Monday 30 September 2013

Monday 30th September

Some birds through from yesterday... George had 7 Snipe when he was up at Ardnave, Carl at Kilchiaran saw 15 Curlew, 2 Snipe, 2 Heron and a Wheatear. Over at Carrabus he had seen "lots" of Wheatear and at Coullabus he had a House Martin. Down at Port Charlotte tonight, Carl has seen numerous Swallows. 

Sunday 29 September 2013

Sunday 29th September

Almost another month in, been a great day with the weather, Red Admirals out making the most of it. Sam and Garry had a Small Copper and a Peacock butterfly out at Gruinart. On the bird front, they had 27 Barnies, 6 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 3 ringtail Hen Harrier, 6 Shoveler, over 200 Golden Plover on the reserve. Out on Loch Gruinart, waders seen included Curlew, Oystercatcher, Barwits, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Sanderling, Redshank and some Shelduck. On their way to Gruinart , round Loch Gorm they had seen a dozen Snipe, numerous Skylark, and another ringtail. Later on they had a Golden Eagle, Sparrowhawk, and 5 different Buzzards, Along from Uiskentuie a further 2 Buzzards and a Peregrine were added to their list for the day. A good start to their week....

Saturday 28 September 2013

Saturday 28th September

Today, Bob had walked out to Gortantoid along with Peter and Pia. Along the track going there, they saw 6 Wheatear, along with Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. In the small scrubby group of trees just before reaching Gortanoid, Wrens, Robins, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Mistle Thrush were seen. At Gortantoid itself, several Stonechats and Reed Buntings were present. The return leg back along the track produced Linnets, a few Twite and over 20 Pied Wagtail. On Loch Gruinart, a female Goosander was seen. Here at home, a Peregrine flew over mid afternoon.

Friday 27 September 2013

Friday 27th September

Yesterday, on the reserve at Gruinart, James had 3 Hen Harriers, a Merlin and a Sparrowhawk. Today, on the reserve down on the Oa, Dave had a Yellow browed Warbler. When I was down there this afternoon, a Peregrine flew past. Visitors this evening commented on seing flocks of Linnet and Twite up in the dunes behind Machir Bay, and yes, again there are still a few Swallows around...

Thursday 26 September 2013

Thursday 26th September

Yesterday, Carl reported through seeing Swallows down over Loch Indaal at Port Charlotte, out hawking around looking for food. Further out on Loch Indaal there were some Gannets while up at Octomore he had a Hen Harrier.... Today, there are still a couple of Swallows around here and James was telling me this morning that there is a brood still on the nest over at Carnduncan! This morning, on our way round Loch Gorm, there was a charm of 30 Goldfinches which flew ahead of us all the way from Coull to just after Saligo Bay. Also at Coull was a ringtail Hen Harrier out on the wing. Over at Gruinart this morning James had a Merlin and also a Ruff flying around with the Lapwings. The 8 Barnies were present still at the head of Loch Gruinart along with the Greylags roosting up, so no more Barnies yet...

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Wednesday 25th September

On our way over to Gruinart last night, we saw a small flock of around 25- 30 Golden Plover at Coull. James on his way home after Bird nerds, had a Corncrake walk across the track leading to Grainel! This morning, there were 5 Swallows here in a fly past, they certainly did not stay long! There was also a Sparrowhawk up towards Shepherds cottage a wee while later on. Carl had 8 Comic Terns fly past Bruichladdich this morning. This evening there was a Sparrowhawk at Coull and a ringtail Hen Harrier there too and at Ballinaby a couple of Buzzards were out flying about.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Tuesday 24th September

On Friday, over on Jura a Great spotted Woodpecker was seen at Tarbert and Gordon Muir, Louise's other half had 3 Snow Buntings on the West coast of Jura. Yesterday, James had a White tailed Sea Eagle flying over at Keills.Also yesterday, late afternoon, Frank Warren had a Kingfisher on the River Laagan up at the bridge overthe "High road". Today, on the overhead wires up beside his house James had a mixed flock of 115 Linnet and Twite. At the birds nerds tonight, we had 13 folk along a mix of visitors and locals, the craic was good, good to catch up with each other.... birds not so good but a Ruff was seen amongst the waders. A Hen Harrier spoofed the ducks as well, and a Peregrine was on the straining post in the fence line, just watching all around...Carl was in contact today saying that there had been a large number of Swallows around Port Charlotte yesterday and there appeared to be none today, and James was saying that at Gruinart yesterday a good number were present but very few today, so perhaps they have headed South, certainly none here at home today either...

Monday 23 September 2013

Monday 23rd September

Been a good day out here for time of year, this afternoon I was out in the garden with a short sleeves T shirt on, no jersey... just great! This morning I had helped Bob with his count from Bowmore down to Gartbreck. The birds were as follows, 2 Heron, 62 Shag, 10 Cormorant, 30 GBB Gull, 300 Herring Gull, 300 Common Gull, 35 BH Gull, 9 Gannet, 10 Oystercatcher, 117 Curlew, 189 Barwits, 6 Dunlin, 1 Redshank, 3 Snipe, 4 Turnstone, 1 Black Guillemot, 16 Ringed Plover, 2 Golden Plover, 9 Lapwing, 1 Barnacle Goose, 985 Greylags, 2 Shelduck, 3 Mallard, 83 Wigeon, 1 Teal, 10 RB Merganser and 24 Eider. Earlier on Bob had 180 Wigeon, 30 Eider, 64 RB Merganser, 300 Greylags, 2 Scaup, 6 Mute Swan & 2 Whooper Swan at Gartmain. Yesterday, Carl had 6 "Comic" Terns fly past Bruichladdich and he also commented on seeing more Herons around Loch Indaal. Visitors had a Little Stint out from the new hide at Gruinart yesterday.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Sunday 22nd September

Possibly this morning,  we started with an overcast day, but come mid afternoon, the sun broke through and what a glorious evening we are having now. Raymond was probably right in turning his straw in anticipation of baling it, he even moved the combine table out to the field and possibly finished cutting his barley, who am I to ask.... Not much on the bird front today, flocks of Linnets, Twite and Goldfinches around on the seedheads. Some of the Pheasants that have not been seen for a while have started to reappear showing some young in tow, certainly not released poults as the youngsters are quite tame like their parents!

Saturday 21 September 2013

Saturday 21st September

Down in the Machrie field at Rockside Farm today, there were 4 corners to the field as usual, but each corner had its own group of birds present. There were some Rock Doves with a few Hooded Crows along side them, in another corner, over 200 Greylags with 2 Whooper Swans, another corner held some Jackdaws and finally a mixed group of Gulls. Later on this afternoon, a Peregrine Falcon flew over the house and put up the Rock Doves off the crag.... earlier on and a bit higher up,  the Air Ambulance had flown past! On Tuesday evening, the Islay Bird nerds will be meeting up at Gruinart at 6.30pm at the RSPB car park, and we aiming to go down to the new hide for a spot of bird watching, all welcome if you are around, see you there....

Friday 20 September 2013

Friday 20th September

A really quiet day on the bird front, nothing to share really but there are still a few Swallows around yet. Just noticed the other night that the blog has passed the 2,000 entries, another milestone in the blog's short life from a humble start back in May 2007...Many thanks to all of you out there that have contributed and others who have encouraged us to keep it going!

Thursday 19 September 2013

Thursday 19th September

Thanks to James for writing the entry for the blog for the last couple of days while I was over in Glasgow... Yesterday Louise had a Lapland Bunting when she was out past Loch Gorm yesterday. Also yesterday, Bob had been out with the German visitors again, this time a walk round Ardnave Point. On their walk, they had 130 Sanderling, 2 Redshank, 3 Barwits, 20 Turnstone and a Peregrine. Returning back towards the farm steading they had a flock of 80 Twite together, and had also seen several smaller groups before that. They also counted 35 Chough there too. Visitor Andrew who is over for a few days had a Buzzard on top of a rocky outcrop out past Ardbeg towards Kildalton. I, too had my fix when I was away, a Magpie... rare here on Islay, and on Tuesday afternoon, a Fox out in a garden in Bearsden, a major twitch that would have been here!

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Wednesday 18th September

Some sun today, but still cold. Mary was out at Gruinart and noticed a fall of Skylarks and meadow pipits. The 8 Barnacle geese were still present although most of the Brents have moved on. 2 Ring tailed Hen Harriers hunting over the Flats.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Tuesday 17th September

Aah at last I am signed in - Satellite broadband is a challenge we have to bare.
Out and about around Gruinart today, the water levels on the Floods are rising and birds are starting to arrive. A big count of 530 Teal in front of the new hide, also 25 Pale Bellied Brent geese and now 8 Barnacle Geese on the Loch. On the Flats a plump Greenland Wheatear

Monday 16 September 2013

Monday 16th September

In between the squally showers today, Bob managed to take a couple from Germany out for some birding. In the dunes behind Machir Bay, they had small flocks of Goldfinch, Linnet and Twite. Overhead were 7 Chough, 3 Curlew and 3 Blackwits flew past. Also overhead, a Peregrine came out of nowhere and zapped a Buzzard! From the new hide at Gruinart, 300 Teal, 50 Lapwing, 2 Greenshank and a female Peregrine were also seen. Coming along past the wood as they returned to their car, there was a mixed flock of House Martins, Sand Martins and Swallows swooping low catching their food on the wing. Also on the reserve today, James had a Merlin.

Sunday 15 September 2013

Sunday 15th September

Yesterday, before the weather broke down, Bob did the walk from Bowmore down to Gartbreck. His tally was as follows, 1 Redwing, 350 Greylag, 3 Shelduck, 48 Mallard, 5 Teal, 6 Wigeon, 45 Oystercatcher, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Barwits, 2 Greenshank, 7 Turnstone, 4 Heron, 10 Shag, 1 Cormorant, 32 GBB Gull, 300 Herring Gull, 450 Common Gull & 60 B H Gulls. Today a different day as forecasted! James was out today and counted 176 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 3 Barnies, 6 White Wagtails, 5 Blackwits and a Sparrowhawk all over at Gruinart. Martin, mid afternoon had been over at Sanaig and had several groups of Pale bellied Brents flying South, and also a few Arctic Terns fly past as well. Down at Portnahaven, Mary had 25 Pale bellied Brent fly South, and in the harbour there was a Grey Phalarope. Bob had a male Hen Harrier out over Bolsay Moor while Pat had a Sparrowhawk back at their house! The wind touched 48 mph along on Mike's weather station just after midday, glad I was not on the ferry today... they used Port Askaig today....

Saturday 14 September 2013

Saturday 14th September

Yesterday Paul and Kathleen Robinson had seen 16 Pale bellied Brent geese and also a Peregrine over at Gruinart. At Coull, they had 20 Golden Plover. Today Paul and Kathleen are away home, so thanks for sharing some of their sightings while they were here. Also yesterday, Bob had taken a run out round Loch Gorm. He had a count of 52 Ravens, on research the collective name for them could be an unkindness of Ravens, a constable of Ravens or even a conspiracy of Ravens....All seen along at Sunderland. Also on the stubbles there, Bob counted a total of 980 Greylags.  Further on, he had a young male Hen Harrier, and down on Loch Gorm there were 52 Tufted Duck. Going further on round the Loch, Bob had a tally of 9 Stonechats, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Wheatear and another male Hen Harrier.

Friday 13 September 2013

Friday 13th September

Yesterday, going over the "Glen road" from Ballygrant down to Mulindry past Storakaig, Paul and Kathleen had  seen a Sparrowhawk and also 2 Hen Harriers.  On Loch Lossit they had a Dabchick. Later on at the top of Loch Indaal, they saw 2 GND and from "smelly corner" 100 Barwits, 36 Ringed Plover and 46 Dunlin were added to their tally for the week. This morning Paul headed down to Frenchman's Rocks for a couple of hours sea watching from 7am. His tally there was 297 Manx Shearwater (all flying South), 424 Gannet (flying both N & S), 16 Fulmar, 8 Kittiwake, 1 Razorbill, 1 GND and 11 Shag. Mid afternoon, looking out of the kitchen window and over the big crag, there were 5 Buzzards flying around together along with 3 Ravens. There were around 50 Swallows flying round about the old church at the same time, so wonder if they were some youngsters gathering before heading off for warmer climes... We will wait and see if they are here tomorrow!

Thursday 12 September 2013

Thursday 12th September

Yesterday, Paul and Kathleen had a Greenshank and 5 Blackwits over at Loch Gruinart. The other day, here at home we had 2 White wagtails out on the grass. Today, before the weather closed in, we had a count of 40 Golden Plover at Coull and earlier on a male Hen Harrier out on the wing round below Leek, over the far side of Loch Gorm. This afternoon the raft of Scaup were still at Gartmain, the exact number I am not sure of. There were also 4 Whoopers there too. James had 3 Greenland Wheatears at Gruinart as well as 3 Rock Pipits.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Wednesday 11th September

Forgot to mention that we had a brief visit back on Sunday from Michal who was over on Islay for a few days. Michal has been up in Iceland as a "vol" for the past 3 months, another line on his cv!! While he was here, along with James, the 2 of them rescued a young Fulmar out in one of the fields. It would have taken off from its' nest on the crag, but could not make it out over the ridge and down to sea, so Michal and James took it down to Loch Indaal and released it there. Late this afternoon, we went round Loch Gorm and had a count of 6 Buzzards along the way. A few Greylags at Ballinaby, Stonechats on fence posts, a few Whearear along with a lot of Meadow Pipits as we went along with the odd Raven seen too. On the reserve at Gruinart today, James had a Merlin, Peregrine and a count of 37 Snipe. Weather today not too good with a misy coming and going for most of the time, net result, the "morning" plane came in early this afternoon, and the evening plane was just cancelled, do not think they really tried as it was cancelled by 18.15...  

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Tuesday 10th September

Paul & Kathleen yesterday had seen an Osprey on Loch Gruinart, later on they counted 8 Pale bellied Brents at Blackrock. Earlier on, Paul had done some sea watching at Frenchman's Rocks with his tally as follows, 600 Manx Shearwater, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 RTD, 400 Gannets, over 200 Fulmars, 8 Guillemot, 1 Wigeon and 1 Sparrowhawk, but no Kittiwakes! Today, they had 3 Golden Eagles up the North west coast of Islay, a Merlin at Ardnave Loch and also a Hen Harrier round Loch Gorm. Thanks Paul

Sunday 8 September 2013

Sunday 8th September

A different day again, no rain to speak off and better still I managed to get some grass cut... Yesterday, Carl had 5 Pale bellied Brent Geese at Blackrock on Loch Indaal. Today, Bob had "lots" of Skylarks flying high on migration above his house. Across the road at the waterworks, in the willow bushes, there were Willow Warblers and also juv Great Tits. A regular visitor to his garden, on almost a daily basis is a female Sparrowhawk. Up on Bolsay moor, Bob saw 2 young Sparrowhawks having a bit of a tussle at each other, no doubt a family dispute...

Saturday 7 September 2013

Saturday 7th September

Yesterday may have been a great day, but as I wrote last night, it started to rain and it just kept raining all night and for most of the morning, not a down pour, a steady rain yes, net result is that the rain guage so far for the month has registered almost an inch... and the temperature has dropped too, into single figures on the car at lunchtime when headed out to Bridgend. Bob counted 132 Scaup in a raft on Loch Indaal down at Gartmain. Visiting birder Paul had a White tailed Sea Eagle from the ferry as he came up the Sound of Islay.

Friday 6 September 2013

Friday 6th September

Been a great day out here today, but just a wee while ago there was a heavy shower of rain and now the sun is out again although there is a grey sky, the light is something else, going to be another great sunset. Earlier on, there was a bunch of folk over at Saligo out with their surfboards..... As you may have gathered, not much on the  bird front tonight...On one of the stubble fields at Rockside there were around 500 Greylags, on the telegraph wires, some more young Swallows around, and also the last few days more young Goldfinches around as well. There was a small group of 9 Chough fly low overhead at lunchtime, just being nosey, and noisy at the same time as there can be sometimes, just keeping an eye on what's going on!!

Thursday 5 September 2013

Thursday 5th September

This afternoon, Peter had been down on Machir Bay and noted more waders around. There were 18 Sanderling, 12 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin on the beach feeding, with 9 Snipe, 14 Redshank and 18 Blackwits flying overhead. Yesterday, James had a Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and a Hen Harrier all on the reserve at Gruinart, on Loch Indaal there were over 50 Common Scoter and 2 Red Throated Divers. 

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Wednesday 4th September

Today, Dave had seen a Sand Martin flying over the Oa. Visitors who had gone on out to the American Monument on the Oa today had seen 2 Golden Eagles while on their walk. The weather turned out a not bad day, got some painting done and grass cut too.... Come to think on it, Monday was supposed to be good and it turned out opposite to the forecast.... say no more!!

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Tuesday 3rd September

A bit of a late entry tonight, but it been a busy day today and then had a meeting to attend this evening.... Peter today had seen 4 Pale bellied Brent Geese on Loch Indaal , close to Bruichladdich Distillery. Think these could be the first here this Autumn..... I forgot to mention a few days back that the young Swallows were gathering up in numbers, and now I think they appear to have flown away. There are still some youngsters in some of the nests yet, plenty of time for them to head South.

Monday 2 September 2013

Monday 2nd September

I know that yesterday was the first day of  the Autumn, think we now realise what that means as the temperature has dropped quite a bit and today the weather has been rather miserable, certainly no sun shining here for sure... Fortunately I saved some birds that James had at Gruinart yesterday. The Osprey was seen again, a Bonxie or Great Skua seen, 20 Blackwits counted, Peregrine Falcon, Hen Harrier and Sparrowhawk seen as well. I had a Sparrowhawk out over the wood here at home this morning as I went up to the shed. Not really a day for doing much outside work with  the mist rolling in and out shrouding the crags quite often!  Not often you get me complaining about the weather....

Sunday 1 September 2013

Sunday 1st September

Yep, that's another month in, time flies past really quickly. We had 3.25" for the month, so I will catch up with Clark and compare notes about the rainfall, the last 2 years we had 4" in August and back in 2009 the tally was 8.5", think we will move on...Back on the walk at Gruinart on Thursday, Emily had a juv Cuckoo over the moorland trail, an Osprey heading from Gruinart over towards Loch Gorm as well as Twite, Stonechat and also a Common Lizard! On Friday, Emily saw a Buzzard and a Hen Harrier having a tussle in the air just outside her cottage on the reserve at Gruinart. Yesterday, James had seen a small group of 6 Shelduck on Loch Gruinart and wonders if they were the youngsters that were released earlier this week?
Duncan Macneill sent through this image of a juv. Shag which he took in August over at Port Ellen, it was unfazed by folk moving around, quite close to it! Nice one Duncan...