Monday, 24 June 2019

Monday 24th June

Visitors, Andy and Karen Evans from Perthshire are over on Islay for this week on holiday. Yesterday, they had seen 2 Hen Harriers on the high road, with  another one present just out of Bowmore. On the mud flats out from Bowmore, at the head of Loch Indaal, they had a Greenshank amongst some Oystercatchers and Curlews.

Late yesterday evening, we had looked outside to spot that Angus (our cat) had just killed a Stoat, so he was praised for his efforts!!!

This afternoon, Margaret saw a Golden Eagle soaring high above the crag, here at home..

Before I forget, if  you are around tomorrow night, the bird nerds will be meeting up down at Foreland at 6.30 pm.

Another piece of news, tonight is the 4,000th entry on the blog....

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Sunday 23rd June

Not a bad day with the weather out here today, but tonight the wind has dropped with no air moving at all, the result, the midges are out and I am inside, thank goodness...

Back on Thursday, Armin had seen a male Hen Harrier as he was driving down past Foreland, it flew across the road in front of him!! Mid afternoon, up at Ardnave, he saw a Heron being chased by a Bonxie, no doubt attempting to get the Heron to drop any food which it might have been flying past with. Finally, down past the Lobster ponds at Ardnave, he saw another male Hen Harrier. Yesterday, on the ferry going back to Kennacraig, Armin had been watching many Gannets as there were in a feeding frenzy diving in to a shoal of fish. Thanks to Armin and also to John Wilson for their input and to other contributors recently as well.

This coming Tuesday evening, the Bird nerds will be meeting at Foreland at 6.30pm, if in doubt, give me a shout, please phone for an update for "plan no 2", betwen 4.30 and 5.30 on 01496 850 303

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Saturday 22nd June

What a great sunset we had out here last night, needless to say I did not take an image of it, so you will just have to believe me...

Earlier on this week, Distillery Dave had a White tailed Eagle flying over the Distillery where he works, the Kilchoman Distillery which is along the road from here at Rockside.

Gary had seen a Whooper Swan and also he had an Osprey fishing on Loch Finlaggan yesterday.

Christine Menzies had seen a couple of Barn Owls as she was coming home to Port Ellen , both around the Machrie yesterday evening.

This afternoon, I was speaking with Kevin Hand who is leading a tour  for Ace Cultural Tours over on Islay, Jura and Colonsay at present. Some top birds have been seen by their group... A White tailed Eagle on Jura, a Cuckoo heard on Jura, Hen Harriers seen on all 3 islands and some Redpolls on Jura, Sedge Warblers seen and heard  on Islay, and also some Chough here. Hopefully, Kevin will send some more sightings for us before they leave on Tuesday. 

Friday, 21 June 2019

Friday 21st June

This morning, on his way into the Machrie, for a round of golf, David Livingstone had seen a male Hen Harrier on the ground eating its' prey. 

This afternoon, while we were oustside doing a spot of birdwatching, Margaret saw a Buzzard swoop down onto the ground. It was being annoyed by a hen Pheasant and shortly afterwards the Buzzard flew off, carrying the hapless Pheasant chick away in its' talons... We were pleasantly surprised watching around 25 to 30 Sand Martins flying low over the meadow next door, great to watch them hawking for some food.

Today, was John Wilson's last full day of this present visit... Down on the Oa, they had seen some Twite and heard 2 Corncrakes calling away...Out past Ardbeg, they had a Great spotted Woodpecker and out on the water on Claggain Bay, 19 Red breasted Merganser were present. Finally John saw a ringtail Hen Harrier along at Rockside.


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Thursday 20th June

Yesterday, Malcolm had found a dead adult Manx Shearwater around lunchtime on the strand close to the Foreland road end. It was not thin and unmarked. As Malcolm put it, "odd to find an adult at this time of year, most records are of young birds after storms in the Autumn. He also said that he has seen them feeding offshore in June, but not in Loch Indaal."

Yesterday afternoon, we had seen a  Golden Eagle soaring high above Borichil Mor, and then later on 2 cracking close views of male Hen Harriers, one was over at up at Bunnahabhain, the other was on the ground about 15 metres away from us over below Coull.

This morning, John Wilson had seen a Corncrake, as it flew across the road into some longer vegetation in the sand pit at Kilchoman.

James had seen some Marsh Fritillaries on the verge side on the road leading to Ardnave. On the reserve at Gruinart, he had an Adder, seen some Blackcaps, and back at Mill Cottage, he had counted 70 Pipistrelle Bats. This morning, James had a Sparrowhawk, out over the flats at Gruinart.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Wednesday 19th June

I was speaking with my old chum, Ken Reeves on the phone this morning, and he told me that he had seen a couple of Minke Whales from the ferry, just off Gigha, as his family returned home from their recent visit to Islay.

The other day, Armin had seen 2 Whooper Swans along the flats at Gruinart. Immediately after seeing the swans, a male Hen Harrier flew across the road in front of him, it swooped down on the ground, only to be chased off by an agitated hen Pheasant trying to protect her brood of chicks. From the hide at Gruinart, Armin had seen and heard Snipe drumming, seen 2 Mute Swans with 5 cygnets with  a Hare really close at hand as well.

John Wilson had seen a pair of Dippers feeding their brood of youngsters at the side of the River Sorn over at The Woollen Mill. Today, when over on Jura,  John had a great viewing of a White tailed Eagle, "closer and much better" (John's words, not mine..) than ever seen by him on Mull!!  He also had seen a good, close sighting of a male Hen Harrier.  Further on, they had seen a Grey Wagtail

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Tuesday 18th June

Armin had seen a Heron when he was packing his car up, over on Jura before coming to here on Islay for his second week of this present visit. When he was about to set off the said Heron was seen returning, flying along the shore.. The other day, Armin had been down on Machir Bay where he had seen quite a few Sand Martins battling into a headwind.

John Wilson is over this week, great to see you this morning John... Some birds seen by himself included 6 Blackwits, 2 Wigeon, some Shovelers at Gruinart, he had heard a Corncrake calling away down close to the church at Portnahaven. On the feeders at The Woollen Mill, he counted 10 Siskins with another 5 present at Ballygrant Inn yesterday evening. This morning, John had 2 different male Hen Harriers seen as he drove round Loch Gorm. Finally, he had seen 3 Buzzards out flying out over the crag at Kilchoman.

Bob had carried out his WeBS count from Port Charlotte round to Blackrock yesterday afternoon, when his scores on the doors came to 2 Gbb Gull, 1 Lbb Gull, 76 C Gull, 49 H Gull, 41 Oystercatcher, 2 Kittiwake, 13 Arctic Terns, 20 Greylags, 4 Shelduck, 35 Eider, 4 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover and 4 Tysties. Lesley had helped Bob on his count.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Monday 17th June

Apologies for not putting an entry on last night, but it had been a long day, say no more...

This afternoon, there was a Rose coloured Starling seen over at Keppols.

Gary from Wild Islay birding, today, had been out with clients... Over at Bunahabhain, they had a Golden Eagle, at Torrabus a male Hen Harrier was seen out quartering its' patch. Then along the road, a White tailed Eagle was seen out on the wing well, and then finally they had an Osprey out over the water in at Finlaggan.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Saturday 15th June

Breaking news today is that the dreaded midge was out in numbers today... I believe that Peter Bartlett who lives over at Glenegedale had a fan blowing in his polytunnel trying to keep the midges away while he was trying to sell plants today. I remember being told by a good friend several years ago that if the wind is blowing at more than 4 mph then you get rid of the midge, so perhaps that is what Peter was trying to "stimulate" by using a fan blowing, and it was not that Peter was feeling cold...

Friday, 14 June 2019

Friday 14th June

Another day, in fact another week is now in.... The weather, today,  has taken a down turn on Islay with some rain showers coming through, but nothing like what some areas have had...

Still I suppose we have been fortunate, especially any visitors will have appreciated the dry days, although, possibly,not the warm weather that one would expect in June...

Distillery Dave had heard 2 Cuckoos calling over at Rockside today

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Thursday 13th June

This morning, Gary from Wild Islay Birding had seen a male Hen Harrier out over the moorland behind his house. This evening, while out walking his dog, Gary had seen an Osprey fishing on the loch at Finlaggan.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Wednesday 12th June

A rather early entry, just before 11am .. the reason is for some breaking news.. Bonnie  Wood, Dave's better half, had seen a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW earlier on this morning down on the Oa. It is a first for Islay and Argyll, and fewer than 10 have been seen on the UK. More details later on.

Dave was in touch to me later on to say that the bird had not been seen again at that point. It had been seen by Bonnie around 8am out through her kitchen window, needless to say poor Dave was out carrying out some survey work and Bonnie was unable to raise him on his mobile phone as where he was, well no reception, hence no signal....

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tuesday 11th June

Some sightings through from my old mate Armin who has contributed many sightings to the blog when over here on holiday... This visit,  a bit of a change to Armin's "normal" visit as he is over on Jura for his first week.. Back on Sunday, he had watched an Otter out hunting/playing around in the middle of Small Isles Bay. On the beach just in front of the cottage where Armin is staying, he saw a Ringed Plover running along the beach, kicking the sand as it ran along.. He also saw a Starling looking for something in the seaweed.

Yesterday, Armin had the long trek over to Loch Tarbert walking along Evan's walk. When he was stopped for some lunch, taken over at Loch Tarbert, he spotted a pair of Shelducks with their 8 young ducklings.

Today, Armin had taken the boat trip to the Corryvreckan whirlpool, and on the trip, he had seen at least 4 Golden Eagles and also a White tailed Eagle. He also saw several Gannets as the boat approached the whirlpool... Back on dry land again after his trip, down at the pier at Craighouse, he had seen 3 Mute Swans. Shortly afterwards while walking back to his cottage, the swans flew past, and they landed in the water close to the cottage. He also spotted a Heron standing on the shore.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Monday10th June

Not a lot for the blog tonight, but James had counted 39 Canada Geese on the islands in the Sound of Islay as he returned home to Islay this afternoon.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Sunday 9th June

Yesterday, Roger and Hazel Ferris had been over on Jura where they had seen 2 male Hen Harriers as well as a Short eared Owl
.
Today, James had heard a Wood Warbler singing away when he was out on his bike and then shortly afterwards he saw a Swift flying over the river... No, not on Islay as James had been over on the mainland entering an "enduro cycling competition" which was based down in Innerleithen in the Scottish borders. The forest in which James was in was at Traquhair, with the river being the River Tweed!!!

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Saturday 8th June

Yesterday Roger and Hazel Ferris had seen 4 different  Cuckoos sitting on top of the telegraph wires as they drove up from Portnahaven, they also had seen the 2 Velvet Scoter on the pond at Easter Ellister.

Peter had been helping out David Wood who had organised a boat trip to carry out the Sea bird Breeding survey along the coastline of Islay and Jura. Highlights included seeing some Canada geese along with 10 goslings over at Proaig., this was the first definite sighting of Canada geese breeding since 1984 which was at Gearach. Mark Shields saw a Cormorant with 3 young amongst some Shags, again the first confirmed breeding. They had also seen a GND in summer plumage. Down towards Ardbeg,  a pod of 12 Bottle nosed Dolphins was present. They had also seen several Golden Eagles and White tailed Eagles. Up Loch Tarbert on Jura, Hen Harrier and Peregrines were present.

Earlier on today, Distillery Dave, had seen a Blue Tit entering one of his net boxes, the second pair to breed if successful this year with Dave..

This evening, at Kennacraig, while waiting on the ferry, Armin had seen an Osprey. Initially it was being mobbed by some gulls who were trying to get the fish from the Osprey, but no joy with that, as the Osprey flew off with its' prey in its' talons.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Friday 7th June

Yesterday morning, Ken Reeves had seen  2 Otters while over on Jura. Later on back on Islay, he had seen a Golden Eagle when driving along the "glen road", a Hen Harrier seen down close to Mulindry. in Bridgend woods, a Great spotted Woodpecker was present and then down at Claddach , a Whinchat was seen.

David Livingstone had seen a White tailed Eagle soaring high in the sky, late yesterday evening down between Cornabus and Kintra, over out from Port Ellen

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Thursday 6th June

Yesterday was Karen and John's last day of their present visit to Islay...They had seen at least 5 different Hen Harriers as they worked their way down to Port Ellen for an early start this morning on the ferry.... On the Oa they had heard several Corncrakes calling and they also saw a distant Golden Eagle there as well. They also had seen Twite and Whinchat on the Oa. Other birds seen include Whinchats at Bunnahabhain, and Gary kindly showed them a White tailed Eagle on their way up to Bunnahabhain. Many thanks to Karen and John for their sightings and all going well, we look forward to catching up with you down at the Birdfair in August.

Gary himself had been out with clients including Morag Rae and her husband who are both stalwarts of the Argyll Bird Club... They had seen 5 Hen Harriers on their day out with Gary. Down at Rockside, they had an Osprey on top of a telegraph pole. As well as the shared White tailed Eagle that Gary had shown to Karen and John, the said bird was sitting in a field over close to Keills.

James, this morning, had seen a Peregrine and also a Black tailed Godwit on the flats at Gruinart.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Wednesday 5th June

Gary spotted in the diary at Gruinart, that somebody had seen a Red backed Shrike over at Kilchiaran on Monday, needless to say they did not say who they were, so any further information regarding this sighting would be greatly appreciated, please e mail me..

Yesterday, Ken Reeves along with his family group had seen a female Golden Eagle on the Oa, and over at Claggain Bay they counted 22 R b Merganser, 5 RTD, a BTD and also a Dipper. 

Today,  David  Scott had heard 3 Corncrakes calling in and around Portnhaven. Along the road, he had a ringtail Hen Harrier fly across the road in front of them and then up on the pond at Easter Ellister, they saw 2 drake Velvet Scoter and also a single female Common Scoter was present aslong with them.

This afternoon, we saw a large hen Sparrowhawk ducking and diving through the whin bushes over below Leek.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Tuesday 4th June

Marsali e mailed her rainfall figures for May over at Mulindry and her figure was exactly the same as May last year at 2.48 inches... Thanks Marsali
Ken Reeves, yesterday, had a male Hen Harrier at Gruinart, 2 GND at Bunnahabhain, 2 Chough up behind Port Charlotte and also a White tailed Eagle further along the road from where the Chough were seen.
Chris and Wendy had seen 2 pair of Ringed Plover with young down at Machir Bay yesterday, and the adult birds were trying to distract them away... This afternoon, they had 3 Golden Eagles flying high over the cottages where they are staying.
John and Karen yesterday had 2 R b Merganser at Clagain Bay. Garry, today had 4 RTDs there at Claggain Bay.
The Bowland Birders had seen some Lapwing flying around in a "distressed manner" up towards Storakaig, but when they stopped to have a better look, a hen Peregrine was on top of its' prey, an Oystercatcher.
David Scott had seen a couple of Crossbills and heard a few more down in Bridgend Woods and he also heard a Chiffchaff singing away there as well this morning. This afternoon, he had a GND in summer plumage off Carraig Fhada.
Up here at home, late morning I watched a Hooded Crow being chased away off the bird seed crop by some Jackdaws, away on to the wee crag, and on closer examination with my bins, it was sitting close to its' 4 youngsters....
This evening, there were 12 folk who came along to the Bird nerds meeting which was held down at the South hide at Gruinart, rather than us getting a soaking walking down at Foreland... On our way to the meeting, Distillery Dave spotted an Osprey on top of a telegraph pole down beside Loch Gorm, it took off showing its prey, a fish. Chris and Wendy also saw it on their way out as well and on their way home, it was sitting again in the same location, but with no fish...

Monday, 3 June 2019

Monday 3rd June

Coming over on the ferry on Saturday to Islay on Saturday, David and Catherine Scott had seen 3 Puffins and also an Arctic Tern. Yesterday, they had found another nest site of a Great spotted         Woodpecker, this one was in the woods up from Bridgend. It is David and Catherine's first visit to Islay, and had met up with a few of us at the British Birdfair at Rutland over the past few years.

John and Karen loked up today for a cuppa and catch up, they too have been visiting Islay and also us at Rutland and were telling me that they had seen a White tailed Eagle the other day up behind Port Charlotte, earlier on during their present visit. Great to see you both!!!

Ken Reeves e mailed to say that he too is over this week, and from the ferry he had seen 2 BTD and then a Golden Eagle flying low over Jura as the ferry sailed up the Sound of Islay towards Port Askaig yesterday.  Below where Ken and his family group are staying, they heard 2 different Corncrakes calling. Down towards Portnahaven, at Easter Ellister, they saw the Velvet Scoter on the pond ....  Ken is another returning visiting birder and good friend from his numerous visits both to Islay and also to us at Rutland. 

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Sunday 2nd June

A not bad sort of a day, after quite a lot of rain that fell though the night... the wind has just started to pick up in its speed and noise as well!!

Yesterday, Lesley had carried out a recce down at Foreland where the Bird nerds are meeting up on   Tuesday at 6.30 pm. The birds seen by her included 2 Cuckoos, 2 Common Whitethroats, many Stonechats, Willow Warbler and also a Spotted Flycatcher. 

Up here at home this afternoon, we saw a Hooded Crow on top of the wall, with a Pheasant chick, we tried to get it to stop, but too late as the corvid flew off  with the chick in its' beak, so I suppose that's the way it goes sometimes...

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Saturday 1st June

Well, another month has gone, so it is time to tell you how much rain that we had in our rain gauge. It came to 2.3 inches which is more than May last year when we had only an inch. On the other side of  the coin, the tally for the year so far is a lot drier at 14.2 inches compared to 17.15 last year. Today, the weather has remained dry and a little bit more heat....
With it staying dry, the Swallows have been busy down on their nest sites, and also the 2 broods of Pheasants appear not to have lost any of their chicks yet !!!  This morning, we watched a couple of Buzzards being mobbed by some Jackdaws out over the machir, and then late afternon, another light coloured Buzzard was being by a couple of Jackdaws, this time out towards the crag.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Friday 31st May

Well, after a day of continuous rain, it has faired up, the sun is streaming in through the big gable end windows and warm. Possibly is it warm because we have the fire on, whatever it is just fine by me!!!

The Bolton birders had a ringtail Hen Harrier round at Leek the other day and later on an Osprey was seen up behind Bowmore.
Yesterday, Mark had 3 Bonxies, 2 GND and a count of 15 Comic Terns up at Ardnave. Down on the reserve at Gruinart, a Spotted Flycatcher was present. Late yesterday afternoon, Gary had seen 4       Pale bellied Brent Geese down at Smelly corner.
This morning, Karen and her partner John had spotted a pair of Wheatears feeding 3 youngsters out in the dunes at Kintra, from their camper van. Late afternon, Mandy had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier
glide past her kitchen window up at Carnduncan and now poses the question, does it qualify as a garden bird???

Before I forget, as promised, the Bird nerds will be meeting on Tuesday evening at 6.30 pm at Foreland (NR271636) for a walk through the policies there to see what we can see and hear.

Just before I started to write this entry, I checked out some stats about the blog, and noticed that since last night, that someone, somewhere was the 1,000,000 person to read the blog since it was started away back on  1st May 2007!!!

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Thursday 30th May

Certainly not all to wall sunshine, more like wall to wall blanket of mist, I have not seen the crag since yesterday sometime... and there has been the odd dollop of rain  thrown in for good measure.

James saw a few birds for us, up at Ardnave, he had 2 Golden Eagles, a Peregrine and also 3 Hen Harriers as well.

Late afternoon, up here at home and we counted over 30 Goldfinches and even more House Sparrows in at the feeders. The numbers of the Sparrows being swelled by some youngsters begging to be fed. Just after that, I went out down round the "garden" and saw a hen Pheasant out with her brood of 7 chicks and then a different hen with her 4 young chicks....

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Wednesday 29th May

Yesterday afternoon, Martin Armstrong took his daughter Belle out for a stroll along the Laggan where they saw 3 Common Sandpipers and also a Grey Wagtail. On the plantaton, Martin spotted a male Crossbill.

Up here at home, early afternoon we saw a hen Pheasant, out proudly presenting her brood of 7 young chicks, wonder what happened to the 2 dark chicks that we saw last week? 

The weather forecast was almost spot on, with a light dampness coming on around 4 pm, enough to make me stop working out in the garden!!!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Tuesday 28th May

Yesterday evening, after writing the entry for the blog, I took a wee walk down along the burn from here towards the Coatguards and on towards Machir bay and the sea... I was not disappointed as a Heron took off from the burn, and there are at least 40 active nest sites being occupied by Sand Martins. Finally when sitting down for a breather, I heard a distant Corncrake calling over on Rockside.

Jamie Barr, Distillery Dave's son who has been over for a few days visiting his folks, had seen a male Hen Harrier yesterday, down close to Foreland.

By the way another glorious day with the weather again, so we managed out in the garden, all going well, we might get the borders finished tomorrow...

Monday, 27 May 2019

Monday 27th May

Back to the drier weather again, having said that the little rain that we did have will no doubt have been of some use to the gardeners rather than to the Distilleries..

Up here at home, we have had  great sightings of Stonechats and also Whinchats. This afternoon, we were in the right place, at the right time, and happened to see 3 Buzzards flying high up above us.

The Bolton birders areback for another Islay fix. Today, they had seen a Great spotted Woodpecker on a nest site, and on their travels round Islay yesterday, a total of 4 different male Hen Harriers were seen.

Please remember that there is no meeting of the Bird nerds tomorrow evening, but we shall be meeting next Tuesday evening, venue and time to be confirmed...

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Sunday 26th May

Well, the rain certainly came as forecasted, but not as much as what was expected !!! From the Bruichladdich Distillery's point of view, it stopped raining just before they opened up around midday and it stayed dry though their event, or that is what we had. now the sun is shining again with the wind picking up as well, the evening ferry being diverted from Port Ellen to Port Askaig.

On the bird front, I have just heard that earlier on this week that a visitor had seen a pair of breeding GNDs, on a wee lochan up behind Port Ellen. 
With the damp / wet weather we have had, I noticed that the Swallows were not seen so often going back and forward to their nest sites and wondered where they have been sheltering up...

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Saturday 25th May

Yesterday, Christine Menzies who now lives on Islay, at Emiravale just on the edge of Port Ellen, had seen a mixed group of 8 waders made up of Sanderling and Dunlin down at Kilnaugton Bay. She had also heard a Cuckoo calling out behind her house...
David Wood was telling me that he had heard 3 calling Corncrakes, the other night at Upper Killeyan down on the Oa. Must try and find out the total heard... 
Distillery Dave had seen 5 Sanderling down on Machir Bay first thing this morning, that was before the weather went awol.. it has "been gie damp", not wet, more or less all day, and as I look the window out the crag has been shrouded in mist since midday. Not exactly a day for bird watching for sure!!!

Before, I forget because of the local Feis being held here this week, the Bird nerds will not be meeting this coming Tuesday, but we will meet up on Tuesday 5th June, with a place and time to be finalised yet, watch this space for more information nearer the time...

Friday, 24 May 2019

Friday 24th May

An e mail through from Garry saying that he had seen an Osprey over at Bun an Uillt which is on the East side of Loch Gruinart and shortly afterwards he had another Water rail cross the road down at Coullabus, possibly the same bird that he saw at Erasaid.

Marcus Covell, down at The Woollen Mill, was telling me that he has been hearing a Great spotted Woodpecker on a regular basis lately. The birds present on the feeders are worth a visit themselves!

Up here at home, we counted 17 Choughs, sitting on the garage roof, needless to say, they were being nosey and very vocal, especially when they flew off...

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Thursday 23rd May

Another beautiful day here yet again... I am getting a "farmers' tan" for sure...

The Corncrake survey last night, well on our patch, the tally only came to 3 birds heard calling, whether it was the temperature was rather low, a mere 3 degrees at one time... or possibly not so many Corncrakes around anyway....

Gary had seen a Water rail cross the road up past Erasaid, the other day.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Wednesday 22nd May

I know it is rather boring, but yet again another beautiful day with wall to wall sunshine, and more to come tomorrow, will I tell you about the wet weather when it returns???
Rather an early entry tonight as we are due to go out on the first run of the Corncrake survey for 2019 later on tonight, so fingers crossed on that side of things.. 
This morning, Margaret saw a ringtail Hen Harrier out on the wing, out over the rushes below the crag. It definately upset a Pheasant, who chased it on its way, so here is hoping that the Pheasant still has got her brood intact.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Tuesday 21st May

Another glorious day, but only after a wee dampness, enough to chase me inside!!

Distillery Dave had seen a pair of Goldeneye on Loch Gorm, and he also had a Hen Harrier on a food pass when he was out as well!

At the head of Loch Indaal, we saw Redshank and Oystercatcher and at smelly corner, a pair of Shelduck out with their brood of ducklings in tow. Later on, we had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier ... Christopher McLellan was saying to Margaret earlier on today that he had seen a White tailed Eagle mobbing some Shelduck down on Loch Indaal.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Monday 20th May

Another glorious day, so another day spent in the garden...

Over at the old Kilchoman school, this evening, we saw a Cuckoo flying around, and earlier on, we saw a Buzzard sitting on top of one of the deer fence posts, up here at home, the first one seen up there for sometime...

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Sunday 19th May

What a difference a day makes, especially with the weather, by mid morning today and all afternoon, we have been kept out of mischief by working out in the garden...
Apart from being out in the garden, we were fortunate to spot an Osprey out along the front of the crag, that was before it got chased away by a Raven.. A Fulmar was seen out on the wing this evening...
This morning, Distillery Dave had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier as he walked down to the road end at Rockside. He also saw 3 Canada geese on the fields.
Mike Peacock today had seen 19 Common Scoter and also a Velvet Scoter, all together out on Loch Indaal. Earlier on this morning Mike had heard 6 Cuckoos calling away up towards Bolsay.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Saturday 18th May

A bit cooler out here today, glad to have a jersey on.. another piece on the weather is that we have had a slight dampness, off and on, for most of the day, still it was better than none at all, or equally as  bad, a downpour !!!
Bob was in touch this morning with some news from Steve Batchelor from Kent who left yesterday for home. His total species came to a good tally of 95. Top birds on Steve's list included a White tailed Eagle seen just after his arrival at the airport, Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier, Chough, Garganey, Gadwall, Tysties and Rock Doves.
Up here at home today, we a saw another hen Pheasant out with her brood of 5 chicks, which had 2 dark coloured chicks along with 3 normal coloured chicks...

Friday, 17 May 2019

Friday 17th May

Yesterday, Distillery Dave had counted 8 Whimbrel and also 26 Rock Doves on the fields at Rockside. In the morning, he had seen an Osprey fly overhead when he was down at the road end, and in the evening, he had seen another one, as he drove home from his evening class, this one was perched on top of a telegragh pole about 500 yards before the turn off up to the Distillery. The second Osprey was also seen by Dr Matt Jackson  on his way home as well. Dave was also telling me that he has now been hearing another Corncrake calling at Rockside now as well...

Today, James and his team from Gruinart had carried out the WeBs count today...   On the Loch, the tally was 3 GND, 141 Oystercatcher, 239 Ringed Plover, 37 Sanderling, 3628 Dunlin, 45 Barwits and 2 Little Terns. The tally on the floods came to 78 Mallard, 6 Shoveler, 4 Moorhen, 1 Wigeon and a Greenshank. Also seen was a sub adult Marsh Harrier on the Floods, and on the Flats, 3 Blackwits and also a Whitefronted Goose. 



Thursday, 16 May 2019

Thursday 16th May

This morning, James had seen 9 Barnacle Geese, 13 Canada Geese, 3 Whooper Swans, a Blackcap and also a Spotted Flycatcher.
Up here at home, this evening we saw 2 Peregrines, the usual gang of Chough flying into the roost as  well as a fly past by a male Hen Harrier.

The weather has given us another beautiful day, yet again....

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Wednesday 15th May

Another great day with the weather, but I succumbed to using the watering can on the newly sown vegetables that I planted the other day...

Yesterday, when were over at The Woollen Mill, we saw 4 Collared Doves and Gordon, the stalwart there, was telling me that they have been seeing a Great spotted Woodpecker recently on the feeders.

Today, Mandy had heard a Whitethoat singing over at Carnduncan, and here at home, I saw the hen Pheasant again with her 2 youngsters, wonder how many she started out with ???

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Tuesday 14th May

A glorious sunset again out here on the West of Islay, as I write this entry. I heard today that some of the Distilleries here on Islay are a bit concerned with the lack of water, with one or two of them have stop distilling any new spirit...

Today, down on the Oa reserve, David Wood had seen House Martins and also Swifts. David also told me that he has heard a Corncrake calling at Kinnabus as well.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Monday 13th May

Yesterday,  Steve Batchelor from Kent had been down on Machir Bay seeing 3 Whimbrel, 6 Sanderling, 7 Dunlin and also 20 Ringed Plover. He also had seen an immature Glaucous Gull there as well.
Today, at lunchtime, Malcolm had counted around 55 Dunlin on the spit on the strand along from Uiskentuie. He also had spotted 2 Turnstone, on the shoreline, back towards the turn off leading up to Foreland.
James today on the reserve at Gruinart had seen the following birds, a male Garganey out from South hide, a Reeve out from the North Hide, a Gadwall out from the North hide,  a scattering of Dunlin in front of both hides, 2  pr of Wigeon and a few Shoveler.
Up here at home when "working " out in the garden, we saw our first hen Pheasant  of the year out  with her brood of 2 young chicks. Got the tatties rowed up and the weeds from around from the onion sets and planted some brocolli plants, some Cauliflowers and some Brussel Sprouts as well, all hopefully sheltered from the wind! Might have to water them some time as the ground is rather dry!
This evening, we counted 21 Greylags on a grass field down at Rockside.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Sunday 12th May

Yesterday James had seen some Yellowhammers over at Ardnahoe, and told me that he has now got 3 corncrakes calling on the reserve at Gruinart. Mandy was saying friends of hers from the mainland had seen a single Whooper Swan  on the "Laundry Loch" which is over, beside Laggan Point.

This afternoon, Distillery Dave had been down on Machir Bay where he saw 5 Sanderling some Ringed Plover and also some Dunlin

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Saturday 11th May

Bob Mitchell or Derbyshire Bob to use his pen name was in touch last night to tell me that the bird which I could not make out on his video was in fact a Little Stint which he had seen along with some Dunlin over close to Killinallan, not bad for his 100th Islay bird of this visit and also his 200th tick on his year list...
Many thanks for your sightings Bob, trust you are wending your way home now!!!

Today, Distillery Dave had seen the Corncrake on 2 separate occasions at Rockside had also seen the Cuckoos in flight as well... So if you want to see either of theses birds , head round to Rockside and enjoy a cuppa and a piece of cake at the Kilchoman Distillery visitor centre and possibly see either the Corncrake or a Cuckoo...

Friday, 10 May 2019

Friday 10th May

Yesterday, Distillery Dave had seen 2 pairs of Reed Buntings in the ditch leading up to the Kilchoman Distillery at Rockside. Most days  this week, he has also been seeing a solitary Whimbrel in the barley fields there as well. He also told me that the Cuckoos and also the Corncrake have both been very vocal, calling away close to the farmhouse!!!  
Gary from Wild Islay Birding, today had a pair of Cuckoos displaying over close to Coal Ila Distillery. He had also seen the Hen Harrier "sky dancing" up behind his house.
Derbyshire Bob had seen his 100th bird of this present visit and oddly enough it was his 200th tick for the year, unfortunately I could not open his video clip, so I do not know what it was...May email Bob back and ask him what it was...

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Thursday 9th May

Yesterday, Derbyshire Bob had seen a White tailed Eagle out over the hills behind Ballygrant. Later on, while walking through Bridgend Woods, Bob had seen a Dipper on the River Sorn and a Bullfinch and some Siskins in the trees.
Louise was in touch to say that over the weekend and earlier on this week she has been seeing a Fieldfare close to her home at Gatehouse over on Jura, but she said that it is no longer present!!!

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Wednesday 8th May

Yesterday, Derbyshire Bob had been down on the Oa, where he had seen a Golden Eagle perched up on a crag. He also saw Twite on the feeders , a Peregrine flying along the cliffs, Shags were present on their nests. He also had seen some Rock Pipits. Below Ballinaby, he had a male Hen Harrier out quartering its patch.
Mandy returned back to Islay yesterday, and as the ferry approached Islay she had seen a White tailed Eagle. Back home at Carnduncan, she had heard Groppers reeling away below her house and also a Cuckoo calling as well.
James had seen a Merlin on the reserve at Gruinart, the other day.
Yesterday, Mike had a count of 30 Whimbrel at Blackrock.
Today, Mike had a productive walk down at Foreland hearing a Wood Warbler, 2 Groppers reeling away, a Blackcap, Whitethroats, "loads of Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers"
Around 6am this morning, Derbyshire Bob had a corncrake calling at Balinaby, close to where is staying...

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Tuesday 7th May

Yesterday, Derbyshire Bob, (Bob Mitchell) had heard a Cuckoo calling close to Ballinaby, shortly afterwards, he had heard another one calling over towards Lagstoban. Over at Gruinart, a Corncrake was heard by Bob. He also saw 2 Snipe and 2 Whooper Swans there as well. Up at Ardnave, Bob had seen some Little Terns and also present were Blackwits and Whimbrel.

Bob said that he has now seen 80 species of birds in 2 days, not bad going

Monday, 6 May 2019

Monday 6th May

Yesterday Distillery Dave had been down over at Claggain bay where he counted 13 Red breasted Merganser and he also saw Eiders and a few GND out on the water. As he returned into Port Ellen, Dave had seen some Stonechats and Wheatears. Round at the Singing sands, he had Common Sandpipers, Razorbills and also 5 Common Terns. Over at Blackrock, he had a "good number" of Dunlin along with a few Whimbrel. Finally just after 10 pm when out with her dogs, Ann Barr had heard the Corncrake calling up at Rockside

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Sunday 5th May

Helen Brown had been watching 2 Tufted Ducks as they were swimming around and also diving on Ardnahoe Loch today, the first time she has seen any Tufted Ducks on the loch there.
James today had seen a Dotterel up on Borichill Mor, later on he saw a Yellowhammer over at Persabus.
Derbyshire Bob is back over for his annual visit to Islay. He scoped a Golden Eagle high up over Jura, from where he is staying. In field in front of his cottage he had a Whimbrel, a pair of Wheatears and also 2 Pairs of Stonechats present. Between Ballinaby and Saligo Bay, he had several Wheatears and at Saligo Bay itself, 6 Ringed Plover, 5 Sanderling, 4 pair of Eiders as well as some Oystercatcher and Common Gulls present as well. He also commented on how quickly some of the locals returned to his feeders, the locals being Goldfinches, House Sparrows and Chaffinches.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Saturday 4th May

This morning, David Livingstone had counted over 60 Curlews on the 10th fairway down on the Machrie Golf course.
Today, James was in touch to say that the Coot as well as the Little Egret were both present, great to hear that they are both still around. James also had seen 5 Blackwits , a pair of Gadwall and also 2 Peregrines, all on the reserve at Gruinart.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Friday 3rd May

I think that like a lot of other places that the temperature is not what we would expect for this time of year...just glad to have the fire on!!!

David Wood had counted a flock of 52 Whimbrel which were in a field beside the road leading to the council dump down towards Gartbreck, just out of Bowmore. Distillery Dave has been hearing the
Corncrake calling at Rockside again, trust it is not keeping you awake at night, Dave !!!!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Thursday 2nd May

Nothing much in for the blog apart from some folk hearing Corncrakes calling around Islay. Yesterday evening, Distillery Dave had heard probably the same corncrake calling round at Rockside as he returned home from the "dog training" class. Gary had heard  2  Corncrakes calling away down at Bruichladdich with another heard up towards Skerrols al heard as Gary returned home after his evening shift at Port Charlotte hotel.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Wednesday 1st May

Well, as promised the rainfall figure for April, it only came to a heady ONE INCH, the driest April since we  bought the rainguage back in 2015... Marsali had only 1.7 inches of rain over at Mulindry...

Distillery Dave had heard a Cuckoo calling at Rockside and then this morning, he heard a Corncrake calling over there as well. The Blackwits were still present resplendant in their summer plumage. Gordon Graham had heard a  Corncrake calling down in the reedbed at the Coastguards along with some noisy Sedge Warblers, both yesterday evening. I heard a Cuckoo calling up the gully behind Kilchoman House around 7 am today. Domald Jones had heard a Corncrake calling over at Coull today as well.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Tuesday 30th April

Well, another month is almost finished, but as ever I will keep the "official" rainfall figure close to my chest, so make sure and read the blog tomorrow when all will be revealed. In the meantime rememebr to go and wash your face in the May dew in the morning...
Nothing much to report through today as the weather has not been that great here ... There were 25 Barnies counted at Ballinaby around about lunchtine today along some Greylags. At the bird nerds meeting at Gruinart this evening, we had 6 locals and also visitor Angus Miler from Granton on Spey, for once we could relax and enjoy what was to be seen out of the hide rather than being "crammed in like sardines in a tin"!!!

Monday, 29 April 2019

Monday 29th April

Some birds through from James seen when out of the office...
On the Flats this morning: 1 Grasshopper warbler, 1 Merlin, 1 Hen Harrier & 8 Canada geese 
On the Floods this afternoon: 1 Coot , 2 Gadwall, 2 Blackwit  & 3 Canada geese 

Gary sent through his top birds  from yesterday afternoon's tour.
7 Great Northern Divers, 11 Red throated Diver, 10 Common Guillemot, 21 Razorbill, 20 Red breasted Merganser at Claggain Bay. White tailed and Golden Eagle flying over coast line below Kildalton Cross.

George E. Jackson added to Distillery Dave's (yesterday) Rockside records as folows: a Whinchat on the garden fence, a mipit nest with 4 eggs near the parking area. Then driving down the High road towards Pt Ellen, Pat and son Matthew had a Water Rail cross the road in front of them.

Distillery Dave reported in to say that the Geese are still at Rockside, but now in a different field!!! He had a count of 70 Golden Plover present as well

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Sunday 28th April

The day started off with being a bit warmer and dry, but by lunchtime, we had a spot or two of rain, not a lot but... and then the temperature fell as well, another jumper day...

Round at Rockside today, there were  9 Canada Geese, a solitary Barnacle goose and also 25 Greylags on the Barley fields. Up behind the steading, Distillery Dave had counted 146 Golden Plover, all in in summer plumage, great to see...
Up here at home, I watched a Hare hop along the edge of the bird seed crop, in effect chasing off some Linnets in the process. Out on the crag there are now 3 pairs of Fulmars sitting, for how long, we will have to wait and see if the Jackdaws move them on...

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Sunday 27th April

Yesrterday, Gary had been out with some clients and when scanning along the crag at Kilchoman, he had seen 5 Fulmars .

This morning Mike had seen 4 Whimbrel, 2 Blackwits andhe had a count of 113 Golden Plover down on the fields at Rockside. Distillery Dave had seen 9 Canada Geese on the barley fields there this morning. Bob had a new "garden bird" this afternoon. A Heron flew in to his garden and started to eat some tadpoles out from his pond!!! Also this afternoon, up here at home there were 4 Twite along with the Wheatears and the Linnets having a "nosey" at the bird seed crop which has just germinated, and looking good at this stage, early days yet!!!

Many thanks to the visitors  Peter Gill, and family, Armin Grewe and also, last but not least to George E. Jackson for sharing their sightings with us.

Before I forget, the first outdoor meeting of the Islay bird nerds for 2019 will be on Tuesday evening at 6.30 pm at the car park at Gruinart for a look see what is out from the South hide. So hopefully see some of you there then, all welcome, come and put a name to the face...
armer here today, plus there have been some dirty squally showers in the mix.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Friday 26th April

A bit colder out here today, glad to have a jersey to wear...

Distillery Dave had seen 4 Canada Geese, a Barnacle goose and 10 Greylags on the newly germinated Barley fields at Rockside this morning. An early morning walk by Mike along the track to Bolsay gave him his first Whinchat for the year. He also had 5 Sedge Warblers and 2 Groppers while out on his walk. James had a Ruff on the reserve at Gruinart. Also seen were 24 Barnies, 4 Whitefronts and a Greylag with a neck collar fitted. On one of the grass fields at Rockside, George E Jackson had seen 34 Golden Plover and 7 Barwits and also a count of 13 Whimbrel. Mark Shields had seen a few Whinchats when he was carrying out his survey work today. Peter Gill had a count of 80 Golden Plover in a field down at the Coastguard cottages early afternoon, earlier on he had seen a male Hen Harrier and at the visitor centre at Gruinart he had 6 House Martins. Mike this afternoon when along at smelly corner had a Greenland Wheatear and also a Northern Wheatear which was great for being able to compare them. Back at home in Port Charlotte, Mike had seen 2 White Wagtails, he also commented on the Common Sandpipers being back as well.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Thursday 25th April

Yesterday, Malcolm had a flock of 20 Whimbrel, on the shore, close to the Foreland road end. Mandy had seen an Orange tipped Butterfly on the path beside the River Sorn, below the Auction mart at Bridgend on Sunday.  Some sightings through from George E Jackson.. At Rockside, he has been seeing a mixed Finch Flock of around 150 Birds, mainly Linnets, Goldfinches, along with some Reed Buntings and House Sparrows there too. The flock was disturbed by a ringtail Hen Harrier on Monday and followed yesterday by a cracking male. The newly sown Barley fields have had 47 Greylags, 7 Whitefronts  and also a few Mallards. Down on one of the wee lochans, 3 Tufted Duck were seen. Yesterday, George and Pat had walked down to the Lily Loch where they heard "loads of Willow Warblers" and also a Sedge Warbler calling away. They also had seen a few Orange tipped Butterflies, Speckled Woods displaying and also a single Green Hairstreak.
On Tuesday, Martin Armstrong had a White tailed Eagle fly over the maltings at Port Ellen. 
Today,  he seen Wheaters at Kilnaughton and heard his first Cuckoo of the year at Glenegedale.
This morning, Louise had 5 Curlew, 3 Snipe, heard several Willow Warblers, 2 Redpolls, a Cuckoo heard and also a male Hen Harrier sky dancing, all up behind Port Charlotte. Bob, this morning had a Whitethroat, close to his house. James today had 2 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Siskins, a Golden Eagle, all on the reserve at Gruinart, he also had seen 2 Adders out on the moorland trail. Gary today had a juv. Golden Eagle at Torrabus. Along on Bunnahabhain Bay, he had 14 Tysties, 5 GND & a RTD. Out over Sgarbh Breac he saw a juv. Golden Eagle and also an adult bird. Down at Ardnahoe Distillery, he had 7 Yellowhammers.
Mike and Peter Roberts had gone to see the Dotterel on the Oa, no joy, but had seen 20 Whimbrel flying out over Loch Indaal from close to Bruichladdich. He also had seen one from his house, a new bird for the "Shore Street window list"!!! Val had seen a male Crossbill on the pine trees, close to the Lily Loch.
Also today, Peter Gill had an Osprey at Loch Skerols and shortly afterwards a Peregrine flew past.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Some more sightings in for Wed 24th April

This morning David Wood e mailed through to tell me about a sighting seen by his friends who were over about a fortnight ago. They had seen a Redshank with coloured leg rings fitted, down on the edge of Loch Indaal at Bowmore. On checking about the bird, it had been fitted with the rings in North west Spain in February 2011 as an adult. David also said that the bird has been seen every autumn/ winter in the same location, but never reported being seen away from its' wintering grounds.

Today, David had seen the 3 Dotterel down on the Oa again, and also a flock of around 100 Golden Plover present there as well.  Peter Gill had seen around about 80 Dunlin down at Gartbeck. Along at the Council tip, Peter had heard 3 Sedge warblers calling and then as he came back along the road to Bowmore, he had seen 70 Barnies landing on one of the fields there. Peter's grandson had seen a Bonxie flying over Loch Indaal.

Wednesday 24th April

A grand chance to clear out the sightings sent through over the past few days, so off we jolly well go!!
Gary on Saturday had seen a "nice mixed flock of Linnet and Twite" at Rockside, 3 Hen Harrier above Gruinart, a juv. Golden Eagle on the wing above the moorland trail being mobbed by a Buzzard, and then a further 3 juv. Golden Eagles noted over Killinallan. Finally down at Bruichladdich, Gary had seen 4 Purple Sandpipers there.
James and Sally had gone out for a walk on Sunday, seeing 2 Golden Eagles, a Peregrine, a Merlin, 2 Hen Harriers, 2 Yellowhammers and a Common Sandpiper up and around Gortantoid.
There were several reports of folk hearing a Cuckoo, Dave P. had one over at Ardtalla, Lesley had heard one while on the walk up to Beinn Dubh and Steve Wrightson had heard one close to his house at Bolsay.
On Monday, Dave P had heard a Corncrake calling when he was down at Portnahaven.
Louise Muir had some sightings through from Jura.. All seen on Monday, a juv Whitetailed Eagle seen at the mouth of Loch Tarbert, a Yellowhammer present at Tarbert, 4 Short eared Owls on the Ardmenish flats  and also 2 Hen Harriers.
Down on the Oa yesterday, David Wood had seen 3 Dotterel. He also had Sedge Warblers, Groppers and a few Whinchats, all ticks for the year list!!!
Good friend, Armin sent  through a list of top birds seen so far on the Walkislay program so far... On Sunday, they had seen a Golden Eagle, a male Hen Harrier, Shags, Gannets, Sand Martins and an Emperor Moth. Monday's walk produced another Golden Eagle flying out over the sound of Islay. Yesterday, up at Loch Cam they had seen an Otter. Thanks to Armin!!
Also yesterday on the reserve at Gruinart, James reported through that there were SedgeWarblers around....
Yesterday, Peter Gill had seen a Whinchat on top of a fence while down on the Oa, also seen were some Chough there too  and a small flock of 50 - 60 Twite. Coming back up from the Oa, at Gartmain out of Bowmore, he had 70 Barwits and 20 Dunlin.
Yesterday, down at Rockside I saw 6 Whimbrel.
Another good friend was saying that she had seen a Bonxie  (Great Skua) yesterday, up beside Tain, not here on Islay!!

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Tuesday 23rd April

A bit of catch up so here goes... mainly from some of the Webs count carried by folk over the past few days..
James and Shona-Isla has done the count on Loch Gruinart seing the following  1 GND, 52 Shelduck, 368 Ringed Plover, 425 Dunlin, 105 Curlew, 35 Lbb Gul, 24 Knot, 22 Bh Gull, 116 Teal, 4 Pintail, 43 Wigeon and 2 Whooper Swans. Highlights from Mike's count on Outer Loch Indaal included 147 Common Scoter, 91 Pale Bellied Brent Geese, 375 Auk sp., 11 Gannet, 33 GND, 3 Whimbrel & 2 Sandwich Tern. Later on, off Port Charlotte, Mike had 3 B N Dolphins while up at Foreland, Val saw an Orange tipped Butterfly. Bob had done his patch over the weekend as well, counting 48 Ringed Plover, 42 Oystercatcher, 45 R b Meganser, 8 Eider,  4 Shag, 2 Tysties, 188 Common Gulls, 56 Herring Gulls and 6 Gbb Gulls.
Peter and Mike, the other day, had 2 Groppers (Grasshopper  Warblers!!!) between Ellister and Port Wemyss, with Lesser Redpolls heard calling around Octofad and later on up at Bruichladdich.
Yesterday afternoon, Peter had a small group of 8 Sandwich Terns off  Bruichladdich.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Monday 22nd April

Got the e mails through folks, thanks for being patient..

Arjun van Egmond who had been over last week on Islay, spending some time birding, as well as visiting  and possibly sampling some of the produce from the distilleries.. Coming over on the ferry the other day, he had counted 17 GNDs. He was well pleased to see the choughs at various places around Islay. When down at Ardbeg, he saw an adult White tailed Eagle fly over head.
David Wood had a flyover  by a Tree Pipit, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Goldcrest,  5 Sand Martin, 2 Swallows all on the Oa last Thursday,. Dave also commented on a noticeable influx of Wheatears and Willow Warblers.
Yesterday evening, Peter Gill had seen a male Hen Harrier, just out of Bruichladdich. Today, Peter had seen 4 Crossbills on the trees at Ballygrant. He also had heard a Cuckoo calling close by. 2 Dabchick were on Loch Ballygrant, with a Chiffchaff calling over at Port Askaig. On the feeders at The Woollen Mill, he saw Lesser Redpolls and Siskins, with a Grey Wagtail seen down on the River Sorn. He also saw a Dipper flying upstream there too.
Down close to Rockside road end, I saw a a male Hen Harrier, just after lunchtime.
Hopefully tomorrow, I will manage to get the sightings in from the others for you to read about!!!!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Sunday 21st April

Yesterday, Peter Gill had seen the Litle Egret on the reserve at Gruinart,  and he counted  30 GND on Loch Indaal off Bruichladdich.
This morning, Bob had heard 2 different Cuckoos calling, one at Gearach, the other along the track that leads to Bolsay. In his garden, Bob now has 3 pair of Greenfinches as well as many Willow Warblers around as well. He also had seen 2 Swallows back yesterday and then at lunchtime today, a Peregrine flew over. He too has also got a Stoat in his garden, but it was carrying its youngster in its mouth rather than some prey...
Peter Gill today had seen a Sparrowhawk in a garden in Port Charlotte, tucking into its' newly caught meal... Later on, while walking along the track between Octofad and Lossit, he had 2 male Hen Harriers and also a ringtail. Down towards Portnahaven, he had a further 2 male Hen Harriers. Finally round at Kilchiaran, he had 2 Common Sandpipers.
Just as well that I worked away yesterday, sowing the wild flowers as today, although a much warmer day, it would have been too windy to allow me to even attempt to sow the seeds... This morning, I saw a male Siskin with a leg ring on when it was on the feeders...

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Saturday 20th April

Another day finished and despite some valiant attempts, no e mails as of yet..

It started of a misty sort of a morning, with mist lifting and then shortly afterwards dropping again, the only good thing about was that there was no wind, so I pressed ahead and got the wild flowers sown which needs to be sown when there is no wind, so for once I was pleased with the sort of dreich conditions, as some other places,the temperature has been a lot warmer...

Peter Gill from Sunderland came over for another visit to Islay, arriving yesterday. Where they were staying last night at Lyrabus, once it was dark, they saw a Barn Owl perched on a fence post along the road. Today at Gruinart, on the flats they counted 15 Whitefronts. On the Woodland trail, they heard several Blackcaps calling and they also saw a couple of Treecreepers there as well. From the North Hide, they had a Golden Eagle which was then joined and mobbed by a Raven as well as a Peregrine. Up on Ardnave Loch,  60 Barnies were counted with 10 Whimbrel seen on the shoreline they headed down to Bruichladdich.
Mike had counted 91 Pale bellied Brent as well as 147 Common Scoter flying North up Loch Indaal. Today, up here at home there was a Collared Dove present, with Mandy hearing a lot of Willow Warblers singing down below at Kilchoman House.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Friday 19th April

A day for cutting the grass, and it took some time to complete, but the job is now off the "must do" list...Still no emails coming through, peaceful in some ways but...
Mike today had seen a Jack Snipe this morning down at Ellister when he was doing his stint on the Tystie survey. He said that on his stint, he had counted 26 Tysties. Out on the bay out from his house in Port Charlotte, he had spotted 3 Sandwich Terns, and he also heard a Whitethoat calling away while he was up at his allotment. Also seen there by Mike were 2 Lesser Redpolls, the first seen there this Spring. 
This evening, I saw a pair of Siskin out on the feeders, wonder whether they were here last year??? Out on the newly worked piece of ground there was a small flock of around 40 Linnets. Earlier on, mid afternoon, next door I found a head off a male Chaffinch on the ground, and then shortly afterwards when to speaking to a friend, we saw the cuplrit carrying another male Chaffinch in its' mouth, a Stoat. Just before tea time I found the  remains of third male Chaffinch, so I willl have to find a way of catching the said Stoat!!!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Thursday 18th April

Sorry folks, a late entry tonight, been a long day and for some reason I can't check my e mails...

Speaking to Distillery Dave earlier on this evening, and he had seen a flock of 40- 50 Golden Plover and also a few pairs of Wheatears round at Rockside...
Up here at home, we just have had the local agricultural contractor in with his big tractor and his one pass seed drill sowing the birdseed crop, so at least that is one job off the list, a real bonus, and at present it looks really good with a fine tilth to finish it off, fingers crossd and hope it germinates!!
A job now for me is to sow the wild flower crops, with 3 diferent mixs to be tried this year... not tonight though!!!!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Wednesday 17th April

Alistair Hutchison from Bowmore was in touch today with a couple of sightings. The other day, he had  seen a Blackcap in the woods at Bridgend, between Islay House and Blue Houses . Earlier on in the week, he had seen a Dipper on the River Sorn, just above the Woollen Mill.
James, today had a male Brambling in his garden at Mill cottage. On the floods at Gruinart,  20 Blackwit were present with 10 Barnies seen on the flats. This evening, Mike saw 6 Sandwich Terns and also 2 Commic Terns out on Loch Indaal. Up at Foreland House, there were Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff seen and heard everywhere. Also present were plenty of Swallows with some returning Lesser Redpolls displaying there as well.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Tuesday 16th April

Mandy e mailed through today, saying that she had seen a flock of around 80 Barnacle Geese  at Ballinaby this morning. Some birds seen by Gary today, down at Gartmain, he had 17 Barwits, 20 Knot, 11 Dunlin and 4 Redshank. He also told me that the Willow Warblers have returned last night, to the trees adjacent to his house, with them all singing/ calling away, could be worse, a Corncrake makes a fair old racket when it wants too...
Hopefully, the ferries are back to the normal timetable after the disruption at the weekend because of the weather!!!

Monday, 15 April 2019

Monday 15th April

Think I should repeat the opening comment on yesterday's entry, the only difference being that there were no ferries sailing today at all, yesteday they did sail...
Speaking with James, late afternoon, he confirmed that it has been rather windy with a cold wind at that, the only bird of note was that the Little Egret was present at Gruinart again today. 

I heard today of the sudden death of Andy Greenwood which occured last Thursday. Andy, proir to his retirement was the ranger in the Forest of Bowland. I met Andy and his other half Jane on Islay on numerous ocasions and Andy was something special. My thoughts are with Jane at this sad time. As the saying goes "Gone, but not forgottten."

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Sunday 14th April

Going to a rather short entry tonight as / because it has been blowing  a "Hooley" (strong winds) coming from the South East. Mind you it did not deter Distillery Dave walking down with his dogs to the Rockside road end. He did manage to see a few Wheatears while he was out, but no mention seeing an Osprey yet!!! James also e mailed some birds seen by him on the reserve at Gruinart... He had the following birds, a White tailed Eagle on the flats, a Merlin, M & F Hen Harrier, a Brambling and also 2 Siskins.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Saturday 13th April

Yesterday was Jeff Hunter's last full day of this present visit. In the morning, he headed up towards Ardnave, and on his way there, he had spotted 2 different Merlin and also a male Hen Harrier all out on the wing looking for some food. He also saw a small flock of Barnies still present at Ardnave. Down in front of the South hide, on the "floods", he had a few Whoopers " courting" some Red breasted Merganser. On his way back to his car, Jeff noted plenty of Willow Warblers in the woods at Gruinart. going back to Port Charlotte by Carnain, he had seen a Sparrowhawk, his 8th different raptor species seen since he came over at the start of the week, and still no Osprey in that tally!!! In the afternoon, Jeff saw another male Hen Harrier out quartering its' patch as he walked up towards Bolsay. Many thanks for your sightings to David and also to Jeff, much appreciated as ever..
Yesterday, James had a Corncrake calling down at Portnahaven and today, on the reserve at Gruinart, 2 Golden Eagles were present...

Friday, 12 April 2019

Friday 12th April

On Wednesday David Wood had seen 2 Sandwich Terns down at Kilnaughton Bay

Yesterday, the "vols" while out carrying out  a survey on the Oa, had seen a Ring Ouzel close to Port Alsaig down close to Kintra . Later on yesterday afternoon, Bonnie, Dave's wife had seen a Ring Ouzel at Risabus also on the Oa, but as Dave said, the big question was it the same bird or was it a different bird was seen? The survey in which the"vols" had been helping out with was a survey on numbers of Tysties  around the coastline of the reserve , their tally was 318. David Hunter who has been over for the past week with some friends had seen 2 female Snow Buntings while down on the Oa, and they also had a male Hen Harrier eating some prey which it had killed.
James had counted 5 Sandwich Terns at Bruichladdich,. He also reported on seeing "loads of Willow Warblers" now present on the reserve at Gruinart. James was also saying that the majority of the geese have now left Islay...

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Thursday 11th April

An right early entry for once, not even had an afternoon cupa yet, but here goes.. 'cos I am away out shortly for an evening meal with the family and friends!!!
Yesterday, Peter did a quick count of the Tysties seen at Bruichladdich Pier noting 8 birds in all. In the afternoon, Peter noted another feeding frenzy out on Loch Indaal with mainly Gulls seen , 5 RTD, and a Common Guillemot with 23 GNDs present there at the same time. Also yesterday, Mike had counted 4 Sandwich Terns between Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte. Phill had the folowing birds down on the Oa, again yesterday, Sand Martin, Canada Goose, GND, Kestrel, Golden Eagle, 3 Eider, 43 Tysties and also 25 Twite. 
This morning, Mike had heard 3 Willow Warblers calling away, when he was walking along  the track leading out to Bolsay. Phill this morning had 25 Lapwing, a male Hen Harrier, 3 Sand Martin, 2 Curlew and also 9 Snipe, all down on the Oa reserve.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Wednesday 10th April

Yesterday, Jeff  Duncan had seen a Golden Eagle on a carcass less than 30 metres from the road as he was driving down to Machir bay, no need for the bins for that one, Jeff... Also yesterday, Ed Burrell , an old chum from a few years back, and now an Islay resident, had seen 2 Swallows as he was out rolling some fields. Ed was also saying that he has been seen a lot of Wheatears around and also a Blackcap as well.
Today, Mandy has making the most of the weather sitting out in her garden up at Carnduncan where she has been hearing a Chiffchaff calling away.  James e mailed through to say that there  have been "loads of reports" of sightings of Sand Martins and Swallows seen at Gruinart,  Ardnave and also at Loch Skerrols. There was a House Martin present up at Ardnave. James was also telling me that the geese are slowly moving North, with geese seen around Islay "noticeably less" in numbers now.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Tuesday 9th April

Gary had seen 2 juvenile White tailed Eagles, talon clasping and also tumbling along from Blackrock. James reported through to say that the Lapwings on the flats on the reserve at Gruinart are sitting on their nests. Mike P had seen a Brambling yesterday in his garden. Down at Easter Ellister, he had counted a flock of 30 Redwing when he was out that way with Peter. This morning, the Brambling was still present in his garden. Returning birder, Jeff  Duncan, who is staying up beyond Bob & Pat's house up behind Port Charlotte had seen the following birds during a "golden hour", all seen from the cottage, 3 Chough, a Peregrine Falcon, a male Hen Harrier and also 2 White tailed Eagles all in the air. In the garden, Jeff had seen 3 Redwing and a Stonechat. Later on in the afternoon, Jeff saw a Golden Eagle flying over Octomore hill. Another visiting birder, David Hunter is also staying in Port Charlotte for the week along with some friends... yesterday from the North hide at Gruinart, they saw a Golden Eagle causing havoc. On the water in front of  the hide, they saw  a male Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and also Mallard Ducks. Later on, they had seen a Chiffchaff on a gorse bush when they were driving up the East side of Loch Gruinart

Monday, 8 April 2019

Monday 8th April

Some sightings in from various sources, mainly through from yesterday.. Mandy on Saturday evening had heard a Snipe calling up at her house at Carnduncan. Later on , Mandy had heard more than one Snipe drumming away. She also comented on hearing some Great Tits and also several Blackbirds singing away in her garden with great gusto...
Yesterday, visitor Iain Matthews from St Andrews had seen a Little Egret down in one of the many wee creeks at the head of Loch Indaal at Bridgend. James on his way home yesterday afternoon had seen a Merlin and a Hen Harrier as he drove across the flats at Gruinart both present over the reserve.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Sumday 7th April

Yesterday, Mike Peacock had seen a Sandwich Tern flying up Loch Indaal, out from Port Charlotte. Later on, Peter had seen 2 Sandwich Terns flying offshore out from Bruichladdich for the most of the day. Bob had seen a single Sandwich Tern out from Loch Gorm House, just North of Bruichladdich and then shortly afterwards Bob had an Arctic Tern up at Gortan. Jenni Minto and Jan Reavey had seen an Osprey at Loch Gorm.
This morning, at 7 am Mike had seen 5 Bottle nosed Dolphins swimming past the pier below his house at Port Charlotte.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Saturday 6th April

Alistair Hart e mailed through to say that he had heard a possible Corncrake calling down in Portnahaven, this bird was not seen, as not a Starling was present in the location, so possibly an early Corncrake.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Friday 5th April

James has been down on holiday in the Lake District, climbing a few hills, and one day spent some time on his bike... While wearing his other hat, James had seen a pair of Ring Ouzels and had seen a Swallow, the first he has seen this summer... Last Saturday, after going on the ferry to Kennacraig, on West loch Tarbert, James had 2 Black throated Divers both in summer plumage.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Thursday 4th April

Yesterday, David Wood had seen 7 Whoopers on Loch Kinnabus, with a count of 260 Whitefronts still present.
Today, David  saw an immature White tailed Eagle seen on the reserve on the Oa. Over on the other side of Islay, Mike Peacock had seen 4 Wheatears in the dunes behind Machir Bay, with the Leucistic Common Gull present there down in the Bay itself. Alistair Hart was also out braving the elements again today. He saw the Leucistic Common Gull as well as the Wheatears. Alistair also saw  a male Merlin was seen up at Kilchoman with a female present over at Gruinart. Al was saying that there is a Starling mimicking a Corncrake down in Portnahaven, calling away in fine voice this morning...

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Wednesday 3rd April

Quite a bit of catching up with some sightings, so here we go, all seen yesterday
Alistair Hart had done a sea watch down at Frenchman's Rocks, a  "blisteringly cold watch".... A walk along Currie sands produced Skylarks singing with Mipits, some Linnets and a charm of Goldfinches noted there as well. Out to sea, the passage of Gannets was from South to North. Other birds seen included Fulmar, Kitiwake, a small groupof 4 Manx Shearwaters, Tysties, Guillemots and also Razorbills. On the rocks there, Alistair had a group of 20 Purple Sandpipers, a species usually seen at Bruichladdich. Another interesting piece of news was that he had sun, sleet and also a rainbow while he was out!!! In the afternoon, Al had a pair of Dippers and also a pair of GreyWagtatils onthe River Sorn in Bridgend Woods. Down at Buichladdich, he had 2 Ringed Plover and another 3 Purple Sandpipers.
Mike e mailed his sightings through to say that the Bait fish were back in Loch Indaal with Kittiwakes, Herring Gulls and Common Gulls all feeding on the surface. They were joined by 64 Razorbills, 91 Common Scoters, 6 RTD, 3 GND and also 27 R b Mergansers. Along at Foreland , Mike had seen a Peacock butterfly out on the wing.
Gill Gooch was in touch to remind me that her husband is Martin, not Graham of "The Goodies" fame....Oops, sorry another howler from me AGAIN!!! They had spent a very productive day in at Finlaggan, especially as this was their first visit when the visitor centre was open, enjoying much appreciated cups of coffee and gleaned a lot of information from the helpful, friendly staff there as well.... Birds seen included 2 White tailed Eagles soaring together, a Golden Eagle, Merlin, a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Sparrowhawk, numerous Buzzards, a lovely Grey Wagtail and then they saw a House Martin, and  also a pair of displaying Ravens. Later on, they had watched a  male Hen Harrier out quartering its patch over beside the Airport.
Phill, down on the RSPB reserve on the Oa, had seen 4 Chough and a Carrion Crow. David Wood saw a Blackcap on the track leading up to Kinnabus.

Think that will do for tonight folks...

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Tuesday 2nd April

Good friend Marsali sent through her rainfall figures for March, her tally was 5.7inches , only a mere 1.1 of an inch more than we had up at home...
Yesterday, Distillery Dave along with his sister Shirley had seen 3 different male Hen Harriers, one close to the  Coastguard cottages, another near to the former Kilchoman School and the third bird seen down at Foreland House. Over at Gruinart, they saw a Snipe from the North hide, with 6 GND seen on the Sound of Islay at Bunnahabhain. They also had seen a White tailed Eagle on their travels as well.
Graham Gooch who won the competition for to visit Islay,  a few years ago, has returned for his 3rd Islay fix along with his wife Gill and also their good friends Chris and Andy Mortimer. We usually meet up at Rutland at the Bird Fair, bit of an "old boys' re union"... Back on Sunday, they had a flock of over 300 Golden Plover down over Laggan Point. Yesterday, they had great views of some Redwing on their way up to Ardnave, with some Fieldfares close at hand as they drove round Loch Gorm. A ringtail was seen close to Coillabus, and they too had a Snipe at Gruinart and also a Moorhen.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Monday 1st April

Well another month in with the rainfall tally up hee at home for the month of March coming to 4.6 inches in total.

Yesterday with the better , nicer, warmer weather around, Lesley had seen several small Tortoiseshells and also a couple of Peacock Butterflies in her garden. She also spotted a Thrush sitting on a nest in the hedge. Lesley was also saying that she has been hearing and also seeing both Redwing and Fieldfare flying overhead through the week...
Also yesterday Peter had been out for a spot of birding with some guests, after returning from leading a tour to Borneo, and then visiting family in New Zealand. Out on Loch Indaal, from Bruichladdich Pier, they had seen 5 GND, 25 RTD, and a single BTD all in non breeding plumage. At the Pier, they also had spotted a Tystie. Later on, up at Gruinart, they had a flock of 175 Golden Plover out in the fields below the visitor centre with some now in breeding plumage. Finally up at Ardnave, they had seen 2 Wheatear and also 2 Sand Martins..

This morning Phill had counted a raft of 16 Eider in the bay at Port Ellen. The weather out here was not as good as yesterday, just as well we took a daft turn and did some time working outside when we did.  I am not complaining, as long as the weather improves and stays for some time in a fortnight so we can sow the seeds!!!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Sunday 31st march

Yesterday Alastair Hart had seen a Raven as it flew past, while Al was down at Portnahaven.
Today, Alastair had seen an Otter down at Port Bhan and also some Pale belied Brent Geese. 20 Curlews were seen flying out from Coultorsay. Out on Loch Indaal , he saw some RTD and GND on the water.
Visiting birders from Fife, Bill and Margaret had seen a male Hen Harrier out quartering its patch below Leek. Later on they had seen some Chough, job done folks, the 2 bird species that they had come to see, both seen on the first day of their present visit..
Yesterday and today, Margaret has been busy cutting the grass, here at home, I have busy as well sitting on our wee tractor , rotovating the ground, getting the ground ready for sowing the bird seed crop and also 3 areas which we are going to sow with different wild flower mixtures... Mind you we were both bird watching when driving around, Margaret had a distant Golden Eagle, way out over the crag, There were 16 Jackdaws and also 6 Pied Wagtails following me on the newly worked ground. After tea, when we looked on the newly worked ground, there was a mixed flock of around 45 Twite and a few Linnets having a good howk on the ground!!!

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Saturday 30th March

Down on the Oa reserve on Thursday, David Wood had a count of 15 Whooper Swans and he also saw a Wheatear. Yesterday Dave had 2 Sand Martins and also a total of 8 Chough, all seen down on the Oa. Yesterday, Malcolm had counted 28 Turnstone on the strand along from Uiskentuie. Along at where the road leads up to Kintra, he had a female Peregrine fly across the road and away...
Up here at home, we saw the Red legged Partridge again, where it has come from is a bit of a mystery, as I do not know where it has come from, as none are released locally...

Friday, 29 March 2019

Friday 29th March

Yesterday, James had seen a pod 7 Bottle nosed Dolphins as the ferry left Port Askaig. Later on  at the head of West Loch Tarbert, James saw a Sandwich Tern and a Little Egret.  Up here at home, Margaret saw a Red legged Partridge in at the ground below the feeders, a new house tick...

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Thursday 28th March

The other day, Lesley had seeen a male Bullfinch fly across the road close to her house. Today, as she was driving home with  the car windows open, Lesley heard the Bullfinch  calling away in the same location.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Wednesday 27th March

Some birds through from Distillery Dave, seen over the weekend. Round over below Carnduncan, he had seen a male Hen Harrier, while close to Coull, a Merlin zipped across the road in front of him. On Loch Gorm, he had seen some Goldeneye, 16 Tufted Duck, 6 Whooper Swans and also 2 Cormorants. On Sunday morning, he watched 30 Whoopers fly in and land on Loch Gorm.
Yesterday, Margaret had a male Sparrowhawk on the garden fence, here at home.
David Wood e mailed in to say that they had counted the number of feral goats while they were out on the survey yesterday, with the tally being more or less the same as in previous years.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Tuesday 26 th March

I am at it again... James told me that he had a Siskin on his feeders at Mill cottage yesterday, mind you not entirely my fault, as James told me about that today!!!  On the Deer count yesteday ,the number was up on last year, and even more were counted as they counted over a larger area this year...
Today, was the walk out around the coastline on the Oa reserve. Top birds from David Wod and his team included 7 Wheatear, 4 Eider, 5 Canada Geese, 9 GND, 2 Peregrine and also 3 Kestrel. Yesterday, David had seen a juv White tailed Eagle chasing the geese downat Kinnabus, with 3 Golen Eagles flying high above, keeping an eye on what was hapening.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Monday 25th March

Thanks to James for putting on some sightings while I had problems with my pc... so better get a move on when it is working again..
Bob was on the phone last night to say that he has now got some Siskins and as a few Redpolls on his feeders as well as 8 Greenfinches.
This afternoon, Bob and Lesley ha carried out the WeBS count from Port Charlotte back round to Blackrock. Birds present were as follows, 7 GND, 5 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 20 Barnacle Geese, 2 Shelduck, 4 Mallard, 2 Long tailed Duck, 35 Common Scoter, 40 Eider, 3 Curlew, 3 Woodcock, 44 Oystercatcher, 8 Ringed Plover,4 Gbb Gull, 12 Lbb Gull, 42 H Gull, 53 Common Gull. Thanks to Bob and Lesley for their birds.
Today James along with his team of counters had carried out the annual count of the Red Deer on the reserve at Gruinart. When they were out, they saw 2 Golden Eagles, a total of 5 male Hen Harriers, a Peregrine, an Adder and also a Lizard...

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Sunday 24th March

Wheatears at last! Spring must be here - even if that north wind is a bit nippy.
A Wheatear at Sanaig yesterday ands 2 at Ardnave today.
Mean while at Gruinat 14 Knot, 33 Linnets and a male Hen Harrier.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Friday 22nd March 2019

A count of the Floods at Gruinart this afternoon:
Lapwing 180
Little egret 1
Heron 4
Redshank 45
Snipe 4
Teal 601
Little grebe 3
Wigeon 198
Mallard 86
Shoveler 40
Pintail 63
Whooper swan 10
Black headed gull 4
Mute swan 6
Curlew 11
Common gull 2
Golden plover 1385
Dunlin 14

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Thursday 21st March

A misty murky day - but the birds are singing, lots of redshank and Lapwing displaying on the Gruinart Flats and some drumming snipe today. The mist and murk has attacked Ians computer, hence the short updates from me (james).

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Wednesday 20th March

The spring equinox and it has certainly warmed up today with a couple of bumble bees out at Gruinart.
Mike had a Great Crested Grebe in a bay nr the Dower House beyond Ardbeg on the 16/03 and the Green Winged Teal was still at the Distillery pond Port Charlotte on the 17/03.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Monday 18th March

Could Spring be here now as the wind has dropped quite a bit, with the birds singing away as well? 
This morning, I saw my first Linnet up here for quite some time, all the birds on the feeders appeared more settled as well, giving some notes in their vocal chords a bit try too, rather than just polishing all the food off! There was a Buzzard soaring high ove the big crag, while on the deer fence along above the cave, another 2 Buzzards were perched up about 100 metres apart, just watching what was going on all around. Out towards the War Graves, I counted 43 Greylags out on the machir. The Choughs were noisey and nosey as ever!!!
This evening, Christopher McLellan told me that he had seen 4 birders down at Pennycraig this afternoon. They were out of their car with their cameras with big lenses fitted, trying to get images of the White tailed Eagle which was out over the top of Loch Indaal causing havoc with the Barnies present.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Sunday 17th March

James was over for a cuppa this afternoon, and over a cuppa , I gleaned some sightings from him... Yesterday, James had seen a Merlin, a Peregrine and also a Kittiwake at Gruinart. Today, he had seen 2 White tailed Eagles over at Loch Skerrols.
A quck e mail in from from Chris Mills this morning, saying that he got home at 10.30 last night, a long drive for him from Kennacraig to Norfolk...

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Saturday 16th March

Back on Thursday, Stewart and Cath, (the couple of visiting birders who I did not know their names, the other day) had seen 2 White tailed Eagles up the far side of Keppols. Chris Mills and the group from Norfolk Birding had seen 15 Chough fly into the roost up here on Thursday, late afternoon. Last night while coming back through Bruichladdich, they saw a Barn Owl carrying a vole. Then to finish their trip off, a Woodcock was seen as they approached they have been staying. If my memory serves me right, I think their tally for the week came to 95 species seen, a great tally considering the weather..  Many thanks for all your sightings folks, as ever much appreciated!!!

Kevin Morrison who lives in Port Ellen and is working down at Foreland House at present, had seen a Greater spotted Woodpecker on the bird table at Shuna's house where Woodie now lives. He also had seen 3 White tailed Eagles along from Uiskentuie, as he drove along the road towards the road junction leading up to Foreland.

Today, Mike along with 2 of his friends, Guy and Mark had seen an immature Golden Eagle and a White tailed Eagle being mobbed by a Buzzard, all in from Keppols. While coming along the Glen road, they saw an adult Golden Eagle, a Kestrel, as well as a Hen Harrier. Down on the merse at Bridgend, they saw a Little Egret. While walking down to the South hide at Gruinart, they heard a Chiffchaff calling away. Distillery Dave had seen 4 Pale bellied Brent Geese on Loch Indaal, in from Gortan this morning. Late afternoon, while in for a cuppa and a catch up, Dave spotted a Golden Eagle far out, away over the crag being mobbed by a couple of Ravens initially and then a Buzzard came and joined in the fray.