Thursday 30 November 2017

Thursday 30th November

Well, that is almost another month in, but you will just to wait in suspense for the rainfall figures, will it be more or less than it was in 2016??
This morning, while he was having his breakfast Nike had spotted 2 Bottle nosed Dolphins in Loch Indaal out from Port Charlotte, and Mike saw them again off Port Charlotte, early afternoon. Mike also spotted a Snow Bunting on Traigh an Luig mid afternoon, which is below the coal yard. Just after midday, we saw 8 Red breasted Mergansers at Blackrock, out from Cash Kelly's former home.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Wednesday 29th November

Some sightings from the bird nerds meeting last night... Yesterday, Peter and his visiting friends had a Peregrine while travelling along the High road. At Gruinart, they saw a White tailed Eagle over the flats, as well as an immature Peregrine having a minor dispute with a ringtail Hen Harrier. Gary had seen another ringtail out on the wing at Mulreesh. Mandy had a Snipe on the verge / roadside as she was coming to the meeting last night below Carnduncan. We had 16 folk coming to our monthly catch up which was great to see and a grand chance for a catch up as well.
Peter along with his guests had ventured out in the cold but drier day today. Just after midday at Bridgend, they saw an immature White tailed Eagle, along in the bay at Cash Kelly's former house the flock of Scaup were seen, around 45 in number. From the new hide (North hide) at Gruinart, they had a count of 1,200 Golden Plover. Also seen from the hide were 2 Blackwits, 2 Greenshanks as well as a single Hen Harrier. Mid afternoon, we saw a Merlin zip across the road as we drove between the Coastguard cottages and Rockside. Returning home later on, we saw a "small" mumeration of around 700 Starlings in the sky, towards Coull.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Tuesday 28th November

An early entry tonight as I am heading out to the Bird nerds meeting. Yesterday Steve Duffield  had seen a Cackling goose at Kinnabus, down at Cornabus, he had a Todd's Canada goose and a Pink footed Goose amongst the other Whitefronts and Barnies present there. This afternoon, David Wood had a Cackling goose, a Todd's Canada Goose, some Brent geese seen amongst a flock of over 2,000 Barnies at Kinnabus. Louise reported through to say that she has been observing a lonely/ lovely Snow Bunting at the side of the road, over on Jura up beside the path that leads to Evans Way and on over to Glenbatrick.

Monday 27 November 2017

Monday 27th November

Another miserable kind of the day with a few hail showers clattering against the windows, what a noise. To be on the safe side, I emptied out the rain gauge as it was almost full, and it is not the end of the month yet....
Phill, yesterday had taken a walk round Loch Skerrols and then back through Bridgend  Woods and had seen 5 Buzzards, a Golden Eagle, 2 Chough, 2Wood Pigeons, a flock of Skylarks, 120 Barnies flew overhead and then around 80 Whitefronts were seen with more geese noted in the distance. In the woods, many Coal Tits, a few Great Tits and Blue Tits as well as a couple of Song Thrushes were present. In the afternoon, over at the Singing Sands, he counted 28 Mallard, 5 GND, 4  R b Merganser, and a couple of GBB Gulls.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Sunday 26th November

A very similar day to yesterday, not only on the bird front but the weather was similar to yesterday as well. The weather forecast was certainly correct being a bit on the cold side with squally wintry showers coming out of nowhere. The Paps of Jura have got their white winter caps on as have the higher hills down on the other side of Islay. Just glad to be inside !!!!!
On the bird front nothing in at all, but we had seen a small flock of around 20 Curlew over at Coull this afternoon and then shortly afterwards a Stonechat was on a fence post at the side of the road.
Remember to come along to the Bird nerds meeting at 7pm in the Lochside Hotel, if you are around...See some of you there !!!

Friday 24 November 2017

Friday 24th November

The stats have come back through from BTO on a Common Gull that Gary found dead on Machir Bay last week. It had been rung on the Shaint Islands on the 25th of June this year as a nestling... While he was out helping with the International goose Count, earlier this week, Bob had seen a couple of Golden Eagles while he was up beside the radar masts above Kilchiaran. Yesterday while out for a walk out along the top of Loch Indaal, he counted 42 Pale bellied Brents along towards Carnain. He was also saying that he has ben seeing some Greenfinches in at his garden over the past few days.
This coming Tuesday evening, 28th November, at 7pm the Islay bird nerds will be meeting in the Lochside Hotel in Bowmore for the usual monthly catch up, so any visitors will be made welcome, come along and put a face to the names that you read about on the blog, meet the team!!!!

Thursday 23 November 2017

Thursday 23rd Novembr

Back on Sunday, Louise had seen a Magpie behind her home at Gatehouse up towards Tarbet on Jura. David Wood on Sunday had seen a Black throated Diver at Kilnaughton Bay, and he had a Cackling Goose at Kinnabus  and a count of 330 Twite and also 4 Brambling seen there as well. Yesterday Mike counted a couple of rafts of GND totalling 131 birds as they were going into the roost off Laggan Point between 15.30 and 16.40 on Loch Indaal. Because of the poor weather on Tuesday, the count for the International Goose count was not carried out, but Andrew Kent sent the figures from Wednesday's tally.. The totals were as follows, 48,336 Barnies, 4,877 Whitefronts and 880 Greylags. Jams had carried out the Gruinart stint, so his count in the total figure came to 16,244 Barnies, 546 Whitefronts, and 29 Greylags. Thanks to Andrew and his team or these numbers. Louise had counted 80 Barnies fly over from Inver on Jura over to Islay this morning. Ed Burrell had a Carrion Crow the other day on the Oa. Ed was saying to me this morning, that he has caught, rung and fitted collars to a further 25 Whitefronts, 5 with transponders, the rest with neck collars. The team from WWT had also fitted neck collars to 24 Greylags as well. Armin had seen the overhead power lines being weighed down by a good number of Rooks along with some Jackdaws, below Carrabus.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Wednesday 22nd November

Yesterday, Margaret counted 12 Whooper Swans as they flew in off the sea from the North, possibly to rest up on the stubbles overnight, they certainly had moved on this morning. No sightings today of Mandy and Fiona's Little Egrets either. Ed today had a large flock of Whitefronts down at Sunderland Farm. Here at home, as the temperature has dropped a little, the birds on the feeders have increased in numbers and eating a lot more too... Today, Gary had seen Grey Wagtails on the metal silage feed bunkers up towards Mulreesh.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Tuesday 21st November

Yesterday, our good friend Armin had seen a charm of Goldfinches through the patio doors of the cottages where he is staying, also present were some Chaffinches. On his way from Loch Gorm over Loch Gruinart, he saw 4 different Buzzards!
This afternoon, just as the light was fading, Mandy and Fiona had seen 2 Little Egrets fly over while they were driving up past Foreland. Thy appeared to be flying towards Kentraw.

The weather has not been very good with a steady rain for most of the day, hence not a lot on the blog tonight...

Monday 20 November 2017

Monday 20th November

Yesterday, Mandy spotted a Barn Owl on a fence post as she drove across the Gruinart flats. During the afternoon yesterday, she had a Kestrel sitting on a fence post below Carduncan, it took off and then started hovering, great sighting Mandy, her first Kestrel seen for over a year. Yesterday morning Mike had carried out hid WeBs count on Outer Loch Indaal, basically from Port Charlotte down to Portnahaven. Mike counted a total of  110 GND, mostly in groups, the largest group being 18 in number. Within each group they were calling to each other while on the surface, then all diving together. Other birds seen were 3 RTD, 24 Common Scoter, 6 Wigeon, 6 Eider, 13 Shag, 11 Guillemot and a Tystie.
Here at home, the Goldfinches were back at the big niger feeder, after being awol for a few days...

Sunday 19 November 2017

Sunday 19th November

This morning, we saw a Moorhen down on the pool at Carnain, where a pair of Mute Swans have tried to breed over the past few years.  The Scaup were present in the bay at Cash Kelly's house past Blackrock. Today Bob, Martin and Distillery Dave had carried out the WeBs count from Bowmore along to Gartbreck counting the following birds, 6 Greylags, 850 Barnies, 60 Whitefronts, 16 Mallard, 64 Wigeon, 42 Teal, 9 Eider, 25 R b Merganser, 6GND, 2 Cormorant, 35 Shag, 2 Shelduck, 6 Heron, 52 Oystercatcher, 38 Curlew, 50 Barwits, 2 Blackwits, 20 Knot, 7 Redshank, 4 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 7 Turnstone, 450 Golden Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 55 Lapwing, 25 Ringed Plover, 8 Gbb Gull, 40 H Gull, 20 C. Gull and 8 B h Gull.
This afternoon, Margaret spotted over 20 Whoopers flying South towards Ireland, way out past Granny's Rock.

Saturday 18 November 2017

Saturday 18th November

Yesterday Carl had been out with a photographer.. Up at Sanaigmore they saw 3 Golden Eagles, a Merlin and a Kestrel. Today while out his wheels by himself, Carl saw 2 Red Grouse close to the former Kilchoman school as you come over the from Loch Gorm down towards Gruinart.
Over at Finlaggan yesterday, Gary saw a Kestrel, 4 Bullfinches and a count of 7 Buzzards. Today, Gary had ben out with folk that won a competition to come over to stay on Islay  for a few days and see some of our tremendous wildlife. Gary came up trumps, for sure... They saw 5 Golden Eagles over Jura, and from Coal Ila, they saw 3 White tailed Eagles and another 2 Golden Eagles and then up at Bunnahabhain, they saw an Otter out on the rocks. Later on at Finlaggan, they saw a Grey Wagtail, a Peregrine in the air as well as a fly past by a Crossbill..
Gary was also commenting on more Buzzards being around, while waiting on his folk this morning, he saw 8 Buzzards from Whin Park, all on the ground on the merse and out on the sand.
No sign of the Blackcap here at home today, perhaps he did not like the apples that he was guzzling into yesterday... mind you I made the most of the day planting even more daffodils... What a show they will be if and when they come into flower... as long as the wind does not twist them around too much, but hopefully, I have planted most of  them in sheltered places...

Friday 17 November 2017

Friday 17th November

A mixed day with the weather, with quite a lot of squally showers coming in from the sea..
The Bowland birders had seen 2 Barn Owls up past Bob's house out of Port Charlotte.. This morning they saw a Moorhen on the distillery pond at Port Charlotte. Later on they had seen 6 Snipe near to Ballinaby, then a Snow Bunting at Machir Bay and while they were up having a catch up with us a male Blackcap was in at the feeders, eating away at the apples on the ground. Also seen here, over 40 Chaffinches and around 20 Goldfinches clamouring around the feeders, and then a ringtail flew past, keeping everyone on their toes!! The Lesser Whitethroat is still on Martin's feeders..

The Blackcap was a new "Islay tick" for them.. a not bad week, with 90 species seen so far.

Mark along with the "vols"  had carried out the WeBS count at Loch Gruinart today, with their tally coming in at 1,610 Golden Plover, 114 Curlew, 47 Turnstone, 106 Sanderling, 6 Dunlin, 49 Ringed  Plover, 9 Snipe, 6 Greenshank, 104 Shelduck,175 Wigeon, 54 Barwit, a Blackwit and a Pale bellied Brent Goose

Thursday 16 November 2017

Thursday 16th November

Another dry day out here again, a bit on the cold side, but for time of the year, certainly not that bad a day.. This afternoon, out in the garden I manage to get some more bushes planted as well as a few daffodils too..
The Bowland birders, yesterday had gone round Loch Gorm seeing Skylarks, Dunnocks, Wood Pigeons, Mistle Thrush, 4 Chough down close to Machir Bay, with 25 Ringed Plover seen there too. The Cackling goose was present amongst Barnies at Rockside along with a flock of around 80 Chaffinches. Back at Octomore, Reed Bunting was added to their list for the week. Today at Octomore, they saw a Grey Wagtail. At Bun an Uisge, where Islay Farmers used to trade from, they saw 6 Pale belied Brents. At the top of the merse at Bridgend, 12 Pintail, and a male Goldeneye were seen. Loch Skerrols held Mute Swans, Whooper Swans, Tufted Duck, Wigeon and Teal. Round at Newton, on the stubbles there, a Brambling was amongst the large flock of Chaffinches. A walk from the Woollen Mill produced Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, 7 Goldcrest and a Treecreeper.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Wednesday 15th November

Yesterday, Gary had been out with some clients, a great day to be out plus they had some great sightings thrown in, so here are some of their best sightings. At Coal Ila, they saw a couple of Otters out in the Sound of Islay, what a start... While they were there a White tailed Eagle and then a Golden Eagle were also seen, along the road and over the hills behind Ballygrant, another White tailed Eagle was present. From Blackrock, out on Loch Indaal they had seen a Red throated Diver, only 5 feet from where they were parked up, GNDs, Common Scoter, 3 Long tailed Duck, Slavonian Grebe and the flock of Scaup as well. Along at Rockside they had 2 small Canada Geese and also the larger Canada, Todd's goose amongst the Barnies and Whitefronts present there.

This morning, Gary dropped in for a cuppa and a natter, who else came by but this female Sparrowhawk who happily sat on the old sack barrow outside the kitchen window while I managed to get the above, could be a bit clearer but taken through the double glazed window. Earlier on,  Gary had seen the Snow Bunting down on Machir Bay and also found a dead Common Gull with BTO ring on... Mandy had seen some Whitefronts over at Carnduncan with collars fitted but too far off to read, she has also had a couple of Greenfinches on her feeders at Carnduncan itself.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Tuesday 14th November

Today, Lesley Silcock reported through on a report of 2 Snow Buntings being seen down at Machir Bay. While she was there, in the Coull field adjacent to the car park, Lesley had a count of at least 24 Curlew, a Snipe along with 2 chough being present as well.
The Bowland birders have been out and about, making the most of a better day.. At Bruichladdich, opposite the mini market, 2 Purple Sandpipers were seen. From Blackrock, 8 Slavonian Grebes out on Loch Indaal, 57 Scaup counted close to the shore, with a pair of Stonechats seen in the car park there. From the hide old hide at Gruinart, they saw a Peregrine and also a Ringtail harassing around 100 Teal around. A flock of 12 Long tailed Tits were seen clos to the viewing platform. Along towards the visitor centre at Gruinart, they has a small Canada Goose, a male Hen Harrier, 2 Little Grebes, 6 Wigeon, 6 Whoopers including 2 Juvs. Along the flats they had a Whitefronted Goose with a radio collar on. A female Merlin flew along the road at the former Kilchoman School, and finally they saw 4 Woodcock, back at Octomore. Martin was over here visiting this morning us when a ringtail flew over the garden. The Lesser Whitethroat was still present on his feeders this morning with a Blackcap flitting around as well. We also had a small flock of 20 Redwing on the overhead cables leading up to our cottage

Monday 13 November 2017

Monday 13th November

Yesterday, the Bowland birders had taken a drive round the Rhinns. Down at Bruichladdich they saw 3 Purple Sandpipers, Ringed Plover and Redshank while out on Loch Indaal they had 7 Scoter along with GNDs and RTDs. They had a male Sparrowhawk at Easter Ellister and then another at Claddach Loch, down past Portnahaven. Some flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing were present at Claddach as well. Today, they covered from Port Charlotte along the top of Loch Indaal along to Bowmore. They had a total of 23 Brents in 3 groups, 7 noted at Bruichladdich, 8 at the spit along the Uiskentuie strand and 8 along at Blackrock. Along at smelly corner, a male Sparrowhawk and also a female Merlin were seen, with plenty of Dunlin and Ringed Plover present. A flock of around 100 Golden Plover were seen flying out over Loch Indaal. Off the Generator station, 50 Scaup were seen, bit no sign of the Little Egrets, no Slav Grebe or any Long tailed Ducks, roll on tomorrow, fingers crossed folks..

Sunday 12 November 2017

Sunday 12th November

The weather today, a typical Autumn day for sure with a coolish wind blowing for most of the day and then mid afternoon a dirty hail shower appeared out of nowhere, just glad we have a big stove to light to augment the central heating...
The Bowland birders are back over for another visit. Yesterday, as the ferry approached Port Askaig, they saw a Little Gull being pursued by a Kittiwake, while over on Jura they saw a White tailed Eagle tucking into a carcase. This morning, Bob had seen 2 pairs of Bullfinches in his garden. With this wee cold snap of weather, the birds have been busy on our feeders...

Saturday 11 November 2017

Saturday 11th November

Not a lot  to report tonight, but Martin was in touch to say that the Lesser Whitethroat  is still present in his garden. He also had a solitary Redwing there as well as a Goldcrest. Down at the mouth of the River Sorn at Bridgend, Martin saw 2 Dippers and also 8 Long tailed Tits present there as well.

Friday 10 November 2017

Friday 10th November

Gary, yesterday had a good day out birding with some clients. They saw the Kingfisher down at Bridgend, then 2 Peregrines on the South side of Loch Gorm. Along on the barley stubbles at Rockside, amongst the barnies present, they had a Todd's Canada Goose and also a cackling Goose. Back over the hill behind Sunderland, 2 Golden Eagles were seen. Finally along at Newton, 3 Brambling were present amongst the flock of finches.
Martin, this morning, had the Lesser Whitethroat on his feeders in his garden at Glenegedale.
Earlier on this week, we had a great evening with the staff from Speyside Wildlife who were over on Islay "team building". Great to see you all and trust you all got home safely!!

Thursday 9 November 2017

Thursday 9th November

Peter returned home yesterday from leading 2 back to back tours in Oz and then visiting family in New Zealand. He wasted little time, on his return, seeing the Lesser Whitethroat on the feeders in Martin's garden. He also saw the 2 Little Egret at Bridgend.
This morning, we saw 2 Red Grouse on the road while driving over Loch Gruinart. They were on the grit in the centre of the road up past the Culbuie road end. They were loathe to move, I had to stop and blow the horn at them, to get them fly out of the road. Needless to say no camera with  us... Instead you can make do with another of George E Jackson's birds that he caught in the nets here last week, the first Blue Tit that we have caught and rung here

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Wednesday 8th November

Weather has not been great out here today, the wind has been growling away and with the rain blattering away against the windows, not a day for doing much birdwatching...
Lesley had  the 2 Little Egrets down at Bridgend this morning, Gary had also seen them yesterday, Also yesterday, Gary had seen 3 Bramblings and a Chiffchaff down in Martin's garden but no joy with Martin's Lesser Whitethroat.
This ringtail Hen Harrier was caught and rung in the mist nets by good friend George E Jackson last week. It was in hot pursuit after a Chaffinch that it never saw the net... Good one, George!!!

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Tuesday 7th November

Islay seems to be the place to be tonight, with some great birds seen, or a we an easy to please lot of folk?? Martin had the Lesser whitethroat in his garden feeders this morning.

Martin took this image for to share it with you all. He also had a couple of female Brambling as well. Mike Peacock had seen a Little Egret this morning at Carnain. Martin had gone down this afternoon to Carnain, no joy with the Egret but he saw a Kingfisher on the Sorn. Fiona and Bob had seen a male Merlin at Rockside and up behind Sunderland, a juv White tailed Eagle being mobbed by some corvids. To finish their day off they saw 2 Little Egrets at Carnain. James had a quick look around Gruinart noting 494 Whitefronts, 32 Whoopers, a Cackling goose (hutchinsi sp), a Green winged Teal and counted 710 Teal   . The Green winged Teal was seen out to the left of the South /old hide...

Monday 6 November 2017

Monday 6th November

Rather a tousy sort of a day with some dirty showers in the mix too, and the evening ferry has been cancelled with the wind increasing its strength... not really a day for being outside, let alone birdwatching!!!!
A couple of sets of e mails that I had overlooked with birds on , so here we go... Gary had seen a juv Golden Eagle over Jura, a Ruff was present amongst the Golden Plovers and then he saw a juv White tailed Eagle out on the merse at Bridgend, all on Saturday. Mike had ben off the rails earlier on last week but got out at the end of the week seeing a Snow Bunting at Bruichladdich and and then another along at Carnain, a Brambling below the Coastguards cottages leading to Machir bay and then Mike had a Merlin hunting over the stubbles at Sunderland.

Sunday 5 November 2017

Sunday 5th November

Marsali sent through her rainfall figure from Mulindry, up behind Bridgend  and her figure for October came to 5.6 inches, which meant for once her figure was lower than our tally..
Today, a dry day for a change, Martin Armstrong caught a sighting of an late visitor, a Whitethroat on his garden wall and then shortly afterwards, Martin saw a juv Swallow over at Kilnaughton Bay. Mike Peacock today had seen a Great spotted Woodpecker on a fence post over Craigens, along at Bun an Uillt, he had a Peregrine and also 2 Greenshank and up at Killinallan a small flock of 8 Twite were present. This morning, Margaret had the pesky Sparrowhawk on the garden wall
Yesterday morning  Irene Miller had 5 Brambling on her feeders, a pair of Sparrowhawks flew past her house and on down the glen. On Friday, Irene had a Kestrel over behind Uiskentuie and then a male Sparrowhawk flew past her car, close to Craigfad. Carl had a Comic Tern at Bruichladdich fishing out in front of the Distillery

Saturday 4 November 2017

Saturday 4th November

Mike Bell had a  great list of birds seen for the blog, all seen yesterday... Up at Sanaigmore, Mike saw a Hen Harrier, 12 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling, 7 Turnstone, 80 Redwing and also 2 Chough. Mike had a flock of 105 Redwing, out from the visitor centre at Gruinart, along at Coullabus he saw a Merlin carrying prey which was attacked by a female Peregrine, with prey being lost during the skirmish. At Storakaig, 20 Fieldfare were present and up behind Kilmeny, a Golden Eagle was seen. Finlaggan held a Peregrine and out behind Scarrabus a pair of Golden Eagles were out over the hills. At Newton there was, on the stubbles, a flock of 160 Chaffinches and a Brambling, with the tally on Loch Skerrols coming to 25 Mute Swan, 47 Whoopers, including 17 juvs, 116 Wigeon, 13 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck with 3 Siskin noted in the trees. Finally Mike saw a pr of Golden Eagles up behind Ballinaby and also a Kestrel, his only Kestrel from this visit.  Yesterday had been John and Jonti Wilson's final day of this visit. Up Ardnave they saw 40 Chough with a flock of 80 Twite there as well. Down at Bowmore, 54 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, 5 Knot were seen. At Kilchoman they had a Merlin  and a ringtail. They also saw another ringtail and also a Dabchick at Gruinart.

Friday 3 November 2017

Friday 3rd November

Yesterday, Tim and Em had seen a female Merlin being mobbed by a couple of corvoids  and then shortly afterwards, they saw a Whimbrel . Over close to Kilchoman, they had 40 Chough and 14 Whoopers flying over Machir Bay. Also yesterday, John and Jonti had seen the large flock of Golden Plover at Gruinart, and they also saw a ringtail there as well. Down on the Oa, they had a small flock of 65 Twite while  along past Kildalton 2 Redpoll and 6 Long tailed Tits were seen, with 6 GND at Claggain Bay

Thursday 2 November 2017

Thursday 2nd November

Today, Mark had seen 7 Whoopers and 5 Greenshank from the North hide at Gruinart. James had carried a "wee" count on the reserve and his tally came to 18,440 Barnies, 722 Whitefronts, 44 Greylags, 1,945 Golden Plover, 700 Lapwing, 72 Twite, 55 Linnet, 3 Brambling and a Mike Bell had a Brambling at Kilchoman, and then a Hen Harrier along Rockside. Over at Craigens, he counted a flock of 90 Mipits, which is a good count for this time of the year, as well as 80 Redwing. Further on, up at Killinallan, a Hen Harrier, 3 Chough and 3 Twite were seen, On the estuary of Loch Gruinart, 66 Shelduck, 167 Wigeon, 11 Rb Merganser, 57 Ringed Plover, 2,240 Golden Plover, 690 Lapwing, 2 Knot, 13 Sanderling and Curlew were there. On Ardnave Loch, 10 Whoopers were seen along with 2 Goldeneye, out on Ardnave Point 35 Chough were present and on the cover crop coming down from Ardnave, 180 Linnet and a Peregrine were counted. Down on the floods at Gruinart Mike saw 510 Teal, 29 Pintail, a Blackwit and also 5 Greenshank.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Wednesday 1st November

That is another month in, a rather wet one, with the tally coming in at 5.8inches, which gives the tally for 2017 so far a lot wetter than the same time last year...
Ed sent info through on the Whoopers that he had seen at Sunderland Farm on the 21st - 22nd October. The pair ZKZ and YPV were caught at WWT Caerlaverock  in March 2014 and Feb 2016 respectively and are "regular winterers" there. Another Whooper XBC was seen with an unrung mate and cygnet, XBC itself was caught and rung at Glaumbaejareyja, Skagafjordur, Iceland. Tim Halliday, "Al Hart's old mentor" had seen an adult winter Little Gull as he came over to Islay on the ferry today. John Wilson had counted 62 Scaup at Blackrock, 84 Whoopers and 15 Mutes on Loch Skerrols, He also saw a Brambling and also a ringtail Hen Harrier round at Rockside. Finally, John counted 36 Chough flying in to the roost on the crag. Mandy had seen 2 Whitefronts fitted with coolars at Corsapol and along the flats at Gruinart, she saw another 5 with collars and another with a radio collar, so will let you know any history on them later on. Mike Bell today had 2 Dabchick, 2 Tufties, a Woodcock, 21 Blackbirds, 2 Treecreeper, a Brambling and 12 Siskin at Loch Ballygrant and the and woods. Close to Port Askaig, 2 Golden Eagles, and another Goldie up behind Ballinaby while at Sunderland Farm 34 Whoopers were present. Irene and Tony Miller now have 6 Bramblings in their garden amongst the many Chaffinches, Goldfinches and also some Siskins present, notably back after a long absence...Their House Sparrows, Dunnocks, and Robins are always around, with a male Hen Harrier scouring the glen every day. Irene also commented on the Brambling being less shy than were when they first returned.