Thursday 17 April 2008

Tues 15th - Thurs 17th April

Apologies for not putting any entries on the blog for the last 2 days, but I have been busy with Walkislay, the walking week here on the island.
Tracey and the team from SNH forwarded on the final numbers for the year of the count which took place on the 3rd and 4th of April. The tally was 46,515 Barnies and 6,101 Whitefronts, just as well they were counted then as almost all the Geese have flown North, with the last big group moving out on Tuesday night. It was odd for a few days to have the Geese still here while we had the arrival of some of the Spring migrants. Many thanks to everyone involved in the Goose Counts and to SNH for providing the data to me.
There are now a lot of Wheatear and Willow Warbler to be seen round the island, and we even noticed them over on Colonsay when over doing the walk yesterday with Walkislay. I spotted my first flowering Bluebell of the year in a sheltered spot on our way to Kiloran Bay. Also, at the Pier there were several Great Northern Diver, as well as some Eider in the bay. Back here on Islay, was my first House Martin down over the reedbed at the Coastguard Cottages. IKB
Andy reported in to say that on Tuesday, the first winter Iceland Gull was still over at Port Ellen, and there were 7 Sandwich Terns seen over Port Ellen Bay. Up at the Woolen Mill at Bridgend, 2 Dipper were on the River Sorn. On Wednesday, Andy had 2 House Martin at home, 12 Sandwich Tern in Port Ellen Bay, while Gus had a Common Sandpiper at Stremnish on the Oa, as well as a Great Skua. John had 2 Chiffchaff in Bridgend Woods. On to today, Thursday and Andy had 2 common Sandpiper at Seal Bay down beyond Ardbeg, and 3 Swallow at Carnain. This afternoon, he had 25 Golden Plover along with 2 Dotterel in a ploughed field at Ballinaby. The birds had previously been flushed out of another field by a Peregrine. RAS, AK & JSA
On the guided walk at RSPB Gruinart reserve, this morning there were 3 Dunlin in summer plumage as well as 6 Black tailed Godwit, but surpisingly no sign of any Pintail, and only the odd Barnie seen flying away, and no Whitefronts at all. JRH
Breaking news, as I write, Gus reoprted in to say that a Male Goosander had just flown in at Loch Kinnabus. AK

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