Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Wednesday 20th February

Yesterday, up here (Getting forgetful???) we had 3 Fulmars soaring along the front of the crag, net result today the wind has been blowing away strongly and a good few dirty showers in the mix as well...Mind you there was no disruption with the ferry!!!
This morning out on the patch of ground where we sow the bird seed crop, there were a couple of Hares running around, boy they were covering the ground really fast. There has been no sign of the Sparrowhawk at the feeders today, but it was down on the wall beside the ditch. A ringtail Hen Harrier flew past looking out for anything to eat!!! The Rochdale birders had a Hooded Crow carrying a frog away to eat later on.. 
Chris Corrigan had seen a Barn Owl at 8.15 am, between Uiskentuie and Blackpark. From the South hide at Gruinart, Chris had the Green winged Teal and also saw the Little Egret. Back up at the car park at Gruinart, he had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier. Up towards Keppols, 2 Chough were present and then at Bunnahabhain, Chris had seen an Otter. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Tuesday 19th February

Forgot to mention that last night Margaret had seen a Barn Owl as she was driving along the road towards Blackrock back from the meeting in Bowmore. Yesterday afternoon, I saw a Raven flying up to its nest site carrying materials for its' nest...
This morning Chris Corrigan had seen a White tailed Eagle out from Bridgend on the mud flats there when the tide was out.. Round off Bowmore, he had 8 Scaup, 15 Common Scoter, 22 Eiders, 5 GND and a RTD. Also today, Ken Reeves along with 4 members from Burbage bird club had been down at Bowmore in the morning where they saw 9 Scaup, 50 Eider, 17 Common Scoter, 3 Slavonian Grebes, 8 GND,  70 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, a Pale bellied Brent Goose, 160 Wigeon and out on the estuary over 10,000 Barnies. Up at Gruinart, from the South hide, the Green winged Teal was present as were 15 Whooper Swans and finally they had 4 Tysties down at Bruichladdich. The weather out here this afternoon has not been good for birdwatching...

Monday, 18 February 2019

Monday 18th February

Ken Reeves along some members of the Burbage birders are over on Islay for a few days to catch up on the birds that we have...Great to see you all earlier on this evening... Yesterday, when they came over on the ferry, they had seen 10 GND, 1 RTD, 7 BTD, over 30 Guillemots, 10 Black Guillemots, 9  R b Merganser, 40 Kittiwake, 4 Goldeneye, 12 Eider and 3 Fulmar. On Islay, at Bruichladdich they had 2 Ringed Plover.
Another visitor who is over for a few days is Chris Corrigan who has kindly sent some sightings through... Yesterday, he had 8 Scaup and 7 Common Scoter off Bowmore out on Loch Indaal. From the South hide at Gruinart, Chris had a Greenshank, 5 Whoopers and also the Little Egret present there as well. Ardnave Loch held 22 Whoopers with 6 Choughs close by.
Today, Chris had 7 Common Scoter and a RTD off Bowmore.  Down on the Oa, in horrible weather, he had a Golden Eagle, and a male Hen Harrier. At Upper Killeyan he had a count of at least 100 Twite. Coming back along the low road from Port Ellen, he saw another male Hen Harrier close to the airport.
Up here, similar weather to Chris, a pig of a day, but that did not deter the Sparrowhawk from causing havoc with the wee birds, still as I said in an earlier entry, not to worry it has to be a bit better at catching the wee birds, all it is good at present, is  as  a "bird scarer".
This evening, The Islay bird nerds had a meeting with Bill Dundas who is the chair person on the Islay Goose Scheme. He kindly  gave us an outline about the scheme in general and was able  to answer most of our questions. "A right good meeting", thanks to James for chairing it!!!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Sunday 17th February

Yesterday when leaving Port Ellen on the ferry Richard and Hilary had seen a Razorbill, so their tally for their stay  came to 107 birds seen when they were here..
This morning, Martin had seen 5 male Bullfinches just down from his house over at Glenegedale. He has also seen Frog spawn, and also mating frogs in the marsh there as well. This afternoon, Bob and Lesley had carried out the WeBS count from Port Charlotte, back round to Blackrock.. Their tally for birds seen were as follows...43 Herring Gulls,  GND, 3 GBB Gulls, 10 Cormorant, 7 RTD, 2 Snipe, 1 B h Gull, 16 Common Gulls, 1 Slavonian Grebe,1 Purple Sandpiper, 4 R b Merganser, 14 Ringed Plover, 4 P b b Geese, 43 Oystercatcher and also 12 Eider. Gary and Sam saw a male Hen Harrier up flying, behind their house over at Ballygrant.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Saturday 16th February

Yesterday was Richard and Hilary's final day of their 10 day trip to Islay. Their day started off  with seeing a ringtail Hen Harrier as they drove from Uiskentuie  up to Gruinart. From the North hide at Gruinart, they were fortunate in watching the birds getting moved on by the incoming tide.. Birds seen there were as follows... Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew, Barwit, Shelduck, R b Mersganser, Barnacle Geese, Mipits, Pied Wagtails, Common Gull and also B h Gull. From the hide, they saw 2 new ticks for their stay, a Blackwit and also a Grey Plover. Over at Finlaggan, they had seen a male Hen Harrier as they approached, several Buzzards, a Golden Eagle as well as another tick for their list, a Red Grouse, making it a total of 106 different species when over here, a great total for the time of the year...
Speaking to Mandy today over a welcome cuppa, she had seen an Otter just opposite the Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen the other day with a Golden Eagle was out on the wing over close to Balole, later on in the week.
Distillery Dave had counted 8 Turnstone down on Machir Bay this morning. Shortly afterwards, he had a Merlin in his garden up at Rockside, then this afternoon, he saw a juv. White tailed Eagle down at the road end/ entrance to Rockside.
Late afternoon up here, the hen Sparrowhawk visited us again, with a fly past the big gable end windows, no cameras needed !!! Earlier on, we saw a male Sparrowhawk fly through the gardens down at the Coastguard cottages.
Forgot to mention last night that I took a daft turn and cut the grass up here at home in the afternoon, it does look a lot tidier now!!!  It is the earliest thatI have ever cut grass .. global warming???

Friday, 15 February 2019

Friday 15th February

Regular contributors this week, Richard and Hilary had been out and about yesterday .. Down on the Oa, they had seen a Golden Eagle, 4 Buzzards, a large flock of Twite seen on a stubble field behind Upper Killeyan. A walk out to the American monument produced Fulmars and a Gannet both seen well out to sea. Up at Bowmore, looking across Loch Indaal towards Bruichladdich, they saw 4 Long tailed Ducks. A female Hen Harrier was seen as they drove up the road towards Mulindry, while at Knocklearach they had had a Merlin fly across the road.
Some sightings through from Mandy, the other day she had seen a pair of Ravens displaying.  Later on the same day, she had a pair of  Hooded Crows displaying as well. Mandy's only comment was that she felt that the male Hoodie was not so good as the male Raven in its' display flying antics. Yesterday, as she was walking up the track to Carnduncan, a Sparrowhawk flew across the track, just ahead of her, almost too close!!! She wondered whether it had been hiding by the bank at the side of the track.
Today, The Rochdale birders had seen a male Hen Harrier over at Gruinart with a ringtail seen at Sunderland. On Ardnave Loch, 9 Whoopers were present. Down at Carnain, they had 2 Golden Eagles with  another one seen away out from Storakaig.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Thurdsay 14th February

Richard and Hilary had seen Teal, Wigeon, and Mallard and also close sightings of 2  Golden Eagles while in at Loch Skerrols yesterday. Later on, they had Whooper Swans, Teal, Wigeon, R b Merganser, Skylarks and a ringtail Hen Harrier at Ardnave Loch, while a walk round Ardnave produced Ringed Plover, Dunlin, 2 Barwits, 4 Purple Sandpipers, Rock Pipits, Mipits, Tysties, Bh Gull, Redshank, Wigeon, GND and also Chough.
Yesterday, on checking out our cameras late evening, the footage showed the Sparrowhawk up to its' antics 4 times yesterday with another 3 shows again today, but with no kills at all!!!