Friday, 23 March 2012

Friday 23rd March

A great image taken of a Shelduck by James Deane. James had been down in the hide at Gruinart, Yes, please note the blue sky....long overdue!!!

The "Port Ellen" visiting birders had been over on Jura yesterday and had 2 male and a female Wheatear, just after Feolin, as well as the usual Oystercatchers, a Ringed Plover and a small flock of 5 Turnstone. In Craighouse Bay, they had 2 Great Northern Divers and a Red throated Diver in near summer plumage. They also had the good fortune to watch an Otter for almost an hour too. On the way home they had seen a White tailed Sea Eagle close to Port Askaig. Bob on Wednesday had a Peregrine having a skirmish with a Herring Gull, yesterday he had 2 pairs of Hen Harriers and also a female Merlin on the Rhinns. At Carn, he had a count of 175 Whitefronts. Up beside his house Bob watched about 12 pairs of Lapwing taking up nesting territory, and he also watched a Skylark dust bathing on the track up behind his house. Mary, yesterday had been out Deer counting at Dunlossit, and she had a flock of around 70 Golden Plover at Storakaig, as well as 16 Hooded Crows. While she was out she also saw a very dark mature Golden Eagle. At the end close to Kilbride Farm a flock of over 50 Whooper Swans flew in , heading North West, wonder if they were for an overnight stop at Gruinart? The "Bolton Birders"on Wednesday had single Little Grebes at Ballygrant Loch, Lily Loch, Loch nan Cadhan and another on Loch Allan. There were 7 Tufted Duck on Lilly Loch, 6 on Lily Loch and a further pair on Ardnahoe Loch, also there were 5 Whoopers. 2 Golden Eagles were seen up towards Bunnahabhain with a Great Northern Diver on the Sound of Islay. 2 Long tailed Tits were at the Lily Loch, while Goldcrest were at Ballygrant Loch, Loch Allan & Lily Loch. On the pond beside Carnain, there were 20 Teal and the pair of Mute Swan were also there. Further on, on Loch Indaal, the Canada Goose was in the water. Also at Ballygrant, there was a Mistle Thrush, one in the village itself and another in the woods. Yesterday, they had been up at Killinallan, and in the dunes in a sheltered spot, curled up was an Adder. Along Traigh Baile Aonghais there were 56 Sanderling. At one time they saw 4 Buzzards out over the dunes. Back at Bun an Uillt, mid afternoon, they had 32 Pintail, 12 Shoveler, around 80 Wigeon, 6 Goldeneye, 12 Red breasted Merganser, 50 Shelduck, 1 Greenshank, 16 Redshank, 20 Bar tailed Godwit, 6 Curlew and 2 Great Northern Diver. A pair of Stonechats were seen at Saligo and a male Wheatear at Machir Bay.

On to today now, a visiting birder from Northants had an Osprey fly over Ardnahoe Loch and on towards to Jura and he also had a Goldcrest here in the wood. Out on the Machir towards the War Graves cemetery, he had 4 Wheatear, 7 Chough, and down on the beach were some Sanderling and a few Ringed Plover. Visitors from Lincs had 3 different Golden Eagles on the way up to Ardnave, James had been up that way at the same time and had seen them too and also an immature Golden Eagle too. Finally, some birds in from the group from Speyside Wildlife, who are over for a few days. On a pool at Lyrabus, a Glaucous Gull was seen while on the flats at Gruinart amongst the Barnies, the Canada Goose, hutchinsii sp was noted. A distant male Hen Harrier was seen from the flats. Just up at the car park at Ardnave, a Merlin flew past, over the dunes around 35- 40 Chough were present, 4 Wheatear present and a Raven was seen carrying nesting material.

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