Saturday 24 March 2012

Saturday 24th March

The " Bolton Birders", Chris & Tony Johnson have headed off home now, but yesterday before they left, had been over the Ardtalla end of Islay. At Ardtalla they had an Otter, pr Mute Swans, 6 Ringed Plover, 30 Oystercatcher & 2 Buzzard. In the small paddock beside the house there were 24 Chaffinch, 8 Pied Wagtail & 14 Meadow Pipit. Down at Claggain Bay 2 Great Northern Diver,1 Red throated Diver and another pair of Mute Swans. Along at the Keepers House, just at Kildalton Cross, on the feeders, 8 Yellowhammers, 12 Chaffinch & 25 Rock Dove were noted. Kilnaughton Wood 2 Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit & Chaffinch were seen. A Pipistrelle Bat was out on the wing, flying along the road and through the trees. Later on, down on the Rhinns they had a Kestrel, a ring tailed Hen Harrier as well as 12 Fieldfare and 4 Redwing. Coming home after that they counted 7 Herons along at Sunderland. Today, as they waited at Port Askaig on the ferry, they heard a Chiffchaff. Yesterday was Angela Plumb's last day too and in her "Port Ellen" birders guise had 50 Fieldfare on the road over between Carnain and Coullabus. Many thanks to you all for your sighting this past week, along with Danny Arnold who had seen all those Harriers over on Jura.

On to today's birds. The highlights from the Speyside Wildlife group who are over included a Slavonian Grebe and several Great Northern Diver seen on Loch Indaal from Bowmore Pier. Down at Duich Lots they saw a ringtail Hen Harrier, while on the Oa they had 2 Golden Eagles, but only 1 Twite was found! Just after Ardbeg at Loch an- t- Sailein an Iceland Gull flew overhead. This evening, at the top of Loch Indaal as the geese were coming in, a Glaucous Gull and also an Iceland Gull were seen.

Our Northants birders forgot to tell me last night that they had a Green Sandpiper down below the Military Cemetery. Today they have been making the most of the good weather. Round Loch Gorm they had a pr of Stonechats, past Ballinby the 2nd yr Iceland Gull was present. At Loch Gruinart reserve they had the Green winged Teal, 5 Gadwall, 5 adult Whooper Swans, 1st male Hen Harrier, 3 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 9 Grey Plover, 2 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin and 4 Ravens. On their way up to Ardnave, they saw a male Sparrowhawk. At Ardnave itself, a female Merlin, 2 Great Northern Diver, 6 Red breasted Merganser, 5 Ringed Plover, ca 12 Wheatear, 1 Turnstone, 2 Razorbill, 8 Gannets, 25 Ravens, 20 Chough, 2 Rock Pipit & 12 Tufted Duck. At Gortan, 15 Pale bellied Brent were present along with 4 Dunlin, 5 Turnstone & a Ringed Plover. 2 Great Northern Diver were on Loch Indaal off Bruichladdich, on Loch Indaal from Port Charlotte, another G. N. D., a Red throated Diver and a Razorbill. Further down on the Rhinns, they had 2 Short eared Owls and a male Hen Harrier as well as a pair of Golden Eagles. There was a Pink footed Goose along with some Greylags too. Several Ravens and many Hooded Crows were seen down that way too. Other birders, today as they arrived had a White tailed sea Eagle over close to Port Askaig, and here this afternoon a Crossbill in the wood, a new tick for me for my garden list... Bob had 2 Goldcrest and 2 Treecreepers in Bridgend Woods today while George has had a pair of Song Thrushes singing away as well as some Blackbirds being active too at his house.

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