Friday 28 September 2007

Mon 24th Sept - Thurs 27th Sept

Well, the Paisley correspondent has returned from his hospital stay, not so many Magpies to be seen this time, even although I was in for almost 2 months, I was not really in form to do much bird watching! On return here on Tuesday evening, we had 2 Ringtails between the airport and Bowmore, and while Margaret was in the Co-op in Bowmore doing some last minute shopping a Peregrine flew overhead. It's great to be home, words cannot really explain..... At this point I would like to thank James R. How for kindly keeping the blog going in my absence.
The birdlife here is tremendous, we do not really appreciate it until you have been away for a spell. Today, Thursday, there were 20 Barnacle Geese, and 8 Whitefronted Geese along with over 500 Greylag on one of the the small lochans beside Loch Gorm, while up at Ardnave the were 2 Whooper Swans. I.K.B.
Over at R.S.P.B. Loch Gruinart Reserve, this week, there have been a further movement through of Geese, Monday had 148 Pale Bellied Geese, Tuesday a show of 53 Pale Bellied Geese along with 20 Barnacle Geese (? same group as noted at Loch Gorm area on Thursday?) while on Wednesday there were 9 Whooper Swans. J.R.H.

Sunday 23 September 2007

Mon 3rd September to Sun 23rd September

A relatively quiet period as far as migration is concerned with lots of birds being reported further north, but not many reaching south to Islay, (although read on for a few highlights). The second part of September and through October is always the most exciting period to be on Islay.
Black tailed godwits have been continuous on the Gruinart floods throughout this period with 12 on 03/09 and 11 on the 22/09. Duck numbers have been steadily increasing around the Island, at Gruinart: 2 pintail 03/09 and on the 17/09, 252 teal. 13 wigeon and 6 shoveler.
A trip in a rather too small boat from Oronsay around the west coast of Islay and into Loch Indaal (09/09) had a few highlights to aleviate the motion sickness: 2 great skuas, 2 storm petrels, 2 black throated divers, lots of manx shearwaters, 2 basking sharks and a sunfish (JRH). On the 16/09 (AS) took a boat trip south of Port Ellen at about 3 miles out, 2 great shearwaters!, 45 sooty shearwaters and 30 storm petrels visited the boat.
At Gruinart on the 17/09, 1 great skua, a Greenland wheatear and 165 linnets.
The weather has definitely become more autumnal and now we are starting to see the for runners of Islays amazing goose invasion: on the 22/09 at Gruinart 12 barnacle geese and 18 pink footed geese. On the 23/09, 12 barnacle geese, 23 pink footed geese and 271 pale bellied brents (JRH).

Sunday 2 September 2007

Mon 27th August to 2nd September

Some Autumn movement of birds has been evident this week in some Autumn like weather.
27th August, 8 black tailed godwits, 12 knot and 356 greylag geese all at Gruinart. On the 28th August a quick look over the Loch at Gruinart revealed a bird of prey spectacular, 2 ospreys, 1 peregrine, 1 sparrowhawk and a hen harrier. Later an otter was visible from the hide also at Gruinart. On the 30th August 6 black tailed godwits, 1 little grebe, 3 gadwal, 1357 grelag geese and a single barnacle goose were all present around Gruinart.