Thursday 31 January 2013

Thursday 31st January

Yes, another mixed day, but come to thinkof it no sunshine, yes some rain and plenty wind. Mike had a 59mph gust at 07.10 this morning, the ferry came over this morning and stayed put with no more sailings...
Mary had a Barn Owl at Blackpark as she went home this evening. Earlier on James had 2 Yellowhammer and 4 Brambling up towards Garra Eallabus on the way up to Ardnave. There was a female Brambling amongst the Chaffinch mob in at the feeders here at home today. 

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Wednesday 30th January

The wind last night did drop down, thank goodness and today, better still it dried up, although according to the weather forecast, there is some more rain due tomorrow. We are not much different in rainfall to January 2012, but depending on how much falls tomorrow, we could easily beat it! On to some birds then. Mary this morning had a Barn Owl along the flats at Gruinart as she came into work. Yesterday she saw a Sparrowhawk at Bushmills, the offices at Gruinart. Going up to Ardnave the other day, Mary noticed 2 Brambling and also 2 Yellowhammer amongst the Chaffinch flock present. Mary also had 12 Reed Bunting along the same road. Going home, the past few evenings, in the dusk Mary has been seeing some Woodcock along the verge sides.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Tuesday 29th January

It may have been dry first thing the morning, but the rain returned, also on the downside the wind has certainly picked. Mike's weather station had a 56mph gust at 7pm. It's the second night now that I have taken the bird feeders down as they were being blown about in the wind, so the option was to throw the food down on the ground. We have just returned from the "Bird nerd supper" at the Golden Dragon, 10 brave souls ventured out including Michael from Poland, a good time enjoyed by all. Sorry, no birds to report, blame the weather!

Monday 28 January 2013

Monday 28th January

Not a great day out here, as I write the wind outside is howling around, in the wee sitting room, the wind in the lum (chimney) is rather noisy! As predicted last night, when we entered our birds online the chaffinch figure was queried, may be it is because of all the bags of food which all the birds consume. As it was so windy last night I actually took the feeders down as they were getting blown about, mind you I just spread the food on the ground for the birds to feed on, which they did. One of the followers of the blog e mailed in with his sightings in the hour, one Blue Tit, I bet that was a long hour!! Down on the Oa today, Dave had 7 Whooper Swan on Loch Kinnabus, 2 Golden Eagle on reserve and a "tame" Redwing close to the house! Tomorrow night, we (the Islay bird nerds!) are all off to the Golden Dragon in Bowmore for a meal, so if there is anyone over feel free to come, meet  and eat with us at 7 pm. Other visitors who have met with us before enjoyed themselves....

Sunday 27 January 2013

Sunday 27th January

James this morning had a count on the reserve at Gruinart, 410 Lapwing, 245 Golden Plover and 43 Pintail were the highlights. James came over here later on and along with Elinor carried out the Big Garden Birdwatch, the scores on the doors were 4 Blackbirds, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 2 House Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 86 Chaffinch, 7 Goldfinch, 13 Greenfinch, 1 Robin, 2 Starling, 4 Jackdaw, 1 Pheasant and a Sparrowhawk. The Sparrowhawk cleared the garden for some time as all the small birds took for cover! The Chaffinch figure looks high, but correct, as James was counting out the back of the house when I was counting the other way, to the front of the house, both at the same time!! What's the betting that the web site will throw a wobbly at 86 Chaffinch in a garden, it did the other year when we had 20 Pheasants! Later on there were around 40 Lapwing on the wing out towards the War Graves cemetary.

Saturday 26 January 2013

Saturday 26th January

George yesterday saw 40 Curlew down on the shore of Loch Indaal below his house at Bruichladdich. Today in his fields George had a flock of 20 Lapwing. Today George also carried his count for the Big Garden Birdwatch with his tally as follows, 12 Chaffinch, 4 Greenfinch, 5 Collared Doves, 1 Robin, 4 House Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 3 Blackbird, 3 Starling, 2 Blue Tit and 2 Great Tit. George also saw 2 Buzzard but they were outwith the garden, so could not be  included in the count. So just remember you too can join in the count tomorrow if you feel up to it, there is still time!

Friday 25 January 2013

Friday 25th January

Just had my helping of haggis and neeps, looking back at the ingredients of the said haggis, well that's a different story. Like the rest of Scotland , the weather today has not been top drawer stuff, we have just had a lot of rain, over an inch, and it it is still raining!! Just as well that I had some sightings in reserve. Yesterday, up past Ballinaby, Michal had a Golden Eagle having a tough time being mobbed by 2 Buzzards and also a couple of Ravens. Bob did the count from Bowmore down to Gartbeck, with the following birds being seen. 3 Cormorants, 31 Shag, 1 Heron, 100 Common Gull, 5 Black headed Gull, 180 Herring Gull, 12 Greater Black backed Gull, 3,000 Barnies resting up below the high water mark, 52 Mallard, 210 Wigeon, 360 Teal, 46 Red breasted Merganser, 17 Eider, 1 Goldeneye, 8 Mute Swan, 8 Shelduck, 85 Oystercatcher, 130 Curlew, 12 Barwits, 7 Knot, 2 Redshank, 12 Dunlin, 1 Golden Plover, 5 Grey Plover, 17 Turnstone, 80 Ringed Plover and 1 GND.

Thursday 24 January 2013

Thursday 24th January

Another early entry as I am out at a meeting later on, so here goes... On Tuesday, Dave down on the Oa saw his first pair of Lapwing since last summer. Also on Tuesday, Dave also had a Jack Snipe on reserve, Hen Harrier and also a Chough. Yesterday a small flock of 14 Golden Plover were seen. Today, Dave had a further 7 Lapwing, 40 Twite on the reserve and a pair of Golden Eagle at Upper Cragabus. Yesterday Michal had been down the South East of Islay and saw a pair Golden Eagle and later on a pair of White tailed Sea Eagle. Also yesterday afternoon, Bob had saw a pair of Golden Eagle out on the wing over Bolsay Moor, a male Hen Harrier and 2 Reed Buntings present there too. Today, round at Ballinaby there was a small flock of 13 Golden Plovers along with some Starlings! Going over the hill to Gruinart, there appeared to be a few more Stonechats, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes around, more than of late for sure when it is usually only the odd bird seen on that patch.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Wednesday 23rd January

A better day, later on that was, as first thing this morning we had some frost, even at midday, it was quite icy outside with the rain that had fallen turning to ice on the untreated roads.....I went down with Bob to do a count on Loch Indaal, from Bowmore to Gartbreck. The sky did not look to promising but we decided to give it a go... after around 40 minutes or so into the count, the light got poorer and it had started to rain making use of our bins and scope a difficult job, so we gave up! But before that we had the following birds counted, 20 Shag, 2 Heron, 20 Common Gull, 1 Black headed Gull, 10 Greater Black backed Gull, around 1,500 Barnacle Geese, 38 Mallard, 317 Teal, 121 Wigeon, 17 Red breasted Merganser, 11 Eider, 2 Goldeneye, 8 Mute Swan, 1 ringtail Hen Harrier, 24 Common Scoter, 30 Oystercatcher, 30 Curlew, 1 Golden Plover and 3 GND. 2 of the Common gulls in flight were having a tussle as one of them had a sandeel in its' beak, then up came one of the Blackbacks who hounded the the smaller Common Gull into dropping the said sandeel with the blackback picking up the food parcel in mid air no bother! The Barnacle geese figure was a high count as the geese were resting up below the high water mark after an almost full moon when they quite often feed through the night! Later on Bob had gone to look at Loch Skerrols on his way home. There he counted 2 Coot, 8 Mute Swan, 32 Greylag, 50 Mallard, 57 Wigeon, 81 Teal, 5 Goldeneye, 4 Tufted Duck and a male Ring necked Duck. Along the road up to Knockdon, Bob saw 3 Red legged Partridge and a male Merlin.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Tuesday 22nd January

A better day out here folks, could the mercury have gone up a little as well? Joking apart, yesterday when I was down in Bowmore I saw one of the Council lorries with a snow plough on, it looked rather rusty with lack of use!!! Some sightings through from Malcolm. Last week while out counting on the Goose Counts on the Loch Gorm run , Malcolm saw 260 Golden Plover at Ballinaby on the 16th, the previous day there had been none there! This morning at Bruichladdich, Malcolm counted 23 Pale bellied Brent Geese, an Otter was there too! Bob this afternoon had a count of 122 Scaup at Blackrock. Over at Bunnahabhain, Bob saw the Iceland Gull, 15 Twite, 1 Kestrel, 3 Buzzard, 2 Golden Eagle and a White tailed Sea Eagle. This morning, here at home we had a female Brambling on the bird table, it came back a little later for seconds. Hope it is still here for the Big garden Birdwatch this coming weekend!

Monday 21 January 2013

Monday 21st January

Well, I hope that all of you out there have not logged on expecting to see a massive list of sightings from Islay tonight, as the weather has not been great, it has been trying to snow for most of the day but the grass remained green, main winners were the birds coming into the feeders to eat what was on offer. Come to think of it, up towards Sunderland  at midday, there were 10 Blackbirds in a field there. They seem to favour that field quite a lot! With a bit of luck, weather permitting, might even have some more sightings tomorrow, not hard to beat tonight's effort, I can hear you all say!

Sunday 20 January 2013

Sunday 20th January

The weather here today was the same as yesterday, cold, no snow so no complaints there... Tracey from SNH had e mailed through the figures from the International goose count while I was away and I forgot to put  them on the blog last night! The count carried out on the 15/16th January was as follows, 44,062 Barnies and 5,100 Greenland whitefronts. Thanks to Tracey and the team at SNH. Dave had a Golden Eagle yesterday down on the Oa. While he was out yesterday, up here at the back of Machir Bay he saw a leucistic Lapwing, so I had better go and have a look for it as it is on my doorstep... Round Loch Gorm, Dave had a Hen Harrier and a total count of over 20 Reed Buntings. Today, another first for me, a couple of Buzzards sitting on top of the garden wall, We often have them out from the crag and on fence posts but actually on the garden wall, something else. While we were in Glasgow, in our friends' garden on their feeders was a male Brambling, Great spotted Woodpecker, while on the ground a couple of Woodpigeons were present, as well as the odd Magpie flying past. All birds that we do not have over here on a regular basis!! It will be interesting to compare notes after the Big Garden birdwatch next weekend!

Saturday 19 January 2013

Saturday 19th January

The weather today is not much warmer than yesterday, but the wind has dropped (?no wind chill...) and better still, no snow! James had some birds seen at Gruinart today,  4 Woodcock, male Hen Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk along at Woodside, 28 Fieldfare, 5 Mistle Thrush and also 6 Whooper Swans on the floods. This morning down close to Sunderland, I had a Merlin and this afternoon, a Sparrowhawk perched on top of the gate to the cairn of the Battle at Gruinart. Thanks to Michal and to James for writing the blog while I was away in Glasgow, it was not much warmer there, and better still the ferry was sailing when we arrived at Kennacraig, as earlier ferries had been cancelled.

Friday 18 January 2013

Friday 18th January 2013

It is very cold and wee snow flurries are trying to fall. I say fall but the east wind is so strong, they flit past like stinging arrows as they hit your face. I have been having internet problems so Michal kindly gave a report for yesterday. I do have some late reports from earlier in the week - by way of an update.
On Tuesday at Loch Kinabus Michal had 250 whitefronts, 38 greylags, 220 starlings, 40 twite and a male hen harrier. Also on Tuesday Mary had a golden eagle at Ardnave, a peregrine at Corsapol and 27 pale bellied brents at Blackrock. On Wednesday 10 whoopers and 2 little grebes on Ardnave Loch and on Loch Gruinart 335 shelduck, 83 wigeon, 61 pintail, 21 shoveler, a white tailed eagle, a peregrine and a merlin.

Thursday 17 January 2013

Thursday 17th January

Quite breezy day today with stronger winds forecasted for tomorrow. Bob has been out birding around Bowmore and Neriby. He saw a flock of 35 meadow pipits, brent goose in the flock of barnacle geese, flock of 120 golden plover and 3 long-tailed tits. At Sunderland he saw the red-breasted goose. Past Kilchoman he had a good view of a golden eagle flying low. Mary saw 8 wood pigeons on the reserve at Gruinart. Family group of eight whitefronts with red collars has been seen moving between Saligo and Ballinaby fields.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Wednesday 16th January

A really early entry today as I am going out this evening plus the fact the weather outside is the pits at present and I have got the rest of Gareth Stamp's weekend birds to share with you. On Sunday, from Bowmore, out on Loch Indaal Gareth had 7 Long tailed Ducks, 26 Common Scoter, 4 Slavonian Grebe, 3 GND and 200 Barwits. Past Bridgend, again Loch Indaal the following birds were seen, 100 Barwits, 135 Scaup, 98 Common Scoter, 52 Red breasted Merganser, 14 Slav Grebe, 4 Long tailed Duck, 13 Red throated Diver, 8 GND and 2 Whooper Swan. Just before Bruichladdich, 2 Black Guillemot, 1 Black throated Diver, 3 GND and 5 Slav Grebe. Round at Saligo Bay 30 Twite, 1 Kestrel and 1 Black throated Diver were present. There were also 3 Greenland Whitefronts with neck collars on. From the viewing platform at Gruinart the Canada Goose hutchinsii sp was seen again, 1 Peregrine, 1 Merlin, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Blackwit, 6 Pintail, 7 Whooper Swan and also a Golden Eagle out above the hillside opposite the platform. On the way up to Ardnave Gareth had 4 Brambling and at least 10 Reed Bunting. At Ardnave Loch, there were 10 Whooper Swans and 1 Little Grebe as well as a count of 55 Chough out on the wing. Many thanks to Gavin for sharing his sightings with us all.

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Tuesday 15th January

A better day out here although late afternoon the temperature dropped sharply... Gareth Stamp who was over on Islay for the weekend had a busy time birdwatching.On Saturday, on Loch Indaal from Bowmore, Gareth had 7 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 4 GND, 5 Slavonian Grebe and 12 Common Scoter. From the viewing platform at Gruinart, the Canada Goose hutchinsii sp was seen, 9 Whooper Swans, 1 White tailed Sea Eagle feeding on a Barnacle Goose, 1 Golden Eagle and 400 Golden Plover. Up at Ardnave Loch, 8 Whoopers were noted. Down at Bruichladdich, 1 Black throated Diver, 5 GND, 2 RTD, 4 Purple Sandpiper and 10 Common Scoter.  On Sunday, DaveWoods had 14 Long tailed Ducks, 7 Common Scoter, 6 Slavonian Grebe and 5 GND on Loch Indaal. Tom Wells who sends in his sightings when he is over on Islay, has given us a link through his blog, "Birds in Cumbria", so feel free to click on the link to Tom's blog and see what Cumbria has to offer.

Monday 14 January 2013

Monday 14th January

Not to nice a day out here with the odd squally shower, at least there was no snow, although the hills down the other end of Islay have got a slight dusting on their tops. Yesterday Tom and Jo had been up at Ardnave looking for a Snow Bunting, but no joy!!! On Ardnave Loch they counted 12 Whoopers, 16 Wigeon, 85 Teal, 10 Goldeneye, 7 Lapwing, 40 Chough and a female Merlin  out hunting. Over at the Lobster ponds they saw 1 Gannet, 1 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone, 33 Ringed Plover and a further 10 Chough. Down at Machir Bay, Tom and Jo had 65 Oystercatcher, 65 Lapwing, 33 Ringed Plover and 80 Curlew. The Curlew later flew off inland to the fields closeby. Mary yesterday had 21 Golden Plover, 35 Lapwing and 6 Redshank close to Windyedge (rather aptly named!) down at Portnahaven, and later on nearer to Portnahaven itself  2 Chough.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Sunday 13th January

Anna today had seen a Dog Otter and also a GND in Loch Indaal from her doorstep in Port Charlotte, it's okay for some... Yesterday, Tom and Jo had gone up to Bunnahabhain and were succesful in spotting the Iceland Gull before it flew off with the other gulls. There was also a Lesser Black backed Gull present  there too.  After that Tom and Jo headed over to Jura. At Feolin, they had a GND, Whitefarland Bay 5 Turnstone were present. Along at Cnocbreac a male Hen Harrier was seen, 2 Mistle Thrush and a count of 55 Whitefronts. At Rubha Aoineadh another male Hen Harrier was seen.

Saturday 12 January 2013

Sunday 12th January

Yesterday Tom and Jo had been out and about, their highlight for the day was possibly seeing 5 Long tailed Ducks on Loch Indaal, 3 from Bowmore and other 2 at Blackrock. Along at Bruichladdich they saw 2 Purple Sandpipers, 9 Turnstone and 10 Ringed Plover.  At Neriby, they had a count of 2,700 Barnies, 90 Whitefronts, 1 Pink footed Goose and a Canada Goose hutchinsii sp. While at Bowmore they also had 14 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 16 Goldeneye, 8 GND and 11 Slavonian Grebes along at  Blackrock they counted 24 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 38 Common Scoter, 14 Red throated Diver and a Guillemot. James last night had a Barn Owl at Grainel. Earlier on he had a further 2 Barn Owls and a Tawny Owl at Erasaid and today had 4 Hen Harriers on the RSPB reserve at Gruinart, 2 males and 2 ringtails. We saw a Stonechat the "Eastern side" of Loch Gorm, just after dropping down "The Hedges" and another along the Southern side" of Loch Gorm, close to the memorial is to the Kilchoman Bards

Friday 11 January 2013

Friday 11th January

Some sightings through from yesterday as I wrote yesterday's blog a bit earlier than normal! Mary on her way home last night had a Barn Owl along the flats at Gruinart. James in the afternoon had count on the reserve as follows, 4,665 Barnies, 209 Whitefronts, 39 Greylag, 1 Peregrine, 170 Rock Doves, 185 Lapwing and also 5 Whooper Swans. Paul  Graham had an Otter down at the coal yard at Gorton. Tom & Jo are back for a few days again and had been down on the Oa yesterday. They had seen 2 Fulmars on the wing along the cliffs, in the fields the had a Golden Plover and also 8 Whitefronted Geese, returning home they had a Peregrine at Mulindry. This evening coming home, we had Barn Owl close to Sunderland.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Thursday 10th January

An early entry for once...Before I forget, the stars in the sky the last couple of nights have been something else, perhaps it has been that way to coincide with the programs on the TV...But at present the sky is overcast, so stargazing may be put on the back burner for tonight! Yesterday Mary counted 18 Fieldares on the Woodland walk at Gruinart. She also had 2 Chough near to the end of the woodland trail. Back at the office at Bushmills (still on the RSPB reserve) she had a Sparrowhawk, and later on another one along at the farm steading, possibly the same bird, Mary thought.  There seem to be quite a few Sparrowhawks around just now. Today, Mary had a covey of 12 Red legged Partridge close to the office, with a Raven in the woodland trail. Up at Ardnave, at the lobster ponds, there were 2 Chough, 1 Peregrine, 1 Redshank, 2 Sanderling, 20 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone, 2 Shelduck, 33 Oystercatcher, and a Snow Bunting. At Ardnave Point itself, there was a single Skylark, 15 Lapwing and on the ground around 150 Starlings feeding on the old cowpats. Dave, down on the Oa, today had 11 Whoopers on Loch Kinnabus and also has been seeing a Hen Harrier being seen quite often of late.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Wednesday 9th January

Another great day here with another day forecast for tomorrow, at least I hope that is what we are going to get, I do not mind if the temperature drops, it is after all Winter time and the month of January. Bob had seen a Golden Eagle today up at Sanaigmore, down at Ballinaby he had a small flock of 20 Twite, while checking Loch Gorm for geese Bob saw 2 male Goldeneye and finally close to Sunderland he had a female Sparrowhawk.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Tuesday 8th January

A day with no rain, another first for 2013, better not get carried away...There was a reported sighting of a White tailed Sea Eagle down towards Loch Gorm today. On the reserve at Gruinart, James saw a Pink footed Goose and later on a Canada Goose hutchinsii  sp. There was a ringtail Hen Harrier quartering over the pools down at Carnain just before lunchtime. This afternoon a low flying RAF jet screamed past, hope that the goose counters, if they were out, had finished their various routes! I actually thought that the RAF had been requested not to fly sorties when the geese were here in case of a bird strike...

Monday 7 January 2013

Monday 7th January

Same old tune, more rain. But it did dry up mid afternoon, so I ventured up to the top of the drive to bring the empty wheelie bin back home. Another first for the year, a Peregrine out on the wing, infact the first I have seen here for the best part of a month. The other day, there was a Raven flying over the crag carrying twigs in its' beak, surely not thinking of nesting building already, but then again they are early nesters, in February for sure. Yesterday down the road towards Loch Gorm, a Kestrel was hunkered up the top of one of the telegragh poles at the roadside. Today on the bird feeders was  a Blue Tit with a ring on, another of Euan's birds? It can be hard to spot that they have rings on when they are so mobile, especially the finches etc on the ground with their legs in the grass and not easily seen at the best of times.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Sunday 6th January

Been a bit of a mixed day over here with most of the mixture comprising of rain with more to come tomorrow by the sound of things... Bob had a Golden Eagle fly  down over his house and go on to hassle the geese at the back of Port Charlotte. Out in the barley stubble around his house, Bob counted a mixed finch flock of over 100 Chaffinches and 20 Greenfinches, in and around his garden he has had around 50 - 60 House Sparrows along with Blue Tit, Coal Tit and Great Tits visiting his feeders. Yesterday, here at home we saw my first Treecreeper of the year, good to see at the best of times.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Saturday 5th January

Like a lot of folk no doubt, I still cannot get my head round which day of the week it is, let alone the actual date, here was me thinking it was Sunday... The birds here at home today have been busy on the feeders, at one time I counted over 60 Chaffinches, 10 Goldfinches and at least 12 Greenfinches, then along came the Sparrowhawk to spoof them all. Mind you the Sparrowhawk went away to look for its' food somewhere else. Over at Gruinart today, James had a Woodcock, a Sparrowhawk and also a male Hen Harrier. James was also saying that the rainfall figure he had for the year tallied through at 52.25 inches or 1,328 mm  for those of you who have converted happily to metric..... Speaking to Clark earlier on today, and Clark said that 2 years ago,  in 2010 when we had the cold spell the total was only 40.5 inches, normally we would expect it to be in the range of 55 to 60 inches. The wind by the way picked up for a while through the night, a rolling sort of a wind, so I wonder whether that was the reason for the Fulmars being in the other day. It was not that windy but...

Friday 4 January 2013

Friday 4th January

A better day out here, no rain and saw the crag, but for how long you may well ask! Yesterday, Carl had a Greenfinch in his garden, a similar story to George in the sense that they do not see many, must count ours tomorrow, double figures... Carl also heard a Tawny Owl hooting away in the woods at Bridgend. Bob this morning had been up at Loch Gearach where he saw the following, 160 Greylag, 26 Whitefronts, 120 Wigeon, 80 Teal, 2 Meadow Pipits, 1 Redwing, 18 Fieldfare in the trees, with a further 97 out on the surrounding fields.. He also counted 23 Starlings and on his way home, Bob had a male Kestrel in Glenmhor.

Thursday 3 January 2013

Thursday 3rd January

Yesterday morning through the swirling mist I thought I heard some Fulmars out on the crag, never saw anything though... Today is a different day and there they were 10 of them, not a lot, but, well we will just have to wait a few days to see if the wind picks up. It is after all that time of year again, think back to last year and no power for over 4 days... Martin saw a couple of Hen Harriers down close to his home at Glenegedale. On the feeders in his garden he has had Reed Buntings. The mist dropped in again later today, went down along the top of Loch Indaal to find Glaucous Gull, no joy, infact no gulls at all, nothing at all..... Did see see a Kestrel on top of a fence post down close to the airport, that was about it! 

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Wednesday 2nd January

Pete Clements kindly sent through this image of the Iceland Gull via Peter Roberts, taken today up at Bunnahabhain. To cap his day, Pete also saw a imm. Glaucous Gull along the top of Loch Indaal, between Uiskentuie and Bruichladdich. A new type of "tick" for Pete as he has never had the 2 species on the one day before! Earlier on, Pete had 32 Pale bellied Brent Geese up at Bridgend. Peter reckons that the Glaucous Gull is a first for Islay this winter, certainly I have not heard any other sightings from anybody else. Pia spoke with a group of visiting birders up at Whinpark at Bridgend today who were watching a pair of imm. White tailed Sea Eagles. George the other day had a Peregrine from the new hide at Gruinart. Managed this morning to speak with Clark, and between us the "unofficial" tally for rain in 2012 was a mere 55 inches, compared with 61.5 inches in 2011....hate to think off some figures from other areas away from Islay!!!

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Tuesday 1st January

A quiet time here last night, well behaved folk out living on the sticks....Pete Clement had gone over to Bunnahabhain this morning and had seen the adult Iceland Gull, if it is the same bird, it's been a regular there for a good number of years now. Out on the Sound of Islay, Pete had 4 GND, a Black throated Diver and a Black Guillemot in winter plumage. Inland, he had a male Hen Harrier out quartering its patch of ground. Down at Nerabus, Pete had a Pink footed Goose amongst the Barnies present. Back here at home in amongst the birds at the feeders, the other day was a Chaffinch with a BTO ring on its' leg, wonder if it was one of the birds that Euan caught and rung back in July?