Saturday, 22 October 2016

Saturday 22nd October

Jeff Wilson from Glasgow yesterday had the possible sighting of 3 Lapland Buntings. Also seen there by Jeff were 5 Sanderling, 12 Chough and a female Sparrowhawk. I was in touch with James earlier on, and he believes that there at least 10 different Canada Geese around, possibly even more....Around 10 pm yesterday, a Barn Owl flew past the window, the first that I have seen up here at home! This morning, 3 Buzzards were close to hand, low down just over the garden fence, so I wonder if they had been out looking for a myxie rabbit for breakfast!!! Later on close to midday, we saw a Yellowhammer at Blackrock as we came home from Bridgend. Dave Wood today had seen a Yellow browed Warbler at Kinnabus on the Oa and also present were 5 Long tailed Tits. The Long tailed Tits were the first that Dave has seen on the Oa!  Visitor, Lee Thickett had seen a Merlin round at Saligo, late afternoon.
This Tuesday, 25th October, the Islay Bird nerds are holding their monthly catch up. We will be meeting in the Lochside Hotel at 7.30pm, so feel free to come along if you are around....

Friday, 21 October 2016

Friday 21st October

James sent though the tally of the geese present at Gruinart, counted yesterday as follows, 32,065 Barnies, 1 leucistic Bary, 2 Pinkies, 2 Pale bellied Brent, 3 Canadas, all hutchinsii sp., one parvipes sp and a Todd's sp (5 in total). No figure was given for Whitefronts.  Out over the salt marsh James saw a Peregrine and later on, a Chiffchaff was seen in his garden. Doreen and James Main yesterday had seen 4 Redwing at Springbank, 15 Fieldfare on a tree a mile out of Bowmore. Further on  while heading down towards the Oa, close to Lower Cragabus, they saw a pair of Bullfinches. On the Oa itself, 2 Merlin were present, one of them flushed the flock of Twite up!!! Also there, were 2 Chough. Richard Scott and Alan Lewin had 2 Swallows at Gartmain, a Merlin on the Oa, and in Port Ellen bay, 20 Ringed Plover, a RTD and a GND, all yesterday. They are now up to 82 species so far this week.... Mary Redman had 2 Snow Bunting at Claddach, Portnahaven and also a Wheatear present there this morning. There were 6 Whoopers on one of the lochans beside Loch Gorm this morning as well. No sign of the Brambling today!!!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Thursday 20th October

The jersey got put aside this afternoon, not that I was working that hard.... what a difference in the temperature, and it was nice and dry from dawn to dusk, no complaints at all!!!
Forgot to mention last night that we had 5 groups of Whoopers fly past, totalling 33 in all. Yesterday, Doreen and James Main had seen a couple of Chough tumbling in air beside the cliffs behind Machir Bay. Later on, up at Ardnave Loch, they counted 27 Whoopers with 5 Chough noted out over the dunes there also. Out on Loch Indaal, on their way back to Port Charlotte, they had a raft of 15 Scaup, a Slavonian Grebe, 2 RTD, 4 BTD and 9 RB Merganser.  Bob, this morning, had a Jack Snipe on Bolsay Moor and commented that there had been a steady movement over the moor of low flying Redwing. Louise commented this morning of seeing more Blackbirds around. Round between Saligo and Ballinaby this morning, we had a close viewing of a Merlin as it flew along the fence line before it peeled away across the fields!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Wednesday 19th October

Doreen and James Main from East Lothian yesterday had seen 2 GND in summer plumage, 9 BTD & 12 RTD all off Bruichladdich. Also out on Loch Indaal, 2 rafts of Scaup, one of 18, the other with 15 Scaup. Up at Gruinart, they saw a ringtail Hen Harrier. Steve Percival yesterday had a Wheatear  at Craigens. His colleague, Keith Langdon had done a spot off seawatching at Frenchman's Rocks yesterday. Keith saw a Southerly passage of 1500 Kittiwakes /hr past, with 7 GND, 200 Gannet and 20 Pale bellied Brent all flying North. Yesterday off Port Charlotte, Richard Scott and Alan Lewin from Chesterfield had seen Guillemot, 3 GND, 2RTD, Scaup, Common Scoter and Tystie. Out of Portnahaven they spotted 2 Golden Eagles, 2 Buzzards and also 2 Ravens. At lunchtime today, James was in touch with an update of arrivals, 30,230 Barnies, 119 Greenland Whitefronts, a Canada goose, parvipes sp, another Canada, hutchinsii sp., 2 Pinkies, 2 Pale bellied Brent and 10 Whoopers as well as 290 Golden Plover. Michal later updated the Golden Plover figure to 550, just before 5 pm... Today Bob, Ivan (Bob's son), Lesley and myself carried out our WeBS count as the weather was a lot better for the job.. our birds were 2 Heron, 16 Shag, 1 Cormorant, 900 Barnies , 40 Greylag, 21 Green Whitefronts, 2 Whoopers, 53 Mallard, 6 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 4 Eider, 27 RB Merganser, 26 Oystercatcher, 120 Curlew, 64 Barwits, 3 Blackwit, 9 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 5 Redshank, 1 Razorbill, 1 Snipe, 90 Lapwing, 9 Grey Plover, 350 Golden Plover, 12 GBB Gull, 90 H Gull, 3 C Gull and 10 BH Gull. We also had a Swallow at the start in Bowmore, some Rock Pipits along the way and finally 12 Twite close to Gartbreck itself. The Brambling was still present here at home today and Bob had a male Brambling at his house this afternoon.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Tuesday 18th October

Some sightings in from Richard Scott from Chesterfield... On Friday he saw a Peregrine out from Whin Park, over at Bowmore a total of 6 Swallows were there. From Whin Park on Saturday, 4 Grey Plover were present. On Sunday , over behind Ballygrant he watched a Golden Eagle, 2 Raven and 2 Buzzards soaring around in the wind. Yesterday at Gruinart, he had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier, 80 Twite with a Goldcrest while on the Woodland trail. From the hides many duck around including Pintail, Teal & Wigeon seen, as were 4 Buzzards up in the windy conditions. Yesterday, we saw 9 Fieldfare over at Coull Farm, Michal had seen 4 at Gruinart Farm as well as a Grey Wagtail. Martin Armstrong had seen a Marsh Harrier as he watched the geese yesterday afternoon. Steve Percival had counted 2750 Barnies at Gruinart this morning with a further 800 counted at  Loch Indaal. Steve also had a Wheatear out on the dunes at Ardnave with a Common Scoter seen on Ardnave Loch. Peter Donaldson had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier close to Ballymeanach on the Rhinns. Peter Duncan arrived the other day from Glasgow, seeing 2 Peregrine at Port Askaig, a Merlin in the dunes behind Machir Bay and then a White tailed Eagle over at Ardbeg, a great start to his visit!! The tally for the geese, this evening through from James, was 6,500 Barnies, 2 Pinkies, 2 Pale bellied Brent, and 16 Greenland Whitefronts. A small Canada Goose, hutchinsii sp was seen by Bob late afternoon, James had also seen it as well. The Brambling was still present here at home, along with 31 House Sparrows and over 60 Goldfinches along with the Linnets and a Grey Wagtail noted down beside the stream.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Monday 17th October

Yesterday, visitor Jesse Wilkinson had a good time down on the Oa seeing no less than 3 Merlin, 2 ringtail Hen Harrier, 2 juv White tailed Eagles and 2 Golden Eagles. Today, he had seen a male Pergerine close to Kinnabus with a Lapland Bunting  spotted near to the burn that takes the water away from Loch Kinabus. Down fields close to the Machrie, he saw a male Hen Harrier flushing out 2 Lapland Bunting and then a male Merlin flushing Starlings! Jesse also saw a "mobile group" of over 100 Skylarks along with some Reed Buntings also there. James was in touch to say that the Barnacle Geese had started to arrive in larger numbers today, at close of play over 3,500 Barnies had arrived today with 15 Whitefronts and 3 Pinkies as well. On the floods, James saw a Peregrine and back at his house, in his garden, 3 Blackcaps were present. Peter Donaldson had gone up to Sanaigmore, but nothing much of note apart from a Wren, round close to Craigmhor, on a fence line, 24 Twite were spotted. Peter also witnessed the continual arrivals of the geese at Gruinart. Some birds through from Phill on the Oa, 5 Chough were seen out towards the American Monument, with the Snow Bunting noted, being seen on the way to the monument. 2 Hen Harriers seen with the Twite count now 250 and at Upper Killeyan, 120 Starling were counted. Doreen and James Main today had seen 2 BTD and 6 Black Guillemots off Bruichladdich, on the merse at Bridgend over 300 Barnies and 60 Greylags were present. Down on the Oa, highlights included seeing a total of 12 Stonechat, a Buzzard, a ringtail Hen Harrier, 2 Peregrine, a male and an imm. bird, the Snow Bunting and 2 Raven. In the afternoon, back at Bridgend, 500 Barnies, 100+ Greylags were counted with 4 Whoopers flying past and a flock of 70 Golden Plover in the air too. Back at home, there was a Brambling amongst the finches at breakfast time, and better still, it was still present, late afternoon. Bob, had commented on seeing more Great Tits and Greenfinches on his garden feeders.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Sunday 16th October

Yes, there is no doubt that Autumn is here, a drop in temperature with heavy squally showers in the mix and also a few beautiful rainbows as well...
Doreen Main is over for a few days along with from some friends from the Lothian branch of the SOC. Yesterday evening at Bruichladdich Pier, they saw a murmeration of around 200 Starlings. This morning at Gruinart, they saw a 18 Greenland Whitefronts. Later on, at the head of Loch Indaal  25 Whoopers, at least 30 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 2 Shelduck, 300 Wigeon, 15 Eider, 6 Common Scoter, 7 Golden Plover, 25 Curlew  and 45 Common Gull were present early afternoon, and with the tide coming in, most of the birds had moved on when Doreen and her friends came back out of Bowmore less than 30 minutes later...Returning visitor Peter Donaldson had a single Pale bellied Brent Goose in the harbour down at Portnahaven, We saw a ringtail Hen Harrier this afternoon, over beside Culbuie. James and Michal had a male Hen Harrier below Moulin at Gruinart. They were both saying that they have been hearing and seeing a few Redwings there as well. The small group of 4 Whoopers down at Rockside appear to have moved on as we have not noticed them today.
Many thanks to all the visiting birders who have been sending through their sightings, much appreciated as ever.