Sunday 31 March 2013

Sunday 31st March

Another month almost up, wonder what the rain tally will be for the month, will it be more or less than last year, you will just have read the blog tomorrow night to find out! Earlier on this week, George had a Collared Dove being nobbled by a Sparrowhawk down at his house at Bruichladdich. 2 large Canada Geese were also seen up close to Craigens over at Loch Gruinart, around the middle of the week. Back on Monday, Bob had 40 Wood Pigeon at Whin Park down at Bridgend. Today as we headed from Bridgend up to Mulindry, a male Hen Harrier flew along side us for a few moments, no more than 20 feet away, with those piercing eyes, fantastic!

Saturday 30 March 2013

Saturday 30th March

Wally and Jude left for home the other  day, but before they left they a juv Golden Eagle and then later on a further 2 Golden Eagles. The Bolton Birders, Chris and Tony Johnson have also headed home. Yesterday, down close to the wee lochans beside Loch Gorm they saw a Merlin and close to Coal Ila  a Kestrel was present. Over on Jura, they had 3 ringtail Hen Harriers up at Lowlandman's Bay. Stonechats were seen in several places on Jura, near Feolin, close to the side of the road at Lowlandman's Bay and also on the edge of the Corran Sands. 4 GND were in the Feolin area with another off Lagg. Woodcock were seen in the woods close to Jura House. An otter was watched for the best part of an hour just after they landed on Jura with another later on, up beyond Craighouse. Many thanks to Wally and Jude along with Chris and Tony for sharing their sightings with us. Today, Dave and Emma had a count of 27 Whoopers flying up the Cornabus valley flying over towards Loch Indaal and possibly further on.

Friday 29 March 2013

Friday 29th March

A wee teaser for you all, a couple of Magpies, taken earlier on today. To put you out of any early excitement, the image was sent through by old friend Armin Grewe, but not taken on Islay but close to home down in Berkshire with his big new lens! 
Bob the other day had been over at Laggan Point and noticed that some of the Shags have been nest building although none are actually sitting as of yet. Yesterday, the Bolton birders had a Sparrowhawk fly across the road into Bridgend Woods. Up in the woods at Ballygrant, they had seen a Treecreeper, a Long tailed Tit along with a Goldcrest. On Lilly Loch 2 Whooper Swans, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe and 4 Heron were present. Loch Allan held 1 Goldeneye and 3 Heron while down at Coal Ila 2 Black Guillemot were seen in summer plumage. Off Sanaigmore 3 GND were present while in the fields, Meadow Pipits and Skylark were there. Golden Plover were seen at Craigens and also at Ballinaby. There was a reported sighting of a Snowy Owl over on Jura yet, but we have not heard reports of it today. David and Jane Griffiths saw a Dipper on the River Sorn yesterday with a Wren nearby.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Thursday 28th March

On Tuesday, on her way home, on Jura, Louise had a Short eared Owl down towards Ardfin, the first she has seen for a while. Yesterday, Dave mustered the troops from the Oa and Gruinart reserves plus Bob and Martin. Together, they carried out a cliff survey on the Oa reserve with the highlights being 3 Golden Eagle, 1 imm White tailed Sea Eagle, 1 Merlin, 3 Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Peregrine, pr Red Grouse, Snipe, Woodcock and  4 Chough. Offshore they had a pod of 6 Bottle nosed Dolphin. Today, through the office window on the Oa, Dave had a imm White tailed Sea Eagle, a Golden Eagle and also a Peregrine. This afternoon, out from smelly corner we had over 40 Whoopers resting up and at least 50 Shelduck to be seen there too. On one of the wee ponds nearby there was a pr of Moorhen present.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Wednesday 27th March

Yesterday, Malcolm had a Barn Owl out hunting at 14.30 just opposite the Gaelic College at Bowmore.  Also yesterday, Bob Young had a Buzzard mobbing a Golden Eagle up at Ardnave. Later on, over at Killinallan, Bob had a White tailed Sea Eagle being initially being mobbed by a Gull and then by a Shelduck! Coming home last night, we had a few single Woodcock taking off at the "edge" of our car lights along the flats at Gruinart and up towards the former Kilchoman school.The Bolton birders today had started the day off with 2 Razorbill and a GND at Saligo. Ardnave Loch held 6 Tufted Duck, 2 female Goldeneye, 1 Red breasted Merganser, 2 Mute Swan, 25 Teal, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Lapwing. While out round Ardnave Point, a juv. White tailed Sea Eagle was seen flying in from the North, and later on a Golden Eagle flew across from the other side of Loch Gruinart. 45 Chough were seen tumbling around in the sky close to Traigh Nostaig. On the ground there were 22 Twite, and on the shore 6 Sanderling and 10 Ringed Plover. 3 large Canada Geese were seen up towards Ardnave Point. 12 Eider were counted off Nave Island with 1 Snipe at the Lobster ponds. Over close to Killinallan gate, a ring tail Hen Harrier was present and later on another was close to Sunderland Farm. Down on the Sound of Islay, Mick and Edmund had a White tailed Sea Eagle and soon after a Golden Eagle as well.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Tuesday 26th March

Late entry folks as just back in from the bird nerds, the date may be should have read the 27th but not quite but almost. Short entry, here goes.... The Bolton Birders had been over towards Bunnahabhain today. Highlight definitely was seeing 2 prs of Golden Eagles probably both at the edge of their territories. Out on the Sound of Islay, 5 GND were noted as were Black Guillemot, Shags, and Red breasted Merganser as well as an Otter! The Iceland Gull was present down off Bunnahabhain itself. Finlaggan held 2 Mistle Thrushes along with Song Thrushes, Blackbirds and some Robins. They counted 18 Pale belied Brent Geese down at Gortan on their way home. They also had a White tailed Sea Eagle over towards Port Askaig. They had also seen 6 Redwing and 6 Fieldfare in the field alongside their cottage. Buzzards were seen through their whole day!

Monday 25 March 2013

Monday 25th March

Here on Islay, the electric board boys are winning the battle, with praise coming from all around. It is still rather cool, think the phone lines will take longer to restore as they do not appear to have the same number of back up crews...The Bolton birders had seen 24 Oystercatcher, 12 Twite and 6 Redwing in a field over at Ardtalla. In Ardtalla Bay, they had 8 Red breasted Merganser, 2 Mute Swan, 4 Eider, 4 Shelduck and 6 Turnstone. On Loch Indaal, just out of Bowmore, 8 Pale bellied Brent Geese and a female Goldeneye were present. Coming home, they counted 70 Teal at Carnain with 2 Mute Swan in the pools there. Along the flats at Gruinart, a male Stonechat was seen, and at Ballinaby the Golden Plover, Ringed Plover and Lapwing were still there from yesterday, but today 6 Whoopers were also there along with 22 Curlew. Betweeen Saligo and Coull, a Barn Owl was out early at 6.15pm! Finally at Coull roadend, they counted 46 Curlew. Today Mick saw a Dipper at the mouth of Glen Logan on the Sound of Islay. Wally and Jude had a Greenshank and their first Barwit (this visit) over past Bun an Uillt. They also reported that another visitor saw a White tailed Sea Eagle over close to Port Ellen. James had a juv. WTSE over at Gruinart yesterday and later on a Peregrine Falcon over his house. Early this evening James counted 10 Whoopers over at the ponds on the flats at Gruinart. I saw 2 Whoopers fly in from the sea heading towards Rockside around midday.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Sunday 24th March

The cold snap continues, at least there has been no more snow falling as far as I know. Full marks to the Electric Board boys for getting a lot of the supplies back on, not an easy job at the best of times....The Bolton Birders had been out and about today, over at Ballygrant Loch, they had 2 Mute Swan, 2 Little Grebe and 4 Heron. Loch nan Cadhan, 2 Mute Swans, 2 Whooper Swans a Little Grebe and a Tufted Duck were present. Loch Skerrols was quiet, but 4 male and a female Goldeneye along with 3 Mute Swans seen. Ardnave Loch had a few male Goldeneye along with Teal, Wigeon and some Tufted Duck. A ringtail Hen Harrier was seen hunting over some gorse bushes on the way back from Ardnave. 2 Reed Bunting were seen in the game crop beside Garra Eollabus, with a juv. White tailed Sea Eagle coming from Killinallan down towards the shore of Loch Gruinart. At Craigens there were around 500 Golden Plover. Along at Ballinaby, they counted 76 Golden Plover, 18 Ringed Plover, 20 Lapwing and 8 Twite. Below Carduncan there was a large flock of Starlings and also 4 Fieldfare and 2 Redwing. Finally down at Machir Bay they saw 8 Chough. Dave from the Oa had a male Hen Harrier out towards the airport this afternoon, and another one later on over towards Kilchoman. Of  late down on the reserve at the Oa, Dave has seeing more Skylarks around.
For any of you around on Islay this week, the "Islay bird nerds" will be meeting at 7.30pm on Tuesday at the Gaelic Centre just outside Bowmore. On Thursday evening, it is the AGM of the INHT, again at 7.30 followed by a talk by Edmund Fellows on "Photographing the Birds of Dumfries-shire"

Saturday 23 March 2013

Saturday 23rd March

Another day like yesterday, certainly not a Spring day, thank goodness that the few sheep that we have are not lambing for a wee while yet...We really must be in a sheltered spot where we live on Islay as when I took Steve and his brothers over to the airport this morning, we were amazed at the number of poles that were just snapped off and all the cables down too, not just the electric but the phones lines too. The Gruinart/ Ardnave area is badly hit, Port Ellen is/ was down, nothing at Ballinaby etc, Portnahaven out too. With the poor weather birds are thin on the ground, but got some all the same.... The Bolton birders had a Cormorant on the River Sorn yesterday, and noticed it flying upstream soon after. This morning they spotted a male Brambling on the feeders here at their cottage. Mick and Edmund had 60 Golden Plover over at Saligo, 20 Chough at Ardnave and 6 different male Stonechats as they went round Loch Gorm.

Friday 22 March 2013

Friday 22nd March

Better get this short entry done quickly as the power is keeping on flickering, one of these times it will go out.... The weather like a lot of other places is not exactly Spring like. Here on Islay, we do not often get snow all around  but  today it has been something else. Back on Wednesday, David and Jane Griffiths had a male Hen Harrier down towards the airport. Later on close to Port nan Gallan, they had some Eider along with  a few Scaup. On land, there was a very active Wren. Yesterday, David heard the Skylarks singing away up towards Kynagary. Wonder if they were singing today! In the evening, they saw a Barn Owl in Bowmore. Today, the Greylags were present up the drive here at home in the snow, George had 35 Whitefronts along with 4 Wigeon on his ponds today. Got the entry done before the power gives up on me!

Thursday 21 March 2013

Thursday 21st March

Not the warmest of days over here with a lazy wind going straight through you rather than going round you! Tracey e mailed the count from the International Goose Count carried out on 19th & 20th March, the tally was 44,854 Barnies and 5,449 Whitefronts. Thanks to Tracey and the team from SNH for providing us with these figures. Looking back to last year , the Barnies are down from 46,412 while the Whitefronts are up from 4,309.... Over at Loch Gruinart this morning, Wally and Jude had a Kestrel put up a few Sanderling. Along the flats, they had a count of over 700 Golden Plover, initially in 2 flocks but merging into one large flock. Over at Bunnahabhain, the Iceland Gull was still present, 15 Pale bellied Brent Geese were seen at Bruichladdich, and also a Dark bellied Brent was spotted amongst the Barnies. Yesterday, Malcolm had counted 19 Whoopers at Gartbreck flying low up Loch Indaal, but no news of them being seen at Gruinart. This morning, we had 10 Whoopers resting up down in  the wee lochans at Rockside roadend. The Bolton birders today had a Stonechat at Braigo, up at Sanaigmore there was a GND in the bay and a Gannet flew in really close in the bay at the same time. Down at the "phone box" back down towards Loch Gorm, a Sparrowhawk was sitting on a fence post eyeing up the finch flock in the adjacent field! Coming back round Loch Gorm, at Ballinaby, there were 20 Golden Plover , 62 Lapwing and 20 Starling present. In the afternoon they had 2 Dippers on the River Sorn and a Goldcrest in the trees in Bridgend. At the top of Loch Indaal there were 2 Buzzards picking away at a carcase! As I write this entry, the wind is starting to pick up with the wind starting howl a bit....

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Wednesday 20th March

Sorry folks a bit of a late entry, but you ain't been forgotten about.... Steve and his brothers yesterday had a Wheatear up at Sanaigmore, some Gannets and some Black Guiilemots offshore. Earlier on at Ballinaby, they had a Merlin and later on a Sparrowhawk at the reserve at Gruinart. Another visiting birder, yesterday had some Gannets on the sound of Islay and on our way out with him last night , we had a male Hen Harrier come off the hill past Sunderland. Coming home we had a Barn Owl at Foreland on a fence post. Michal the other night, had a Barn Owl on the reserve at Gruinart, and early this morning George had one fly past his hose at the edge of Bruichladdich. James had a White tailed Sea Eagle at the top of Loch Indaal, and later on,  another at Gruinart. After that Mary saw a second one at Gruinart, and I heard this evening of Steve and his brothers seeing 2 over towards Bunnahabhain, could they be different birds, must try to find when they were seen! The Bolton birders are back again, seeing a Merlin just up from Gortan this afternoon, and then they counted 26 Chough while down towards Machir Bay. Here at home , we had 41 Greylags in one of the fields

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Tuesday 19th March

Yesterday, Dave had a young White tailed Sea Eagle just South of Bowmore. Back home on the Oa reserve , today Dave had 3 Golden Eagles, a Hen Harrier, 11 Golden Plover, 1 Snipe and a Woodcock. Visiting Birders, Steve ans his brothers yesterday had 2 prs of Golden Eagles, back at Gortan below the coal yard on the foreshore they counted 25 Pale bellied Brent Geese. Today, I have seen 2 separate small groups of Whoopers flying in from the South, possibly Irish birds on the move?

Monday 18 March 2013

Monday 18th March

Carl yesterday had seen 5 male and 3 female Tufted Duck down on the "duck pond" in the dunes behind Machir Bay. Bob over the last couple of days had the impression that he was seeing more geese flying up Loch Indaal, it will interesting to hear the figures from the International Goose count being held on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wally and Jude are back over for another "Islay fix". They had seen a couple of "Atlantic" Canada Geese, the large Canadas that we do not often see here. They were in a mixed flock of Barnies and Whitefronts, where I can't remember! Yesterday between Kilchiaran and Cultoon they had 2 male Hen harriers. Loch Skerrols was quiet today, but there were 3 Mute Swan and a pr of Goldeneye present. Over close to Bun an uillt on Loch Gruinart there were around 45- 50 Turnstone seen. Think they are up to 70 species already after arriving on Saturday afternoon....

Sunday 17 March 2013

Sunday 17th March

Went out with Bob this morning along with 2 visiting birders to do the count from Bowmore down to Gartbreck. The birds seen were as follows, 6 Mute Swans, 80 Barnacle Geese, 23 Greenland Whitefronts, 1 Canada Goose hutchinsii sp., 21 Shelduck, 42 Mallard, 60 Wigeon, 42 Teal, 8 Red breasted Merganser, 20 Eider, 3 Goldeneye, 3 GND, 1 RTD, 3 Cormorant, 12 Shag, 4 GBB Gull, 50 Herring Gull, 20 Black headed Gull, 10 Common Gull, 47 Oystercatcher, 5 Barwits, 50 Curlew, 4 Redshank, 1 Grenshank, 34 Dunlin, 41 Turnstone, 1 Lapwing, 2 Grey Plover, 20 Ringed Plover and 2 Snipe. Not the warmest of days, but job done! The Turnstone as ever, never really batted an eyelid and we were really close to them, amazing how they blend into the background on the shoreline

Saturday 16 March 2013

Saturday 16th March

Peter and Pia had been over on Jura today. Between Feolin and Craighouse they had between 8 - 10 Buzzards  and on the same patch had seen at least 3 ringtail Hen Hariers. Peter also commented on seeing seeing more small groups of Song Thrushes which were singing away. Back here at home, late afternoon and there were 35- 40 Chough tumbling about in the sky above the crag. Almost forgot, last night the stars were something else, a clear sky and no light pollution, just fantastic...

Friday 15 March 2013

Friday 15th March

Mary and Nat had carried out a count on the floods at Gruinart today. The scores on the doors were as follows, 5 Snipe, 42 Mallard, 6 Wigeon, 12 Curlew, 7 Whoopers, 445 Teal, 4 Mute Swans, 3 Red breasted Merganser, 6 Pintail, 3 Heron, 20 Lapwing, 18 Greylag and 7 Shoveler. Marc Eden was in touch with some of his sightings from through his stay. Marc had the Red breasted Goose amongst the Barnies over at Gartbreck. Also at Gartbreck, Marc had an adult Glaucous Gull. Back on Tuesday, up at Ardnave he had a Wheatear, the first sighting of this year as far as I know here on Islay. Thanks Marc.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Thursday 14th March

Some sightings through from George. After very few ducks on his ponds so far this winter, he has 9 Wigeon and 2 Teal being seen regularly of late. Yesterday he had heard a frog croaking away but could not locate it! A Buzzard was seen as were 4 Snipe which is fewer than normal. George had 2 Mistle Thrushes and like me feels that he has seen more Blackbirds and Song Thrushes recently. Also in his fields there were 13 Greenland Whitefronts. Back on Tuesday, Mary had been helping out with the Deer count over at Dunlossit. On her stretch, going North by Storakaig, Mary had 2 Red Grouse, a Golden Eagle with a Golden Plover heard overhead. 2 Lizards were seen trying to bask... On Wednesday down on the Oa, she had 7 Snipe, 1 Woodcock, 1 male Hen Harrier, 1 Golden Eagle and 2 pairs of Ravens. Today, Mary had done a count on Loch Gruinart, the tally being as follows,  2 GND, 290 Shelduck, 198 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 44 Mallard, 4 Eider, 14 Red breasted Merganser, 180 Oystercatcher, 9 Ringed Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 2 Lapwing, 242 Dunlin, 73 Barwits, 12 Blackwits, 147 Curlew, 61 Redshank, 16 Turnstone, 5 Greenshank, 25 Black headed Gulls, 99 Common Gulls, 36 Lesser bb Gulls, 78 Herring Gulls and 6 Gbb Gulls. Ardnave Loch held 7 Oystercatcher, 6 Goldeneye, 1 Redshank, 2 Herring Gull, 2 Greylag, 2 Mute Swan, 4 Whooper Swan, 4 Wigeon, 17 Teal, 18 Mallard and 8 Tufted Duck.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Wednesday 13th March

Many thanks to Michal and James for writing the blog over the past week while I have been down South in Surrey. Even took my bins with me but never lifted them out of the bag, but did have a couple of Jays in the garden, several Magpies and some screeching Parakeets flying overhead. One morning there was also a rather large Grey Squirrel out in the garden, no sign of any foxes this time...
So, back to Islay's birds, here goes...Over the weekend Adam Cross had been over from Glasgow. His birds included a male Hen Harrier out of Port Ellen. Down on the Oa, a Merlin was seen and a Golden Eagle present. Back towards Port Ellen a small flock of 10 Redwing and later 12 Fieldfare. Up at Gruinart, a Sparrowhawk was seen and some Shoveler out in front of the hide. Thanks Adam. On Monday, Bob had a flock of 120 Golden Plover at Coullabus and later on, another flock of 88 at Conisby. Yesterday at home, Bob had a Buzzard and a Peregrine having an aerial tussle, but with no winner! Later on, he had a Jack Snipe on the moor close to his house. Yesterday, Dave had a Coot on Loch Kinnabus, a first record for the Oa reserve. Also on reserve were 530 Greenland Whitefronts, 6 Chough, 100 Golden Plover and 22 Skylarks. Today, James had a small flock of 9 Song Thrushes on the reserve at Gruinart, in front of the new hide, the Green winged Teal was present, the Canada Goose hutchinsii sp was amongst the Barnies on the flats and James had a count of 1,150 Starlings on reserve. This morning here at home, I felt that there some more Blackbirds around, possibly moved over from the mainland with the cold weather over there, mind you, on Monday night, Mike's weather station recorded minus 5 which is cold for here! Mid afternoon there were over 20 Chough out over the crag, great to see and hear...Never really tire watching the Choughs!

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Tuesday 12th March

An extremely cold night, with the cold Freezing the high tide on the salt marsh, leaving a sheet of ice.
On the Gruinart Flats I noticed 74 golden plover, nothing strange in that, but today I noticed that at least a 3rd were black bellied in summer plumage. Cold it might be, but spring is on the way.

Monday 11 March 2013

Monday 11th March

I have been in the office all day - not good because it was a beautiful day, cold, crisp with wonderful light. Luckily Martin sent through an e mail of records  from  yesterday:
In the woods near Kynagarry - 10 Woodcock, 1 Bullfinch, 32 Fieldfare, 3 Wrens, 4 Robins, 2 Buzzards, 6 Blackbirds and 2 pairs of Long Tailed Tits. From home, in his garden: Reed Buntings 5 males 1 female, a male Hen Harrier and a pair of Skylark displaying.

Sunday 10 March 2013

Sunday 10th March

A bitterly cold easterly wind with flurries of snow, for Mothers day on Islay. A few good birds- a pair of Goosanders on the Grey river at Erasaid, was birds of the day for me. Also on the Gruinart Flats, 200 Golden Plover and loads of Lapwing. Some visiting birdwatchers reported a couple of ring tail Hen Harriers from the hide.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Saturday 9th March

Market day today- lots of cattle trucks and Landrovers heading for Bridgend- and thankfully not too much wind and rain, just a bit grey and cold.
A few birds - last night I saw a Tawny Owl at Erasaid and today a Sparrowhawk at Gruinart. I have also noticed a few Lesser Black Back Gulls creeping into the Herring Gull flocks - today 2 at Gruinart and 1 at Blackrock.

Friday 8 March 2013

Friday 8th March

Thanks to the BT and their hyperactive internet lines I managed to post the Wednesday entry four times... It has now been corrected and now I am taking advantage of working internet and doing Thursday/Friday entry. Neil, while spreading slurry yesterday, had an amazing view of adult white-tailed eagle swooping onto a flock of barnacle geese. Natalie saw a sparrowhawk in her garden. Mary saw black-headed gull in its summer plumage and a kestrel near Port Charlotte. Today James during the ferry crossing saw several cormorants and black guillemots in summer plumage. Bob did some birding from his window today and saw flock of 20 greenfinches, 80 chaffinches and a hen harrier passing by. He also saw about 200 whitefronts just above Port Charlotte in a rushy field.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Wednesday 6th March

Finally! The weather is back. Who could tolerate sunshine and blue sky for more than two weeks in a row this time of year? Louise had three golden eagles soaring above her near Saligo. Mary saw 22 fieldfares in the field near the office and 12 brent geese near Bruichladdich on her way home. Bob reported a hen harrier from near Bun-an-uillt and two flock of about 20 redwings heading north and little flock of 8 reed buntings near Loch Gorm. Couple days ago he had 3 great northern divers and flock of 45 sanderling while walking around Ardnave.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Tuesday 5th March

A beautiful day with a feel of spring in the air. On the Gruinart Flats lapwing were whirling around and skylarks ascending in song. Best birds were two White Tailed Eagles soaring over Loch Gruinart mid afternoon.

Monday 4 March 2013

Monday 4th March

This image of one of the Canada Geese hutchinsii sp, resting up with some of the Barnies taken last Thursday at the top of Loch Indaal by Pavel Ruzel, one of the visiting Czech birders. Thanks to Pavel.
David Jardine returned home yesterday, but managed a few more sightings before heading back across the water... Saturday evening, David had a Tawny Owl at Bridgend. On Loch Indaal, out from Bowmore, 7 Scaup, 27 Common Scoter, and 8 Slavonian Grebes were seen. The possible Black necked Grebe that David had seen the other day turned out to be a moulting Slavonian Grebe. Loch Tallant, 3 Water Rails were heard calling. At Cruach, 7 Yellowhammers were seen, the Moorhen was present at Carnain and a male Goosander was noted on Loch Skerrols. New arrivals, Kathie, Mick, Dave and Jacquie saw a White tailed Sea Eagle from the ferry as they came over on Saturday. Yesterday they had a Canada Goose hutchinsii sp amongst the Barnies at Gruinart, round Loch Gorm they had 3 Hen Harriers (2 male and a ringtail), a Golden Eagle and 2 Raven. Up at Ardnave they had a Merlin, a count of 45 Chough and lateron another ringtail Hen Harrier, on Arnave Loch, 8 Whoopers were seen. Today on Loch Indaal they had 3 Scaup and down on the Oa, 2 Peregrine, 2 Chough, a male and a ringtail Hen Harrier were present as was a flock of 26 Twite. Here at home, late afternoon 14 Chough were doing their acrobatics over the crag.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Sunday 3rd March

Martin this morning had a walk round Loch Dhomhnuill which is over beside the Duich Lots. The Loch itself had nothing on it but on one of the wee ponds there were 2 Teal. Also seen on his walk were 1 Dunnock, 1 Wren, 5 Stonechats, 6 Reed Buntings,4 Skylarks, 2 Ravens and 6 Rock Doves. Dave today had an immature White tailed Sea Eagle on the reserve on the Oa, later on he had a Golden Eagle.Yesterday on the reserve he also had a male Hen Harrier. Dave also reported through to say that up at Ardnave on Friday, he saw a Merlin. He also reported through that he has been seeing more Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Redshank around Loch Kinnabus over the past few days. Peter noticed that the Starlings around Bruichladdich are starting to mimic other birds etc. The other day there was "Chough, Curlew and Buzzard", Malcolm recalls one mimicing a Greenland whitefront. Today Peter had one mimicing a Lapwing, better still one mimicing a car alarm! We had one pretending to be Great Tit yesterday.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Saturday 2nd March

Phil and Kath headed home today, but before leaving had 2 Hen Harriers up behind Port Charlotte, they also saw some frog spawn close to The Gearach while on the former Distillery pond at Port Charlotte itself, they had 2 Moorhen. Thanks folks for your sightings. Peter today had been up towards Bunnahabhain and had seen the White tailed Sea Eagle, the Iceland Gull was present as was a Goldcrest. He also saw a Peregrine being mobbed by 3 Ravens. Down on Loch Skerrols, 6 Goldeneye were present. David Jardine who is over birding had a good day starting off with a Grey Wagtail at Bridgend. Other highlights included a Knot amongst some Curlew down at Machir Bay, 2 Sanderling were also there. A Greenshank was seen at Gruinart, with Shoveler and Gadwall seen along with the ducks there. Up towards Garra Eallabus, 2 Brambling were spotted in the "game crop" while off Arnave, David had 3 Gannets. Purple Sandpiper were  at Bruichladdich, while over off Bowmore there was a possible Black necked Grebe amongst some Slavonian Grebe

Friday 1 March 2013

Friday 1st March

That's another month in, a dry month thank goodness with  a mere 2.6" in total here, almost half of what we had last February, better not shout about it too much.... Den Mather and his 2 Czech birders had a Canada Goose hutchinsii sp amongst the Barnacle geese at the top of Loch Indaal. Up towards Sanaigmore they saw some Choughs on the road and finally at Laggan road end they had a ringtail Hen Harrier, their fourth in 2 days. Thanks folks for your birds. Today, out in the field in front of his house Bob watched a nesting Lapwing protect its its' territory against a Peregrine. The Peregrine swooped over a few times and the Lapwing had enough and took flight to chase the Peregrine, but the Peregrine forced the Lapwing back down on the ground and then the female Peregrine came out of nowhere and zapped the Lapwing and carried it off as if it was a smaller bird. On a happier note Michal around midday saw a Pipestrelle Bat out flying in the garden at Mill cottage on Gruinart