Sunday 31 October 2010

Sun 31st October

Really going technical with the blog tonight...
This past week, Steve Percival has been over on Islay checking through the geese. Steve has been doing this for over 20 years, and usually ringing some more Barnies each year. The graph above shows us a summary of the Barnie breeding success through from 2000. This year is the third best year since 2000 and well above the 10 year average. The figure for this year given to me by Steve was 13.4% juveniles overall of a sample of almost 15,000 aged. Thanks Steve for this info and some more from Steve tomorrow night.....
The Royal Air Force Ornithological Society (RAFOS) are over for the week, and some of their members saw the Grey Phalarope today up at Traigh Nostaig. While they were there a flock of Turnstones and Sanderling was present. Returning back to their cars, 31 Chough were counted together in one flock.
Two other parties of visiting birders have been over this past few days, and today were fortunate to have Loch Indaal being flat calm, giving ideal conditions for watching various Divers out from the shore. A Merlin flew past too, and down the Oa the other day, a Kestrel was seen mobbing a Peregrine. Also on the Oa they had a flock of over 200 Twite with a couple of Brambling thrown in for good measure!
A Snow Bunting was seen this morning down on Machir Bay.

Saturday 30 October 2010

Sat 30th October

Yesterday, before they left, Gordon and Pauline Yates had seen 6 Yellowhammers over at Ardnahoe on the road up to Bunnahabhain.
James had a Green winged Teal out in front of the hide at Gruinart this afternoon while some visitors James was speaking to, had a Grey Phalarope up on Traigh Nostaig at Ardnave. James also had seen a Canada Goose on the flats, hutchinsii sp

Friday 29 October 2010

Fri 29th October

Just as well that I emptied the rain gauge out yesterday as today there has been 0.75", so not really a lot of birds have been seen today. An Iceland Gull was on the reserve at Gruinart this morning, a Jack Snipe was seen the other day and round at Saligo on Wednesday, a Swallow was seen.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Thurs 28th October

Another mixed day for the weather, time of year for that I heard somebody say.... Do not worry we still have an entry for the blog, even after the power being off for 90 minutes, another excuse for a late entry!
Bob had a count of 32 Whooper Swan on the small lochan after you leave the forestry at Gearach, before you drop down to Kilchiaran. I think that this could possibly be the biggest number so far this Autumn. Over at Gruinart this morning, a couple of Greenshank were seen, and between Erasaid and Lyrabus, there was a Yellowhammer. On our way home this evening a Tawny Owl was in the wood at Erasaid.
Yesterday Carl had been out birding with his Mum and Dad which proved a tall order, was it Mum and Dad or was it that the weather was trying... "The Black Guillemots were at Bruichladdich, and we ran into a nice tit flock in Bridgend Woods containing some Goldcrests and a couple of Trecreepers with some Siskins in the alders. There were 4 Slav Grebes and a few Scaup to be seen through the spume off the Power station, and a Peregrine flew across Loch Indaal in front of us. There was a drake Goldeneye in the inner harbour in Bowmore... They also had a single Pink footed goose along with the Barnies at Finlaggan. A few Dunlin were out on the water's edge at "smelly corner", but there was not a single Teal to seen".

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Wed 27th October

Well, what can you say, but not Waxwings again. These 3 were making the most of the berries in a garden in Port Charlotte today. There were also another small group in a garden in Bruichladdich today as well.
There had been a Kestrel seen along at Rockside. I heard tonight that a Red Kite had been seen over the back of Coullabus.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Tues 26th October

The Waxwings are still here! 10 were present over at the former Kilchoman School, in fact I was told they have been present there for a few days. 39 were seen yesterday over at Port Ellen and today 25 were seen at Bruichladdich.
A male Blackcap was seen in a garden on the way up to Ardnave, a Barn Owl was present at Kilchoman School and another down at Nerabus. 6 Bullfinches were at Bunnahabhain, 3 Swallows were at Bowmore. In the bay at Port Charlotte, a Red throated Diver was spotted.
George counted 11 Heron at the top of Loch Indaal and we had another 5 just as we came down towards Foreland this morning. Finally, there was a family of 4 Whooper Swan on one of the lochans below Rockside.

Monday 25 October 2010

Mon 25th October

Another Waxwing day over here! This is one of the group of 17 that were seen and caught on camera over on Jura today. George had another 6 between Ballygrant and Keills, along with 2 Bullfinches. James had to make do with a single Waxwing in his garden at lunchtime! Mind you he made up with it by seeing a White tailed Sea Eagle over the reserve at Gruinart as well as a Peregrine. One of the visitors had a Barn Owl outside the cottages this evening.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Sun 24th October

A great day over here, not only the weather but the bird watching was too...
Catherine phoned in this afternoon as she was watching 75 Waxwings eating berries at Tarbert on Jura....
One the visitors who arrived yesterday had seen 15 Great northern Diver from the ferry in West Loch Tarbert. Today he had heard a Water rail in the reed bed down beside the Coastguard cottages.
Another visiting birder had seen a Yellowhammer at Ardnahoe, and 3 Whooper Swans on the Loch, further on at Bunnahabhain was a male Blackcap, while he was leaving Bunnabhain there was an adult White tailed Sea Eagle over the pier at the Distillery. Coming back down towards Port Askaig, a male Ring Ouzel was seen, a young White tailed Sea Eagle was over the Sound of Islay and a Swallow was on the wing. After lunch, a Kestrel was seen at Storakaig and also a Peregrine, another Peregrine was down at Avonvoggie later on.
Good sized flocks of Fieldfare have been seen today, Bob had 2 different flocks, one of 30 birds and another of 80 up the back of Port Charlotte, while Carl had a large flock over at Ballygrant.
Another visitor had seen a Golden Eagle and also a male Hen Harrier down on the Oa, both "ticks" for his friends who were with him.
Chris and Tony Johnson from Horwich were one of our visitors who contributed some of their sightings last week, many thanks to them.

Saturday 23 October 2010

Sat 23rd October

A better day once it stopped raining, a great afternoon in fact...
On their way to the ferry this afternoon, our departing friends managed to get some more birds for the blog. Down at Machir Bay they saw 15 Turnstone, several Oystercatcher, some Ringed Plover and a Bar tailed Godwit. In the woods at Kildalton, Siskins were present, 6 Yellowhammer were seen close to Kildalton Cross and 120 Redwing were counted at Ardtalla. An Otter was seen at Ardtalla too, as well as a Great northern Diver at Claggain Bay.
Another visitor told of seeing an Arctic Tern off Ardnave yesterday.
Carl had been out and about today and had seen 3 Swallows at Uiskentuie, lots of Fieldfare at the former Kilchoman School, a small flock of Golden Plover at Ballinaby and finally a Peregrine at Rockside.
Here at home today, there were 6 Long tailed Tits, over 60 Linnets took off from the wood and 8 Whoopers flew low over the cottages as they headed out to sea. Later on, down at Sunderland was a Grey wagtail.

Friday 22 October 2010

Fri 22nd October

Definitely catch up time with the weather today as it has rained for most of the day with over an inch of rain. Surprisingly, the burn here at home did not rise as much as I thought it might have done.
Our visitors had ventured out and got some birds for the blog! Round at Coull they had seen a flock of over 200 Golden Plover, a male Hen Harrier at Saligo. Over at Bun an Uillt on Loch Gruinart, they had a good sighting of a Greenshank. They had also seen 5 Whoopers on the stubble at Rockside.
Other friends had a Kingfisher on the River Sorn below Bridgend, and while they were looking through the ducks on the floods a Peregrine took a fly past and put all the ducks up!!!

Thursday 21 October 2010

Thurs 21st October

Another mixed day with the weather, although there was a beautiful rainbow with the dark grey of the rain cloud behind it at 6pm...
On my way down to Bridgend this morning, I saw a Gull drowning a Teal at "smelly corner". As I was driving, I really should have been paying more attention to the road, but I did notice it happening! Louise on her way down Jura on her commute to Islay had seen a couple of Woodcock and also a Tawny Owl. Yesterday, Gordon her husband, had seen 20 Snow Bunting whilst he was out stalking, as well as a few Red Grouse. These were all on Jura! Catherine had been up at Ardnave and had a Lapland Bunting, a flock of 28 Chough and counted 13 Whooper Swan on Ardnave Loch.
Onto the visitor sightings for today, 3 Snow Bunting were seen at Ardnave, a Siskin was here in the wood, another visitor had seen a Woodcock, 2 different Sparrowhawk, a male and female and also 2 Snipe.
Other visitors had seen a variety of birds of prey, a Kestrel beside Loch Gorm, a Sparrowhawk at Lily Loch, 2 separate Hen Harrier at Loch Gorm, 3 Buzzard together near to Loch Allan. At Avonvoggie there were 20 Redwing, and near to Cluanach they saw a Peregrine twisting with a Buzzard. They had also seen 2 flocks of Long tailed Tit, one at Lily Loch and the other at Caol Ila. On their way home, there was a Goldeneye along with the Scaup present on Loch Gorm.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Wed 20th October

The weather was not so great again with dirty, squally showers from time to time this afternoon. Another apology to make, last night I mispelled the word "leucistic", I checked with someone "in the know", who thought that this is now the correct way this time......
A visitor told us earlier on about seeing a Kingfisher perched on a branch over at the Lily Loch beside Port Askaig. At Loch Allan, 4 Swallow were seen flying past, while at Blackpark they saw a Merlin, and again this afternoon, another one perched on a post with prey at Bruichladdich. It later flew off across Loch Indaal carrying its prey with it.
Here at home this morning, one of our visitors saw a Brambling on the feeder outside their cottage. Later on up at Ardnave, close to Traigh Nostaig were 3 flocks of Twite totalling over 100 birds. Off Nave Island Great northern and Red throated Divers were seen. 7 Whoopers were on Ardnave Loch, along with the ever present family of 8 Mute Swans! They had also seen a Merlin on their way back down from Ardnave, and another Merlin at Ballinaby on their way home. On the flats at Gruinart there were 58 Whoopers present, including 7 young. 2 Roe bucks were spotted in the Rape field at Craigens.
James had seen 3 Goldcrest and 12 Long tailed Tit along from the viewing platform at Gruinart today.
It certainly has been a day for Merlins as we had one down close to Foreland when we went out to a meeting in the early afternoon.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Tues 19th October

Malcolm sent me through this image of the Pink footed Goose along with the Canada Goose. He wonders as to whether the 2 of them have paired up, as they appeared to move through the other geese together. A challenge for the goose counters to keep an eye out for them!
Down at "smelly corner" yesterday, George had been scanning through the Barnacle Geese, and saw a leceustic Barnie, looking at it from the front it appeared to be a normal Barnie, but on viewing it from the side or from behind, the plumage on the upper body was a lot lighter and no real black "barring" showing more just really grey! Another challenge awaits. Off shore on Loch Indaal, he had seen 20 Pale bellied Brent possibly the same ones that had been seen earlier from Gartmain. George has also had the Raven back on his bird table lately!
One of our visitors had a flock of 60 Fieldfare on some Hawthorn at the edge of Ballygrant, in Ballygrant Wood they had a flock of Long tailed Tit and also a Treecreeper. Down on Loch Skerrols there was a mixed group of 30 Whooper and Mute Swan, but mainly Mute. Also present on the water was a Goldeneye amongst the Wigeon.
Another visitor told me this evening of seeing 3 small groups of Whoopers moving through, but not of any larger numbers. I also heard that a Great Skua was seen off the ferry, as they came over on Saturday afternoon.

Monday 18 October 2010

Mon 18th October

The weather certainly has changed over the last week, a lot colder now, in fact I heard that there was a fall of Hail stones up at Sanaigmore this afternoon.
Malcolm e mailed today to say that possibly the Greenfinch had an infection from a papilloma virus, " a warty growth mainly on the legs and feet, and sometimes around the mouth and not always fatal". This morning Malcolm had seen around 320 Golden Plover over at Coull Farm. Other smaller flocks were also seen by visitors, 75 over near to the Machrie Golf course, 70 round at Ballinaby. An Otter was in the bay just after the Dower House at Kildalton, and later on the same folk had 4 Redpoll and 15 Crossbill at Avonvoggie in the trees.
I was shown an image this evening of some Barnacle Geese at Gruinart, and in the same image was a Canada goose and also a Pink footed Goose as well!
Other visitors had seen a Slavonian Grebe on the edge of a group of Scaup on Loch Indaal just out from Glenburn. Further on at "smelly corner" 3 Grey Plovers were seen amongst the flock of Barwits present. Off Gartmain in the choppy sea were 20 Pale bellied Brent Geese. On their way home they saw a Hen Harrier being chased by a Buzzard over at Saligo.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Sun 17th October

One of our visitors in the cottages came over this morning to say that there was a rather odd bird on the feeders outside their cottage. So here it is for any suggestions, a definite Greenfinch, yes, but what was the cause of the growth around its beak? The same folk also had 24 Ravens in a group up at Ardnave later on.
James had carried out another goose count on the reserve at Gruinart today, and he reckons it is as large a count on the reserve that he has ever had. There were 28,072 Barnies, 1 Pale bellied Brent, 1 Pink foot and 6 Canada comprising of 2 parvipes sp., 3 Hutchinsii sp. and probably 1 minima sp. He hopes to get a head count of the Whitefronts tomorrow. He also saw 2 Gadwall, a Peregrine and a Hen Harrier.
Down amongst the geese at the head of Loch Indaal today, Bob saw a Pale bellied Brent, 1 Pink foot and a large Canada, but he was not 100% sure of which species.
Yesterday Peter had been down on the Oa and had a count of over 260 Twite which were active on the seed crop just below the car park. On his travels he had seen a pair of Golden Eagles, initially doing aerial displays and then later on the ground. He also had seen a Peregrine flying up and down and perching close by the Monument. He finally saw 5 Chough dive bombing a Buzzard in the bright sunshine. On Friday,up at Ardnave he had a total of 46 Whoopers, some on Ardnave Loch and the others flying past.

Saturday 16 October 2010

Sat 16th October

Carl was up round Ardnave for a walk today and got these Sanderling along with a few Dunlin as they flew past. On Ardnave Loch were 6 Whoopers and 2 Mute Swan, along with Dabchick, Mallard and Wigeon.There were a good number of Twite in the dunes, feeding on the ground and on the seed heads. A Merlin flashed through the flock causing panic! A few Goldfinches and Linnets were also present.There were plenty of Ravens around, and 3 Buzzards were seen at one point. The overall flock of Sanderling was over 100 birds, Carl reckoned.
James is back from a week over on Oronsay, so straight into counting the geese. His figures at Gruinart this afternoon was 27,230 Barnies, 621 Whitefronts, 5 Pale bellied Brent, 8 Pink feets, 1 Canada parvipes sp and 3 hutchinsii sp. He also counted 3 Whooper Swan, 3 Grey Plover and 3 Black tailed Godwit. James said that his count of Barnies was possibly on the low side as some of the geese were proving difficult to count....
Bob had seen 17 Pintail on Loch Indaal yesterday, just as the River Sorn enters the loch. On Loch Gorm today, he had 5 Goldeneye, 10 Scaup, around 800 Greylag and a male Pochard. 20 Reed Bunting were noted close to the former Kilchoman School. At the viewing platform, there were some Long tailed Tits present, and while he was watching the geese, a White tailed Sea Eagle was seen flying overhead! He also managed to spot the Long tailed Duck up at Bun an Uillt too.

Friday 15 October 2010

Fri 15th October

Well, as expected more of the geese arrived in from Iceland today, the exact number I am not sure about, but certainly at the top of Loch Gruinart was just a mass of Geese. Barnacle Geese to the fore, on the flats itself were some Whitefronts, and an odd Pink foot too. It was a great sight to see, the only downside was that the light was poor! Over in one of the fields at Sunderland we had 120 Whitefronts along with 10 Barnies, while along at Rockside there was a large flock of Greylags along with some Whitefronts and a few Barnies. Earlier on at Rockside there was a family of Whooper Swans, 2 adults and 3 cygnets. Malcolm this afternoon had a group of 8 Whoopers fly south past Bruichladdich en route to Ireland. Certainly so far this Autumn we have not seen any large groups of Whoopers on the move.
While we were up at Gruinart this afternoon, just before Bun an Uillt, we had a couple of Greenshank on the shoreline, but out on the water was a Long tailed Duck, bobbing about on the swell.
George last night had seen a Barn owl at Blackrock on his way home.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Thurs 14th October

This Wheatear was on the dyke just beside the former Kilchoman School this morning on our return from Gruinart. There were also 6 Whooper Swans on Loch Gorm, 6 Collared Doves were perched on the telegraph wires down at Sunderland farm, a few Redwings also at the old Kilchoman School, as well as a Snipe overhead.
Yesterday Louise had been down on the Oa reserve, and had seen a few Brambling mixed in with a flock of Linnet.
Back to today, and Michal had done a Goose count at the back of lunchtime at Gruinart, 5,000 Barnacle Geese were there along with 400 Pale bellied Brents, 40 Greenland Whitefronts and 2 Pink footed Geese. Peter had a count of around 900 Barnacle Geese at the roost at the top of Loch Indaal this evening just as dusk was setting in. At the same time the Greylags were flying off inland to their roosting sites. Peter also had a walk round Loch Ballygrant earlier on and saw a pair of Little Grebe as well as large feeding flocks of mixed Tits, Goldcrests, Thrushes and Treecreepers. Further on, the "Glen road" provided the excellent backdrop for the bellowing of the rutting Red Deer stags. He had also seen a flock of around 150 Golden Plover up there too.
Malcolm had been out along the high water mark of Loch Indaal, from the Foreland turn off along to the Spit, and his dog Merlin had found 6 dead Guillemots and also a dead Herring Gull. All the corpses seemed to be fairly fresh which fits in well with the strong south -easterlies last week. Malcolm also commented that all the Guillemots were adult birds and wondered whether the young were already far enough out to sea.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Wed 13th October

Well, yes another day as predicted on the blog last night, and the first of the Barnies dropped into Loch Gruinart this afternoon. At 3 pm Michal had done a quick headcount and reckoned there was 2,500. I am sure Michal was very relieved as he was due to lead a "Goose walk" starting at 5pm, think he was cutting it a bit fine...
Apart from the Barnies, there were also some Pale bellied Brent, some Greylags and 6 Pink footed Geese to be seen.
George this morning had a count of 80 Scaup on Loch Indaal. Carl had seen 11 Knot and a good number of Redshank just in from Springbank at the head of Loch Indaal. Further on there were 160 Bar tailed Godwit as well as a pair of Gadwall amongst the Wigeon. Earlier, below the lighthouse at Port Charlotte, Carl had seen a female Peregrine sitting on a rocky outcrop.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Tues 12th October

Still no sign of the invasion of Barnacle Geese, tomorrow is another day, we all wait in anticipation...
Michal had carried out a count on the floods out in front of the hide at Gruinart yesterday. The tally was as follows, 381 Teal, 95 Wigeon, 64 Mallard, 23 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 3 Whitefronted Geese and a Little Grebe. On the flats there was a small flock of 13 Golden Plover, and round at Craigens there were 120 Linnets.

Monday 11 October 2010

Mon 11th October

Another great day, not a cloud in the sky, and it is almost the middle of October, shirt sleeve weather for a second day running!
Malcolm had a Yellow browed Warbler in his garden at Bruichladdich. Martin Armstrong had seen 4 Lapland Bunting at Bolsay today. Yesterday George had seen 2 Wheatear up the back of Port Charlotte, 2 Swallow at Port Bhan, 2 Redwing and a Sparrowhawk. This morning, at home he had 2 Goldcrest, 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Dunnock while out on Loch Indaal, 3 Red throated Diver were present.
Bob had been over at Gartbreck, and had 7 Pale bellied Brent, 3 Pink footed geese flew past, on the mud flats were 3 Golden Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 12 Redshank, 1 Knot, 45 Dunlin, 4 Bar tailed Godwit, 60 Curlew, 46 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 27 Red breasted Merganser and 28 Eider.
There were 64 Pale bellied Brent Geese on Loch Indaal below the Gaelic College this afternoon, and on scanning through them, the same goose that we saw last week was seen again. There was another goose with colour rings on too, but unfortunately it went into the water and so we could not read the letters on both legs. A few more Greenland whitefronts are around with 36 seen on Loch Gorm on our way home.

Sunday 10 October 2010

Sun 10th October

Another good day, weather wise here on Islay. The only problem is that the wind is blowing from the wrong direction which not helpful to the Geese who need the wind to swing round behind them for their trip to Islay. It will happen soon......
We went up to Ardnave this morning and there were still 4 Whooper Swans on the Loch itself, along with the resident family of Mute Swans. On the way back there were a pair of Chough on an old ruin, as well as some Stonechats on some bushes at the side of the road. Mary also had been up at Ardnave too, but had ventured off road and saw 5 Lapland Bunting and 4 Snow Bunting. She also saw a Grey seal pup on the shoreline as well as 2 Great Northern Diver on the water. This afternoon, on a dyke at Coultorsay was a Wheatear, Michal had seen 2 yesterday at Saligo. Coming home later on and we had a Merlin down beside Loch Gorm, possibly the same bird that we saw the other day as it was close in location to where we saw it.
Michal had 50 Redwing in the field next to his house today.

Saturday 9 October 2010

Sat 9th October

I was speaking with James late last night, after I had done the blog, and he had seen a Swallow and also a Wheatear whilst he was out and about through the day.
On Loch Gruinart yesterday, Bob had noted 3 Grey Plover and around 30 Knot. Today, Bob had been up around Ardnave. On Ardnave loch itself were 7 Whooper Swan, over on Nave Island 10 Barnacle Geese were present, and a male Hen Harrier flew back from Nave Island over to Ardnave itself. On the water itself, a Black throated Diver was seen. Back on dry land on Ardnave and the Lapland Buntings were still there, and a Merlin flew past too. Down on the estuary were some Turnstone and 80 Sanderling.

Friday 8 October 2010

Fri 8th October

One of the Brent Geese that we had seen yesterday down close to Uiskentuie had coloured rings on its legs, and after a bit of waiting and watching, we were able to read them. We sent off the information and received an acknowledgement back from Graham McElwaine who co-ordinates Irish Brent Goose Research Group. This goose was originally rung on 22nd of May 2005 in Iceland, and has been seen regularly in Ireland, quite often in the Tralee Bay area. It is the first time it has been recorded in Scotland! There were a few Brent over at Port Ellen today, with the bulk of yesterday's Gruinart geese having moved on.
Yesterday Louise had seen a couple of ringtail Hen Harriers and also 28 Golden Plover on her travels.
This morning, Bob had seen 2 Merlin up near to his house, and this evening, around 6 pm he had a female Goshawk up the back of Port Charlotte.
On our way out this evening, there was a Merlin close to the roadside before it flew off, along at Sunderland the 6 Whitefronts are still present, while just at the farm steading at Sunderland, a Great Skua flew past. There were also around 35 Curlew at Braibruich at midday.

Thursday 7 October 2010

Thurs 7th October

James has just been on the phone to say that he has had a count of 570 Pale bellied Brent Geese at the top of Loch Gruinart, I thought I was doing well with a mere 18 on Loch Indaal this morning!
The "vols" from Gruinart had a walk round Ardnave today where they saw an Otter, 22 Pink footed Geese, 37 Redshank, 6 Golden Plover, 26 Ringed Plover and 5 Sanderling. Mary carried out the Thursday morning walk on the reserve at Gruinart, and was able to show her visitors Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and some Black tailed Godwit. There were a few Golden Plover along with the Lapwings, a couple of Snipe, and also Shelduck on the estuary. Back on the floods, in front of the hide were Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Pintail, Mute swans and Herons.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Wed 6th October

This Buzzard was sitting on a fence post this afternoon, down below the Gaelic College. What I had really stopped to look at was the rock out in front of the College. The tide was in, so there was not really much of the rock showing, but there were plenty birds on it! Knot, Turnstone, Bar tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull and a couple of Pale bellied Brent Geese too! On Loch Indaal itself were a few ducks, Mallard, Eider, Teal and Wigeon. When we left and just before Gartmain, a Sparrowhawk flew past us on the shore side of the road, but it never bothered with the ducks.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Tues 5th October

No rain today , but the wind was blowing good style. The view out towards Coull Point was quite impressive with the waves crashing into the rocks. By the sound of things, more of the same tomorrow. At least I managed to cut some of the grass this afternoon!
No signs of any more geese yet, but today Michal was down on the Oa and had some Chough, and had seen a mixed flock of Twite and Linnet.

Monday 4 October 2010

Mon 4th October

A pair of Turtle Doves had been seen down at Nerabus on Friday, and as far I know they are still in roughly the same area today, up towards Craigfad.
This morning, Michal had 5 Redwing flying over the RSPB reserve at Gruinart. Also this morning, George had a Raven on his bird table, and while he was down at the shop in Bruichladdich itself, a Peregrine flew along the roadside about 2 metres above the ground. This afternoon, Bob saw a single Pale bellied Brent Goose up the back of Port Charlotte, while in his garden, he had a couple of Goldcrest.
Yesterday, Becky had been through Bridgend woods and had also seen a Kingfisher on the river, as well as a Treecreeper on one of the trees. James had been away at the weekend, but had seen a couple of Great Skuas from the ferry on his to Kennacraig, and on his return in the Sound of Islay, James saw a couple of White tailed Sea Eagles. One of the them was an adult bird, the other a juvenile bird.

Sunday 3 October 2010

Sun 3rd October

Another great day, not rained off this morning like the folk at the golf!
Yesterday going up the west side of Loch Gruinart, just after passing by Craigens we had a Peregrine on the wing, further on at almost Bun an Uillt, we saw a Wheatear. The few Greenland Whitefronts were still present at Sunderland Farm on the stubble.
Bob had been down at Frenchman's Rocks and had seen a Purple Sandpiper and several Turnstone. Out over the water, there was quite a good passage of Gannets and also Manx Shearwater. From Port Charlotte, on Loch Indaal Bob had a count of 20 Common Scoter.

Saturday 2 October 2010

Sat 2nd Oct

A better day over here today, no rain and the wind has dropped, almost back to normal!
As it was a such a change, we took a wee stroll along the strath in the woods at Bridgend. At the start we had some Goldcrests, the odd Coal Tit, a solitary Blue Tit. We went down onto one of the bridges across the River Sorn and had a fleeting view of a Kingfisher as it flew past at a great speed of knots, as they do.... Later on Margaret saw a Treecreeper, while I had to made do with a Great Tit. Further on was a Grey Wagtail, not a bad day really, something different, the geese will be here soon! Back at the car park, there were quite a few Goldfinches to be seen and coming home round Loch Gorm there was a Snipe out near Saligo, and 3 different Hen Harriers were out on the wing.

Friday 1 October 2010

Fri 1st October

Just decided to turn the clock back, this was one of the Great crested Grebes that we saw at Kingston on Thames last week!
The rainfall last month was just short of 5"in total, and we are still 13" short on last year according to Clark! Having said that, we have got off to a flying start, with a right pig of a day, wind and rain, oh yes it did dry up a bit before the next blatter came!
I was speaking to a visitor this evening who told me that yesterday, he had a great day seeing Hen Harriers. He had a total of 16 different Harriers at locations around Islay. Up at Bunnahabhain, they saw 12 Dolphins and he has also had good sightings of an Otter from the campsite at Port Charlotte where they are staying while over here on holiday.
James had a Grey wagtail flying over the market at Bridgend as we were waiting to sell our sheep!
Another senior moment, as I forgot to mention that we had a Swallow here at home yesterday.