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).

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