Thursday 30 September 2010

Thurs 30th Sept

Louise had 4 Snow Buntings over at Saligo this afternoon. All I can offer was a count of 240 Wigeon at Gartmain. There were a few Knot around, some Bar tailed Godwit and Curlew too. At the mouth of the burn at Uiskentuie were 9 Turnstone and also a juvenile Red throated Diver. This evening, James saw a Barn owl in his headlights as he came out. I must ask James about the Greylags tomorrow, as I wonder whether the 2 rafts on Loch Indaal were birds on their move away, as I have not noticed as many Greylags around today.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Wed 29th Sept

Another month almost in, time flies, and yes the nights are drawing in too. Funny that you do not often hear about it being longer dark in the morning.....
I heard last night that there was a reported sighting of a Red Grouse up the back of Port Charlotte. Also yesterday, Louise had seen a couple of Fieldfare over on Jura, close to Camas an Staca down on Ardfin estate.
Peter had counted 800 Greylag and 2 Barnies on the top of Loch Indaal this afternoon. He had a look for the Kingfisher on the Sorn, but no joy! This evening, again on Loch Indaal, just out from the lighthouse at Port Charlotte was a large raft of Greylags, and another slightly smaller raft out from Port Charlotte itself.
On our way going out this evening, we saw a Sparrowhawk perched on a fence post on the roadside, but no Owls on the way home!

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Tues 28th Sept

Forgot to mention last night that we saw a dead Barn Owl on the road, between Island Farm and Duich farm on the Low road. Carl had a Carrion Crow and 2 Hooded Crows at Gortan a couple of days ago.
Back to today, and a visiting birder had told Becky about seeing a Kingfisher on the River Sorn, up from Bridgend. Also over at Upper Killeyan on the RSPB Oa reserve 3 Lapland Buntings were present.
George had counted over 150 Goldfinches in the fields up the back of his house. On Loch Indaal, George had 14 Scoter. He had also seen 2 male Hen Harriers, one over at Keills, the other at Kindrochid.

Monday 27 September 2010

Mon 27th Sept

Yesterday, over on Oronsay, 5 Buff breasted Sandpipers were seen. Back here on Islay today, the large gathering of geese were down on the lochans below Rockside and on the surrounding heather. The Barnies were still amongst the Greylags, but on scanning through them, Margaret spotted 3 Greenland white-fronts. While we were out we also saw a few Swallows on the wing, so at least there are still some here yet!

Sunday 26 September 2010

Sun 26th Sept

This is one of the Snow Buntings up at Ardnave, taken by James yesterday. The spell of drier weather continues, and so allowing the farmers the chance to finish their harvest, between combining, baling the straw and then leading the bales back to be stored.
The Barnacle Geese were down on Loch Gorm today along with the numerous Greylags. I have not heard of any more Barnies coming in today. On the lochans below Rockside, amogst the Greylags was a white goose, looks very like a Greylag, possibly the same bird that was around earlier on this year, but now moulted its' feathers and showing a lot more white plumage.

Saturday 25 September 2010

Sat 25th Sept

Many thanks to James for writing the blog over the last few days while we were down in London. We managed to see some wildlife not resident on Islay, a "suburban"fox the first night there, a few Grey squirrels and needless to say Magpies, 9 together in one park in Tonbridge Wells, as well as Coots on the River Thames, some Great crested Grebes and a few Parakeets overhead. On our return here this morning, we saw 19 Barnacle Geese amongst the Greylags down on the stubble at Sunderland.
At Gruinart this afternoon, James had 4 Black tailed Godwit and 110 Bar tailed Godwit, later on up at Ardnave he saw 3 groups of Twite totalling 115 and 2 Snow Bunting. Over on Nave Island a lot of Grey seals were present, including 44 pups.
This afternoon on Loch Gorm, Bob counted 190 Tufted Duck, 5 Scaup, 45 Wigeon and 50 Teal. Back on Thursday, Bob had 80 Pink footed Geese fly over his house heading over Loch Indaal towards Port Ellen. Earlier on in the week he saw a couple of Golden Eagles tucking into a Hare!

Friday 24 September 2010

Fri 24th Sept

A cool and sunny day. Just as I try to raise water levels on the RSPB reserve the rain stops and the sun comes out. I had thought some geese may have arrived over night, but no sign of any today, although 300 Pinkfeet were seen high over Port Charlotte yesterday (BD). Other birds today included at least 3 different Sparrowhawks and a flock of 65 Twite all at Gruinart.

Thursday 23 September 2010

Thur 23rd Sept

A wet and stormy night and now the north wind is blowing, will there be geese in the morning. A count of the crop area at Loch Gruinart revealed a flock of 120 linnets. Its been a Hen harrier day. During the day I spotted 3 different Hen harriers at Gruinart and I have had a report of 4 different harriers at Ardnave plus a Sparrowhawk at both locations.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Wed 22nd Sept

A quick post tonite as a power cut meant the internet was down and weather is now upsetting my satellite link, plus its almost story time. A round up of last weeks count on Loch Gruinart: Oystercatchers 367, Dunlin 247, Bar tailed godwits 101, Curlew 400, Black tailed godwit and Red breasted merganser 44. I had an e mail from Fiona who spotted not one but two Kingfishers on the Sorn at Bridgend yesterday. Today I had a Peregrine on the saltmarsh at Gruinart and a Merlin at Saligo. As I write I have had a text from Michal telling me he can hear Pink footed geese on Loch Gruinart.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Tues 21st Sept

Hello assistant blog master signing in today. I have had a few records come in today on the e mail. The Buff breasted sandpiper was still present today.Yesterday Peter had a great panorama of birds of prey over Gruinart/Coullabus, 7 Buzzards, 3 Sparrowhawks and good views of a pair of Hen harriers. This was followed by the scene of buzzards mobbing 2 Golden eagles with a Kestrel zipping past. As a finale, the day was finished with a Peregrine on one of the shingle islands in loch Gruinart, 2 more Hen harriers and a family of 6 Stonechats.

Monday 20 September 2010

Mon 20th Sept

Up the back of Port Charlotte this afternoon, Bob saw a Golden Plover and along with it was a Buff breasted Sandpiper. It was good to get the birds close together to get a comparison in the size and also plumage. The light was kind to us too!
Yesterday on Loch Indaal, Bob had a Great crested Grebe and also 2 Red throated Divers. Over at the Council tip this morning he had 2 Peregrines out, putting all the gulls up, followed shortly afterwards by a Sparrowhawk. I forgot to say the other day that Bob had 3 Greenfinches at Finlaggan.
Coming back home this afternoon, we had a charm of 38 Goldfinches feeding on seed heads at Foreland House. Good to see so many, certainly there are more Goldfinches around this year, and I have not seen so many together before.

Sunday 19 September 2010

Sun 19th Sept

Coming home on the ferry last night, James had a Whimbrel and 3 Sandwich Terns. At Kennacraig itself, an Otter was seen, wonder how many of the folk waiting on the ferry saw it? While they were en route during their kayak expedition, James and Eleanor saw several Dippers, Grey wagtails, Goosanders and also Jays, a bird that we do not have here on Islay. At journey's end in the Inverness area, a Red Kite was seen overhead.
Back to Islay, on Loch Indaal yesterday, Carl saw 2 Red throated Diver and 12 Scoter. At Bunnahabhain, Bob saw a Merlin and also 2 male Yellowhammer. Later on at Gartmain he had 7 Pintail and 200 Wigeon.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Sat 18th Sept

This morning in the Sound of Islay, on the Jura side opposite Port Askaig, Fiona MacGillivray had seen a Sunfish.
Yesterday Peter Roberts saw a family of Crossbills in the woods down towards Ballimony. over at Gruinart and Michal had a Whooper Swan on the floods.
On Friday, Carl reported in that a few Skylarks were moving through Rockside. A Ringtail was hunting round the margins of Loch Gorm where it managed to flush 30 Teal while the Greylags present just ignored it! A pair of Chough flew past while he was rooting about in a ditch at Coulererach and there was a charm of around 30 Goldfinches bouncing along ahead of him on his bike.
Returning home, and at Gortan and Carl saw 6 Commic Terns, probably Common, all juveniles apart from one. Also seen there were 2 Redshank and 7 Turnstone.

Friday 17 September 2010

Fri 17th Sept

Today, over at Ardtalla, a visitor saw a Fieldfare. Bob had a couple of Great Skuas at Loch Gruinart. Malcolm, had 2 Sandwich Tern on Loch Indaal at Bruichladdich heading South. He also saw a juvenile Arctic Tern 30 minutes later. Late afternoon/early evening Malcolm had a count of around 700 Greylags on the sandflats at the top of Loch Indaal.
James and Eleanor have safely completed their epic kayak adventure, no doubt there will be many tales to tell over the next few days on their return to Islay. Well done to you both and to Sally too. They even made it into the Press & Journal, the local North East newspaper....

Thursday 16 September 2010

Thurs 16th Sept

George had taken a trip down the Oa this afternoon in the hope of seeing the Ortolan Bunting, but with no joy. It was blowing a gale and keeping his 'scope steady was a job in itself. He did manage a Stonechat, a flock of Linnets and some Swallows were still present. Later on George had a Sparrowhawk on his way home.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Wed 15th Sept

Down at Kinnabus on the RSPB Oa reserve today, Andy Schofield had an Ortolan Bunting along with some Lapland Buntings.
Also today, Carl had a Peregrine along the strand at Uiskentuie. Further on at "smelly corner", he had a count of 24 Curlew, over 100 Ringed Plover along with some Dunlin. Up at Neriby and 2 ringtail Hen Harriers were out on the wing. Coming home, and round at Gortan, a small flock of Turnstone were present.
All going well, by the time I write tomorrow's entry, James and Eleanor will have completed their epic Kayak trip..... I would imagine they will be rather tired come the end of it all! A job well done!

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Tues 14th Sept

The strong winds persisted today, the waves round at Saligo and those crashing in on Machir Bay were great to watch, but yet again, the camera was left at home, never learn! Coming back there was a Red legged Partridge down near the coal yard, while nearer to home there was a single Wheatear, and no sign of any Greylags while we were out! It was the first Partridge that I have seen for quite some time.

Monday 13 September 2010

Mon 13th Sept

Wet, wet, wet along with a strong wind. It had to come, I know but... So far this month we have had the same amount as we had for the whole of September last year. We are never happy are we?
As the weather has not been great, not a lot to report, but the Wheatears that were around appear to have moved on, or perhaps they have been sheltering from the elements. Yesterday, I forgot to mention that I had seen a few different Hen Harriers while I was out and about. Also the other day, Angus Og, our young cat came to the kitchen window with a Meadow Pipit in his mouth. Needless to say I was not too pleased with his "present", and did not allow him in. Away he went and he duly returned again with the Pipit in his mouth. I relented and let him in, caught by him the scruff of his neck as he came in, he duly dropped the Pipit who flew off. Whether it lived on, or died of shock, I do not know! The cat is still here, and did get a telling off. Not sure if that will make any odds, but....
Think James and Eleanor are having the rain/wind too!

Sunday 12 September 2010

Sunday 12th Sept

This is one of the Little Stint that were present earlier this week, taken by Jim Dickson. Before he left yesterday, Jim had 2 Gadwall along with 2 Pintail over on Loch Gruinart. The American Golden Plover was still present and a juvenile Grey Plover too. Down at Port Charlotte on Friday Jim saw a Grey Wagtail.
There was a report in of a Yellow legged Gull being seen over at Kintra, but I have not heard any more about it.
This evening, there was a large flock of Greylag Geese on the barley stubble at Sunderland Farm. Coming home later on and a Barn Owl was out in the rain, as were 4 Hedgehogs and numerous frogs and a few Roe Deer too. I wonder if any of the frogs were some of the ones we released back in July!

Saturday 11 September 2010

Sat 11th Sept

Another quiet day over here, I was busy doing other things again today, so you can put up with James sightings from his kayak.... Yesterday he had a Kingfisher, and this morning there was an Osprey. All is going well with James and Eleanor by the sound of things, apart from last night when the beloved midges were out in force looking for food... I even see that James has his bins with him too!
By the way, our visiting birder earlier this week was Jim Dickson from the Argyll Bird Club, thanks for your sightings Jim, and also the images too.

Friday 10 September 2010

Fri 10th Sept

A quiet day bird wise over here today, I have not been across the cattle grid, mainly because I have been waiting for folk to come, and they never did, fingers crossed and I was told that they would be in "first thing in the morning"...
The only topic relating to birds was that there appears to be more Pied Wagtails around and today for sure, not so many Swallows.

Thursday 9 September 2010

Thurs 9th Sept

Yesterday, Carl had 100+ Wigeon and 60+ Red breasted Merganser around the rocks beside the Gaelic College at high tide. A few Curlew and at least 2 Knot were also present. Coming home, and at Carnain ("smelly corner") over 100 Teal were noted.
This morning at Port Charlotte, Carl reported in that there was a large number of Swallows hawking over Loch Indaal.
By the way, James and Eleanor left Islay this morning to head out to the mainland and do their first leg of their Kayak trip. It was great to read on their blog last night that they have raised over £2,000, fantastic. Let's hope the weather is kind to them now!

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Wed 8th Sept

Our visiting birder had turned up trumps for us again today. Over at Loch Gruinart this morning, he had 9 Sandwich Terns, 2 juvenile Common Terns, 3 Greenshank and 2 Pintail. Round Loch Gorm he had a count of 16 Wheatear including a few Greenland Wheatear. As the tide was coming in this afternoon on Gruinart, the American Golden Plover was still present, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Little Stint, 8 Curlew Sandpiper and 14 Black tailed Godwit. Hope he remembered it was his wife's birthday today.....

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Tues 7th Sept

This is the American Golden Plover, taken today by our visiting birder. He also had a 2 Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Ruff all over on Loch Gruinart. The tide was well in this evening, but the light was not too good. There has been almost an inch of rain since last night, but here it must have been a steady rain as the burn was not up. There must have been a lot more rain further over as the River Laggan was full and several fields were flooded!
Before I forget, it is almost time for James and Eleanor to set out on their epic Kayak trip, so if you feel up to it, click on the link on the right and help them raise their total. On Sunday morning their tally was £1613, so now their goal is £2,000, so fingers crossed they acheive it.

Monday 6 September 2010

Mon 6th Sept

An image of a Teal taken by Carl, not today I hasten to add as the weather has not been that great! Carl had seen around 50 Teal down at Carnain on Saturday. Coming home at the lighthouse beside Port Charlotte, a Sparrowhawk panicked some Goldfinches......
Yesterday Bob had a Lapland Bunting over at Gruinart amongst some Meadow Pipits. Amongst the waders, he too had a Little Stint and also Curlew Sandpiper. Over at Gartmain today, Bob counted 150 Wigeon present.
Our visiting birder reported in to say that the American Golden Plover was still present at Loch Gruinart today. The Curlew Sandpiper was seen, along with 4 Little Stint, 4 Greenshank, 2 Pintail, a few Wigeon and around 300 Bar tailed Godwit.
Yesterday in the Bridgend woods we had a Treecreeper on a Ewe tree, down at The Woolen Mill a Coal Tit was busy on the nut feeder and on the River Sorn itself were 3 different Dippers as well as a Grey wagtail. Up at at Ardnave there were quite a few Twite to be seen, and on the way over there, we saw a couple of male Hen Harriers at different places.

Sunday 5 September 2010

Sun 5th Sept

An image given to me today of a Lapland Bunting taken this morning down on the Machir Bay by the same visiting birder. Also at Machir Bay there had been an Osprey, heading inland. Over at Gruinart, and he had seen the American Golden Plover again, as well as a Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank and Whimbrel.
This morning George had found a 4 foot long Conger Eel down on the shore below his house at Bruichladdich. It would have been longer but it was missing its' head! George left it down on the shore, with a couple of Greater black backed Gulls claiming it, and they managed to defend "their prey" against a couple of Ravens! Later on and George had seen a Greenshank up at Gruinart and a female Pintail along with a few Shelduck.
Carl yesterday had 8 Basking sharks off Easter Ellister and also a Peregrine at Carn.
This evening, the weather looks like as if it is going to break down, the wind is picking up a bit too!

Saturday 4 September 2010

Sat 4th Sept

This morning Bob Davison had seen a juvenile Goosander while he was over at Gruinart and also 30 Wigeon, so that is possibly the start of some of our wintering ducks returning. This afternoon, a visiting birder had an adult American Golden Plover in amongst the Dunlin again over at Gruinart. It appeared to be quite settled and did not fly off, not to be seen again!
Harvest today has been put on hold, as there has been the odd shower, not a lot, but enough to stop the combines and balers!

Friday 3 September 2010

Fri 3rd Sept

A great image of a Moorhen taken by Carl. He had seen a pair of Moorhen down at Carnain and further on along the strand at Uiskentuie, he also had seen a couple of Chough. Down at Bruichladdich there were a few Turnstone present.
The farmers have been busy again today with their combines and at Rockside a couple of fields of grass were put into the silage pit for feeding to the stock in the winter.

Thursday 2 September 2010

Thurs 2nd Sept

I was speaking with Clark this afternoon, and up came the topic of the rainfall so far this year. He reckons that his tally for the year is a mere 22", compared with 38" at the same time last year, a shortfall of 16"..... The farmers certainly are not wanting the rain for a few days yet as most of them have just made a start to combining the harvest....
Down at "smelly corner" there were some waders around, some Eiders are starting to come out of their eclipse plumage. There were a few Ringed Plovers seen scurrying around too. Round on the foreshore, just as you enter Bruichladdich, there have been a few more Herons of late.
By the way "Home alone" has been back home again, still looking for a friend no doubt!

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Wed1st Sept

This is the Basking Shark which we saw last month when we were out with DJ. He had seen 3 in the Sound of Islay at the weekend as well as a White tailed Sea Eagle overhead. I was hearing from Peter Roberts last night, that back in July when he was on the ferry between Coll and Tiree that he had a count of 28 Basking Sharks. There certainly have been seen a lot this summer, with good counts, not just in ones and twos!
Obviously another month is past, and the rainfall only tallied through at 2.6", another dry month. We are well down on last year, but there is still time to make it back up...
James today had done a count of 1691 Greylag Geese on Ardnave and Gruinart. He also saw 2 Peregrine, 2 Greenshank and had 14 Black tailed Godwit up at Ardnave.