Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Wednesday 29th February

Great excitement over here this morning as we had a few earth tremors, if you click on the link to the INHT on the right hand toolbar, Malcolm has written about it.

Paul B. gave through his sightings from yesterday, his last day on Islay. At Craigens, Paul had a 1st winter and a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull and also a 1st winter and an adult Iceland Gull. The flats at Gruinart had over 3,000 Barnies, around 200 Whitefronts, Canada hutchinsii sp, 3 Buzzard along with lots of Lapwing and Curlew. Over at Ardnahoe Loch, 2 Buzzard, 6 Red legged Partridge & 5 Goosander. From the ferry, Paul had 6 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black throated diver, 3 Red throated diver, 11 Red breasted Merganser, 1 Black Guillemot & 2 Razorbill. Thanks to Paul for sharing his sightings

Here at home this morning the were 4 Chough mobbing a Buzzard, up beyond the former church yesterday there were 4 Red legged Partridge. Up there, late this afternoon, there were 30 Lapwing, 60 Jackdaws, but only 7 Chough seen. There had also been 11 Heron standing around down at Sunderland.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tuesday 28th February

A bit of a late entry, sorry about that folks, but tonight was the "monthly" gathering of the "bird nerds" here on Islay. We were well pleased with 19 folk coming along, including 9 visiting birders, great to meet up with the visitors especially and show them that we are a friendly bunch!

John Lumbie from Bruichladdich had a Short eared Owl, up behind Port Charlotte last Tuesday and today he had 2 Red Grouse near there too.

Paul Beresford from Nottingham, left to go home today, but gave me through his sightings from yesterday. Craigens, first winter and a second winter Glaucous Gull and also a first winter Iceland Gull. RSPB Loch Gruinart, 5 Whooper Swan, 22 Greylag, 11 Mallard, 27 Pintail, 26 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, 500+ Teal, 2 Red breasted Merganser, 1 Greenshank & 1 Redshank. On the feeders outside the visitor centre at Gruinart, there were 2 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 40 Chaffinch, 5 Greenfinch & 20 House Sparrow. Ardnave Loch had 9 Whooper Swan, 10 Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneye, 1 Buzzard and 60 Chough along with some Jackdaws. On the estuary, at Ardnave, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Shag, 100 Bar tailed Godwit & 6 Raven. Thanks Paul.

David and Jenny from Staffs, had an imm. Golden Eagle being mobbed by a Buzzard at Mulindry, with a further 2 near to Dun Nosebridge., and then a fourth Eagle that was displaying out over the Eastern hills as they headed up to Ballygrant. Also a Mulindry, there were 30 Fieldfare, and a ringtail Hen Harrier. They also had a male Hen Harrier at Finlaggan, while on Ardnahoe Loch, 3 Goosanders were present. 3 Pale bellied Brent were were close to Bridgend, and a female Pochard seen on Loch Skerrols . One of the other visitors told me this evening that this morning, they had seen a Magpie down at Ardbeg.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Monday 27th February

Rather a miserable sort of a day over here today, with a drizzle persisting most of the day and also a swirling mist over the crag too, luckily some folk sent in some sightings through.

Yesterday, Dave down on the Oa had a ringtail Hen Harrier catching either a vole or a mouse in his garden at Kinnabus. The Harrier flew off to somewhere safe to eat her prey, but she was constantly under attack by Hooded Crows, and then a Peregrine, but the the Harrier managed to escape with her meal with some spectacular manoeuvres. All from his kitchen window.... Dave also had 13 Lapwing with some of them displaying. Mary had some birds from down at Portnahaven, the Ravens down at Claddach were seen carrying in nesting material. Down in Portnahaven Bay a Great Northern Diver was fishing not far from the shore, it must have been successful, as it was being 'escorted' by 3 attentive Herring Gulls for the whole time. Mary also was saying that the Snow Bunting is still coming to the bird table at Claddach along with the Sparrows. Visitors had seen a pair of distant Golden Eagles, a first winter Glaucous Gull at Gruinart, a first winter Iceland round at Sanaig, back the flats at Gruinart they had the Canada Goose hutchinsii sp, and finally they had a male Hen Harrier at Carnduncan. Today, they a quick look at Loch Indaal from opposite the power station at Bowmore. They had 6 Scaup, 15 Common Scoter, 1 Slavonian Grebe, pr of Pintail & 8 Goldeneye. From Bruichladdich, they had a Great Northern Diver and also a Red throated Diver out on Loch Indaal.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday 26th February

A bit of a late entry tonight but been out enjoying an evening with visiting birders over for a few days, a good time had by all... One them had a new tick today, a Golden Eagle down on the Oa, not one but he actually saw another shortly afterwards!

Another visitor who has been over for the past few days sent through some of his sightings, Bowmore - Gartbreck shoreline, 4 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red Throated Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebe, c 50 Shag, c 2,000 Barnies, 100 Whitefronts, 50 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 3 Goldeneye, 16 Shelduck, 70 Eider, 23 Red breasted Merganser, 1 male Hen Harrier, 20 Ringed Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 100 Dunlin, 30 Turnstone, 2 Redshank, 20 Curlew, 1 first winter Glaucous Gull, 4 Black Guillemot and 5 Rock Pipit. On the Oa, Loch Kinnabus, 20 Tufted Duck, 200 Whitefronts, 1 Golden Eagle, 1 female Hen Harrier, 3 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 30 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 2 Blackbird, "many" Hooded Crows & 6 Raven. From the Power station at Bowmore, on Loch Indaal, the count was 4 Great Northern Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 7 Mute Swan, 5 Scaup, 12 Goldeneye, 12 Common Scoter, 10 Red breasted Merganser, 1 male Long tailed Duck, 20 Turnstone and 150 Bar tailed Godwit.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Saturday 25th February

One set of birders away today were Gordon & Pauline Yates who have been on Islay for here for the past fortnight, and have been our anonymous "visiting birders" during that time. Thanks to Gordon and Pauline for sharing their sightings with us. There are a couple of Gordon's images on the INHT blog of one of the white winged gulls. By the way, Gordon's latest DVD on Raptors is well worth viewing, better still go and buy it! Some more birders have arrived yesterday and today so all going well, we may get some sightings through from them too. James reckons that some of the Ravens on the reserve at Gruinart are busy building their nest. Here on the crag this morning, some of the Fulmars were in, could the wind be due to pick up in the next few days??

Friday, 24 February 2012

Friday 24th February

Bob & Lorna Young had a count of over 100 Rooks up at Ardnave on Tuesday. Later on, down at Machir Bay they had 20 Common Gulls, there were 6 Chough up in the dunes and they also had a Male Hen Harrier on their way home. On Wednesday, at Ardnave they had over 40 Chough, while on the ground they had "lots of Lapwings and Starlings" as well as a large number of Barnacle Geese.

Today visitors had seen a Kestrel at Coal Ila, and up at Ardnahoe Loch, 5 male Goosanders were present. The weather today has been quite good, especially when you think it is only February...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Thursday 23rd February

A few sightings through from James on the reserve at Gruinart on Tuesday were as follows, 3,755 Barnacle geese, 165 Greenland Whitefronts, 50 Greylags, 1 Canada hutchinsii sp, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Hen Harriers, 37 Reed Buntings, 8 Whooper Swans, 1 Peregrine, 2 Glaucous Gulls first winter at Craigens and a first winter Iceland Gull at Blackrock.

This morning, round at Ballinaby there were 30 Fieldfare and around 55 Starling and further on the Iceland Gull was still present. Here at home, a Sparrowhawk was on top of the garden wall. Visitors had a female Sparrowhawk, just out of Port Charlotte and saw the Glaucous Gull down at "smelly corner" still on the seal! Later on they had a male Hen Harrier over at Ballygrant, down on Ballygrant Loch there were 28 Tufted Duck and a Goosander. At Sunderland, there were 7 Herons and also a pair of Ravens down in the pine trees.

Margaret had been up at the pond and there is more frog spawn and there were some primroses out too, the first that she has seen.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Wednesday 22nd February

Bob and Lorna Young were over for a few days at the weekend, if I remember correctly Clive MacKay is related to them. Clive used too work for RSPB here on Islay. Bob and Lorna sent through a list of birds seen. At Ardnave they had Buzzard, Peregrine, Hen Harrier, Barnacle Goose, Greenland White fronted Goose, Greylag, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Heron, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Red breasted Merganser, Wigeon, Chough, Raven, Hooded Crow, Curlew, Bar tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Meadow Pipit, Twite, Herring Gull, G.b.b. Gull, Shag, Great Northern Diver, Lapwing, Starling, Eider, Blackbird & Wren. Down on the merse at Bridgend/ head of Loch Indaal, Barnacle Geese, Pale bellied Brent Geese, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Sanderling and Shelduck were seen.

Yesterday, down at "smelly corner" there was one of the Glaucous Gulls on the remains of a seal! Today, visitors contacted me to say that they had a count of 70 Curlew down at Port Charlotte and futher on, 4 Redwing at Easter Ellister. Returning home to Port Charlotte, there was an active Hedgehog out on the road at Kilchiaran. To think this time last year it would still be hibernating when we had below zero temperatures, today it was up to 12 degrees, almost a difference of 20 degrees on the year!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tuesday 21st February

On Sunday, David Formby, our local dentist here on Islay, had been up round Ardnave Point and had 30 Sanderling which were attracting the attention of a Merlin! While he was there he bumped into some old friends from the mainland. The visitors had seen a male and also a female Hen Harrier up there, down at Sunderland they had a Woodcock. Yesterday the visiting birders had a pair of Goosanders on the River Sorn and a further 3 on Loch Skerrols. Down on the Oa they had 10 Fieldfare, but no signs of any Redwing. On Sunday, Bob & Martin managed their count between Bowmore and Gartbreck, with their count being 1 Little Grebe, 2 Heron, 28 Shag, 7 Cormorant, 5 Great Northern Diver, 4 Greater black backed Gull, 3 Lesser black backed Gull, 23 Black headed Gull, 120 Common Gull, 350 Herring Gull, 1 Glaucous Gull, 15 Shelduck, 17 Mallard, 37 Wigeon, 12 Teal, 8 Goldeneye, 19 Red breasted Merganser, 32 Eider, 185 Oystercatcher, 60 Curlew, 6 Redshank, 12 Ringed Plover, 4 Grey Plover, 23 Lapwing and 2 Turnstone.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Monday 20th February

A miserable sort of a day out here with smurry rain and swirling mist, but better weather is due to come by the end of the week. There was an earth tremor this morning after 5 o'clock, not that I heard it, measuring a mere 2.6! Forgot yesterday that the Peregrine was out on the crag, just watching what was going on, a Sparrowhawk was making a pest of itself in the wood too. Later on one of the Ravens was on the gable end of the old church calling away. Dave yesterday down on the Oa had a Jack Snipe, saw 5 Golden Eagles, a Hen Harrier and also on Glenastle Loch a Scaup and 6 Goldeneye were present.

Later last night, looking back on any sightings of frog spawn, I saw that Stacey had seen some down in Glenastle on the Oa on the 18th of February 2008... still a sure sign that Spring is not far away, even a few of the Daffodils are out in sheltered spots, with others just waiting to burst out in bloom.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday 19th February

The Cambridge birders left for home yesterday, but told me before they left that they had seen up to 4 Iceland Gulls and a Glaucous Gull over at Craigens through the week. They also had seen a Greenshank on the flats at Gruinart as well as the Canada Goose, hutchinsii sp there too. Bob yesterday had a male Hen Harrier and a Sparrowhawk from his house. Last night James had frogs on the road, and today the hares were out boxing and he counted 40 Fieldfare. Here at home today, there have 2 different pairs of Buzzards out on the wing, one is the usual pair that have been resident for the past few years, with the other pair casting an eye over the big crag. Margaret this afternoon found some frog spawn in a wee pond up the burn. Carl had been out today too, with 14 Ringed Plover and 4 Sanderling on Machir Bay, 2 Chough were displaying above the dunes, 40 Chough present on towards Coull, Buzzards were seen at Kilchoman and also along at Rock Mountain, a Blue Tit at Foreland, Great Northern Diver at Bruichladdich. There was a Heron at Bruichladdich too and another along at Port Charlotte. By the way, it has been a better day weather wise, the cold wind has gone, but rain is forecast....

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Saturday 18th February

Rather cold out here today with the odd dirty, squally shower thrown in to remind us that it is still Winter yet!

Mary sent some sightings carried out by the "vols". On Monday on Loch Gruinart, the scores on the doors were as follows, 284 Dunlin, 326 Bar tailed Godwit, 226 Oystercatcher, 86 Turnstone, 168 Common Gull, 70 Sanderling, 47 Ringed Plover, 1 Shag, 116 Curlew, 120 Wigeon, 62 redshank, 424 Lapwing, 6 Greater black backed Gull, 72 Herring Gull, 18 Black headed Gull, 4 Raven, 17 Hooded Crow, 5 Greenshank, 1 Heron, 3 Starling, 4 Rock Pipit, 215 Golden plover, 80 Teal, 16 Greylag, 20 Mallard, 284 Shelduck and 10 Red breasted Merganser. On Tuesday, on the floods at Gruinart there were 10 Mute Swan, 10 Whooper swan, 65 Greylag, 8 Gadwall, 590 Teal, 50 Mallard, 50 Pintail, 30 Shoveler, 2 Red breasted Merganser, 3 Little Grebe, 4 Heron, 566 Lapwing, 4 Curlew and 4 Greenshank present. Yesterday, here at home there were 2 groups of Greylags, one of 55 and 21 in the other field. Today, mid afternoon 20 Chough flew over the house!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Friday 17th February

Visiting birders over from Fife were in touch today with sightings of white winged gulls. Yesterday they had a juvenile Glaucous Gull at Lyrabus, another Glaucous over at Gartbreck, also at Gartbreck but down on the shoreline was a juv Iceland Gull. Today along at Gartmain an Iceland Gull was present while on on Loch Indaal, a Black throated Diver and 2 Slavonian Grebes were seen. A Richarson's Canada Goose was along with 26 Barnies just out of Bowmore and an Iceland Gull was seen just after Esknish and around Ayen Cottage on the way to Ballygrant. Other visitors had been round Ardnave Point today, before the rain came on! Their highlights included a juv. Golden Eagle, 1 Greenshank, 1 female Snow Bunting and 15 Bar tailed Godwits along with the leucistic Barwit. Malcolm yesterday whilst out doing the Goose count had seen a leucistic Barnie up at Ardnave.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Thursday 16th February

George was on the phone this morning and was telling me that there was a dead goose down on the shore, and along came one of the Glaucous Gulls and had his fill... Apparently, later on a Raven was down taking his pickings too, on what was left! Up behind his house, George had a Canada Goose, hutchinsii sp, amongst the Barnies that were there. A visitor was in touch with some birds over the last couple of days. A Great spotted Woodpecker was seen over close to Port Askaig, a Dipper on the burn at Kilchairan, 2 Red Grouse also over at Kilchiaran, a female Sparrowhawk at Nerabus and at Finlaggan, 3 Crossbills were present.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Wednesday 15th February

Sorry folks for not having an entry on last night, but quite simply there was nothing to report, nothing sinister, not even being the 14th of February made any odds! A visiting birder from Cambridgeshire had a count of 43 Chough up at Ardnave this afternoon. Back here at home, just at the darkening around 6 pm the geese could be heard overhead as they were flew back over to roost at Gruinart. Out over the crag, the pair of Buzzards were calling away too.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Monday 13th February

Yesterday, Bob and Martin set out from Bowmore along to Gartbreck, but although completing their walk, the weather, or rather the thick mist caused them to abandon actually carrying out a total count while they were out. But, they did manage some birds. At Gartbreck they had 1 Purple Sandpiper, 23 Bar tailed Godwit and 120 Curlew. Up at the top of Loch Indaal they had 22 Goldeneye, 27 Scaup, 67 Common Scoter, 7 Slavonian Grebe, 32 Knot, 87 Dunlin, & 185 Bar tailed Godwit. Up at Loch Tallant there were 3 Mallard and 34 Teal. They also had 2 Iceland Gulls and a Glaucous Gull at Gartbreck and 4 more Glaucous, 1 at Uiskentuie, 1 up at Cruach and 2 on the "high road". Paul Chapman who left this morning had seen an Iceland Gull at Kintra and counted 20 Pale bellied Brents in Loch Indaal just out from Bowmore Distillery yesterday! Dave, yesterday down on the Oa had 1 Golden Eagle, 1 Kestrel, 1 female Hen Harrier, 2 Chough, 75 Rock Dove and 60 Twite. He had also counted 50 Fulmars on the ledges on the cliffs there too... A visiting birder, who I was speaking with this afternoon, had seen 6 Goldeneye in Bowmore Harbour earlier on today.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sunday 12th February

Visiting birder, Paul Chapman from Aberdeenshire who is over for a long weekend sent through some sightings from Friday and also Saturday. On Friday, he had 3 Pale bellied Brent Geese at Blackrock, with a further 6 along at Gortan and also a Glaucous Gull present there too. From the hide at Gruinart, he had a ringtail Hen Harrier and later on, there were 30 Chough at the dunes at Machir Bay. Yesterday, they had an Otter and a Great Northern Diver off Bowmore pier, and 2 Slavonian Grebes a little further out on Loch Indaal. In the afternoon, they had a Golden Eagle over the road at Gruinart Farm, with 2 Buzzards just before that, and then a Sparrowhawk immediately after seeing the Eagle. He had also seen 4o Chough up at Ardnave. Thanks Paul for your birds.

Today James had 2 Sparrowhawks on the reserve at Gruinart, and also a male Hen Harrier over the flats.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Saturday 11th February

This morning down at Sunderland Farm, there were 5 Herons standing in one of grass fields, looking a bit out of place! Bob today had a female Merlin at home, further along his road in Glenmore, he had a female Sparrowhawk and also a female Kestrel. Up on Loch Gearach there were 56 Teal, 20 Mallard, 12 Wigeon, 65 Barnies, 167 Greenland Whitefronts, 120 Greylags and a male Hen Harrier.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Friday 10th February

Yesterday George had seen 3 Goldeneye and a Little Grebe in Bowmore Harbour. Today, he had seen a male Hen Harrier up behind his house at Bruichladdich, the first there for some time. This morning, down at Sunderland there were 2 Pink footed Geese amongst the Barnies and here at home this afternoon there were 52 Greylags and 10 Barnies in the field down beside the garden, I have not seen them that close to the house previously. In Bowmore this morning, there was a small flock of over 50 Barnies on the football pitch beside the primary school, wonder if Barnies have been seen so close to the school as that before??

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thursday 9th February

Quite a bit of rain fell last night as the burn that comes down past our house was quite full this morning, and our "pond" out in one of the fields, that appears from time to time, was evident this morning too. The Sparrowhawk crashed into the kitchen window this morning as it attempted to catch a bird off the bird table with no joy! James had a Golden Eagle over the reserve at Gruinart yesterday. James had been speaking with Chris Mills from Norfolk Birding who has been over on Islay this week with a tour, and back on Monday they had seen 8 Golden Eagles when they were out and about!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Wednesday 8th February

Well, yet again the Fulmars have come up trumps again, as the weather has gone downhill! We have not had a lot of rain today, just a reminder though, but through the night it was quite windy and wind and rain combined through the day to make it miserable. A day to get on with inside work and get some important jobs put to bed. Net result was that the only birds of note that I saw were a couple of Reed Buntings down at the Coastguards, mind you the bird table has been busy, even had 2 House Sparrows this afternoon. Up in the shed there were a couple of Robins trying to decide who was claiming the shed as theirs... No bloodbath though!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Tuesday 7th February

Another good day out here, the sky and all the stars last night were something else... This morning, all the Fulmars have gone, but there were 29 Chough flying around up beside the old church at the top of the hill. There were also a flock of 50 Lapwing, a bit further out, out towards the War Graves cemetery. This afternoon, down past the Coastguard houses, there was a Peregrine on the ground picking away at its' prey, what was left of a Rock Dove! Bob had been telling me on Sunday, that he had a Siskin on his feeders, the first one for quite some time.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Monday 6th February

A great day, weatherwise that is, over here today, almost like a Spring day, there was even a bit of warmth in the rays of the sun, then you hear of other parts of the country with freezing fog and so on it goes... Not much to report tonight, but the 12 Fulmars were still in residence on the crag, but then again the weather forecast for Wednesday does not sound too good, so watch this space for Wednesday's entry...

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sunday 5th February

On Friday, James had been up at Ardnave and had seen the leucistic Bar tailed Godwit, 8 Grey Plover, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 99 Golden Plover and 125 Twite. Last night on his way over to Kilchoman from Grainel, James had a Barn Owl and also 3 Woodcock. This morning there were 12 Fulmars in at the crag, and along the front of the cottages at lunchtime there was a dead Hare. It was still warm, but very thin and no sign of any attack or predation, it was just there, quite peaceful. I wonder whether it was the "dozy" Hare that I had seen in the car lights on Friday evening which seemed unsure of its' surroundings.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Saturday 4th February

Bob yesterday had 8 Goldeneye, 7 Tufted Duck, on Loch Skerrols. Along at Knockdon he had a count of 68 Wood pigeon and a mixed flock of 30 Redwing and 45 Fieldfare. Back up at his home, Bob has been seeing a pair of Buzzards which appear to nest prospecting...

Friday, 3 February 2012

Friday 3rd February

It may be cold outside at present, but so far this month it has been dry, but according to the weather forecast, things are in for a change with some rain coming in through the night, at least they are not forecasting snow for here!

Yesterday, Bonnie, Dave's wife had 15 Golden Plover and a Golden Eagle down on the Oa, while Crystal saw a ringtail Hen Harrier. Dave was also commenting on having around 350 Barnies around for the past few days, which is more than normal for the Oa. The other day, Bob had a Kestrel up beside his house, along with a mixed flock of 60 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing and 20 Starling. On the spit on Loch Indaal, he had 12 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover and 8 Turnstone. Up at Ardnave Loch, Bob counted 15 Whoopers, 5 Mute Swan, 6 Mallard, 8 Wigeon, 37 Teal, 7 Tufted Duck, 8 Goldeneye and 2 Heron. He then walked from Tayvullin up to Ardnave Point, the birds present were 1 Black throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 39 Wigeon, 15 Red breasted Merganser, 1 adult Golden Eagle, 5 Buzzard, 50 Oystercatcher, 10 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 3 Lapwing, 7 Turnstone, 20 Dunlin, 30 Curlew, 10 Bar tailed Godwit, 14 Redshank, 2 Snipe, 10 Raven, 6 Jackdaw, 22 Chough, 12 Starling, 2 Rock Pipit and a female Snow Bunting. Over on Nave Island, birds seen were 3 Fulmar, 10 Shag, 15 Cormorant, 8 Eider, 30 Herring Gull, 2 Greater black backed Gull, 180 Barnies and 20 Whitefronts. Coming home across the flats at Gruinart, 7 Whitefronts landed on the road in front of his car as he drove along....

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Thursday 2nd February

Peter and Pia had been out walking along the head of Loch Indaal this afternoon and saw this Glaucous Gull making the most of a Greater black backed Gull... We too had seen it but did not have the camera to hand plus there was traffic up behind us....

Earlier this week a visitor had a count of 65 Chough up at Ardnave, a Lesser black backed Gull, a Merlin with 18 Whoopers on Ardnave Loch itself. The "vols" from Gruinart had carried out a count round Ardnave Point yesterday. Their totals were, 78 Oystercatcher, 28 Curlew, 42 Ringed Plover, 7 Lapwing, 23 Bar tailed Godwit, 57 Golden Plover, 20 Grey Plover, 5 Buzzard, 1 White tailed Sea Eagle, 5 Great Northern Diver, 15 Sanderling, 4 Shag, 17 Cormorant, 32 Wigeon, 33 Dunlin, 8 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Redshank, 5 Rock Pipits, 8 Ravens, 5 Eider, 4 Red breasted Merganser, 10 Greater black backed Gull, 6 Common Gull, 17 Herring Gull and 23 Hooded Crows. Inland at Ardnave 40 Lapwing were counted, with a large number of Lapwings present on the Gruinart flats.

Today on the lochans at Rockside road end, 3 Goldeneye were present and in a field down towards Uiskentuie, there was a mixed "flock" of Barnacle Geese and Oystercatchers together, a sight I do not recall before. There was a Raven at the road side too, boy was he big when close at hand! James had an Iceland Gull at Bruichladdich today, and also 2 Glaucous and another Iceland on the reserve at Gruinart.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Tuesday 1st February

Yesterday Peter had been down towards Ardtalla on Islay's South East coast looking for any white winged Gulls, but no joy. But, he had better fortune while scanning though a mixed flock of Greylags and Greenland Whitefronts, Peter had 3 Tiaga Bean Geese.
Last night was the monthly meet of our bird nerds here on Islay, so for a change 15 of us went to Bowmore to the "Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant" for a meal, mind you, there was not much talk about birds, an enjoyable time by all accounts.... We saw 10 Hares seen driving to Bowmore, coming home we had 11 Hares and also a Barn Owl which was sitting on a fence post at the side of the road as we approached "The Hedges" below Sunderland Farm.
Today, Malcolm had 3 Golden Eagles up at Ardnave, there were 2 first year birds soaring over the dunes being mobbed by around 40 Chough, and then there was another Eagle on the ground trying to eat a rabbit but was in turn getting mobbed by Crows and a Raven. On the floods at Gruinart, James had an immature White tailed Sea Eagle chasing after the ducks, but it gave up in the end and flew over to Craigens to annoy the geese over there.