Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Wednesday 26th June

Another beautiful day with end to end blue skies all around, honest it means that I am running out of adjectives to try to describe the spell of weather that we are having out here at present...

This morning, Gary from Wild Islay Birding was out with some clients had heard a Corncrake calling up towards Kilchoman, but failed to see the elusive bird...

Later on when Bob was up for a wee visit, we saw 4 Ravens out on the wing, what we all thought to be 2 adults along with 2 young.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Tuesday 25th June

Another glorious day with the weather, not a bad complaint though!!

Gary, today had seen an Osprey fishing on Loch Finlaggan. While he was there he also had a White tailed Eagle fly over and shortly after that he saw 2 Red throated Divers (RTDs) 

This morning, visitors Andrew and Karen Evans had a RTD out over Kilnaugton Bay. This afternoon, along on the Oa, they had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier and also a mixed flock of Twite and Redpolls.

This evening, at the Bird nerds meeting down at Foreland, we had seen Whitethroat, Longtailed   Tits, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Goldcrest, Willow Warblers, Blackbird, Song Thrush and also heard a Bullfinch. Margaret spotted a Peregrine sitting on top of the crag this evening,  up here at home.

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.