Saturday, 4 April 2020

Saturday 4th April

Gary sent some birds through....
"Some sightings from yesterday & today,
Yesterday, a male Hen Harrier at Finlaggan, 1 male Wheatear in field above Finlaggan. Second male Wheatear was seen up behind Scanistle. Today, a Peregrine flew over my house."

I was speaking to James earlier on this evening and he was saying that he had seen a White tailed Eagle at the head of Loch Indaal this morning and then shortly afterwards he saw a White Wagtail out from Mill cottage.

I was in touch with Dave Pierce regarding a Golden Eagle that Jim Dickson had seen over Jim's house at Cairnbaan this morning, but sorry to say that Jim's bird was not the same one that Dave had made initial contact with me about. But, on a positive note from Dave who told me that his bird was back in the district on Thursday night. It passed through Mull after departing Jura, then roosted in Morven. In the mean time, Dave has offered to try to find more details for us on Jim's bird, so watch this space...

David Barr was in touch today as well, reporting from Lochearnhead where he now lives. He had a Red Kite fly past the other day. He is enjoying having the sound of Curlew echoing around the glen in early evening . Seem to be resident in  the fields in front of the house. While out with the duo Ted and Ella, his 2 dogs, this morning had two Nuthatch together searching the trees for breakfast !

Karen Graham today was in touch as well..
"Looking out of kitchen window and a male Goldcrest was going round back door spiders webs in search of insects. During the winter I did not see a Goldcrest at all as I have done in past years so was delighted to see this one. A nest must be nearby."

Friday, 3 April 2020

Friday 3rd April

Well, thanks mainly to the coronavirus, I am sorry  to say that there are no birds for you to read about tonight...  By the way, it sure is stopping most of the birders going out and about. I was in touch with Matt  Merritt, the other day and he told me that the proposed trip up to Scotland the other week had been cancelled, but hoped that it might be scheduled for the Autumn possibly.... Matt is the editor of the Bird watching magazine. Another topic that came up was about the Bird Fair at Rutland normally held in August, but again by the sound of things might well be cancelled out. Once I hear of anything further about the Bird Fair, I will let you know.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Thursday 2nd April

Gary emailed through some sightings from today...
"2 male Hen Harrier at Finlaggan, White tailed Eagle high up over hills, 3 Red breasted Merganser on loch, 7 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe.
Linnets singing on territories. Sand Martin on Loch Finlaggan."

Some sightings through from James as well,
"a Merlin was seen as I was driving across the Flats and managed to read a few Barny rings from the Kitchen window - Good old ULB was there as usual he has been coming to this field since we moved into Mill Cottage (and probably before)."

James was saying that he had 5inches of rain at Mill cottage and he told me that the rain gauge at Shepherds cottage for the months Feb/ March came to 9.5 inches a total for both months as I forgot to empty it out at the end of February...

Dave Pierce was in touch regarding the Golden Eagle which he has been tracking...
"She roosted Monday night at Gleann Ullibh on the south end of Jura. Next day travelling northwards virtually the whole length of the island before crossing to Mull."

Great when others contribute to the blog....

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Wednesday 1st April

Dave Pierce who leads tours for Naturetrek and has led tours to Islay in the past, was in touch with some interesting information on a Golden Eagle, and no, it is correct not an April Fool's spoof...
"I just though you'd be interested to know a Golden Eagle from one of the territories I have been monitoring in my Badenoch district visited Islay.  It fledged in July 2019. It arrived on Islay near Port Askaig at c1800 hrs on Sunday. It's a tagged female and roosted on the N side of Beinn Bhan around Ulilt Ruadha. The next morning she flew S to be midway between Leorin & Leorin Lochs before heading back north & off the island."
Thanks for your info Dave, much appreciated...

As promised, some info on the rain which we had on Islay during March. Dr Matt Jackson's rain gauge down at Rockside road end held a mere 2.92 " for the month while Marsali's came to the best part of 4.56" over at Muindry, exactly the same figure that she had back in January...

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Tuesday 3st March

Well that's another month almost past, so tomorrow I will try to tell you the figures for the rain which fell into the various rain gauges round Islay... interesting stuff...

Morven e mailed through this morning to give me the figure for the Greylag geese from the International Goose count carried out the other week. The total came to 690 Geese, and as Morven said, that several of the geese are already paired up.... Thanks again to Morven for the info...

Mandy was back in touch this afternoon, saying that she had seen the Redwing in her garden again today...

Monday, 30 March 2020

Monday 30th March

James yesterday had a Wheatear on the reserve at Gruinart, seen from his garden.

Peter has just noticed this evening from the house here in Bruichladdich, the first decent count of GNDs I’ve seen all winter out on Loch Indaal. A number of small groups were visible offshore totalling 36 birds. There were only 4-5 RTDs with them.

Please remember that there is NO bird nerds meeting tomorrow evening....  "STAY SAFE"

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Sunday 29th March

Mary Redman was in touch by e mail  this morning...
"Saw an other 2 Wheatears yesterday, and she also saw  pheasant hen out the window this morning. It's lovely weather but freezing! My first sheep lambed, triplets! Spring must be here..."

Malcolm had also been in touch today..
"A local, who knows their birds but wouldn't describe themselves as a birder, has just told me of a male Marsh Harrier seen this morning flying below Sunderland. The description was fine - I was phoned for confirmation which I was happy to give. A pretty good date.
This good weather should make the geese think of departing, but the northerly wind may well put them off for at least a few more days. It would be truly glorious without the frost at night."

Mandy was in touch this afternoon with the following birds... Mandy lives in a cottage with spectacular views down over Loch Gorm.
"I've just seen a Redwing in my garden! It scuttled through the old tree near my shed and then just sat and looked at me! Amazing.
The other morning I did a sunrise walk down the track, 'dawn chorus' included white fronts, barnies and greylags flying over, ravens, skylarks, meadow pipits, pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, wheatear! Then in my garden, great tit, blue tit, goldfinch, sparrows, chaffinches, thrush, blackbird. Lovely"

Karen Graham who is a regular visitor to Islay sent some sightings of birds seen lately in her garden in Bearsden..
"A great pick you up at times like this. A beautiful male bullfinch in full colour plumage on seed feeder. Must have a nest nearby. Regulars are all tits including a pair of long tails, sparrows, dunnocks, robins, starlings, blackbirds, wood pigeons, feral pigeons, Greater spotted Woodpeckers, few chaffinch and no goldfinches or Siskins which were present at end of February. She also had seen 2 Magpies"