Tuesday 31 January 2012

Tuesday 31st January

Another month almost away, wonder where the rainfall will be? The fields are definitely in some state. Going across one of our fields today, there was surface water in places where I thought there should not be any, and that was with no rain of late!!! This morning George had 14 Greylags on his ponds, along with 6 Mallard, 1 Heron and a Moorhen. on the fields behind the ponds were 400 Barnies and also 2 Pale bellied Brent Geese.

Monday 30 January 2012

Monday 30th January

It was good to read Armin's comment at the foot of yesterday's entry, where he says that he had seen Red Kites, a Magpie and 2 Coots whilst he was out along the canal path. Red Kites and Magpies are not seen that often here on Islay let alone a Coot!

On to today's birds... we were out for a couple of hours just after lunchtime...Over at Coull, the Iceland Gull was still present while a Reed Bunting was on the road side after the Coastguard cottages, a Peregrine was seen at Ballinaby, also there were 2 Chough. On Ardnave Loch, 15 Whooper Swan, 2 Mute Swan, 5 Wigeon and a few Goldeneye. On the fields there were 30 Oystercatcher and 4 Common Gulls. On the other side of Loch Gruinart, with tide being kind to us, there was plenty to see, Wigeon, Mallard, Shelduck, Turnstone, Redshank, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Curlew, more Oystercatchers, Hooded Crow, Raven. The weather was cold, so I was lazy and did not even think to count. Back down on the flats at the head of the loch on the reserve, the Glaucous Gull was added. One thing that was interesting to note was that the Geese appear to be in places this year in January where they are not normally seen. Many of the fields where the geese are normally, there have been badly poached already, the geese in several places today were on the verges of the roads where the grass looks plentiful and green too....

Sunday 29 January 2012

Sunday 29th January

The weather has not been that great out here today, damp and dank, and by the look of the forecast there may be some colder weather coming in during the next few days....

Today James and El came over to help with the Big Garden Birdwatch. We certainly have not had the big number of Chaffinches that we had last year when we had 68, but we still had a peak of 24 Chaffinch, along with 16 Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinch, 3 Blackbird, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Starling, 6 Jackdaw, 1 Robin and 15 Pheasant. There were no Dunnocks, House Sparrows or any Wrens to be seen, and they are normally around. Out over the crag 2 Buzzards were out on the wing with a Peregrine sitting there, just watching the world go by. Earlier on James had a Glaucous Gull over the flats on the reserve at Gruinart.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Saturday 28th January

Yesterday Bob had been over on Jura with Peter and Pia. Before they set out, at Port Askaig they had 10 Black Guillemot, 1 adult Iceland Gull, 1 Redpoll and a female Bullfinch. Over on Jura their sightings were as follows, 1 Black throated Diiver, 4 Great Northern diver, 1 Little Grebe, 15 Shag, 3 Cormorant, 8 Heron, 10 Mute Swan, 22 Greylags, 6 Shelduck, 10 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 6 Eider, 14 Red breasted Merganser, 2 Goldeneye, 6 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Wood pigeon, 3 Pheasant, 40 Oystercatcher, 12 Ringed Plover, 3 Redshank, 2 Curlew, 50 Common Gull, 100 Herring Gull, 2 Glaucous Gull, 1 x 3rd winter Iceland gull, 20 Greater black backed Gull, 1 Black Guillemot, 4 Rock Pipit, 3 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 1 pr Stonechat, 6 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 20 Starling, 8 House Sparrow, 4 Chaffinch and a Yellowhammer. There were also a few Jackdaws, Hooded Crows and Ravens seen as well.

Friday 27 January 2012

Friday 27th January

All quiet on the bird front for a change this week, but I read this morning that up in Stornoway harbour on Tuesday afternoon they had a count of 74 Iceland Gulls... I have noticed that over the past few days that the numbers of Greenfinches on the bird table here at home has dropped quite dramatically with only the odd bird now being seen and hardly any Goldfinches seen either. Come Sunday night, it could be completely different with the Big Garden Birdwatch taking place over the weekend....watch this space!!! There were 26 Pale bellied Brent Geese at Bunanuisg at Bowmore this afternoon.

Thursday 26 January 2012

Thursday 26th January

Earlier on this week, Crystal had carried out a count on Loch Gruinart itself, rather than the reserve. The "scores on the doors" were as follows, 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Cormorant, 3 Heron, 223 Shelduck, 48 Wigeon, 32 Mallard, 2 Goldeneye, 11 Red breasted Merganser, 27 Shoveler, 1 Gadwall, 103 Oystercatcher, 1 Ringed Plover, 10 Grey Plover, 18 Lapwing, 50 Knot, 218 Bar tailed Godwit, 157 Curlew, 36 Redshank, 24 Turnstone, 41 Common Gull, 43 Herring Gull, 4 Greater black backed Gull, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Snipe. Also seen were an Otter and a Common Seal! Ardnave Loch held 2 Mute Swan, 3 Mallard, 1 Curlew, 17 Whooper Swan, 12 Goldeneye, 5 Tufted Duck, 1 Common Gull, 18 Wigeon, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Teal and 2 Oystercatcher.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Wednesday 25th January

Earlier in the week, James had carried out a count on the "floods " on the reserve at Gruinart. Bird totals were as follows, 511 Teal, 2 Little Grebe, 13 Whooper Swan, 12 Mute Swan, 79 Pintail, 51 Mallard, 65 Greylags, 6 Gadwall, 4 Heron, 129 Wigeon, 41 Shoveler, 1 Pochard, 1 Red breasted Merganser, 373 Lapwing and 25 Golden Plover. Yesterday he a Canada Goose, hutcihnsii sp in the one of the fields beside his house at Grainel on the reserve.

Peter was in touch to say that the recent sightings of Glaucous and Iceland Gulls is the largest influx of these "white winged gulls" into Europe ever in the history of modern birding! He also commented that this was "by far the most unuasual and significant birding phenomenon in the 12 years he has been here on Islay." These gulls have even been seen in large numbers as far South as Portugal and Spain. Thanks to Peter for that.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Tuesday 24th January

Yesterday, Bob had been out from Gartbreck and on to Laggan via Laggan Point with Peter and Pia. They had a good time and an great list of birds, so here goes... 11 Red throated Divers off Laggan Point, 1 Great Northern Diver there too, 8 Fulmars, 35 Shag on Loch Indaal along with a Cormorant, 1 Heron, 3 Greylag, 800- 1,000 Barnacle Geese, 31 Mallard, 2 Wigeon, 10 Teal, 1 Goldeneye, 3 Red breasted Merganser, 25 Eider, 2 Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 6 Pheasant, 34 Oystercatcher, 51 Ringed Plover, 3Redshank, 25 Curlew, 6 Common Gull, 20 Herring Gull, 3 Glaucous Gull, 4 Iceland Gulls, 12 Great black backed Gulls, 2 Black Guillemot, 1 Wood Pigeon, 30 Rock Doves, 120 Rock Pipits, 15 Meadow Pipit, 10 Pied Wagtail, 10 Blackbird, 30 Starling, 8 Reed Bunting, 50 Jackdaws, 2 Raven and 2 Hooded Crows. Peter now reckons that the probable minimum figure for Glaucous Gull over the past 10 days to be 20, with the Iceland Gull tally to be around 36.

Today David had done a farmland bird survey on the Oa, the birds were as follows, 80 Twite, 229 Starling, 388 Whitefronts, 73 Rock Doves, 20 Chaffinch and 4 Chough. Also seen today were 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Golden Eagle and an adult Iceland Gull below the office at Kinnabus late afternoon.

Monday 23 January 2012

Monday 23rd January

Yesterday, George had a Heron and also a Moorhen up on his ponds up behind his house. Also yesterday, Bob had been down at the hide at Gruinart, his tally was as follows, 40 Mallard, 10 Gadwall, 60 Pintail, 65 Wigeon, 50 Shoveler, 1,000 Teal, 3 Heron, 1 female Merlin, 1 ringtail Hen Harrier, 3 Mistle Thrush (1 singing), 22 Fieldfare and out the loch were 150 Shelduck.

Today George had seen the Iceland Gull along at Coultorsay and counted 62 Curlew in a field there too. Back on the feeders at home, George had 1 Dunnock, 1 Blackbird, 1 Reed Bunting, 6 Chaffinch, 2 House Sparrows, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Coal Tit, and also a Song Thrush singing away. James had a second winter Glaucous Gull on the flats and also on the reserve he had 3 Hen Harrier, 2 ringtail and a male, 1 Peregrine, 2 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk and a Golden Eagle. There were a few Fulmars in this morning, certainly the weather has taken a colder turn now.....

The International Goose Count carried out last week by SNH tallied through at 41,335 Barnacle Geese, 4,117 Whitefronts and 587 Greylags. Thanks for that folks.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Sunday 22nd January

Speaking with James today and he was saying that he has had the best part of an inch more rain in total than we have had here, and we have only had 4.5" so far... He also had seen a Porpoise fin earlier on at Saligo. Peter had been out round the Rhinns this afternoon, between Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte there were 125 Curlews together in a field. Further on, down at Portnahaven, he had an adult Iceland Gull on Orsay Island, and also an adult Glaucous Gull. The Glaucous Gull then flew over to McKenzie Island where there were 20 Greater black backed Gulls present. Orsay Island is the island with the lighthouse on it, with McKenzie Island being its' neighbouring island. Back here at home this morning, the geese were put up all of a sudden, and on quickly checking, it was a juv. Golden Eagle that had spoofed them! The Eagle was then seen off by the pair of Ravens, no doubt because the Eagle was in their territory!

Saturday 21 January 2012

Saturday 21st January

Speaking with Clark this afternoon, and between us, we reckon that there was over an inch of rain yesterday. Today we have had squally showers around and a cold wind with it, another day inside, not helped by a brief power cut for a wee while this morning. By the way the Fulmars have gone, the wind got up and the midday ferry did not come, but it sailed as timetabled this evening. Peter has been collating together the various sightings of Glaucous and Iceland Gulls seen on Islay of late and has got the provisional totals as 45 Iceland and 23 Glaucous. As Peter points out that not all of Islay has not been covered, and that some of the gulls may be the same bird, this is not a definite figure as such, all the same thanks to Peter in putting it all together.

Friday 20 January 2012

Friday 20th January

Today the weather has not been great, rain and more rain.... Last night I had an e mail from a friend who lives close to Cambridge, well they have a hose pipe ban in place, I ask you... Should I feel sorry and send them water down?? The burn is well up, with the ground fairly saturated already, and rain just runs off. The other day I noticed that in the dunes behind Machir Bay, there was water in "ponds" in places that I do not recall being there before, usually the dunes are free draining because of the sandy soils!!! This morning there were 8 Fulmars in at the crag, and the sea was roaring away, so as you can gather not really much bird watching done today... Yesterday afternoon, I was down at Gartmain briefly and different birds present to the other day plus the wind was up too, so I only saw the Glaucous Gull, 1 Oystercatcher, 6 Wigeon and 4 Mallard. Further on towards Bowmore and the rock in Loch Indaal below the Gaelic college held about 70 Oystercatcher in the lee of the wind. From the generator station as one enters Bowmore, looking back towards the college, there were 14 Pale bellied Brent and 2 Wigeon, and at Bunanuisg, where Islay Farmers once had a store, there were a further 13 Brent and a solitary Oystercatcher. Coming home, there were some more Brent at Blackrock, but as I was driving, I did not get a count of them! The 2 "regular" Glaucous Gulls were on Loch Indaal past Uiskentuie.

Thursday 19 January 2012

Thursday 19th January

Yesterday, Mary had been out counting on the second day of the International Goose count, apart from the geese she saw 8 white winged gulls on her way round. She had an Iceland Gull at Lyrabus, another Iceland Gull over at Grainel. At the top of Loch Gruinart on the Craigens fields, an Iceland and an immature Glaucous Gull were present. Further on at Killillan, there were 2 Iceland and 2 Glaucous Gulls. She also had 2 juv. Golden Eagles, a ring tail Hen Harrier, a male Merlin, 2 Sparrowhawks and 4 Buzzards. Up at Ardnave, close to the old lobster ponds, there were 5 bar tailed Godwits, including the leucistic, 2 Sanderling, 2 Chough and 10 Oystercatcher. Later on at the Corsapol road end, Mary disturbed a Sparrowhawk just starting to pluck a Blackbird. The Sparrowhawk flew off while the Blackbird shot off, straight into a rabbit hole less than 6 feet away. All Mary could see was the poor bird's tail. She went back an hour later to check it out to see if it had possibly died of fright/ shock/ wounds, but the Blackbird flew out minus a few feathers on its' back and half its' tail!!!

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Wednesday 18th January

Peter had a roosting flock of 95 Dunlin down at Gartmain, forgot to add it on yesterday, sorry Peter! George has had a Moorhen on his ponds up behind his house at Bruichladdich the last couple of days.On his feeders, there were 2 Reed Buntings, 1 Coal Tit and 10 Greenfinches. Good to hear that the Greenfinch numbers are holding up. Down on the shore below George's house 12 Pale bellied Brent were present yesterday, and today 15 flew past and landed about 200 yards further down Loch Indaal towards Port Charlotte.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Tuesday 17th January

Down where the stream enters Loch Indaal at Gartmain, today we counted 18 Lapwing, 1 Curlew, 8 Turnstone, 28 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank, 7 wigeon and an Iceland Gull The white winged Gull discussion carries on, today James saw an Iceland Gull on the reserve at Gruinart, another at "smelly corner" and a third at Bowmore and also 2 Glaucous Gulls at Lyrabus. Mary had been out goose counting and had seen a Glaucous at the head of Loch Gruinart, and 2 Iceland Gulls at Killinallan. Peter and Pia had checked back from Gartbreck today and he reckons that we have at least 5 Icelands and more than 6 Glaucous Gulls. He also noted 3 early returning adult Lesser black backed Gulls at Gartbreck amongst the large number of Herring Gulls present. Malcolm had also been out goose counting, but on a different route to Mary, and on Loch Skerrols there was a Mute Swan family present with 8 Cygnets, also there were another 9 adult Mute Swans and 4 adult Whooper Swans.

Monday 16 January 2012

Monday 16th January

After a wet start to the month, we have been having a few dry days of late although it is a bit on the cold side, but certainly not as cold as a year ago... Yesterday Bob had carried out a count between Bowmore and Gartbreck along the shore on a falling tide. His birds were as follows, 6 Mute Swan, 16 Shelduck, 260 Wigeon, 190 Teal, 61 Mallard, 28 Eider, 14 Goldeneye, 30 Red breasted Merganser, 1 Great Northern Diver, 10 Cormorant, 34 Shag, 160 Oystercatcher, 36 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 210 Golden Plover, 80 Lapwing, 3 Knot, 62 Dunlin, 280 Bar tailed Godwit, 97 Curlew, 5 Redshank, 40 Turnstone, 45 Black headed Gull, 282 Herring Gull, 10 Great black backed Gull, 1 Glaucous Gull and 1 Iceland Gull. On his way home, the flock of Pale bellied Brents were at Gortan at the top of Loch Indaal. Later on at home, there was a female Hen Harrier. Today, Peter had a count of 55 Pale bellied Brents at Blackrock. Peter was also commenting that he regularly gets up to 85 Starlings coming when he puts his bird food out each day!

Sunday 15 January 2012

Sunday 15th January

Some sightings in from Peter & Pia from the last few days. On Friday, they had a second winter Glaucous Gull round at Ballinaby. Also there was a young Heron seeing off a Buzzard who had laid claim to the remnants of a Pheasant! Yesterday they had 45 Ringed Plover and 35 Dunlin resting up along the beach between Taigh an Luig and Uiskentuie, with 20 Turnstone on the spit itself. Back closer to Uiskentuie, the 2 sub adult Glaucous gulls were still present. Today, between smelly corner and Blackrock, they had a second winter Iceland Gull. Yesterday, David had a day "off reserve"! He had 5 Glaucous gulls in all, 2 at Laggan Point, 2 at Uiskentuie and also one at Bowmore, also at Laggan Point were 1 Long tailed Duck and 2 Great Northern Divers. From Bowmore a scan over Loch Indaal produced the following, 8 Long tailed Duck, 20 Red breasted Merganser, 8 Slavonian Grebe, 20 Eider, 14 Goldeneye, 8 Great Northern Diver, 25 Common Scoter and 170 Scaup.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Saturday 14th January

James and David sent through some counts they had carried out earlier this week. On Thursday up at Ardnave James had 13 Whoopers and 3 Goldeneye on Ardnave Loch. Round Ardnave itself he counted the following, 3 Great Northern Diver, 85 Sanderling, 35 Ringed Plover,79 Bar tailed, 2 Purple Sandpiper and 1 Golden Eagle. Yesterday on the floods James had 64 Pintail, 4 Gadwall, 1 Water Rail and 563 Greenland Whitefronts coming in to roost. Today James had an adult Iceland Gull up at his house and also a Woodcock. David on Thursday on the Oa had a total of 5 Golden Eagles, 3 Red Grouse and an adult Glaucous Gull. Yesterday he counted 340 Greenland Whitefronts and an immature Glaucous Gull all on the reserve at the Oa.

Friday 13 January 2012

Friday 13th January

This image was sent through by Miriam Parkes taken last week of one of the Cackling Geese amongst the Barnacle Geese that she had seen when she was over.

Last night on our way to Bowmore, we had a Barn Owl out on the wing at Pennycraig, earlier on we had a Red Deer stag resplendent with antlers at the roadside at Rockside and coming home there were 3 Roe Deer at almost same place.

Yesterday Bob had done a count over between Bowmore and Gartbreck, with his tally coming through at 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Heron, 33 Shag, 5 Cormorant, 1 Goldeneye, 3 Red breasted Merganser, 27 Eider, 133 Wigeon, 83 Mallard, 119 Teal, 17 Shelduck, 156 Oystercatcher, 209 Curlew, 1 Black tailed Godwit, 190 Bar tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 5 Redshank, 45 Dunlin, 120 Lapwing, 2 Grey plover, 19 Turnstone, 2 Glaucous Gull, 2 Greater black backed Gull, 74 Herring Gull, 3 Black headed Gulls all on the shore. On the adjoining fields there 3,000 Barnacle geese, 260 Greenland Whitefronts, 37 Greylags, and 3 Buzzards who were continually harassing the geese!

Today Louise had 8 Bullfinches up towards Loch Corr, 4 males and 4 females. Also today we had an Iceland Gull at "smelly corner", with the Brent Geese present at Blackrock. A Buzzard was on the thermals above the raised beach along from Uiskentuie, and another Buzzard on the ground just after Foreland, as were a couple of Fieldfare. There were a couple of Blue Tits on the road there too, I often think them perched on a branch rather than on a road! By the way the wind was up the other night after the Fulmars left but I do not sure what speed it was as Mike' weather station came unstuck last week with the storm/ lightning....

Thursday 12 January 2012

Thursday 12th January

James had carried out a count on the reserve at Gruinart yesterday with the tallies as follows, 4662 Barnacle Geese, 398 Greeland Whitefronts, 109 Greylags, 1 Canada Hutchinsii sp, 162 Rock Doves, 1st winter Iceland Gull, adult Iceland Gull, 10 Whooper Swan, 2 Sparrowhawks, female Hen Harrier, 4 Greenshank, 224 Lapwing, 30 Redshank, 1 Pochard. James also had a second year Golden Eagle over Craigens. This afternoon, we had 8 Ringed Plover and 3 Sanderling on Machir Bay with 11 Chough up on the dunes. Also flying around on the dunes were some Curlews and also Oystercatchers too.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Wednesday 11th January

I forgot to mention that Neil Glenn had seen 3 Snow Buntings on Monday on his way out to the monument down on the Oa. David had 5 Whoopers on Loch Kinnabus yesterday, and today had 2 Bullfinches, 2 Golden Eagles and a female Hen Harrier on the reserve at the Oa. Bob had a female Hen Harrier at Gartbreck yesterday, and at home this morning Bob saw a small flock of Redpolls and this afternoon a female Merlin was present. Here at the crag behind the house at Kilchoman, 12 Fulmar were counted this morning, but all away this afternoon, there was a female Merlin down at Rockside road end at lunchtime.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Tuesday 10th January

Becky Williamson sent through this image of an Iceland Gull taken down at Bowmore. Becky was saying that it has been seen there regularly of late!

Down at Uiskentuie, James had a first winter Iceland Gull along with 2 Glaucous Gulls. The Pale bellied Brent Geese were split into 3 groups this afternoon, a small group of 8 at Gortan, another 16 closer to Uiskentuie and then finally a group of 26 along with a few Wigeon just past Blackrock.

Neil Glenn who has been over for a few days had seen 2 White tailed sea Eagles on the Oa, a Peregrine and a Hen Harrier there too. Up at Ardnave, the other end of Islay, Neil had a count of 50 Chough. Back here at home, there were some Fulmars in on the crag this morning, surely we are not going to be getting the wind picking up soon....and a Peregrine flew past too. Coming home this afternoon, on going round Loch Gorm for a change, down past "the hedges", there was a Barnacle Goose being eaten by a Buzzard, with another Buzzard waiting for its' turn.

Monday 9 January 2012

Monday 9th January

David from down on the Oa sent some sightings through from last week. On Wednesday, at Bunnahabhain he saw the adult Iceland Gull, 5 Great Northern Divers and an Otter. On the reserve on the Oa on Friday, David had a female Hen Harrier and a Jack Snipe and on Sunday, he had a count of around 300 Whitefronts, 10 Tufted Duck and a Redwing. Yesterday, Bob had a Sparrowhawk at home and a male Kestrel and along at Blackrock there were 60 Pale bellied Brent Geese. This afternoon, on Bolsay Moor, 3 Meadow Pipits, 1 female Stonechat, and a Red Grouse and a female Hen Harrier at Glenmore. Today James had a first and a second winter Glaucous Gull, both down at the river mouth at Uiskentuie. On the flats, in front of the visitor centre at Gruinart, a Canada hutchinsii sp was present. Also on the flats a male Hen Harrier was seen and a Sparrowhawk was present up at James's house. This morning we had a Sparrowhawk resting up on a field gate down at Woodside.

Sunday 8 January 2012

Sunday 8th January

What a difference a day makes, power back on, phone working, so there is no stopping me now, all the e mails up to date, and now on with the blog. Today George had a Buzzard eating the remains of Barnacle Goose along the shore towards the lighthouse at Port Charlotte. Along at Coultorsay, George saw a Glaucous Gull and returning home he had a different Glaucous along the shoreline. At home itself on the feeders there were 10 Greenfinches and a Reed Bunting while yesterday there was a Woodcock coming into roost just at the darkening. George commented on a few more Greenfinches at his feeders, 8 was his highest count prior to today. Jane Dawson saw a Short eared Owl out on the wing yesterday between Easter and Wester Ellister. Before heading home on Wednesday, Miriam Parkes had seen 2 Cackling Geese between Newton and Esknish along with the Barnies. Today, there were 2 Cackling Geese over at Neriby amongst the Barnies seen there by visitors. The same birders who have been over since Friday, had found 5 Glaucous Gulls , 2 adults near to Coull, 2, second winter and also a first winter at Uiskentuie yesterday. They also had 4 Iceland Gulls, a first winter gull with the Glaucous gulls at Uiskentuie, another first winter at Coull again with the Glaucous gulls, an adult bird at Bruichladdich and another first winter bird down on the Oa. They had a count of at least 8 Great Northern Divers between Port Ellen and Claggain Bay, while in Kilnaughton Bay, there were 2 Black throated Divers. Thanks folks for your sightings, now I am back in the groove...

Saturday 7 January 2012

Saturday 7th January

Well, that is my New Year's resolution gone for a Burton, it was basically to have an entry on the blog every day for 2012, but with the power being down for over 102 hours and the phone lines down, and mobiles too.... Just as well we have an old oil Aga cooker and also a gas cooker, and then an oil fired stove through in the wee sitting room, who needs electricity anyway? Just used the petrol generator to power up the water supply and we are up and running. Back on Tuesday when it all kicked in, it was not too nice, hopefully everyone should be powered up again although we have just been down for another spell as they did some more repair work, just wished they had told me as I was working on the computer.... Back to birds, not a lot as we were out of the link, but Peter had a couple of 2nd winter Glaucous Gulls at Uiskentuie today and Malcolm had a sub adult Iceland Gull at Coull yesterday while he was out Goose counting.

Monday 2 January 2012

Monday 2nd January

Just had a brief thunderstorm power off for a few minutes, but the phone line is dead....Carl had a Great Northern Diver and a Red breasted Merganser off Port Charlotte today, and later on had a few Reed Buntings were seen down at Rockside, "not exactly a day for birding", to quote Carl. James had a second winter Glaucous Gull at Saligo and a third winter Iceland Gull at Ballinaby. Martin had carried out a garden count at Glenegedale with the scores on the doors being as follows, 11 Greenfinch, 26 Chaffinch, 7 Great Tit, 8 Blue Tit, 10 Coal tit, 38 House Sparrow, 1 Robin, 2 Blackbird, 2 Cock Pheasant and 3 Reed Bunting.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Sunday 1st January

A Happy New Year to all our readers and followers. I think that on a positive note that there is only one way that things can go this year and that is for an improvement in the weather. I have not got all last year's figures together yet, but in December alone we had 9.25". I read in the paper yesterday that several areas in Scotland were heading for the wettest year ever, around Fort William their total was 115.0" and that was before the end of the year, with a mere 17.0" for December alone, and yet I complain when we get roughly half of what they got, sorry! With another miserable day here, when I was out I had a look at some of the grass fields, even the geese and starting to "poach" the fields up, as they are leaving muddy tracks behind them as they walk along. Just outside James's house there were a few Reed Buntings on the bushes there.