Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Tuesday 31st January

A bit of an early entry tonight, but as I am going out to the bird nerds "Dinner", I thought is might be a good move to put the blog first... Yesterday, Gary had seen a White tailed Eagle over at Caol Ila. Out on the Sound of Islay, he counted 11 Shag with 3 Otters present as well. Later on, on his way up towards Bunnahabhain, Gary saw a male Kestrel and finally, up towards Scarrabus he had a male Hen Harrier. After the windy day yesterday, it has been a lot calmer here today, but better keep quiet as the wind is due to pick up again come Thursday...so the lull before the storm??? Oh, yes I did do some work in the garden in my shirtsleeves, not bad for January, watching 40+ Chough flying past as well!!!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Monday 30th January

Yesterday was the "Big Garden Birdwatch", so James came over and helped out.. so here are our birds, 10 Pheasant, 1 Robin, 3 Dunnock, 47 Starling, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Great Tit,9 Goldfinch, 3 Wren, 14 House Sparrow, 125 Chaffinch, 41 Jackdaw and a Buzzard. Down in Bruichladdich, Malcolm had 52 House Sparrows, 24 Collared Doves but only 18 Chaffinches. Bob up behind Port Charlotte had more Chaffinches, some Greenfinches, a Coal Tit, 2 Blue Tit as well as other birds too, so quite a change in birds seen, all in a relatively small area. Jim Dickson counted 160 Chaffinch in his garden, Jim lives over at Cairnbaan while friends out in Bearsden on the outskirts of Glasgow has different birds again, with Blackcap, Greater spotted Woodpecker and the neighbourhood fox as well... Michal had counted 1,610 Golden Plover over above the reserve at Gruinart on Saturday. he saw them there yesterday with Dave Maynard saw them again present there today.
Tomorrow evening, it is the bird nerds annual meal, again to be held in the Lochside hotel. So far there are 21 folk coming, so if you are around and wish to come, please let me know so the staff at the hotel are ready for us...

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sunday 29th January

Back on Thursday evening, Bob had seen a Barn Owl out between the Cattle market and Blue Houses. The following evening, Ivan, Bob's son, had a Tawny Owl just along the road at Carnain. Earlier on while "beating", Ivan had a count of 40 Woodcock as they came out of the trees over close to Ballyvicar. He had also seen a Water Rail there as well. Over the last couple of days, Ivan reckons that he has seen around 170 Woodcock on various "drives". The other morning Bob and Ivan had a close sighting of a really close male Hen Harrier as it took off a few feet ahead of them, carrying a small bird in its talons.  David Jardine has been over from the mainland this weekend, and yesterday he had seen the Green winged Teal  at Gruinart and at Gartbreck a Knot, 4 Grey Plover, and 9 Snipe. Highlights seen from Blackrock included 5 BT Divers and 23 Slav Grebes while 7 Moorhens were on the pools at Carnain.  Today at West Carrabus, David saw a Pink footed Goose and then on Loch Ballygrant, a Coot was seen. This afternoon, David Barr had been down on Machir Bay and seen Snipe, a Heron, Pied Wagtail, Rock Pipits, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover and saw the Chough going in to their roost just as the light was starting to fail.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Saturday 28th January

Not a lot to report tonight, but there were 43 Lapwing present, on the water's edge at Gartmain late morning, a place that I was not aware of them being seen there before. Round at Blackrock, where the Brent Geese are often seen, there were 73 Scaup counted by Dave Wood. Here at home I was amazed at the number of geese present on the reseeds early afternoon, there were 534 Barnies and 101 Whitefronts.  I cheated a bit, in the sense that I took some images and then counted the geese on the computer screen, a lot easier and a bit warmer than sitting around in the van... Might even try the same method tomorrow when carrying out the "Big garden birdwatch".

Friday, 27 January 2017

Friday 27th January

Down at "smelly corner"  around midday, 26 Shelduck were present. Here at home, on one of the grass reseeds, I counted 104 Whitefronts and 4 Greylags, in other years they were certainly not so numerous and usually only in that field poaching around in the rushes... The other day when it was quite windy, I watched the local Choughs of around 40+ in number, tossing and turning in flight in the wind, almost like a mumeration of Starlings, quite a sight to see in its' own rights...

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Thursday 26th January

Oops, almost forgot... Back  on Tuesday, Margaret and myself went out for a quick run... Over at Ballinaby we counted a flock of 69 Lapwing, and just along the road, a pair of Stonechats with a male Hen Harrier along at Leek. Loch Skerrols had 21 Tufted Duck, a Dabchick, a Goldeneye and 2 Mute Swan. At smelly corner, 2 Whoopers were present with a 2 Mutes noted on the pools at carnain. Finally, there were some Redwings and Blackbirds seen just after Sunderland, in the scrub leading down to Loch Gorm. Today, Gary of Wild Islay Birding, had seen 10 Goldeneye, 6 Common Scoter, 2 Slavonian Grebe and a Long tailed Duck from Bowmore Pier. Back over at Caol Ila, Gary had watched 2 Otters and then, back at home, Gary had an imm. Golden Eagle over the garden and wood.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Wednesday 25th january

The wind has been huffing and puffing for most of the day, with the odd wee shower of rain from midday onwards...Yesterday, Mandy had counted 50 Ringed Plover and also 5 Turnstone down in the field beside the car park at Machir Bay. Today, we saw 39 Pale bellied Brent geese bobbing about on Loch Indaal, close in at Blackrock. Gary had a fly past over his garden, between Ballygrant and Kiells, of a male Hen Harrier. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Tuesday 24th January

Down on the Oa yesterday, Phill had managed bit of birding along with the "vols"... they saw 2 small flocks of Twite, with 110 in one flock and 150 in the other, a Peregrine was seen out along the cliffs at the monument, the "2 resident Ravens" at the monument were out "barrel rolling and doing some acrobatics", a Jack Snipe was spotted at the roadside leading to the carpark at Killeyan, a Golden Eagle was seen being mobbed by a Hooded Crow at Kinnabus. In total, they had 41 Hooded Crows, a flock of 60 Rock Doves and also 35 Starlings. Gary saw a male Hen Harrier behind St Kiaran's church yesterday afternoon. Louise this morning on her travel down Jura had seen 11 Herons,  32 Greylags and 4 Canada Geese in a field beside the manse just North of Craighouse.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Monday 23rd January

Some sightings through from yesterday... Bob and his son Ivan had a couple of Goldeneye over at Bun an Uillt. From the old hide at Gruinart, they saw the drake Green winged Teal amongst the other Teal present. There were also 2 R B Merganser as well as 8 Greenshank. Up from the "platform", where the original hide once stood, a Goldcrest was seen. At Bruichladdich, they saw 6 Purple Sandpiper. Gary yesterday had been down at the Lily Loch where he had 7 Heron, 2 Goldeneye and also a total of 24 Mallard.
Andrew Kent was in touch today with the tally for the International Goose Count carried out on the 17th & 18th January. The count was as follows  45,056 Barnies, 4,694 Whitefronts and 581 Greylags. Many thanks to Andrew and the team from SNH for these figures.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sunday 22nd January

Yesterday Gary had a juv. White tailed Eagle, close to Caol Ila. Today, Mandy had a count of 48 Ringed Plover down on Machir Bay, the largest count of them she has had there. She also had over 50 Common Gull, 30 Oystercatcher with a count of 58 Curlew on the rocks up the North end of the bay. Phill Catton this afternoon had seen the following birds from Blackrock, 20 Common Scoter, 4 Long tailed duck, 1 Red throated Diver, 8 R b Merganser, 7 Slavonian Grebe, 3 Goldeneye, a G b b Gull, some B h Gull and some  Herring Gulls, 3 Shag, a Buzzard and 2 Raven.  This afternoon, we counted mixed group of 103 Chaffinches/ House Sparrows in readiness for the big garden birdwatch... There were also 16 Starlings seen too, but the Goldfinches are not so numerous as a month or so ago...

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Saturday 21st January

Forgot last night to report through a couple of sightings of Glaucous Gulls both down on Loch Indaal near to Uiskentuie, Mary had a 2yr bird down on the shore on Thursday, and James saw an adult in the fields there on Friday. This afternoon, we went out to try to find the Yellowhammers along at Sunderland, no joy, but managed to log some larger birds instead. At Ballinaby, we counted 128 Greylags, a single Barnacle Goose and 21 Whitefronts, but none with collars fitted! On our way up to Sanaigmore, there was a cracker of a male Hen Harrier over the reeds below Braigo, and then by pure chance, a distant sighting of 2 Golden Eagles on the heather, really far away... Finally, on the fields at Rockside, we counted 146 Whitefronts, again no collars on them either...much easier counting and spotting the big birds, honest....

Friday, 20 January 2017

Friday 20th January

Nothing much to report tonight, but Gary of Wild Islay Birding saw a male and a ringtail Hen Harrier over at Finlaggan today. Here at home,  I counted 103 Whitefronts, the usual 10 Greylags and then late afternoon, there were 43 Chough poking away in the ground.
If any folk are around, here on Islay, on the evening of Tuesday 31st of January, well it is the bird nerds evening out to the Lochside Hotel in Bowmore and we are intending to go to enjoy their cuisine, so if you are around, feel free to come along, starting at 7pm. So if you would like to join us, please let me know by Wednesday evening, so that I can confirm numbers to the Hotel. Might see some of you there then....

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Thursday 19th January

Gary sent me through some sightings seen earlier this week, but unfortunately his email went into my spam box, and I did not see it until earlier this evening!!! On Tuesday, Gary had 2 Kestrel on the wing, both hunting, a flypast by 11 Lapwing and also a male Hen Harrier out quartering, all seen around Finlaggan. While out on the International goose counts this week James had been out on the Gruinart/ Ardnave route, and had seen a Golden Eagle, a Water Rail and a Peregrine on his travels. Over on Nave Island, he had counted 281 Grey Seal with a small flock of 37 Twite noted at Ardnave. Mandy had seen the leucistic Barnacle goose fly past at Daill, behind Kilmeny Church, amongst some whitefronts, 2 Pinkies were present, and at Eorrabus, the small Canada was seen with the flock of Barnies there. Finally, she had 9 Whitefronts fitted with collars together at Newton. After some detective work, I found out that these geese had been rung in November 2015  in the sugar beet field at Octovullin, thanks to Ed Burrell for the info, Tony Fox was out of office... Back on Tuesday, Phill Catton and the "vols" had been working on the boardwalk on the Oa, when a juv White tailed Eagle flew over, about 40 feet above them...  Today down past Uiskentuie, there were 16 Pale bellied Brent along the top of Loch Indaal, probably the same geese that we saw yesterday at Blackrock when 16 were also present. Out on the machir yesterday, we had 70 Whitefronts and 10 Greylag Geese in the rushes. Today, there were only 39 Whitefronts noted. We had a small flock of 6 Yellowhammer along at Sunderland early this afternoon.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Wednesday 18th January

Here are the WeBs counts on Loch Gruinart through from Michal and the "vols" who carried it out...9 Heron, 112 Shelduck, 109 Wigeon, 7 Red B Merganser, 154 Oystercatcher, 40 Ringed Plover, 500 Lapwing, 340 Dunlin, 9 Barnies, 106 Curlew, 500 Golden Plover and 91 Common Gull. Mike, a returning "vol" had done the survey on Ardnave Loch, with the tally being, 23 Wigeon, 4 Mallard, 10 Goldeneye, 18 Mute Swan,13 Whooper, 9 Tufted Duck, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Greylag and 20 Lapwing. Today Gary from Wild Islay Birding had done some counts of gulls on Loch Indaal. At Gartmain, Gary counted 33 Herring Gull, 20 Common Gull, 19 Black headed Gull and a Glaucous Gull. Over at Carnain, Gary saw 5 Gbb Gull, 47 Herring Gull, 30 Common Gull and 24 Black headed Gull. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tuesday 17th January

Yesterday, Michal and the "vols" had carried out the WeBs count on the floods at Gruinart. Their tally was as follows, 1 Green winged Teal, 69 Mallard, 2 Whooper Swan, 8 Mute Swan, 53 Pintail, 10 Shoveler, 700 Teal, 314 Lapwing and a Greenshank.  Mandy, yesterday evening,  had a Barn Owl fly across the road at Rock Mountain. Today, while out carrying out the International Goose Count, Mandy had seen the leucistic Barnacle goose amongst the other geese present on Daill, a small Canada Goose amongst the Barnies at Skerrols, a Mistle Thrush was heard singing there as well with some Dabchicks noted out on Loch Skerrols. Along at Esknish, a juv. Golden Eagle was spoofing the geese. Up between Finlaggan and Mulreesh, a male Hen  Harrier was seen. Neil MacGillivray had seen the Greater spotted Woodpecker again on his feeders at home.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Monday 16th January

Almost Spring like, the weather that is, forgot to mention the other day, like quite of other folk, I spotted a couple of Crocus in bloom..
Gary had carried his WeBs today from Port Charlotte round to Blackrock, so here are the tallies from his patch...31 GND, 4 RTD, 8 Slavonian Grebe, 19 Cormorant, 7 Shag, 1 Tystie, 85 Eider, 31 Common Scoter, 4 Mallard, 5 Goldeneye, 58 Curlew, 1 Redshank, 62 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 10 Turnstone, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Gbb Gull, 42 H. Gull, 31 C. Gull, 19 BH Gull, 3 Heron, 22 Greylag, 6 Barnies and 5 Pbb Geese. On the edge of the shore at Bruichladdich, a Grey Wagtail was seen and along towards Uiskentuie, Gary saw a Merlin was attempting to spoof the wee birds into the air from the cover of the rough grass. Mary had seen a possible Hawfinch along at Bluehouses as she was driving along. She quickly turned her car around, but no joy in spotting it again. Here at home this afternoon, we watched an immature Golden Eagle as it dipped and dived around along the top the dunes, great to watch...

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Sunday 15th January

Yesterday, James had seen the drake Green winged Teal on the reserve at Gruinart.  Also yesterday, I helped Bob and David Barr with the WeBS count from Bowmore down to Gartbreck, so here is the list of birds seen...3 GND, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Heron, 3 Cormorant, 11 Shag, 1,450 Barnies, 82 Whitefronts, 39 Pbb Geese, 3 Eider, 20 R b Merganser, 45 Mallard, 95 Teal, 90 Wigeon, 8 Shelduck, 2 Goldeneye, 90 Oystercatcher, 5 Redshank, 19 Barwits, 57 Curlew, 1 Snipe, 40 Lapwing, 2 Ringed Plover, 11 Grey Plover, 3 Turnstone, 2 Gbb Gull, 60 H. Gull and 20 C. Gull.  At the very end, while walking back tour wheels, there was a group of 12 Skylark sitting on the ground, in the sun...
This afternoon, over at James and Sally's, we saw a Treecreeper on one of the trees beside the burn in their garden. In the field, in front of their cottage, some Barnies were present, oblivious to us watching them. What a show of snowdrops in the garden too... On the downside, later on in the afternoon, the mist has returned, so the plane did not come in, just as well the ferry is sailing!!!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Saturday 14th January

As promised some birds on the blog tonight... Mandy earlier this week had a Lesser Black backed Gull over at Ballinaby, and a few moments earlier she spotted a male Hen Harrier out quartering its' patch close to Saligo. Last night, she saw a Barn Owl hunting along the verge side on the "high road", near to Avonvoggie. Gary yesterday, while out walking the dog, had seen a White tailed Eagle fly over Keills.  Mike Peacock  had carried his WeBS count on Outer Loch Indaal today, his highlights included a count of 36 GND, 4 RTD, 6 R b Merganser, 8 Eider, 10 Shag, 2 Cormorant and a Tystie. David Barr had a male Sparrowhawk as he was driving along the "Glen road" about a mile out of Ballygrant. Bob had around 70 Scaup, close inshore at Blackrock at midday, earlier on he had spotted the albino Barnacle goose amongst other Barnies over at Gartmain.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Friday 13th January

Another quiet day on the bird front...but all going well, some of us should be out over the next few days carrying out the WeBS counts on various different parts of Islay, so if the weather is kind to us, we will get some sightings on again...the weather is beyond our control!!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Thursday 12th January

The spell of wintry weather continues, with even some snow which is relatively rare here on Islay. The lorries coming off the ferry at Port Askaig this morning had to wait for the road gritter to come and put some more grit on the road on the brae leading up the hill away from Port Askaig. It had been salted earlier on, but required more put on to make it safe for the lorries...
Earlier this week, James had seen a Canada Goose, hutchinsii sp along the flats at Gruinart. Today, down on the pools beside the cottages at Carnain/ Crosshouses, Margaret saw a Coot.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Wednesday 11th January

Well, yet again the fulmars have been forecasters of some stormy weather to come. The winds have been blowing away for most of the day so far, net result I for one, did not venture far today, the van stayed put all day. The only birds to mention of note were both here at home. Mid morning, Margaret looked out the window and there were 6 Chough out on the lawn, on the ground rather than a flypast... A wee while later, I saw a Sparrowhawk fighting against the wind, but when it spotted that there were no wee  birds around, it quickly turned tail and it was gone in a few seconds...

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Tuesday 10th January

One of the two Whitefronts, which I managed to take an image of, that were round at Ballinaby yesterday. I went round again this afternoon, but the geese were away at the far end of the field and the light was poor... Coming home I had a ringtail Hen Harrier fly across the road as I approached Saligo Bay and then a few moments later just before the Coastguards' cottages, another ringtail flew in front, doubt if it was the same bird... Over at Ballinaby, there were also 15 Linnets present. Earlier this morning, down on the grass reseeds at Kilchoman, I had counted 39 Chough probing around looking for some food.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Monday 9th January

Today, well the Fulmars have gone and the wind is up a bit too, the evening ferry to and from Islay was cancelled.... Mike Peacock had seen the Glaucous Gull at Uiskentuie today. Michal, fresh back from his holidays and raring to go.... He  had a Kestrel at Loch Gorm , a Sparrowhawk outside the office at Bushmills at Gruinart with over 500 Golden Plover down on the floods. We took a quick run round Loch Gorm ourselves around midday, with no sign of any Canada Geese, but there were some Whitefronts present, some with collars on which proved rather difficult to read in the wind!!!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sunday 8th January

Nothing much to report tonight, although I did notice that the numbers of Fulmars on the crag was up to 6 in total this morning... and I noticed on the weather forecast that the wind is to pick up. Calmac, our ferry operator is already talking about possible disruption tomorrow evening onwards.... I forgot to say that James the other day had told me that he has got some Snowdrops out in bloom at Mill Cottage, Gary spotted some in at the entrance to Islay House Hotel and there are some out in our garden too. Certainly as quick a showing of them as I can recall...

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Saturday 7th January

The mist/ low cloud did eventually clear around midday, with a plane coming in mid afternoon, possibly a long wait from 8am if you were hanging around in Glasgow airport.....
Alistair Hutchinson who lives in Bowmore had a Goldcrest in his garden mid week and then this morning, he saw a Treecreeper on the Hawthorn bush/ tree at the rear of his garden... Bob, today had counted 100 Curlew in the fields down close to Braibruich, between Port Charlotte and Bruichladdich. Gary, today had been down at Carnain where he saw 31 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 3 GND, 1 RTD, 5 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Long tailed Duck, 100 Dunlin, 60 Ringed Plover, 53 Curlew, 37 Barwits, 5 Knot, 43 Wigeon, 40 Scaup, 32 Common Scoter, 21 Pintail, 60 Teal, 12 Shelduck, a juv. Glaucous Gull and a Kittiwake. Here at home, the only bird of note was a solitary Fulmar wheeling about along the front of the crag!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Friday 6th January

Sorry folks, no bird news tonight as the weather has not been friendly to the birdwatcher... This morning the plane did manage in, but later on the mist fell and the crag was shrouded for the rest of the day, infact at one point I could not even see the garden fence.. and the plane did not come in this evening, as far as I know... tomorrow is another day!!!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Thursday 5th January

James, today had a quick run round the reserve at Gruinart with his birds seen and counted being as follows , 4775 Barnies, 300 Whitefronts, 23 Greylags. On Loch Gruinart, James saw 2 juv. White tailed Eagles. On the floods, 2 Greenshank were present while several Woodcock were present in the wood. A total of 41 Reed Bunting were on the reserve itself. Up at Ardnave, Mandy had seen a juv. Golden Eagle spoofing the geese. Better still, close to Kilnave, it flew across the road about 20 metres away. It floated about in the wind for a few moments above some bushes and was mobbed by a couple of Chough, just fantastic...

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Wednesday 4th January

On Monday, at Uiskentuie, Dave Nevitt had seen the Glaucous Gull, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 5 GND and 3 RTD. Up at Sunderland, he had a flock of 200 Chaffinches and a couple of Mistle Thrush present with them too. Over at Ballinaby 15 Linnet and a Snipe were noted, while up at Ardnave Point, 35 Chough, a male Merlin and 7 Pied Wagtail were present. On Ardnave Loch, there were 15 Whoopers. Down close  to Coullabus, a male Hen Harrier and a Sparrowhawk seen too. As the light started to fade, a Tawny Owl was in the trees at Whin park and a Barn Owl noted as he headed further along the road toward Bowmore. Yesterday, Dave headed over to Jura, and had seen 3 Tystie at Port Askaig, and while on the ferry over to Feolin, 2 Dolphins were seen off the bow, and better still a White tailed Eagle flew over the ferry...  On the Sound of Islay, 5 Razorbills were spotted and along the road, 2 different Golden Eagles were following the coast. In the trees, on the roadside at Jura House, Siskin, Coal Tit and many Goldcrest were present. Out on the bay at Craighouse, he counted 5 GND. Mandy today down on Machir Bay, had counted 40 Ringed Plover and earlier on had seen a Merlin at Carnduncan. Today, Gary had seen 20 Red breasted Merganser, 6 Long tailed Duck, 3 GND, 1 RTD, 45 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin, 12 Knot, 40 Barwits, 11 Cormorant and 7 Pale bellied Brent at Blackrock. He has been seeing some Woodcock as the light has started to fail at dusk lately, back close to his house. Around midday today, we had a distant Golden Eagle perched up on the ridge, south of Kilmeny but seen off the road from Ballygrant leading to Mulindry, "the Glen road".

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Monday 3rd January

Visitor Ian and his other half Janet had their last day here on Islay yesterday. They had seen a Golden Eagle eating prey over on the Oa, and good numbers of Twite as well. 3 Bullfinches and also some Yellowhammers were present around Kildalton. Thanks Iain and Janet, and will catch up with you in Rutland, come August at the Bird Fair!!! Yesterday, Mandy had seen 6 Whoopers fly in to Sanaigmore. On the beach, amongst the sea weed, were 2 Turnstone, 3 Ringed Plover and 3 Rock Pipits. Today, down on Machir Bay, Mandy had counted 36 Ringed Plover and a Sanderling. On the beach, there was a dead Razorbill, a casualty of the recent storms possibly.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Monday 2nd January

Another busy day, yesterday for Dave Nevitt...  At Gruinart, he had spotted the drake Green winged Teal on the left hand flood beside the old hide. Also seen there, was a Greenshank and 300 Golden Plover. Over at Loch Skerrols, he had a count of 13 Scaup, some Tufties and 2 Pochard. A juv White tailed Eagle was noted over Scarrabus with a Golden Eagle noted over the far hills. At Gartmain, on Loch Indaal, the Glaucous Gull was present along with 4 Long tailed Duck, 58 Scaup and 6 Knot. From Bowmore, 45 Common Scoter and 4 Goldeneye were seen. Over at Bruichladdich, Dave had 8 Purple Sandpiper, 6 Ringed Plover with 2 GND offshore. Round the East end of Loch Gorm, a male Peregrine was seen. George E. Jackson had seen a Barn Owl close to Whin Park last night, and noted seeing some Woodcock over between Newton and Ballygrant. Visitor Iain had reported through seeing a Tundra Bean goose amongst the Whitefronted  geese at Sunderland this morning. He also commented on more Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Redwing and Fieldfare around, he had counted 22 Blackbirds in one of the barley stubbles at Rockside. Here at home a Peregrine flew over the garden, and it dropped down, close to an unsuspecting Common Gull. It appeared be out on a learning mission as it never actually made any contact with the gull as such!!
Marsali, who lives over at Mulindry, up behind Bridgend, kindly sent me through her rainfall figures for the month, 5.64 inches giving her a total for the year of 59.16 inches, the driest for the past 3 years... Thanks Marsali

Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Year's day 2017

Well, the New Year here at home got off to a good start with a cracking view of a male Hen Harrier as it flew through the garden, later on the Chough were out on the wing, noisy as ever as they flew past... Dave Nevitt had seen a White tailed Eagle, late on Thursday afternoon over at Keills. Yesterday, he had seen the Cackling Goose at Balinabby and saw 10 Greylag along the road and also a small flock of 10 Linnet. Over close to Coullabus, Dave had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier. Another visitor Iain had also seen possibly the same ringtail and then the cackling goose. Iain also saw a Merlin at Erasaid and he counted 14 Pale bellied Brent at Bruichladdich.
The rainfall figure for the month, here at home was 4.1 inches, so giving us a total of 45.9 inches for the year, which might be termed as a relatively dry year by our standards...
So, to all our readers have a great New Year and many thanks to our many contributors who send in their sightings for me to use on the blog.