Monday, 31 December 2007
Saturday, 29 December 2007
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Over here this morning it is rather windy, mind you the fulmars were in the last 2 mornings, will the ferry come in later on is doubtful, could be a bouncy crossing!
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Monday, 10 December 2007
Friday, 7 December 2007
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Sunday, 2 December 2007
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
There were 38 Brent geese at Blackrock briefly on Saturday, resting up, before heading over the water to Ireland. Up on Ardnave Loch on Sunday, there was 2 Whoopers and 1 Mute Swan along with numerous Wigeon and Teal and 40 Greylag Geese. On Monday, 8 Whoopers were seen flying down Loch Indaal. GJ
On the Oa, on Loch Kinnabus there were 2 Goosanders, and on the RSPB reserve on the Oa there was a Lapland Bunting. While going over on the ferry to Kennacraig a Grey Phalarope was seen. AK
5 Snow Buntings were up at Ardnave while a Golden Eagle was observed down at RSPB Loch Gruinart. JRH
A Northern Chiffchaff was spotted in Bridgend woods on Monday by a visiting birdwatcher on Monday, and here at home we had a male Blackcap on the feeders, also on Monday. MAB
Saturday, 17 November 2007
Some interesting comments were posted on the last entry to the blog, with yet more records that are worth a mention. DWT recorded otters at Kilnaughton and Ardbeg as well as 3 bottle-nose dolphins off Ardnave, 50 chough and a golden eagle at Kilchoman and also a goshawk some where on the Island, all recorded during there stay 3/11 to 10/11.
A WEBS count at Gruinart on the 12/11 revealed good numbers of wildfowl infront of the hide including 1,232 teal, 328 wigeon, 41 shoveler and 58 pintail. Wader numbers on the Loch were also good with large quantities of redshank having arrived (JRH). On the 13/11 at the Oa reserve (AK) reported a corn bunting and a male goosander. A goose count at Gruinart on the 15/11 produced a total of 12,700 barnacles and 605 whitefronts on the reserve plus a hutchinsii Canada goose. There was an International goose count on the Island during 12-13/11, but I have not heard any results yet. Today 17/11 (AK) phoned to say that he had seen a white tailed eagle on the Oa.
Sunday, 11 November 2007
01/11, 5 long tailed ducks in the sound of Jura
02/11, 2 Hutchinsii canada geese at Bridgend, white tailed eagle with white tags at Gruinart, 4 purple sandpipers and 2 arctic terns at Bruichladdich.
03/11, 4 snow buntings at Ardnave
04/11, Jack snipe on the Oa (All records FS, thank you!)
Mean time we have received information from the beachmaster/blogmaster on location, or vacation in Jersey. While travelling to Jersey a stop over at the London wetland centre produce a great array of birds including 5 bar headed geese (or is that Brae headed geese) loads of coots and great views of a sparrowhawk. On Jersey so far a few birds not often seen on Islay, include magpies (common), little egrets, jay, a marsh harrier and around 500 brent geese.
Back on Islay this weeks news. Its felt quite wintry this week, but the birds have been good.
05/11, grey phalarope (FS) at Gruinart, black scoter (again, one here last year) off Bruichladdich, mandarin drake in a field at Kildalton, 37 lesser repdols, 3 mealy redpols, 16 yellowhammers and 10 siskins, at Ardtalla, 3 Leach's petrels at Frenchman's Rocks (AS). A windy day, but good birding!
06/11, A kingfisher at Bridgend and 5 crossbills at Avonvogie (FS), snow bunting on the Oa (AK), and 65 twite at Gruinart.
11/11, A quick trip to the hide at Gruinart, a cold wind, but clear air revealed an otter moving through the channels while the geese looked on, and a young peregrine that attempted to catch teal repeatedly.
Sunday, 4 November 2007
Lots of whooper swans are still moving through the island, with 57 at Gruinart on the 31st.
A duck count at Gruinart on the 2nd revealed: 2022 teal, 408 wigeon, 33 pintail, 56 shoveler, 2 greenshank, 1 tufted duck, 8 black tailed godwits and 636 lapwing. Also on the 2nd a golden eagle at Kilchoman and 19 chough at Ardnave. At the Oa a possible rough legged buzzard showed briefly! On the 3rd a woodcock and barn owl at Gruinart.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Sunday, 28 October 2007
A Little Gull was seen off Bruichladdich and whilst scanning through the numerous Barnacle Geese, 7 Canada Geese were spotted, 6 Hutchinsii and 1 Parvipes which was along with 2 Hybrids. The Bar headed Goose is still around, having been seen at the top of Loch Indaal and more recently at Finlaggan along the other geese. There have been several other sightings on the mainland, are they all escapees or what? SP
Friday, 26 October 2007
On Tuesday over at Ardnave, 7 Purple Sandpipers were noted, along with 1 Bar tailed Godwit, 10 Turnstone, 25 Chough, 60 Herring Gull, 60 Common Gull, 10 Eider and 15 Teal.
The influx of Fieldfare and Redwing continues, now on the West of Islay, but not on passage or in such numbers as reported previously. MS
On Monday, there were 5 Swallow over Kilnaughton Woods, and there was a bird of prey over the wood possibly a Hobby in company with the swallows. The bird was very vocal and the features noted could point to a Hobby, has anyone else seen it? There was a male Grey Wagtail feeding on the edge of a silage pit at Claggan Bay. On the way home , 17 Whooper swan were at Gartmain.
Tuesday, on the sea off Saligo there was a single Long tailed Duck, while up at Ardnave Loch there were Pochard and Goldeneye along with the Tufted Duck.
Wednesday produced 52 Teal down on the lochans beside Loch Gorm. There were also 2 Pink footed Geese amongst the Barnacle Geese at Kilchoman. Also noted were a pair of Whooper with 4 juvs. There was a dead juv whooper under the power lines at Rockside.
Late entries on Thursday included Jack Snipe and 2 separate sightings of Treecreepers, all in the Kilchoman area. C & TJ
Thursday produced 2 Little Stint at Carnain while inland a lot of Siskins have arrived. RAS
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
There was a single Shelduck along with 12 Pintail at Bridgend.
A Merlin was seen over the head of Loch Gruinart while there were 52 Rock Doves on a ruined roof nearby. On the shoreline on the east side of Gruinart there were 185 Golden Plover, 38 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin and 10 Ringed Plover. At Bun-an-Uillt there was a Long Tailed duck offshore.
Back at Loch Skerrols there was a Mute Swan with 4 juv.
On Mon. at the head of Loch Gruinart a single Grey Plover was seen amongst Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Redshank. The sight of thousands of Barnacle Geese coming in to roost at Gruinart was a sight not to be missed.
2 Mute Swans with 2 juv. at Bunnahabhain were seen at mid day. C.&T.J.
Sunday, 21 October 2007
An otter was obseved at Bruichladdich, the first since the 1st of August. Out on the Loch there were 5 Red throated Divers, while inland there were 8 Snipe and 4 Teal on the Pools. GJ
A brief summary of the Corncrake survey for 2007.......
The survey of Corncrakes on Islay in summer 2007 showed a further increase in numbers from previous years. This year, the total number of calling males was 69, which is 10 more than 2006, and 17 more than in 2005. The majority of the calling males were found on the Rhinns of Islay, with the highest concentration of calling males was again on Gruinart Flats, there were 16 calling males on the RSPB Loch Gruinart Reserve.
Thanks to the Corncrake Initiative Scheme and the willingness of the farmers, most of the silage fields adjacent to where calling corncrakes were heard, were either cut after 1st August, some of them even after 1st September, with most fields being cut in a corncrake friendly manner, i.e. from the centre out, rather than from the outside in. By cutting in this way, this should help the survival of the chicks as they would tend to go to the outside edges of the field being mown, which hopefully will increase the number of corncrakes on Islay in future years. MS
A Merlin was seen over the moorland on Friday, with a single Snow Bunting also seen in the same location later on that day. MS
On Saturday morning there was another noticeable passage of around 4,000 Fieldfares over the South East of Islay, while over on the East we are only seeing the odd one or two, as well as a few Redwing. RAS
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Kittiwakes and "Comic" Terns flew by with Shags and the occasional Gannet. Off Ardnave Point a Great Northern Diver flew in with a group of 5 soon after. A Red Throated Diver was also off shore.
3 Snow Buntings were in the dunes, and further on a flock of around 60 Twite.
Out over Nave Island a group of about 50 Swans (probably Whoopers) flew south.
In one bay where the seaweed was piled high, numerous birds were feeding on insects - 24 Chough, 40 Twite, and 50+Starling. On the edge of the tide were 6 Redshank, 1 Bar-Tailed Godwit, 10 Ring Plover, and 20 Oystercatcher.
5 Snipe were seen in the marshy area behind the dunes.
All through the walk Chough and Raven were seen and heard.
On our return, thousands of Barnacle Geese were out on the Flats at Gruinart, but best of all, at least 150 Whooper Swans. C & TJ.
Ther was a sinlge Greenshank on the left hand flood in front of the hide at Gruinart. G.J.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
There were several movements of Brent Geese, albeit in small numbers! On Loch Indaal, there were 32 Grey plover, 121 Bar-tailed Godwit and just over 200 Turnstone. Down on the Oa, there was a probable sighting of a Gyr Falcoln. RAS
A drive up the Glen road on Tuesday morning, with stops for walking and birdwatching, produced Crossbills, Siskins and Coal tits in the mature conifers with their prolific cones. Further on a ring tailed Hen Harrier was hunting, being watched by a Buzzard. Across the valley a Merlin was being harassed by a Hoodie crow. Later on a Golden Eagle was tucking into a rabbit, whilst a juvenile tried to get in on the act. When the juvenile took to the wing, it was dive bombed by a group of Buzzard. Stonechats were along the roadside, with a Kestrel overhead and finally 30+ Fieldfare flew in, looking for invertibrates in the field.
Later on on Ballygrant Loch, there were 6 Dabchicks and 4 Mute Swans. In the woodland, a flock of Siskin and Redpoll were feeding on the alders, and a pair of Bullfinches were also noted. Finally 2 Golden Eagle were seen from near Port Askaig across on Jura, whilst a late Arctic Tern flew down the Sound, where Shags, Eiders and a few Awks were also seen. C & TJ
Monday, 15 October 2007
On Friday, at Loch Gruinart reserve, there were 16425 Barnies, 216 Whitefront, 43 Pale Bellied Brent, 10 Whooper, 242 Lapwing and 30 Snipe. JRH
There were 28 Whooper on Loch Gorm. IKB
While on Saturday, over at Lossit Loch a group of 14 Long tailed Tits were seen. There have been several other sightings of Long tailed Tits recently at various different locations through Islay but this has been the largest in number so far. SMcG
Also on Saturday, at Ardnave there was a group of 25 Turnstone observed on the foreshore. MS
Ardnave, turned up trumps again on Sunday, with a Snow Bunting, a female Greenland Wheatear, while out at sea there were a pair of Long tailed Ducks. Back on Ardnave Loch itself, 3 Slavonian grebes were present. Down offshore at Saligo Bay, several groups of Gannets were flying South . C & TJ
Meanwhile at Machir Bay, 3 dead Triggerfish were found, where their source of origin has yet to be established. JB
Friday, 12 October 2007
We can start off with the monthly Webs count, from over at Loch Gruinart, covering the whole estuary. 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 19 Shag, 1 Heron, 68 Wigeon, 1 Eider, 36 Red Breasted Mergansar, 255 Oystercatcher, 61 Ringed Plover, 149 Bar Tailed Godwit, 295 Curlew, 31 Redshank, 34 Turnstone, 33 Common Gull, 107 Herring Gull, 2 Greater Black Backed Gull, 1 Cormarant, 227 Dunlin, 4 Black Tailed Godwits, 8 Mallard, 16 Lapwing and 11 Grey Plover. Many thanks to Catherine and her counters for that information. CF
There was a flock of over 600 Golden Plover down at Portnahaven, while up at the head of Loch Indaal there were 300 Dunlin, 9 Little Stint, 1 White Rumped Sandpiper, 12 Bar Tailed Godwit, 120 Ringed plover, 50 Turnstone and 3 Snipe. RAS
Over at Loch Gruinart RSPB, there were 13,385 Barnies, 118 Whitefronts, 1 Canada (Hutcinsii), 6 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Merlin, 2 Mistle Thrush en passage. There were a lot of Blackbirds and Robins on the move too! The reason for the drop in Barnies is that they have already started to go in to groups round the island. JRH
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Over at Loch Gruinart Reserve, there was a count of 20605 Barnies, 224 Whitefronts and 2 Pink-footed Geese.On the floods there were 319 Teal, 86 Wigeon, 25 Shovellors, 4 Pintail, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, a Peregrine on a fence post, along with 2 Fieldfares flying overhead. The Barnies are on time, but the Ducks are late in arrival. JRH
Out on the estuary, there was a Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Whooper Swans and a further 14 Black-tailed Godwits. MS
Monday, 8 October 2007
Sunday, 7 October 2007
Out and about, there was a group 0f 107 Lapwing, quite a few Twite at various locations while at home, Goldfinches were seen on seed heads and a new "house tick" with Long tailed Tits. On Saturday evening there was the sound of the Red Deer Stags roaring down the road. IKB
Thursday, 4 October 2007
On Tuesday 2/10 at Loch Gruinart Reserve, there were 62 Brent geese, 38 Black Tailed Godwits, 4 Ruff and 16 Pintail. Today, Thursday from Gartmain on Loch Indaal, 150 Knot, 100 Bar Tailed Godwits and 450 Wigeon. Round at Crosshouses, a Jack Snipe flew across the road, almost giving another kind of statistic...... RAS
Today at Gruinart, the first of the larger flights of Barnacle Geese came in, with a final total this evening of 1340. JRH
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
A few more geese are in, not many though, the Whitefronts were up to 20, while Barnies had dropped to 18, and a sinlge Pink foot! Greylags around Loch Gorm appear to be fluctuating, with over 1,000 to observed on Saturday, while on other days hardly any, less than 100 were seen over the same sites on other days. Are these just Geese moving through, or are they feeding elsewhere on Islay? On Loch Indaal there were 18 Common Scotors noted. G.J.
Whilst out and about on Monday, 3 Greenland Wheatears were seen, and at home there appear to have to have been a movement of Robins. On the lawns there were 2 Yellow wagtails getting grubs just after the grass had been mown. The Peregrine Falcon was up on his perch for quite a while, just casing the joint out, no doubt waiting for some Rock Doves to fly past! Have noticed quite a few Hooded Crows and Ravens. I.K.B.
Friday, 28 September 2007
The birdlife here is tremendous, we do not really appreciate it until you have been away for a spell. Today, Thursday, there were 20 Barnacle Geese, and 8 Whitefronted Geese along with over 500 Greylag on one of the the small lochans beside Loch Gorm, while up at Ardnave the were 2 Whooper Swans. I.K.B.
Over at R.S.P.B. Loch Gruinart Reserve, this week, there have been a further movement through of Geese, Monday had 148 Pale Bellied Geese, Tuesday a show of 53 Pale Bellied Geese along with 20 Barnacle Geese (? same group as noted at Loch Gorm area on Thursday?) while on Wednesday there were 9 Whooper Swans. J.R.H.
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Black tailed godwits have been continuous on the Gruinart floods throughout this period with 12 on 03/09 and 11 on the 22/09. Duck numbers have been steadily increasing around the Island, at Gruinart: 2 pintail 03/09 and on the 17/09, 252 teal. 13 wigeon and 6 shoveler.
A trip in a rather too small boat from Oronsay around the west coast of Islay and into Loch Indaal (09/09) had a few highlights to aleviate the motion sickness: 2 great skuas, 2 storm petrels, 2 black throated divers, lots of manx shearwaters, 2 basking sharks and a sunfish (JRH). On the 16/09 (AS) took a boat trip south of Port Ellen at about 3 miles out, 2 great shearwaters!, 45 sooty shearwaters and 30 storm petrels visited the boat.
At Gruinart on the 17/09, 1 great skua, a Greenland wheatear and 165 linnets.
The weather has definitely become more autumnal and now we are starting to see the for runners of Islays amazing goose invasion: on the 22/09 at Gruinart 12 barnacle geese and 18 pink footed geese. On the 23/09, 12 barnacle geese, 23 pink footed geese and 271 pale bellied brents (JRH).
Sunday, 2 September 2007
27th August, 8 black tailed godwits, 12 knot and 356 greylag geese all at Gruinart. On the 28th August a quick look over the Loch at Gruinart revealed a bird of prey spectacular, 2 ospreys, 1 peregrine, 1 sparrowhawk and a hen harrier. Later an otter was visible from the hide also at Gruinart. On the 30th August 6 black tailed godwits, 1 little grebe, 3 gadwal, 1357 grelag geese and a single barnacle goose were all present around Gruinart.
Sunday, 26 August 2007
Of birds and beasts: An otter and 2 cubs was seen from the Port Charlotte to Portnahaven road on 14.08 (MC). Still in the south of the Island the basking shark, that was first seen off Port Charlotte some weeks ago is still in the area, but has moved south around the Portnahaven area. At Gruinart barn owls have been showing well 16.08 and 21.08, also at Gruinart an elephant hawk moth caterpilar and lots of dragonflies especially common hawkers 21.08 (JRH). On the 24.08 a peregrine, 2 shoveler and 6 snipe were seen at Gruinart. On the 25.08 on the north Rhinns lots of manx shearwaters and gannets were offshore, a whimbrel flew over heading south and a hummingbird hawk moth! was seen.
Tuesday, 14 August 2007
On the sunny days found a few birds.
The 5th August male and female sparrowhawks at Gruinart (JRH). On the 7th August a pair of bullfinches were seen on the Oa (GJ). On the 8th August there was a spotted flycatcher and a whitethroat at the visitor centre Loch Gruinart (JRH). I had a walk to check some reed beds on the 10th August and saw lots of young sedge warblers and reed buntings flitting in and out of the tall phragmites (JRH). On the 13th August (GJ) saw 2 sandwich terns at Bruichladdich and 200 greylags at Bridgend.
Sunday, 5 August 2007
On 02.08.07 chough and a comon lizard at Gruinart (JRH)
On the 04.08.2007 at Gruinart, 2 tawny owls, hen harrier (seen regularly), 3 ravens and another toad.
Also on the 04.08.2007 our overseas correspondent in Paisley reported 5 magpies, 2 of which were attacking pigeons and 2 ravens (good for paisley). At 5.00 am on the 05.08.07 a fox.
Monday, 30 July 2007
No, this image has not been digitally enhanced, but this single Barnacle Goose appeared last week, and I was fortunate enough to see it amongst a group of 54 Greylags this afternoon. After a while the Greylags started to harass it! Last night there was a "late" Corncrake calling here at our house, still going strong as I went to bed around midnight. If he finds a mate there still could be time to raise a late second brood. I.K.B.
Over at Loch Gruinart Reserve, an Elephant Hawk Moth was caught in the Moth trap, while some Cinnabar Moth caterpillars were also found today. J.R.H.
Sunday, 29 July 2007
These Greylag Geese were round the other side of Loch Gorm today, about 70 in number, but definately being seen in different locations. Out at sea, here on the West of Islay, strong passages of Gannets heading South again, while on land in the heat of the day I saw a Common Lizard about 10-12 cm out sunning itself on the concrete at the door of a friend's house!
Saturday, 28 July 2007
We are now a Starling less after it was taken by a Sparrowhawk from the bird table and they both hit the kitchen window in the process. Two visitors to Islay watched a Golden Eagle being mobbed by 2 Buzzards giving them a great chance to compare the sizes of the birds together. M.A.B.
Friday, 27 July 2007
This willow warbler was in the poly tunnel catching insects, while its mates were making the most of what was in the garden! There are quite a few young Goldfinches out as well, while after some of the rain the young Blackbirds are busy probing for worms.
Out at sea, there have been sightings of numerous groups of Gannets returning South after their fishing trips.
Over at the mouth of Loch Gruinart, on the sand bar at the low tide, there was a group of around 50 Grey Seals loafing about, but not singing! I.K..B.
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Whilst going round the sheep this morning, I saw this rather, sad dejected Chough down beside the old water wheel. I managed to get quite close to it and it did not make much of an attempt to fly away. I went out later on and there was no sign of it, so what became of it I am not sure. Gape worms appear to be having quite an affect on them this year. I.K.B.
There were over 90 Greylag Geese on one of the grass fields close to Loch Gorm on Sunday evening. A.MacT.
Sunday, 22 July 2007
This morning on the overhead wires there were 52 Swallows, and on checking the artificial House Martin nest, I noticed that it was empty, so the 3 fledglings must have been successfully reared and flown their "nest". There were 3 young Grey wagtails in the garden earlier on, while on the nut feeders, there were 4 young Great Tits. I.K.B.
Over at Bruichladdich, a Mooorhen was spotted roosting in some Willows about 7 foot above the ground! G.J.
Saturday, 21 July 2007
Here at home, there was a Willow Warbler, along with some young Blue tits over in the Willows in the garden. During the afternoon, there were 22 young Swallows on the overhead wires. I.K.B.
There was a report of a Basking Shark in Loch Indaal this evening. E.H.
Thursday, 19 July 2007
While coming back home from Bowmore, this afternoon, there was a young buzzard on top of fence post, and further along the road there were 3 young Ravens on top of a large rock, surveying all that was to be seen. Back home in the garden, there were young Goldfinches out and about, while earlier on we had observed a young Siskin on the feeders at a friend's house. Needless to say the camera was not at hand! M.A.B.
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Monday, 16 July 2007
Sunday, 15 July 2007
35 Mergansers were observed at the mouth of Loch Gruinart. M.S.
Over on Jura, one pair of the Short eared Owls have successfully fledged 4 young, while down on the bay there was a sighting of Shelduck with a creche of 16 ducklings. Earlier on, in June, during a Sea bird survey between the North end of Islay and Colonsay, 2 Puffins were recorded. L.G. & G.M.
The Webs Count this week at Gruinart gave the following birds, 8 GBB Gulls, 2 LBB Gulls, 105 Herring Gulls, 22 BH Gulls, 151 Common Gulls, 1 Little Gull, 35 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 84 Bar Tailed Godwits, 268 Oystercatchers, 47 Eider Duck, 9 Knot, 16 Dunlin and 1 Peregrine Falcon. The Peregrine was later seen taking an Oystercatcher, so should the count read 267?
There has been a regular sighting of a Tawny Owl over at R.S.P.B. Loch Gruinart reserve. C.F.
Out and about on Islay there have several sightings of Raven out with their young. S.McG.
Friday, 6 July 2007
There was a sighting last week of a Black Redstart down on the Rhinns. J.S.A.
Thursday, 5 July 2007
There are currently 50-53 nest sites occupied on Islay. Of theses nest sites, only around 30 pairs bred successfully. It has been a mixed year overall, with some pairs rearing large broods, up to 5 young, but others struggling to feed their young and losing part of or the whole brood during the nestling period.
The young choughs, of pre-breeding age, are at present in 2 flocks here on Islay at the moment. Around 65 - 70 can be seen at Ardnave peninsula and 25 - 40 around the Machir Bay area. At this time of year, the flocks of young birds are also joined by adult pairs with their recently fledged chicks. These noisy families are usually easy to spot as the fledglings are often following the parents relentlessly, begging for food! M. McC.
Monday, 2 July 2007
The weather here on Islay has gone downhill, now that we are in July. We only had 3.5" of rain in June, mostly in big falls overnight followed by nice suuny days, a big contrast compared to the flooding endured and ensuing damage done to property over on the mainland. So today it is rather dreich outside, with not much sign of many birds on the wing, although the young Choughs from the roost were quite vocal earlier on, as is their norm, they cannot go about quietly! I.K.B.
Friday, 29 June 2007
Down on Loch Indaal, there was a good sighting, close inshore, of a Great Northern Diver. G.J.
Also on the other side of the Loch, there were 4 Red Throated divers, and a Peregrine Falcon while on an inland lochan there were a pair of Whooper Swans who may now be here the whole summer, having missed out on the Spring migration! G.D.Y.
Here at home, this afternoon, I watched the Peregrine high up, flying with the Swallows, nobody taking any notice of either party! M.A.B.
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Sunday, 24 June 2007
On the way back from Port Charlotte, this afternoon, a snipe flew across the road in front of us, a Golden Eagle was close at hand, no need for the bins for an ID, and 14 Curlew on a silage aftermath field. I.K.B.
Saturday, 23 June 2007
The Barn owl that I told you about in an earlier blog that laid 7 eggs, a record number for Islay, well 5 of the eggs hatched and were succesfully reared. Although one of the chicks was a little smaller, it was well fleshed when it was rung along with its siblings midweek. No cannibalism here on Islay in the nest, compared to the BBC Springwatch owls down in Devon! In the same vein, our swallows here at the house, were hatched on the same day, and fledged on the same day as the Devon swallows, with 4 fledglings here.
The shelducks at the top of Loch Indaal at Carnain, do not appear to have many ducklings with them, so have they been predated already, thinking of how quickly the brood of 4 on Springwatch soon became a solitary duckling!
A basking shark was seen from the ferry close to Colonsay on Wednesday.
There is a good showing of flowering foxgloves as well as honeysuckle too.
Over at R.S.P.B. Loch Gruinart reserve, there has been several sightings of an Otter from the hide. 4 Black tailed Godwits and a shoveler with 5 young were also seen. Up at Ardnave Loch, a Tufted Duck was seen with 2 young. There have been several sightings of Short eared Owls reported this week around the island. Down on the Oa, 3 Swifts were seen and a Turtle Dove was at Kinnabus. A Dipper was on the small burn in Port Charlotte too. Pied Wagtails are out in force carrying grubs etc back to their ever increasing (in size) youngsters, as are the Swallows and House Martins here at home. I.K.B., G.K., J.R.H., P.Y.
Sunday, 17 June 2007
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Tuesday 12th June: An early start, as in Midnight allowed good counts of cornrake at Gruinart, as well as 2 spotted crakes, 1 water rail and a grasshopper warbler (JRH). Later, on the Oa, (AK) had a good day, recording 2 swifts off the cliffs, a spotted flycatcher, siskin and best of all a narrow bordered bee hawkmoth!
Wednesday 13th June: Another corncrake survey on the Island last night, with over 30 calling birds recorded in the one survey. Also 3 spotted crakes calling at Gruinart. Later from the hide at Gruinart a green winged teal was present also on the reserve was a mute swan with 6 cygnets and a teal with 5 ducklings (JRH).
Thursday 14th June: Colder and windier day, the birds were very quiet, good views of hunting hen harriers and short eared owl at Gruinart (JRH)
Monday, 11 June 2007
On Islay there has been evidence of bird movement, with some good records.
On the evening of the 6th June a Stone Curlew (MC) was spotted at Ardnave, although searched for on the 7th, it was not seen again. Also on the 6th a Little Stint (JH) on the shore of Loch Indaal.
7th June: Produced a Blue Headed Wagtail (JRH) near Lyrabus on the road.
8th June: First Painted Lady Butterflies were seen, plus a Poplar Hawk Moth at Gruinart. Marsh Fritillary Butterflies have been reported from many sites all over the Island, it looks like it's going to be a good year for them.
10th June: A Pomarine Skua (GJ) was seen in Bowmore habour, being mobbed by Black Back Gulls, also 2 Red Throated Divers on Loch Indaal and a Spotted Flycatcher at Gruinart.
11th June: The Blue Headed Wagtail (JRH) still present on the road near Lyrabus, Gruinart.
Wednesday, 6 June 2007
4th June: Dunlin displaying at Gruinart (JRH) and 6 Yellowhammers around the Killinallen area (MS)
5th June: A male Gargany at Gruinart (AS) and also an Arctic Skua flying north over Loch Gruinart (BBC). On the Oa a swift was seen flying in off the sea (AK), I think this is the first of the summer.
6th June: A walk at Gruinart revealed 2 reeling Grasshopper Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, 2 Whinchats and 6 Stonechats (JRH). At Killinallen there was a single Bar Tailed Godwit in winter plumage (JF).
Sunday, 3 June 2007
We will endeavour to keep the Blog up to date with the latest stunning reports from the Spring Watch Island in the sun (well its raining at the moment).
30Th May: The Orchids are coming into flower at this stage mostly Heath spotted, and Early Purple (at Ardnave). The Hen Harriers are more active now with the young starting to hatch, and several Short Eared Owls have been seen.
31st May: We had a report that the last goose, the Gruinart Barnacle had succumbed to much grass. A Quail was heard during evening sound recordings by the BBC on the Gruinart flats. Also calling at Gruinart in a fine medley of wet grassland bird song were 2 Spotted Crakes, 4 Water Rails and an ample supply of Corncrakes as the chorus.
1st June: A corncrake count on the South Rhinns produced few Corncrakes but 5 barn Owls
2nd and 3rd June: Too much rain for birwatching!
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Tuesday, over at Gruinart there were 57 Bar Tailed Godwits and 16 Arctic Terns. C.F.
The first of the corncrake surveys has taken place with over 35 calling birds heard.
The B.B.C. Springwatch programme has now started with good footage of Islay's wildlife.
Sunday, 27 May 2007
Saturday, 26 May 2007
Friday, 25 May 2007
over at Gruinart we were fortunate to see the Green winged teal again, a pair of Moorhen with chicks at foot and Heron fishing for eel. Later on there was a heron being mobbed by 3 Lapwing for being in the wrong place! Another Heron in flight was being mobbed by 2 gulls in the hope of the Heron dropping its food! A pair of Shoveller and also some Shelduck were also observed. The Mallard that hatched eggs in early April was spotted with her 3 large ducklings swimming along behind, no doubt the predators had not noticed them before now! Later on, in the evening, there were a couple of Red Deer Stags coming down off the hill.
In the early hours of Friday we were out doing the first of the corncrake counts, but we will let you know the figures once we collate them together next week. A Water Rail was heard and also 3 Spotted Crakes over at Gruinart. M.A.B., J.R.H.
3 Barn Owls and 2 Tawny Owls were also heard whilst out doing the Corncrake count in the wee small hours. M.S.
Another Wood Warbler was seen on the other side of the island, singing its head off. R.A.S.
Breagha (Gaelic for beatiful!), the Barn Owl, ( Gaelic Cailleach- Oidhche) to be seen at the Islay Natural HistoryTrust web cam, now has got 5 got chicks, 2 large and 3 small. M.R.L.
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
3 Little Terns were seen over in the Gruinart area. M.S.
2 Water Rail were heard calling at the weekend over at Gruinart, and the pair of Garganey are still to be seen at the R.S.P.B. Loch Gruinart reserve. J.R.H.
The White-tailed Sea Eagle that was seen on Sunday, was seen again yesterday, this time over the back of Bowmore/ Bridgend area. I.B.
With this recent spell of good weather (for Islay!) quite a few adders have been seen! C.F.
Monday, 21 May 2007
Sunday, 20 May 2007
A White-tailed Sea Eagle was seen being mobbed by Crows before flying off. S.C.
Quite a few of the shore nesting birds, like Common Gull and Ringed Plover appear to have lost their nests after the high tide coupled with the strong winds on Friday night. M.A.B.
Saturday, 19 May 2007
A Little Gull was observed off Bruichladdich. J.H.
There were 57 Greylag Geese in one field beside Loch Gorm and several had goslings at foot. C.F.
Friday, 18 May 2007
Despite this, some nice views of species like Hen Harrier and Chough. Raven and Hooded Crows are noticeably active at the moment and doubtless up to no good! Spent the latter part of the afternoon and evening in discussion with various mainland colleagues about the significance of the wintering Diver populations in Loch Indaal or in the stretch of sea between Kennacraig, the ferry terminal on the mainland, and Islay. J.S.A.
Out and about on the Rhinns, Whitethroat, 2 Cuckoo, odd Whimbrel, Whinchat, male Hen Harrier out hunting and a pair of acrobatic Chough that were very vocal! J.H.
Thursday, 17 May 2007
Rather a miserable day here, the weather that is!
This heron was seen taking off the other day, it was moving on after having being mobbed for quite a considerable time mainly by Lapwings.
Also witnessed was a Buzzard being mobbed by Jackdaws earlier today. There were a considerable number of Dunlin at the top of Loch Indaal, with several whimbrel being noted round Loch Gorm. I.K.B.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007
There was a sighting of a Golden Eagle being mobbed by a Buzzard on the Rhinns, the pair of Garganey over at Gruinart were seen mating and a pair of Grey Wagtails were seen on the Sorn at Bridgend, one of Armin's birds from Walkislay in April! R.G.B & C.B.
Over on the Oa, a Carrion Crow was seen with a Hooded crow! M.S.
Peregrine Falcon mobbing a Buzzard over at Gruinart. J.R.H.
There was thought to have been a brief sighting of a Honey Buzzard on the Rhinns. R.R.
Also on the Rhinns, Whitethroat were heard singing, Fulmar were seen, along with Gannets moving south. Also noted were Curlew and Lapwing both with young. J.H.
Meadow Pipits were seen carrying food back to their nest. Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler and Greenland Wheater were present around Loch Gorm. Yesterday's Stonechat image was taken then! I.K.B.
Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Monday, 14 May 2007
The Lesser Yellowlegs, Garganey and Green Winged Teal can still be seen at R.S.P.B. Gruinart reserve. At the top of Loch Indaal, there was a good showing of Dunlin in summer plumage.
Corncrakes are to be heard at more locations around the island. House Martins are straight back into nest building while there appears to have been a further rise in Swallows over the weekend. I.K.B.
Sunday, 13 May 2007
The Green Winged Teal was observed over at Gruinart on Friday. G.J.
Also on Friday, 3 Canada Geese and a single Black tailed Gowit were seen. C.F.
Late Friday evening at Gruinart, 2 Spotted Crake and 7 Corncrake were heard, and another single Black tailed Godwit was seen. J.R.H.
Today, several Gannets were fishing in Loch Indaal close to the rocky shore line below Port Charlotte. Later on 30 chough were flying in the Machir Bay area. On a previous occasion some of the chough were seen mobbing a Buzzard! I.K.B.
Also today, in Bruichladdich, there was the return of a "tame" Lesser Black-backed Gull which feeds off the bird table, absent for over a year at least! G.J.
Saturday, 12 May 2007
Friday, 11 May 2007
Thursday, 10 May 2007
Noticable passage of Gannets observed off the west coast, probably birds from Ailsa Craig. R.G.B. & C.B.
Loch Indaal had a pod of 16 Bottle Nosed Dolphins, up as far as Port Charlotte. K.W.
There was a further 3 BND observed by the children from Port Charlotte Primary school when they were busy doing their beach clean! E.H.H
There were 82 Whimbrel, 8 Dunlin and 2 Sanderling also in Loch Indaal, mid afternoon. M.A.B.
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
At a time when Lapwings are being overtly protective of their newly hatched young, it's a sobering thought to see increasing numbers of "high Arctic" waders arriving, such as Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Turnstone and Sanderling, which have yet to make the exhausting journey northwards to reach their breeding grounds and begin the process of mating, incubating eggs and nurturing young. Having said that, to see the emerging plumage of Dunlin and Turnstone is a real joy and, hopefully, refuelling here will ensure their safe journey to areas most of us will never have a chance of even seeing. J.S.A.
Ballygrant Woods produced a Tree Pipit, Spotted Flycatcher, and also 2 Blackcaps, the lone Whooper still remains, and a group of 25 Whimbrel were seen near Loch Gorm. R.G.B. & C.B.
Last weeks sightings over on Jura, included a Grasshopper Warbler, Snipe drumming, several sightings of Hen Harrier out quartering looking for prey. A Willow Wabler in full song, 6 Yellowhammers and a pair of Siskins at a bird table. L.G., G.M.
Monday, 7 May 2007
Sunday, 6 May 2007
Friday, 4 May 2007
A passage of 120 Whimbrel was observed off the pier at Bowmore in the morning, as well as a
good showing of Great Northern Divers in summer plumage in Loch Indaal. R.A.S.
Thursday, 3 May 2007
Wednesday, 2 May 2007
There was also a good sighting of two Otters in the Bruichladdich area, initially out in the sea and then on the rocks at the shoreside G.J.