. Further along Loch Indaal, Steve had a Glaucous Gull as he approached Bowmore. Later on, he had a count of around 500 Golden Plover at Craigens. Kevin yesterday had spotted 4 Long tailed Ducks, making heavy weather trying to fly into a head wind at Carnain. Round, off the Gaelic College, he saw 2 small rafts of Common Scoter totalling 16 in all, a Slavonian Grebe, 4 Goldeneye and also 7 Pale bellied Brent Geese, all seen yesterday. Today down on the Oa, around Coillabus, Kevin had a small flock of 50 Starlings, and on closer examination, 6 Redwing and 12 Fieldfare were present as well and then a pair of Stonechats seen on the roadside, soon afterwards... This morning over the trees at Whinpark, Paul Graham saw a White tailed Eagle, soaring in the wind. The Rochdale birders today had seen 2 different pairs of Ravens, one at Carn beyond Port Charlotte, the other over at Caol Ila. Mandy had been out on the goose counts today, on the route taking in the South end of Islay... They had noted 13 Canadas just out of Port Ellen with 7 Redwing along at Ardbeg. There were also 7 Whoopers present on the lochan between Kilbride and Laphroaig. Out on the route towards the Oa, a Sparrowhawk was present at Mid Cragabus, a male Hen Harrier at Risabus and a Merlin was seen chasing a flock of around 100 Twite. At Kinnabus, a Pink footed Goose and also a small Canada were present amongst the Barnies. Also at Kinnabus were some Fieldfares. Late afternoon, Fiona had a male Hen Harrier and also a Peregrine between the former Kilchoman School and Culbuie.