Sunday, 5 October 2008

Sun 5th Sept

Another great day weather wise, no rain at least for a change!
After the main arrival of the Barnies yesterday, we decided to go over to Gruinart to see all that was there. The spectacle at Gruinart, both on the grass fields and on the mud flats was well worth the trip alone as the geese normally congregate here when they first arrive before dispersing out over the island. James's count today gave 24,555 Barnies and 317 Whitefronts and a single Lesser Canada Goose, a Peregrine Falcon, the sighting of a Sparrowhawk mobbing a Golden Eagle, ( this was also seen by other birders but from a different viewing point!). There was also a Gadwall, 4 Black tailed Godwits, 5 White wagtails and a solitary House martin. The other birders had 4 Swallows on their trip out. Again James's figures did not include the birds at Craigens, solely the birds on the reserve.
Later on while having a blether with James, we saw a Sparrowhawk chasing after a Skylark, but with no success. Believe it or not, all the Skylark could do was to continue on singing while avoiding being caught! An interesting fact came out of the conversation with James is that all the Barnies come first to Islay, and then some return North to Colonsay, others to Tiree and even some to the Outer Hebrides. JRH
While returning home from Gruinart I was surprised to see 2 large flocks of Barnies on the rough heather moorland down beside Loch Gorm, as we would normally expect to see them on grassland, with either Greylags or Whitefronts on the moorland. IKB

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