Monday, 16 October 2017

Monday 16th October

Our reporters have been out and about with some birds today, that is before the winds started to pick up, certainly not as strong on Islay as other places, but..
On Saturday, James had seen 2 Merlin, a Dipper and 3 Snow Bunting while over at Bolsa. yesterday Bob, Distillery Dave and his son Jamie managed to carry out the WeBs count from Bowmore down to Gartbreck. Their tally came to 70 Shag, 8 Cormorant, 12 Whoopers, 242 Greylags, 62 Whitefronts, 2,000 Barnies, 6 Brent Geese, 7 Mallard, 7 Wigeon, 6 Teal, 16 Eider, 14 R b Merganser,  62 Oystercatcher, 55 Curlew, 40 Barwit, 10 Redshank, 10  Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover, 102 Golden Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 31 Lapwing,1 Snipe, 3 Turnstone, 300 Common Gull, 25 Herring Gull and 15 Gbb Gull. Also yesterday, Wally and Jude had a Kingfisher down at Bruichladdich. Today, they had counted 107 Whoopers at the Kilchoman end at Rockside. Wally reckoned that there at least 170 in total in the area. Val Peacock had counted 30 Whoopers flying down Loch Indaal, in a SE direction, hope they made to Ireland before the wind picked up...James sent through a count of  19,650 Barnies, 15 Brent Geese and 30 Whoopers from the reserve at Gruinart.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday 15th October

From the ferry heading back over to Kennacraig today, Clive McKay had seen 2 Storm Petrels off the South end of Jura. He also had seen 4 Porpoises from the ferry as well.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Saturday 14th October

Another big entry from visiting birders here on Islay..
John Miles has been over for the past week... Back on the 8th, John had 53 Whitefronts at Gartbreck, as well as 2 Grey Plover and 120 Golden Plover as well. The following day at Rockside he saw a Male Hen Harrier, a female merlin and 26  Whoopers at Rockside. On the 10th John had the Pinkies at Rockside that Wally and Jude had seen amongst the Barnies and Greylags present there. He also saw 4 different sightings of Merlin , all within 3 miles of Kilchoman! Later on that day 2 Wheatear were seen up at Ardnave with 2 White tailed Eagles were present over on Nave Island round the Grey Seal pups. 3 GND, 2 RTD and a BTD were present in the channel between Ardnave and Nave Island. From the old hide at Gruinart, an adult Golden Eagle was seen, with 5 Ruff, 4 Blackwits,16 Pintail and 12 Shoveler were seen out on the floods. Along at the new hide a juv. Peregrine was spotted annoying itself with the waders there!!! Down on the Oa on the 11th, a 1st yr Golden Eagle, a 1st yr male Peregrine, a Kestrel and also a flock of Twite seen at Kinnabus. An adult Golden Eagle was seen later on close to Cragabus. On Thursday,  a male Hen Harrier was spotted at Kilchiaran and an adult Golden Eagle seen, on the moor South of Loch Gruinart. Yesterday, was John's last day . he saw Long tailed Tits and a Tawny Owl in the trees at Kilchoman, and then 2 Swallows over at Ardbeg. From the ferry returning to Kennacraig, he had a count of 10 GND, a Slavonian Grebe, and over 40 Common Scoter. Thanks John for your sightings. Yesterday, Eddie and Elaine from Leighton Moss  had seen 7 Snow Buntings as they walked round Ardnave, they were seen probing in around in the sea kelp... Richard today had a GND at Kintra and also a male Hen Harrier. He had also seen a male and also ringtail Hen Harrier down on the Oa. Also seen down there were Stonechats, lots of Linnets and a Raven. At Upper Killeyan, a Redwing was spotted while over at Laphroaig, Swallows were present. Finally, Richard had 7 Pale bellied Brent Geese in the bay at Port Ellen. Gary today had seen a RTD, a Red breasted Merganser along with 30 Scaup at Blackrock and at Bruichladdich a Comic Ternnwas seen.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday 13th October

James today  reported through to say that more Geese have arrived. The figures of Geese at Gruinart were as follows, 17,250 Barnies, 180 Whitefronts, 86 Brent Geese, and a Pinkie. On the flats, there was a Whitefront with one of the radio tags fitted by Ed Burrell from BTO, also there, were 3 with neck collars. Out on Loch Gruinart  735 Golden Plover, 2 Knot, 4 Grey Plover and a Little Stint were present. Also out on the estuary were "a lot of Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Turnstone and a few Sanderling"

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Thursday 12th October

Back on Monday, Clive McKay, (please note the correct way of Clive's surname tonight!), after the rain cleared, he had a short walk up at Ardnave, seeing a Wheatear, a Whimbrel, a Pink footed Goose coming in with 17 Barnies, and also a ringtail Hen Harrier. This morning, Bob had seen 3 Fieldfare fly over his house, and a Merlin while he was waiting down in Port Charlotte. Along at Carnain, Bob had 9 Snipe and counted 14 Brent on the shore there as well. Also this morning, Mandy had a ringtail Hen Harrier quartering over the game crop up at Kilchoman, and this afternoon she saw a Sparrowhawk sitting on a fence post, close at hand, also at the same location. James, today had managed to carry out another reserve count which tallied out at 10,195 Barnies, 125 Whitefronts, 16 Brent Geese, 57 Greylags, 560 Lapwing, 5 Blackwits, a male Merlin, a Sparrowhawk and 4 Chough. James also mentioned that "lots of Mallard have arrived".

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Wednesday 11th October

Not a lot to report tonight, but Gary had been down at Coal Ila where he saw 2 Bullfinches, a total of 7 Herons, a Tystie was there as well.  A White tailed Eagle was also seen flying over the Sound of Islay between Islay and Jura.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Tuesday 10th October

Quite a few birds for your perusal tonight, a sure sign that the weather is a bit better today...
Gary managed to do his WeBS count from Port Charlotte back round to Blackrock. His scores on the doors came through at 10 GND, 55 RTD, 6 R b Merganser, 12 Cormorant, 34 Shag, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 38 Common Guillemot, a Tystie, 36 Eider, 13 Common Scoter, 26 Oystercatcher, 2 Curlew, 33 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 7 Gbb Gull, 52 Herring Gull, 4 Common Gull, 5 Gannet, 2 Grey Heron, and also 5 Greylag Geese. Round at Gartmain, 19 Brent Geese and 170+ Wigeon were present. There was a large Barnacle goose flock out on the estuary between the Sorn and Gartmain, but nothing of note present. Up at Skerrols, a large flock containing 1,000 Barnies and 32 Whitefronts were seen. A walk through Ballygrant Woods produced a nice mixed flock of Goldcrest and Coal Tits with a Golden Eagle was seen over the hills. Back at home, Gary had a group of 10 Long tailed Tits in the woods beside his house. James had carried out a count of the geese present on the reserve at Gruinart this morning. His tally came to 12,825 Barnies, 72 Whitefronts,56 Greylags, 12 Ruff and 905 Golden Plover. Mandy today had seen 21 whoopers amongst the large mixed flock of Barnies, Greylags and gulls down on the stubbles at Rockside. Other good friends, Wally and Jude have arrived over for their visit, and Wally had told Mandy that he had seen 20 Pinkies drop in beside the Whoopers etc late afternoon. Yesterday, Clive Mackay had a count of 125 Linnet on the game crop up towards the top end of the reserve at Gruinart, he also spotted a Long tailed Tit in in his garden.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Monday 9th October

Richard, who is over on holiday had a Wheatear as he drove up towards Ardnave. He saw numerous Barnies  and Whitefronts at Gruinart as well as a ringtail Hen Harrier, with Wigeon on the floods. He also had seen a Stonechat at Loch Gorm. Mandy this morning had seen Barnies flying in to the barley stubbles down at Rockside.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Saturday 7th October

John Miles is over for a week, and kindly sent though some sightings which he had today. Down at Frenchman's Rocks, he had 2 Bonxies, an Arctic Tern, 60 Kittiwake and an endless stream of Gannets. From the viewing platform at Gruinart John saw 2 male Peregrine, one carrying a Dunlin away. Further out on the flats/ floods 3 Blackwits, 4 Ruff, 300 Lapwing, 6 Shoveler and 4 Pintail with a few Pinkies noted amongst the Greylags there. At Port Charlotte, a female Sparrowhawk was present. On the stubbles at Rockside, there were around 30 Whoopers present late afternoon.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Friday 6th October

It is that time again for us al to ty and fit in our WeBS counts... Mike had carried out his patch, Outer Loch Indaal, his birds were as follows, 61 Common Scoter, 34 GND, 5 RTD, 8 Shag, 110 Herring Gull, 24 Common Gull, 2 Black headed Gull and a Harbour Porpoise. James had done his stint on the floods at Gruinart seeing 84 Mallard, a Moorhen, 2 Whoopers, 13 Mute Swan, 299 Teal, 14 Pintail, 97 Wigeon, 2 Curlew, 3 Blackwit, 14 Ruff, 2 Lapwing and 9 Shoveler. Late afternoon, and James had done the goose count on the reserve, with his numbers tallying at 10,650 Barnies, 104 Whitefronts, 6 Brent Geese and 5 Greylags. Phill from down the Oa has had a good day there as well. On Loch Kinnabus, he had 4 Whoopers, the first there for this Autumn. He also saw a Blue Tit and also 3 Long tailed Tit, both new ticks for Phill on the Oa reserve itself. Other birds seen by Phill were 2 Goldcrest, 2 Black headed Gull (the second sighting for 2017),  2 Golden Eagle, a Peregrine, a Hen Harrier and also 2 Grey Wagtail. Here at home, down on the lochans below Rockside, 18 Whoopers were present.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Thursday 5th october

Back on Saturday, John Stephenson had heard a Corncrake calling up behind Machir Bay. Yesterday, Mike P.  had seen 26 Ruff, 3 Blackwits and 12 Golden Plover on the grass reseed at RSPB Gruinart reserve. He also had seen a Hen Harrier out over the floods on the reserve as well. This morning, down on the stubble at Rockside,  8 Whoopers were present with a further 5 on the lochans. Mike had carried out a sea watch for a couple of hours at the middle of  the day, his birds included 2 Bonxies, 325 Kittiwake, 135 Auk sp., 4 GND, 3 Common Scoter, 3 Long tailed Duck and 137 Barnies. James had a count on the reserve at Gruinart with his tally coming to 9,307 Barnies, 68 Whitefronts, 25 Brent Geese, 8 Pinkies, 9 Whoopers and 18 Ruff. Our count of Whoopers, late afternoon at Rockside was 55, which then all flew along to the lochans.
The rainfall so far this month is up to 1.75 inches already and today it has been quite dry, honest!!!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Wednesday 4th October

Not a great day with the weather, and not much better for birdwatching either.... a low mist was here late afternoon as well.. Marsali kindly sent through her rainfall tally for September which just beat us coming in at 5.76 inches... By the way, we have had over an inch of rain so far in October, with a lot more being blown past the rain gauge rather than being collected in it!!!
James had done a morning count of birds on the reserve at Gruinart which came to 6,550 Barnies, 20 Greenland Whitefronts, 2 Pinkies, a possible Canada goose parvipes sp., 14 Pale bellied Brent, 278 Greylags and also 6 Ruff.
This morning, as the wind was not as strong and also veered round a bit, I put up some of the feeders again, not that the birds had not been fed.... Goldfinches, Chaffinches and House Sparrow never far away,  it was good to see 2 Great Tits tucking in as well, all welcome....

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Tuesday 3rd October

The wind may have dropped a little, plus it has veered round a point or two as well... Mike had attempted a seawatch yesterday, not to be beaten it was done from his pick up truck.. Top counts were 505 Kitttiwake, 32 Brents, 2 RTD, 5 Diver sp. Up at Ballymeanach, on his way home Mike had seen a Wheatear. Mary Redman yesterday saw a flock of 60+  geese battling past Orsay island in the wind and driving rain. Later on, Mary had seen a Wheatear at Claddach and also 3 Brent Geese close to the shore there. Bob yesterday had seen 3 Snipe and 38 Goldfinches down towards Port  Charlotte. A count by James at Gruinart first thing his morning produced 1440 Barnies, 14  Pinkies, 26 Brent and 5 Ruff. Down at Port Charlotte, Ron from Islay info had seen 9 Whoopers flying South down Loch Indaal at breakfast time. Mike carried out another seawatch today, his tally came though at 3 RTD, 17 GND, 12 Diver sp., a Bonxie, 5 Common Scoter, 7 Whooper Swan, and 181 Barnies. On his way back to his vehicle, Mike had a Merlin and then a ringtail Hen Harrier out over the crofts at  Portnahaven.. We saw a Grey Wagtail here on the gravel at the house at lunchtime and then a male Hen Harrier as we headed pat Saligo with another seen along at Leek. Gary had a Merlin flying along the road at Ballygrant. Down at Gartmain, 4 Turnstone and 33 Brents were at the mouth of the stream. He saw a male Hen Harrier on the merse at Bridgend while at Carnain, Gary had 600 Greylags, 350 Barnies, 100 Curlew, 150 Oystercatcher, 17 Knot, a Sanderling, 50 Golden Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 33 Rock Pipits, 18 Pied Wagtail, 6 Teal, 17 Common Scoter, 11 RB Mergansers and 10 Barwits. Bob had been over this afternoon at Gruinart with Martin seeing around 5,000 Barnies, 30 Whitefronts, a female Pintail, 30 Wigeon, 250 Teal, a Blackwit, 30 Golden Plover, a Sparrowhawk, as well as a fly past of 14 Whoopers. James carried out a final count at Gruinart at tea time which came through at 4,915 Barnies, 40 Whitefronts, 26 Brent, and 4 Pinkies as well as a Peregrine for good measure.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Monday 2nd October

The weather, what can I say apart from that it has ben rather windy out here, the wind itself has huffed and puffed all day... Mind you the ferry did come and leave again late afternoon, so fingers crossed that we may get a few more in and out tomorrow, before the wind picks up again...The birds have been few and far between... This morning I was down at Whinpark, down at Bridgend and was really fortunate to see a White tailed Eagle in the air less than 60 metres away over the merse, no need for the bins, and boy it was big !!!  In the meantime back here at home, with having taken the feeders down last night, the birds got fed on the ground today. Margaret counted 41 Goldfinches there  at one point!!!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Sunday 1st October

Well, that is another month in, but the weather out here does not look too good, the ferries are cancelled this evening, as are all the ferries until lunchtime at the earliest, but it may be Tuesday before they start to sail again.... The rainfall for September came  to 5.75 inches, the wettest month so far this year, and worse still, is that the total for this year is now more than it was at this time last year...
Bob this morning had a Siskin in his house... and he had also seen 50 Woodpigeons fly over from Octomore. James this morning had a family of 5 Stonechats on his garden fence, 2 adults and 3 youngsters. This afternoon, he spotted 2 ringtail Hen Harriers out on the wing up at Grainel. Here at home, Margaret had a great spot, seeing a Sparrowhawk being wind assisted along, a tail wind perhaps???  I have taken all the feeders down this evening as they might be on the ground in pieces tomorrow if I did not do it!!!