Saturday, 7 November 2015

Saturday 7th November

Yesterday was Mike Bell's last full day, but this did not deter him... He had seen Red legged Partridges at both the Market and than later on up close to Neriby as well as at Carabus, probably birds recently released. Before setting out in the morning Mike had a ringtail Hen Harrier at Kilchoman with 60 Fieldfare and 60 Redwing as he drove down towards the Coastguards' Houses. The Whoopers were still on Ardnave, the tally being 208, 13 Mute, 397 Wigeon, female Gadwall, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Tufted Duck, a male Pochard, 3 Mallard and 3 Teal. On the floods at Gruinart, 340 Teal, 3 Gadwall, a good count of 87 Pintail, 5 Shoveler, and a Greenshank, 12 Pale bellied Brent were out on Loch Gruinart itself. In the afternoon, the tally for Golden Plovers was 1600 at Gruinart with a Mistle Thrush seen at Loch Gruinart House. Further on, 60 Redwing were seen at Ballimartin, 2 Golden Eagles at Storakaig, 55 Fieldfare at Cruach, 17 Red legged Partridges at Carrabus, 100 Redwing at Lyrabus with a further 60 at Craigens. A male Hen Harrier was seen below Carnduncan while a ringtail was at Sanaigmore as was a Merlin. Paul and Avril Watchorn's "best birds" of their visit were seeing our Choughs, Hooded Crows, Stonechats the numerous Whooper Swans as well as Reed Buntings down on the Oa, not forgetting the Golden Eagle on Jura and the geese all around. Many thanks yet again to our visiting birders for sharing their sightings. Leslie Silcock who has moved to Port Ellen recently had seen Choughs down on the Oa this morning and 2 RTD in Kilnaughton Bay. This morning there was a ringtail Hen Harrier out over the crag, quite close in, but better to come as we went down to Bowmore later on. As we approached Gartmain, the birds on Loch Indaal all appeared to be very agitated, and rightly so as there over the water less than 70 yards from the road was an immature White tailed Sea Eagle trying to get an Eider. Each time it swooped in, the Eider had the sense to dive and escaped. We watched this going on for at least 5 minutes, thanks to Karen for flagging us down as I was driving and watching the traffic on the road.....

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