Wednesday 30 September 2015

Wednesday 30th September

At the bird nerds meeting held yesterday evening, on the head of Bruichladdich pier, the birds seen were as follows 2 Red throated Diver, 2 G N Diver, 1 Peregrine, 10 Knot, 13 Ringed Plover, 120 Eider, 20 Common Scoter and 10 Shag. Also yesterday, Louise had a Grey Wagtail over on Jura, later on she had 2 Barn Owls competing with some rutting Red Deer stags, not sure which lot made more of a racket! Here at home, once the mist and also the midges had cleared, what a glorious day followed on... no Peregrine noted but 3 Buzzards Vwere soaring high up on the thermals over the crag. Visiting birder Richard had seen a couple of Golden Eagles while down on the Oa this morning, along with large mixed flocks of Twite and Linnets. He also spotted some Ravens tumbling around. This afternoon, Richard had seen 6 Barnies amongst the Greylags at Gruinart. Early afternoon also, Gary had a Yellow browed Warbler across the road from his house over at Ballygrant

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Tuesday 29th September

Back on Sunday, Mandy had seen 10 Red breasted Merganser on Ardilistry Bay and later on a Merlin down on the Oa. Yesterday, on the RSPB guided walk on Jura, led by Louise and Heather, a Lapland Bunting was seen on the overhead wires along with 9 Swallows at Keils, a juv Golden Eagle was seen over the hills behind Keils, while a White tailed Eagle was flying below Keils towards Craighouse. At the sewage outlet pipes to the sea, Curlew, juv Grey Heron, Rock Pipits and Oystercatchers were present. Mary yesterday at Gruinart, had seen a Pipistrelle bat flying around at 1pm... Today, Paul who is staying in the "bothy" at Gruinart had seen a Snow Bunting at Traigh Nostaig at Ardnave. Today here at home, late afternoon, a Peregrine was seen out from the crag, having a go at a Buzzard, the Peregrine managed to chase the Buzzard away!

Monday 28 September 2015

Monday 28th September

Yesterday, Peter had seen 3 Whooper Swans on Ardnave Loch, but no sign of the American Wigeon there! Bob had seen 145 Twite when he was down at Machir Bay. Today, Bob had taken a walk along the Big strand on Loch Indaal down below the Airport and along to Knockangle Point. His highlights were 32 Sanderling, 6 Turnstone, 14 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 80 Golden Plover and also a male Hen Harrier. Thanks to Dave for holding the fort while I was away over the past few days. Before I forget, the monthly meeting of the bird nerds will be at the Pier at Bruichladdich at 6.15pm or thereabouts, so see what is out on Loch Indaal, so if you are around, come along....

Sunday 27 September 2015

Sunday 27th September

A lovely day, so much so I was compelled to mow the lawn. At least I was watched by a friendly pair of Stonechats.

Saturday 26 September 2015

Saturday 26th September

Southerly warm winds and the swallows are catching flys, and so are the dragonflys. Not too much in the way of bird movements. A Grey Wagtail and a Peregrine at Gruinart.

Friday 25 September 2015

Thursday 24th September

Not much news through yet for today, a day of squally showers and sunshine. A few things from the Oa from yesterday to catch up on, the finch flock at Kinnabus contained 95 linnet and 15 twite and a male hen harrier was seen. 1 snow bunting also remained near the monument. Today a sparrowhawk and a male hen harrier were again seen on the Oa.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Wednesday 23rd September

Rather a dreich sort of a day with dirty squally showers of rain appearing in off the Sea, net result not much reported though. I am away (again!) for a few days, so if you have any sightings, please send them through to James, his contact details are . Forgot to mention that yesterday, we saw a Wheatear over at Ballinaby.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Tuesday 22nd September

Heather had spotted 2 Snow Buntings close to the American monument as she led the guided walk on Oa this morning. James had carried out a survey on the geese on Ardnave, Griuinart, Craigens and up at Killinallan today, not many geese but his tally came through at 60 Greylags, 3 Barnies, 142 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 3 Sparrowhawk, 3 ringtail Hen Harrier, 1 Golden Eagle. The American Wigeon was seen on Ardnave Loch, with some Grey seal pups present over on Nave Island. This afternoon, we had a ringtail Hen Harrier just past the Hedges at Sunderland and then a male Hen Harrier above Carrabus. Back at home the other day, there were 2 Chough perched on top of the cross out at the War graves cemetery.

Monday 21 September 2015

Monday 21st Sepember

Rather a miserable start to the day with the weather, but as the day went on, the weather improved with a not bad afternoon in the end, managed to get some striming done, and no midges around, better still...Bob had been down on Machir Bay and had 50 Sanderling. He also saw a flock of 150 Linnets and another with 50 Goldfinches up over the dunes, wonder if were the same birds that I saw on the overhead wires??? The small number group of 20 Swallows that were here the other day must have moved on, as there has been only the odd Swallow seen today.

Sunday 20 September 2015

Sunday 20th Sepember

A rather miserable, dreich sort of a day. I know that I for one was not out much, infact I do not think that any of the farmers had any of the combines out cutting their barley... Susan Miller, a visitor from close to Helensburgh, had seen a pair of Hen Harriers and a Peregrine over close to Storakaig back on Wednesday. Today, we had visitors in for a blether and catch up. It was Mike Peacock and his wife Val who have just retired after working for the past 15 years or so for RSPB on neighbouring Oronsay and Colonsay and retired back to live at Port Charlotte. Also with them was Natalie who worked with RSPB a few years back. Great to see you all folks, and more faces at the Bird nerds as well..

Saturday 19 September 2015

Saturday 19th September

Earlier this morning, the overhead wires out from the house here, were crammed full with a large mixed flock of Goldfinches and Linnets, the largest flock that I have seen here like that, usually we get the visitation from the Starlings.... This morning James, 25 Pale bellied Brents fly in over Loch Gruinart, they circled round and then flew on towards Northern Ireland. Before he caught the ferry today, Jim managed some final birds for us... At Bruichladdich, he counted 85 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and a Grey Wagtail. Loch Gorm held around 2,500 Greylags, At Ballinaby, there were 6 House Martins, at Islay house in the community garden, 2 juv Bullfinches present, while 2 Dabchicks were seen on Loch Skerrols. Thanks Jim for sending through your birds.

Friday 18 September 2015

Friday 18th September

George and pat Jackson are back over for a few days.. On Monday they saw a male Hen Harrier close at hand close to Saligo. On Tuesday, while on the Moorland trail a ringtail HH was seen, up at Ardnave there was a Wheatear and also a Stonechat. Back at their son's house, they have been seeing a Hen Harrier most days and up to 3 Buzzards! On Wednesday, they went as foot passengers to Jura and walked up to Inver from Feolin. Birds seen included 6 Herons, 4 Rock Pipits, pr Mute Swan, a flock of 40-50 mixed finches, mainly Linnets, 2 Snipe and 2 Ringed Plover. Around 8 pm on their way home, between Bridgend and Carnain, a Tawny Owl was seen. Yesterday, south of Bridgend they had a Greenshank and 11 Mute Swan. Today, Jim D had been been out for the day with Bill Allan. Their highlight was a Jay at Whinpark, the American Wigeon was seen at Ardnave as were 3 Wheatears. 3 Barnies seen at Gruinart, a female Merlin at Glenmachrie Lots, 3 Hen Harriers noted including a male at West Carrabus. Mary had a Willow Warbler singing away along the woodland trail as well as a Robin trying to keep up with it there as well. There was a reported sighting of a Kingfisher being seen on the stream in Port Charlotte on Wednesday...

Thursday 17 September 2015

Thursday 17th September

On Monday, Colin and Mandy Clark set out birding straight after their arrival on Islay. 5 Golden Eagles, a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Hobby, several Buzzards, and a Kestrel on the Oa. On their way over to Port Charlotte, a Sparrowhawk and a Merlin. What a great start.. On Tuesday, up the Glen road, they saw a further 2 Golden Eagles. Yesterday Bob saw a Kestrel close to Foreland. This morning, he saw a Wheatear, 4 Whitethroats some Stonechats, Reed Buntings and Redpolls on Bolsay Moor. Later on over on Jura, he saw 2 Wheatears, a Grey Wagtail and a Hen Harrier were seen. Mary had seen the first Barnacle Goose of the Autumn at Gruinart. Yesterday, (my mistake, I forgot) Jim Dickson had 11 Slav Grebes on Loch Indaal. Today, Jim had 49 Common Scoter, 14 R T Divers, 13 GN Divers only 3 Slav Grebes. Up on Ardnave Loch, 51 Wigeon were present along with the American Wigeon. The Barnies have now increased to number 2 in total!!! Jim, round the head of Loch Gruinart had a count of 25 White Wagtails. At Coille, he saw a juv Siskin with 35 Tufted Duck on Loch Gorm. Finally, Stewart and Jenny Heggie from Forfar saw a male Hen Harrier out close to Saligo, it was joined by a ringtail and appeared to get some prey.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Wednesday 16th September

Jim Dickson sent through this image of a Peregrine on a kill, taken at Gruinart on Sunday, thanks Jim.. Yesterday, Dave down on the Oa saw 4 Goldcrest, a Whitethroat and 2 Sparrowhawk. Today, Dave had a Wheatear and also reported that "finch numbers" were on the increase, with mixed flocks of Twite, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and redpolls seen on the bird crops on the Oa. Bob this morning had seen the American Wigeon along with 63 Wigeon and 10 Mute Swan up on Ardnave Loch.. On Bolsay Moor, he had a female Sparrowhawk mobbing a ringtail, another along at Blackpark was having a go at 2 Hoodies and up at Ardnave, a small male Sparrowhawk was getting mobbed by 30 Linnets! This afternoon Jim Dickson saw the really elusive Rose coloured Starling down close to the Coastguards. Earlier on, Jim had seen a Common Sandpiper at Gortan, on Loch Indaal off Bruichladdich, 9 Red throated Divers and a GND there as well off Uiskentuie, 53 Common Scoter were present.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Tuesday 15th September

Another glorious day out here, possibly not the hottest.. but there again you should have seen the stars last night... just great! Some sightings through from Jim Dickson. On Sunday, Jim had a Grey wagtail at Bruichladdich, 6 Wheatear between Gorm and Gruinart (including 2 Greenland types), 2 Ruff and 81 Lapwing on the Gruinart flats where there was a Peregrine on its' kill. Jim also had 2 ringtails having a tussle with each other. Further on, 3 Blackwits, 2 Shelduck were seen while 2 Whinchats were at Craigens. A female Sparrowhawk was at Carnain with a male Kestrel seen at Portnahaven. Mary, this morning, had a House Martin at Bruichladdich and a male Hen Harrier along at Uiskentuie on her way in to work. Yesterday, the vols had carried out the WeBS count at Gruinart, their tally was as follows, 14 Herons, 2 Shelduck, 46 Mallard, 14 Red B Merganser, 6 Gadwall, 92 Oystercatcher, 13 Ringed Plover,4 Golden Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 42 Sanderling, 95 Dunlin, 119 Barwits, 1 Blackwit, 219 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 62 Redshank, 234 BH Gull, 42 C Gull, 93 H Gull, 2 LBB Gull , 7 GBB Gull, 23 Pale bellied Brent Geese and an Osprey. Here this morning we had 2 Greenfinches and also 4 Goldfinches and a Great Tit out nosing around the feeders and also 2 House Martins amongst the Swallows.. We saw a ringtail fly across the road at Carnduncan, another at Coull and finally a third one flew past the garden with a Sparrowhawk out its rounds over the garden moments earlier...

Monday 14 September 2015

Monday 14th September

A glorious day out here folks, with a tremendous sunset coming here soon as well. I was speaking to folk on the mainland who have not been so lucky today! Yesterday, Bob, Gary and myself carried out the WeBS count from Bowmore to Gartbreck, along the shore of Loch Indaal, so here are our birds. 11 Mute Swan, 1 Cormorant, 35 Shag, 2 Kittiwake, 900 Greylag, 17 Mallard, 41 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 9 Eider, 52 R B Merganser, 2 Heron, 20 Oystercatcher, 26 Curlew, 66 Barwits, 31 Knot, 5 Redshank, 88 Dunlin, 4 Greenshank, 11 Ringed Plover, 2 Ruff, 5 Turnstone, 27 GBB Gull, 1 LBB Gull, 121 H Gull, 6 C Gull and 42 BH Gull. As we walked down the lane towards the shore, a Peregrine zipped past and shortly after around 50 Twite were seen. Bob at Gartmain saw 600 Greylags on the destroyed barley field, with 132 Wigeon and 63 Mallard on Loch Indaal itself. Jim Dickson is over for the week, on Saturday he had a count of 105 Woodpigeon on the silage aftermath at Sunderland. Today, Jim had an American Wigeon at Ardnave Loch, 2 Whitethroats at The Hedges and finally 450 Starlings at Rockside roadend.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Sunday 13th September

Yesterday, James had a Wheatear out in from Mill cottage. Today on the overhead wire there was a Redpoll along with some Linnets and Twite with some Stonechats and Whinchats on the seedheads nearby. Further out on the Loch, an Osprey was still present with new arrivals, 32 Pale bellied Brent Geese were closeby! A Peregrine was also seen from James abode! There was a ringtail Hen Harrier out on the wing as we came home between Sunderland and Rockside. This afternoon, Martin and Gary had lead the rAmble up at Ardnave, on behalf of the INHT. Birds seen included were 23 Herring Gulls, 1 Common Gull, 13 Mute Swan and 21 Wigeon on Ardnave Loch. Out on Gruinart, 3 Kittiwkes were present along with Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Blackwit, Sanderling, a flock of Twite, 2 ringtail Hen Harrier, Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk.

Saturday 12 September 2015

Saturday 12th September

Well, the weather forecast proved right, with the float on the rain gauge now off the bottom of the tube.... the wind is up tonight with the evening ferry diverting in to Port Askaig, just the start of the winter, I can hear everyone saying, and also the days are getting shorter too... This morning as we were going into Bowmore, one of the Barley fields just before the Gaelic Centre and after Gartmain was very badly damaged by the Greylags. So much so that I would think that the it could be written off to being cut by the combine. It was certainly an eye opener to me, often before I had seen partial damage to the odd corner of a field, but this field, be it a small field, could be a total write off. For once I have seen the damage that the geese can cause... Not much else on the bird front, but we did have a cracking male Hen Harrier fly over the road in front of us and then quarter over the moor towards Loch Gorm.

Friday 11 September 2015

Friday 11th September

Yesterday, Mary counted 60 swallows gathering at Portnahaven, up on Loch Gruinart, Heather spotted the Osprey. Toda on her way to work, Mary saw a small Sparrowhawk on the ground at Lyrabus, in front of the visitor centre, in the fields, were 60 Lapwings. Here at home a Sparrowhawk popped out of the bushes, wonder how long it had been there for.... the large mixed flock of Choughs and Jackdaws were out earlier, testing their flying skills in the increasing winds, think we are in for a wee change in the weather in the next day or two!

Thursday 10 September 2015

Thursday 10th September

James yesterday had seen a Spotted Redshank on the floods while he was working on the sluices.... Continuing on with Mary's sightings.... Up on Ardnave Loch, 3 more pairs of Mute Swans are present with the resident pair with their 4 cygnets. On Nave Island, 3 Cormorants were on the waters' edge preening themselves. Also on Nave Island were some Blackbacks make the most of 2 seal pups, born too soon... On Eilean Beag, 70 Shags were on the rocks, a young Peregrine was perched nearby watching all around. Back on Ardnave, a ringtail Hen Harrier was out quartering the rushes, also were some Skylarks, large flocks of Meadow Pipits, and also some flocks of Mallards, the largest being 25. This morning, we had a ringtail Hen Harrier out quartering its patch round at Saligo. Later on, we had a Golden Eagle, as we returned from Gruinart. Round at Sunderland, on a field which had recently been cut for arable silage, were around 1,000 Greylags, Bob saw the geese later on in the same location.

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Wednesday 9th September

There appears to be more Sparrowhawks seen on Islay of late, Bob was telling me of Jimmy Roy who lives at Port Charlotte. Jimmy was sitting outside with a welcome cuppa when a Sparrowhawk flew in and land on the table where Jimmy was sitting. The bird sat and had a good look at Jimmy before flying off... yesterday when Jimmy was telling Bob about the event, up at Bob's house a Sparrowhawk flew past.. Today, George was up here for a blether and had seen a Sparrowhawk flying ahead of him up above Foreland, and we had one spoofing the birds in the garden around breakfast time! Yesterday, James had an Osprey over on Loch Gruinart. Mary had been out and about today. At Corsapol, she started her trip with a male Hen Harrier, on the salt marsh a large female Peregrine was being watched closely by 2 Herons... Another 5 Herons were present there. Further on below Gruinart Farm, on the Loch, 3 Ravens were harassing a Sparrowhawk, while another was flying along the road between the old Kilchoman Schoolhouse and Culbuie roadend. At Bun an Uillt, a Wheatear was spotted while at Killinallan, a light coloured Kestrel was present. Out on Loch Gruinart, an Osprey was seen. More from Mary's round up tomorrow night...

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Tuesday 8th September

Many thanks to James and the team from RSPB for writing the blog while I was away down South in the big smoke... Some sightings through from visiting birders, Dan Brown had spotted the elusive Rose coloured Starling amongst other Starlings on the overhead wires at Kilchoman yesterday.. Ken and Karen Graham had been house sitting in our absence, on Saturday they saw a Merlin down at Coastguards and another close to Foreland, in between the 2 locations they counted 6 Buzzards. At Port Charlotte, there were 6 Goldfinches with a fledgling begging to get fed...At the house here on Sunday morning, 41 Starlings, 3 Swallows, 6 Chaffinches, 2 Blackbirds, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Robin and 18 Pied Wagtail on the lawn or flying directly over it. On the seedheads of the wild flowers, there was a mixed flock of Chaffinches, House Sparrows and Linnets. Finally, over at Laphroaig on Monday, they had a Treecreeper.

Monday 7 September 2015

Monday 7th September

Another sunny day in paradise and as a bonus a few birds about too- Dave had a Pied Flycatcher and a Grey Wagtailat the Oa and I saw 3 Golden Eagles playing in the thermals over Leorin.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Sunday 6th September

Well the forecast was for a grey day, but good old Islay bucked the forecast and gave us sunshine with the odd shower. Not too much to report, had to mow the lawn, however did have a group of 4 Whinchats in the garden.

Saturday 5 September 2015

Saturday 5th September

Sorry been a bit busy at work so no posts for last couple of days. Garry was out on Friday at Frenchmans rocks and reported 300 Gannets, 65 Fulmars, 42 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Kittiwakes, 2 Great Black Back Gulls, 51 Shags, 17 Pied Wagtails and 2 Wheatears. For the last few days it has been cold with a North wind, the weather had a geese feel to it and I believe the first small group of Pink Feet arrived on the Solway yesterday!

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Wednesday 2nd September

Birds of prey featured today at Gruinart, with the Osprey still using the Loch, a Peregrine also hunting over the salt marsh and a ringtail Hen Harrier and Sparrowhawk over the Floods.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Tuesday 1st September

Ian tells me that the August rainfall at Kilchoman was 3.8inches. Also at Kichoman 27 Pied Wagtails and a Sparrowhawk. Elsewhere on the Island a White Tailed Eagle was spotted over the Machrie road and a Peregrine on the Gruinart salt marsh.