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 when she was doing her Saturday job down at Islay cottages.

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."