Saturday, 15 December 2018

Saturday 15th December

What a day it has been, all the ferries were cancelled to and from Islay today, but Calmac are providing extra ferries to sail tomorrow.
Yesterday Mike P had counted 27 Pale belied Brent Geese down at Traigh an Luig at Gortan, up at Foreland, he saw 2 different male Hen Harriers. Along at Machir bay Mike had 67 Curlew and 8 Turnstone.
George E Jackson and his wife Pat have returned over to Islay after a very good trip to Norway with reasonable views of the "Northern Lights". Yesterday on Islay, George had seen a Redwing in the garden at Rockside, with a flock of around 300 Starlings in one of the Rockside fields next to their son's house. Down on one of the wee lochans next to Loch Gorm, 15 Whoopers were present. Down in the field next the parking area at Machir Bay, George had 11 Curlew, 14 Turnstone  and 27 Ringed Plover. He also had 15 Oystercatcher overflying Machir Bay itself.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Friday 14th December

Today, James had braved the winds and had counted 5,995 Barnies along with 351 Greenland Whitefronts on the reserve at Gruinart. Also seen on / over the reserve was a Golden Eagle as well a White tailed Eagle taking out a Barnacle Goose mid air over the loch...He also had seen a Woodcock. On the floods,  2 Greenshank and 2 Blackwits were present there as well. Out on Loch Gruinart, 2 Grey Plover were seen. James forgot to say whether his tally for the Barnies was before or after  the White tailed Eagle nobbled the goose!!!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Thursday 13th December

Malcolm was in touch to tell me that he has seen 2 different Kestrels this week. One was seen by him on Monday down at Gortan close to the coal yard. The other one which Malcolm had seen was yesterday  over at Kilnaughton bay.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Wednesday 12th December

Yesterday, Mark had seen 4 Pale bellied Brent Geese as well as 25 Scaup at the head of Loch Indaal. At Ardnave Point, he saw a Merlin zip past. On Nave Island, he counted 18 Cormorant with 3 Greenshank seen out from Bun an Uillt.
This morning , we saw a Little Egret at the head of West Loch Tarbert over on the mainland.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Tuesday 11th December

Here are some results from a couple of WeBS counts over here on Islay , both carried out yesterday.
Gary had counted from Bowmore down to Gartbreck. His birds seen were as follows, 79 GND, 16 RTD, 84 RBM, 14 Cormorant, 122 Shag, 1 Great crested Grebe, 16 Slavonian Grebe, 12 Common Guillemot, 4 Tysties, 191 Eider, 59 Common Scoter, 64 Mallard, 293 Teal, 128 Wigeon, 7 Goldeneye, 123 Oystercatcher, 118 Curlew, 22 Redshank, 206 Ringed Plover, 110 Dunlin, 44 Turnstone, 24 Common Snipe, 9 Gbb Gul, 124 Herring Gull, 98 Common Gull, 62 Bh Gull, 8 Heron, 4 Shelduck,  2 Grey Plover, 586 Barnies, 7 Greenland Whitefronts and also 74 Greylags. Gary also had seen "good numbers of Reed Bunting in the lanes and fields, also Pied Wagtails on the shore, with over 100 Skylark moving around in the stubbles.
Lizzy and Ruth had carried out the count at Loch Gruinart yesterday morning, with their tally coming to as follows, 1 Greenshank, 1 GND, 622 Dunlin, 170 Wigeon, 3 Pochard,  208 Barwits, 298 Lapwing, 107 Curlew, 25 Ringed Plover, 88 Turnstone, 14 Sanderling, 66 Shelduck, 214 Redshank, 16 Snipe and 147 Common Gull.

Today, was the first day of the International Goose Count on Islay, so all going well, I should receive through the tally before the end of the week.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Monday 10th December

Yesterday, John Miles had seen a female Sparrowhawk flying away, carrying its prey , a Blackbird, while he was walking out along the track to the Big strand from Island Farm below Bowmore. Today, up at Loch Finlaggan, he saw a juv. White tailed Eagle. On the loch itself, he saw 12 Tufted Duck and also a Goldeneye. Shortly afterwards, he had a female Merlin. Finally on Loch Indaal as you enter Bowmore from Bridgend, John had counted 8 Slav. Grebes, 24 Scaup and also 4 RTD.
Today, Bob had been in at Loch Skerrols for a wee while with his bins, a productive visit by all accounts. He saw in total, a drake Goldeneye, 6 Tufted Duck, 10 Teal, 40 Wigeon, 12 Mallard, 20 Mute Swan and also 6 Whoopers.
Also today, Mike had carried out the WeBs Count from Port Charlotte down to Portnahaven, or the "Outer Loch Indaal count"... His birds included 31 Common Scoter, 39 GND, 8RTD, a Black Guillemot, and a 1st winter Iceland Gull along with some Herring Gulls and Common Gulls which all were fishing close to a  creel fishing boat. Coming back up past Craigfad, Mike saw a Kestrel.
Here at home, this morning, I watched a ringtail Hen Harrier fly past in from the front of the crag, it flew over the wee shed below the pond and it then followed the march dyke up the hill towards our house and then it veered to its' left and flew along over the rough verge along the march fence and then away out over the machir. I watched as it flew over a Pheasant, and kept on going on its way. Neither bird seemed out of sorts as they were only about 2 metres apart. Earlier on, Margaret saw 3 Whoopers fly over the house, flying South.

All in all a good days birding, everyone pleased... keep them coming in folks...

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Sunday 9th December

Mike and Val along with Peter had made the most of the better weather today.. At Gruinart, a Merlin flew along the road in front of them, up at Bun an Uillt, 3 Greenshank and also some Wigeon were present. Further on and over the dunes up at Killinallan, a 1st winter White tailed Eagle was present. Back down at Gruinart, a Golden Eagle put all the geese up in the air as well as several hundred Golden Plover. This afternoon, Mike had spotted 31 Common Scoter and also 7 GND out on Loch Indaal out from Port Charlotte.
Also this afternoon, Distillery Dave and myself gave Bob a hand to carry his WeBS count from Port Charlotte up to Bruichladdich, the tally there came to 3 RTD, 12 GND, 1 RBM, 3 Cormorant, 2 Shag, 12 Herring Gull, 2 Common Gull, 3 Eider, 4 Snipe, 1 Curlew and 7 Greylag. We also saw 11 Whoopers flying South down Loch Indaal. The tally from Bruichladdich round to Blackrock was as follows, 3 RTD, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 24 RBM, 9 Cormorant, 1 Gbb Gull, 13 Herring Gull, 6 Curlew, 23 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Sanderling,  8 Turnstone, 3 Heron, 8 Mallard, 20 Eider and 3 Long tailed Duck.
This morning, we had 3 Whoopers fly over on their way to Ireland...