Thursday 31 May 2018

Thursday 31st May

On our way over to Gruinart this morning, we were very fortunate to see this adult Little Stint which was seen over on the muddy pool beside the gate at Saligo, along with a few Dunlin and Ringed Plover. We returned home about an hour later and it was not there, just as well that I had the camera with me!! Over at Gruinart there  were 6 Whoopers seen, a group of 3 and also 3 single  Swans... Bob had gone round to Saligo this afternoon, and it was back again, along with 4 Lapwing with young, 9 Dunlin and 6 Ringed Plover. He also heard 2 Snipe drumming while he was there. We revisited this evening, with Distillery Dave, but no joy at Saligo. On the return leg home, we spent some time down at the reed bed towards Machir Bay and we heard a Corncrake calling.
The Bolton birders have had another great day seeing 5  adult Marsh Fritillaries on the wing at Gearach, 3 days earlier than last year. Further on, they had seen 12 Turnstone down at Currie Sands. On their way back home, they had a GND at Carn and another seen off Port Charlotte. Down at Machir Bay, they saw a Peregrine away above the crag and also heard the Corncrake. Round towards Leek, they had seen 2 different male Hen Harriers. Finally over at Loch Tallant, they saw another 2 different male Hen Harriers and also a hen Sparrowhawk.

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Wednesday 30th May

Steve Davies from North Wales was on the phone last night. He had been visiting Islay last week, and by the way he spoke to me, it  was his first visit and certainly not his last... Down on the Oa, he had seen a male Hen Harrier out quartering out over the moorland. On his way back from the Oa, he had another great sighting, this time a Buzzard dropping on to its' prey successfully, an Adder was the victim.. Up at Gruinart, he saw an Osprey taking a fish from the water. Another day during his visit, he had seen an adult White tailed Eagle and also a sub adult close together, forgot to ask exactly where.. Great to speak to you last night Steve...
Some birds  heard at Gruinart yesterday evening at the Bird nerds meeting included a Blackcap, a Willow Warbler, Robin and Skylarks. Birds seen were Swallows, House Martins, Sand Martins, Mallard with young, Redshank also with young, Lapwing, Teal,  Shoveler, Rooks, Jackdaws, a couple of Hooded Crows and also 8 Black tailed Godwit in full summer plumage. And, we never heard a Corncrake calling... though we did see some Hares.
Bob was in touch this afternoon to say that he has got 2 pair of House Martin using his cups/ trays that he has put up for them to use as nest sites. James emailed through late afternoon to say that he had seen a pair of Garganey out in front of the South hide at Gruinart.

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Tuesday 29th May

Some sightings through from James seen yesterday on the reserve at Gruinart, 3 Whinchats, 5 Stonechats, 2 Groppers, a Peregrine, a Spotted Flycatcher, and he also heard 2 Water Rails calling away. Out on the loch, he had 95 Dunlin, 113 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone, a Sanderling and also 5 Little Tern.
Today,  the Bolton birders had 35 Dunlin along on the remains of the pool at Saligo, with this spell of weather, it has almost dried up. Today also they had the Little Egret on one of the creeks as one approaches Bridgend from Bowmore on loch Indaal. Here at home the pair of Siskins, the pair of Redpolls and also the Greenfinches feeding young have been seen through the day. Late this evening,  down on a grass fields at Rockside, we  saw a single Whooper Swan and 50 Greylags.

Monday 28 May 2018

Monday 28th May

Yesterday afternoon, Distillery Dave had seen a Whimbrel when he was over at Gruinart.
Here at home nothing much to report, although there was a pair of Greenfinch feeding young. The Tree Sparrows appear to have moved on as we have not seen them for the best part of a week. The Linnets are not so numerous and the Goldfinch are down in the numbers coming to our feeders. A lot of our birds are late in arriving with others definitely late in breeding as well.

Remember that May catch up for the Islay bird nerds will be held at the South hide at Gruinart tomorrow, Tuesday at 7pm. so if you are over on Islay this week, do come along and meet  us...

Sunday 27 May 2018

Sunday 27th May

Yesterday evening, Mandy had a distant sighting of an Iceland Gull, seen out from Saligo. Today we welcome back the Bolton birders... Up at Sanaigmore they heard a Corncrake calling and then had the good fortune in seeing it. Down at the "disappearing pool" at Saligo they had the Greenshank along with  a mixed group of 30 + Dunlin and Ringed Plover. At Bruichladdich, they saw 2 Sanderling in summer plumage. They also had a Turnstone seen down on Currie Sands, below Claddach out of Portnahaven  

Saturday 26 May 2018

Saturday 26th May

What a moan am I??  Writing about this nice spell of weather yet again, the weeds got heaved out of the ground, a job not done on a wet day for sure ...
The Bowland birders headed home on the ferry today, as did Derbyshire Bob, so thanks to you both for sending your birds through...
On Thursday evening Jane, one half of the Bowland birders, had seen a Red legged Partridge up at Octomore. On Friday they had spent some time over at Gruinart and seen Teal, the Green winged Teal, Shoveler, Mallard, Heron, and some Redshank with young chicks. But no sign of either the Little Egret or the Ruff... Coming round Loch Gorm, along at the pool at Saligo, they saw Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Lapwing. This morning as they were leaving Port Ellen on the ferry they saw an Arctic Skua over Kilnaughton Bay, giving a tally of 112 birds seen from their present visit.
Last night as he was returning home, Distillery Dave had a Barn Owl as he approached the entrance up to Rockside. Here at home, on the feeders, here have been a pair of Redpolls eating the Niger seed as well as the Siskins.

Before I forget, it is almost another month in, so on Tuesday night, the "Islay bird nerds" will be meeting up at the South hide at Gruinart at 7pm, to hear the corncrake as well as seeing some other birds as well, so if you are around, we will be pleased to see you.

Friday 25 May 2018

Friday 24th May

This spell of great weather continues, so rather than birding, I spent some of the day weeding and also putting another lick of wood stain on the gable end of the garage... Some birds seen at home included the Siskins as well as some Greenfinch, but no sign today of the Tree Sparrows....I hope that they have not moved on, but we will keep an eye out for them....
Yesterday, Derbyshire Bob had seen a male Hen Harrier flying towards Loch Gorm. Later on he had seen 2 Golden Eagles while driving along the "glen road" from Ballygrant over the hill down towards Mulindry. The Bowland Birders yesterday had ben over at Coal Ila where there were a lot of Tysties seen, a Yellowhammer was present up behind the distillery. They also had seen a distant Golden Eagle over Jura. A walk down to the Lily Loch and Loch Allen produced Tree Pipit, Blue Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Great spotted Woodpecker, Willow Warblers, Heron and Buzzard.

Thursday 24 May 2018

Thursday 24th May

Might have to go and look out some sun tan lotion...
Last night, Derbyshire Bob had heard 3 Corncrakes calling round at Ballinaby. The Bowland Birders had yesterday been up for a wee saunter round Ardnave, birds seen/ heard included Chough, Mute Swan, Sand Martin, Curlew, Whimbrel, Pied Wagtail, Wheatear, Meadow Pipits, Sanderling, 50 Golden Plover, Redshank, Raven, Lapwing and Ringed Plover. On Loch Gorm, they saw 4 RTD and also a pair of Scoter.
Late morning we saw a Greenshank on the pool over at Saligo. Ian Bradey from Lancashire had seen a Little Egret over at Gruinart and one of his colleagues from the Wildlife Sound Recordists had seen a Barnacle Goose, 4 Golden Plover, 12 Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper and 30 Eider down on Machir Bay, all today.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Wednesday 23rd May

Well the "Farmers' tan" continues, perhaps if I wore a short sleeved shirt, rather than rolling my sleeves up, my tan might look better...
Janice and Tim Scott, from North Yorkshire had been over last week and sent through some of their sightings. They had been staying up at Sanaigmore.. They heard a Corncrake calling several times. Other birds seen/ heard included Swallows, Sand Martins, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Linnet, Lapwing, Snipe, Curlew, Starling, Jackdaw, Sedge Warbler, Wheatear, Blackbird, Wren and Song Thrush. Out on the water below their cottage, they saw GNDs and Tysties with Common Gull, Herring Gull, Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover on the beach. Other top birds seen while here on Islay included a White tailed Eagle being mobbed by a Raven, Whinchat and Golden Eagle. They saw several Buzzards but no Hen Harriers. Thanks folks for your birds.
Yesterday, Pia had seen an Osprey with a fish along below Carnduncan. Last night in flat calm conditions, some of us ventured out to carry out our corncrake surveys on our predetermined routes. Mike had heard 4 calling birds and on his way home he had a Short eared Owl. We went out on our route and sorry to say, we heard no birds at all, the first time of that happening with us..
Here at home there were 7 Collared Doves in at the feeders today...

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Tuesday 22nd May

What a difference with the weather out here today, might get a sun tan yet this year...better than being "weather beaten"
Derbyshire Bob had a male Hen Harrier out on the wing along the far end of Loch Gorm, yesterday evening. Today, he had seen some Little Terns out on Nave Island. The Bowland birders had gone over to Bunnahabhain, and complained about the weather, weather up, birds down!!! They had seen Rock Pipits feeding young, several groups of Gannets flying through the Sound of Islay, a pair of Buzzard, plenty of Tysties seen, an excellent sighting of a GND in full summer plumage, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat as well. Mike had carried out his WeBS count on Outer Loch Indaal, top sightings included 26 Common Scoter, a male Velvet Scoter, 2 Common Tern, 7 Arctic Tern and 5 GND. He also had seen a feeding frenzy by Gannets, Shag and some Gbb Gulls on a far out shoal of fish. Here at home we had 2 Collared Doves, 2 Redpolls, 3 Greenfinches and 3 Tree Sparrows.

Monday 21 May 2018

Monday 21st May

A miserable sort of a day with a steady amount of rain falling until the middle of the afternoon.. not a lot but possibly al our sown crops will jump with the rain and some heat forecast over the next few days, better not get too excited... This evening the burn leading down to Machir Bay is not up much, a sure sign that the rain has gone into the ground, rather than a torrential downpour!!!!
This morning, Derbyshire Bob had been woken at 5am by a Corncrake calling away, down at Port Wemyss, he saw a solitary Eider Drake and then 3 different Cuckoos seen as he drove up from Port Wemyss.
The Bowland birders had not broken camp until 3 pm. ..They drove from Port Charlotte down to Port Wemyss, seeing Arctic Terns, Gannets, Tysties, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Shag, Rock Pipits and also 15 Manx Shearwaters. Round at Kilchiaran they saw some Sand Martins down towards the old Kirk there. Close to the Gearach they had seen a pair of Stonechats. Late afternoon, we had over 30 Sand Martins skimming around at Smelly corner, it was certainly living up to its' name as drove along, not  too pleasant a smell!!!

Sunday 20 May 2018

Sunday 20th May

Not sure where the summer weather has gone, but it ain't here for sure, I even made a dive for a thick jersey before heading outside earlier on...
The Bowland Birders yesterday had seen a Whinchat at the Rockside road end. Down towards Machir Bay, they heard a Corncrake calling, with a pair of noisy Chough nearby. 45 Ringed Plover were on the bay itself. Some Redshank were seen on the pool round at Saligo with a single Pink footed Goose close by. Finally, they had a male Hen Harrier at Foreland. This afternoon, they got out in a brief respite from the rain, at Gruinart they had 15 Dunlin, Shoveler, Mallard, a Wood Sandpiper, but no sign of the Ruff or the G W Teal.. They had also seen a single Barnacle goose and a couple of Whooper Swans.
A new contributor to the blog, Derbyshire Bob had heard a total of 4 Corncrake calling at Ballinaby, seen 5 Whimbrel, along at the pool at Saligo bay they had 18 Dunlin while out on Saligo Bay a single Tystie was present with a couple of Chough seen over the dunes. Here at home while I was out in the garage , there was rather a noisy clatter on the roof, sounded like a heavy shower of hailstones, but on looking outside, no way, only the local Choughs were out to annoy me and having a play time on the roof...

Saturday 19 May 2018

Saturday 19th June

Yesterday was the RAFOS team's last full day of their present visit... On Loch Gorm, they had seen 3 Common Scoter, while up at Gruinart they had a male Hen Harrier from the North hide, and as they returned to their cars along the "woodland trail" they saw a Stoat as they approached the viewing platform. One of their team members, Scott had seen a Corncrake as he was returning to his cottage. As ever many thanks to the various visitors who have sent through their sightings. Yesterday, the Bowland birders had seen the Ring necked Duck along with a male and also a female Tufted Duck on Loch Finlaggan. They also had Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo and Grey Wagtail there as well. Away over the moor towards Coal Ila, they had a distant viewing of a White tailed Eagle. Back down at the Woollen Mil, Dipper and Siskin were present with a Mistle Thrush  seen at Newton. Mandy had 2 Grey Wagtail on the River Sorn as it passes through Bridgend Woods.
Today, James Butcher had seen the Green winged Teal at Gruinart this afternoon. Here at home, the Tree Sparrows are still here, great to see, another year tick for here are a couple of Redpolls on the feeders, seen yesterday and again today.

Friday 18 May 2018

Friday 18th May

Some sightings through yesterday for starters.. The RAFOS team had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier at Saligo, with 2 Redshank seen on the pool there. Along the road towards Ballinaby, they had 6 Whimbrel on one side of the road with a Curlew in the field on the opposite side of the road. Over behind Ballygrant, they saw 2 White tailed Eagle, Blackcap heard at The Woollen Mill, and also a Grey Wagtail carrying food there a  well. In the woods at Bridgend, along the River Sorn, they had Dipper, Grey Wagtail and also a Spotted Flycatcher. George Newall had seen 2 Little Tern down at Knockangle Point. The Bowland Birders had seen House Martin at Crosshouses. In the trees around Kildalton, they had Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Robin, Wren, Chaffinch and Coal Tit. Along at Claggain Bay, they saw Common Sandpiper, GND, Tree Pipits, Redpoll, Goldfinches, ringtail Hen Harrier sky dancing, Long tailed Tit, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Wheatear, Common Gull, Herring Gull and Lbb Gull. Gary had been out with clients yesterday around Islay, seeing a total of 7 male Hen Harriers, 4 Golden Eagle, 2 White tailed Eagles, a Merlin, a Kestrel, an Iceland Gull took off from Loch Gorm, and they also had a Ring necked Duck on Loch Finlaggan. 

Thursday 17 May 2018

Thursday 17th May

Last Saturday, Mandy had heard a Chiffchaff singing in her garden over at Carnduncan, this morning with the dawn chorus, she had a Whitethroat singing away. Mark today had a male Ruff displaying out from the North hide at Gruinart. Up at Ardnave, Mark saw 4 Bonxies, 6 Little Terns and 14 Arctic Terns. Back here at home, the Tree Sparrows are still here, that is over a week that they have been present now.

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Wednesday 16th May

Gary today had seen a distant Golden Eagle over Sgarbh Breac which is the big hill up towards the lighthouse at Rhuvaal. At Bunnahabhain, an Osprey was seen, with a Whinchat seen down at Torrabus. The RAFOS team had been down on the Oa today helping David Wood with some survey work there. While they were there they saw a Spotted Flycatcher at Kinnabus, the first of 2018 on the reserve there, and also a Golden Eagle. This afternoon, Mike Peacock heard a Corncrake calling down on the reed bed between the Coastguards and Machir Bay. Along at Rockside, Mike had also seen a Merlin and a ringtail Hen Harrier. Here at home the Tree Sparrows are still around.. and late afternoon we had the distant sightings of 3 large bird of prey soaring way up on some thermals and the jury is still out, was it 2 Buzzard and a Golden Eagle? Bob had been round at Rockside visiting DistilleryDave where they had  a Lesser Whitethroat.

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Tuesday 15th May

A few sightings in from yesterday.. The Bowland birders had counted 42 Dunlin along with 25 Ringed Plover down at Rhubha Ban. One of the RAFOS told me that he had seen 2 RTD on Loch Gorm. Along on a ploughed field towards Coull, he saw 3 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin and 30 Ringed Plover..
This morning, here at home we had a male Hen Harrier glide past while I was out feeding the other birds... A pair of Ravens were seen out amongst the rushes for the best part of 2 hours, gorging themselves on something, possibly an afterbirth from a recently lambed ewe.. The Tree Sparrows are still present, and after an absence of a few days, the Yellowhammer was seen again, the bird seed crop has germinated and looking great, as is the wee patch with the bumblebee mix... The RAFOS team were out and about today as well, seeing a male Hen Harrier down at Loch Gorm, late afternoon, they had a Glaucous Gull and also an Iceland Gull seen close together on Loch Gorm. On the reserve at Gruinart, they had seen 6 Dabchick, 2 Blackwits, loads of Mallard ducklings and also Redshank displaying with Snipe drumming away as well. The Bowland Birders today had been busy in at Loch Skerrols and surrounding trees where their birds included  Coal Tit, Woodpigeon, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Wren, Chaffinch, Mallard, Song Thrush, Raven and Buzzard. On their way home to their cottage, from Blackrock they counted 15 GND, 6 RTD and also 6 RBM.

Monday 14 May 2018

Monday 14th May

Yesterday, visitor Steve who is staying over along the Distillery road out of Port Ellen had had a good start to his visit. Around Ardbeg, he had a possible Hobby, seen a few Wheatear, saw some Swallows, a Bonxie seen, heard a Cuckoo and then a Great spotted Woodpecker was drumming away. . He also had a Pheasant with 10 chicks as well. Bob was in touch this morning to say that the survey which David and myself had helped him with produced a total of 37 Species, a "healthy" figure as Bob put it.
James was in touch to say that on the reserve at Gruinart, he had 3 Blackwits, a Chiffchaff and heard 2 Groppers. Gary today, had seen an Osprey on Loch Gruinart, out on the sand bar. He also had had 13 Whimbrel flying North and back up behind Ballygrant, 2 White tailed Eagles were present. Some of the  RAFOS team had seen a Short eared Owl and also a 3 cy Glaucous Gull, and also an Osprey eating a fish supper...The Bolton Birders are back for their Spring fix. From Octomore, they heard a Corncrake calling, a Cuckoo close by and saw a Moorhen on the former Distillery pond up behind Port Charlotte with Twite, Wheatear, Fulmar and Pheasant also seen further along the road. At Blackrock, they had seen both Arctic and Common Tern, Turnstone, Dunlin Whimbrel, GND and also some R b Merganser
Here at home great excitement, 6 Tree Sparrows were seen around midday, then mid afternoon Petr came up and scanned round the ground, not 6 but 8 Tree Sparrows were present!! We also had a pair of Siskin and a wee while earlier on a pair of Greenfinch were on the feeders.

Sunday 13 May 2018

Sunday 13th May

George Newall forgot to mention that the other day he had seen a male Goosander when in at Loch Skerrols. Yesterday Mike Peacock had watched an immature White tailed Eagle being mobbed for a total of 57 minutes, before being able to fly away. The attacking mob were a male Hen Harrier,  a pair of Ravens, 7 Hooded Crows and a Gbb Gull... Today, Mike had seen a GND in full summer plumage off Port Charlotte, 2 Common Sandpipers on the shore and also 18 Whimbrel flying high in a Northerly direction. This afternoon, George Newall had a probable Redstart when over at Claggain Bay. This morning, Distillery Dave, Bob and myself carried out a survey from the Woollen Mill down along the River Sorn to its mouth below Bridgend. top birds seen/ heard were 2 Bullfinch, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 young Dippers and at least 6 Grey Wagtail. Distillery Dave had 3 Whimbrel as he walked down to his lift with me from Rockside. Down on Loch Gorm, we counted 30 Greylag on the water.
Some sightings now from today from the RAFOS team who over for this week, great to see all you folks again.. At Kilchoman, they saw a ringtail Hen Harrier. Down at the reed bed beside the Coastguards a Grasshopper Warbler was present, 3 Dunlin and also 3 Common Sandpiper were at the pool just past Saligo towards Ballinaby. A Whitethroat heard at Gortan, a ringtail at Gortan. South of Port Charlotte they saw 5 Greylags along with 5 young gosling and soon afterwards 9 Whimbrel. At Port Wemyss, they  had a Corncrake calling away, with 2 Common Sandpipers there as well. Back up at Port Charlotte, they saw both Arctic and Sandwich Terns, while at Bruichladdich, another Artic Tern was spotted with 9 Ringed Plover on the shore
Back here at home, late afternoon, some of the RAFOS team along with Distillery Dave and his wife Ann along with Margaret and myself did a wee bit of birding, noting the Tree Sparrows, a few Sand Martins, some Swallows as well as the antics of the Chough, great to watch as ever!!!

Saturday 12 May 2018

Saturday 12th May

Oops, a wee bit of a mistake last night as I forgot to mention that Graham & Pam from Sheffield had seen a Glaucous Gull on Loch Indaal....
This morning, James had  3 different Cuckoos on the reserve at Gruinart. Here at home, the Tree Sparrows were still present, a Kestrel was seen, a Collared Dove flew past, a mixed flock of over 30 mainly Linnet and a few Twite are still here. The piece of ground where the Choughs were "working" yesterday seems to be attracting the Jackdaws along with some Rock Doves a having all good howk !!! This morning we saw a male Hen Harrier fly across the road below Rockside and then a few minutes later, we counted  12 Canada Geese on Loch Gorm.

Friday 11 May 2018

Friday 11th May

The weather as forecast has not been that great today, and three was an edge to the wind as well.. Visiting birders from Sheffield, Graham and Pam reported in to say that that they had been seeing a regular passage of around 30 - 40 Whimbrel flying North on hill road over past Borichill Mor each day while they have been here this week. They had seen a ringtail  Hen Harrier up past the former Kilchoman School and soon after a male bird seen along at Culbuie.  Forgot to mention last night that Andrew and Amanda had seen 6 Golden Plover as they walked back down from Gortantoid. Today here at home, the 4 Tree Sparrows were still around.. This morning before the rain set in, there were 28 Chough helping themselves to whatever in the ground, boy who needs a rotovator when you have some Choughs at work!!!

Thursday 10 May 2018

Thursday 10th May

Back on Tuesday, George Newall had seen a Blackwit on the pool at Ballinaby. Yesterday, he heard a G s Woodpecker drumming away while he was in at Loch Skerrols. It was still present there today.
Today, Zul Bhatia had seen 17 Whimbrel at Bruichladdich, a pair of Twite were there too and also a Purple Sandpiper as well. Close to Finlaggan Zul had a pair of Whinchat, 2 different male Hen Harriers were also present. Back down at The Woollen Mill, he saw a pair of Grey Wagtail carrying food...
This morning, Andrew and his wife had started their day of at the reserve at Gruinart, where they had a Greenfinch, heard Song Thrush, saw 3 Whooper Swans, heard many Snipe drumming, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler singing as well as spotting many Sand Martin out hawking. After a walk up to Gortantoid, they saw an juv. Artic Skua as it flew past them.
This morning, we counted 18 Whimbrel round at Ballinaby, with a Dunlin and a single Redshank spotted on the pools there. Back here at home the 4 Tree Sparrows were present again. This afternoon, we had a hen Pheasant out with her 4 young chicks, an early sighting for here!!! 2 weeks ago, on the Wednesday, I saw 2 sets of Greylags with young goslings when at Leighton Moss. This evening, we saw a Peregrine out along the crag. Andrew and his wife had seen a distant Golden Eagle away out past Kilchiaran earlier this evening.

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Wednesday 9thMay

Not to much to report tonight, as the weather has not been that good, but still some birds seen. Off Bowmore, Andrew and his wife had seen 25 R b Merganser swimming together doing some synchronised swimming as they all dived in a group, and then appeared on the surface in a oner.. They also had a GND on Loch Indaal as well. James Butcher had seen 2 Curlew Sandpiper out in front of the North Hide at Gruinart. Out over Loch Gruinart, he saw 2 Bonxies fly past. Here at home, we had seen 4 Tree Sparrows, a new tick for the garden bird list!!! The Greenland Wheatear was still present along with the Linnets and some Twite. A pair of Greenfinch were added to our list for today, along with a Heron that flew past.

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Tuesday 8th May

Yesterday, on the reserve at Gruinart, James How had seen 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Cuckoo, 3 Stonechat, 7 Whitethroat, and 3 Whinchat with a count of 335 Dunlin on the floods. Today, James had 33 Blackwit on the floods and a Little Tern seen out on Loch Gruinart itself.  Visiting birder Zul Bhatia today had 8 P bb Geese on the beach just North of Bruichladdich, they then flew off out on to Loch  Indaal. There was also an Arctic Tern perched on a rock there. Round at Whinpark out on the shoreline he had seen 2 Sanderling with 54 Dunlin counted there in one of the muddy inlets. Yesterday evening, James Bucher had counted 343 Dunlin,  23 Blackwit, 25 Ringed Plover and also saw a Curlew Sandpiper out on the floods at Gruinart. Gary had heard 4 different Corncrakes calling down behind Bruichladdich last night. Andrew and Amanda had seen many Gannets streaming past Frenchman's rocks, 8 Whimbrel seen there too. Also seen by them were several Common gull, a rare bird to them.. Eider and also 10 Turnstone were noted at Currie Sands . A Cuckoo flew past them as they drove back to their holiday cottage. This evening, here at home, by chance we saw a Peregrine perched up on the crag, earlier we saw a Kestrel away far away out above the crag, and I counted a small flock of 23 Linnet on the piece of worked ground where we had some bird seed sown on Sunday. There was also a Greenland Wheatear there as well. I took the chance today and sowed the Bumblebee mix, up beside the house, so we wait in hope for both the 2 small plots producing the goods, the bumblebee mix should also be quite colourful as well. Distillery Dave had seen 34 Whimbrel round at Ballinaby with 3  Blackwit on the pools beside the gate to Smaull.

Monday 7 May 2018

Monday 7th May

Yesterday, visitors Richard and Jean Fletcher, had seen a White tailed Eagle up behind Ballygrant, and then 2 Cuckoos were present as they drove along the road. Coming back down from Bunnahabhain , they had another Cuckoo. Finally, at The Woollen Mill, they saw a Dipper and also 2 Grey Wagtail.
Today, Andrew and Amanda had been over at Gruinart and then up to Ardnave. At Gruinart they had seen Snipe, Redshank, Sand Martin and numerous Lapwing, 2 Whooper Swan, 2 R B Merganser, Ringed Plover, also Dunlin, a Blackwit, and 2 Wigeon. On the moorland trail at Gruinart, they had Skylark and a Willow Warbler. A walk round Ardnave Point produced 4 Pale bellied Brent Geese, 3 Whimbrel, 8 R B Merganser, many Eider (too many to count), a GND in Summer plumage and then shortly afterwards, one in Winter plumage. They also saw 3 BN Dolphins.
Back here at home I have busy planting some Alders, watching the antics of the Chough and doing a bit of PR, speaking to 2 different sets of birders who are over this week on the back of the Bird Fair stand

Sunday 6 May 2018

Sunday 6th May

Some clients who had been out with Gary earlier on in the week had seen a Ring necked Duck amongst the Tufted Ducks on Loch Ballygrant on Friday. Yesterday evening, Mandy had heard a Corncrake calling down at Conisby and also saw some Chough while there as well... Carol Andrew saw a male Hen Harrier fly across the road in front of her as she was driving down towards The Machrie. This morning, Distillery Dave had seen a White tailed Eagle from the pier at Craighouse on Jura. Visitors, Andrew and Amanda had walked over the hill from Machir Bay passing Granny's Rock and on down to Kilchiaran Bay where they saw Ringed Plover, 5 male and 2 female Eider and also 6 Sand Martin. Here at home, Margaret had a Whinchat, and later on we saw a Cuckoo being chased by a couple of Meadow Pipits, over at Culbuie. James had a Golden Eagle fly over Mill cottage early afternoon, and a Spotted Flycatcher in his garden yesterday. There was a Whinchat on one of the stone dykes below James' cottage this afternoon.

Saturday 5 May 2018

Saturday 5th May

Sorry folks about not writing an entry last night, but by the time I got home last night  off the ferry, and got all our stuff emptied out and put away, well anothr day was done. tonight it is only 8pm, but already a 14  hour shift put in so far...
Gary, on Thursday, had watched an Osprey take a fish out of Loch Finlaggan. The same day, he had seen 30 Pale bellied Brent on the merse out from Whinpark, up close to Torrabus, he watched a Cuckoo being mobbed by Meadow Pipits. Then up towards Bunnahabhain, Gary had a Golden Eagle being mobbed by a Buzzard.
Last Sunday, Pauline Greenhalgh had seen a Short eared Owl when she was over on Jura. On Wednesday ,she had a dark phase Arctic Skua, just up from Feolin , a Fieldfare up past Lealt and on her way back down to the ferry back to Islay, a Kestrel was seen close to Feolin. On Thursday, a Merlin zipped across the road near Ardbeg. Close to Kildalton, an Osprey was seen on top of a telegraph pole eating its' prey. And in the woods around the Dower House, Chiffchaff and also Blackcap were heard.
James Butcher had seen a Pectoral Sandpiper and over 60 Whimbrel up at Ardnave around midday yesterday.
This morning, on the feeders here at home, we had a Yellowhammer and also a wee while later on a Greenfinch. Late afternoon, 2 Hooded Crows were mobbing a Raven forcing it down to the ground and then this evening, a Hooded crow forced a Buzzard to the ground...
George Newall is over from Dunoon for 3 weeks, he had a Glaucous Gull out from the old hide at Gruinart today.

Thursday 3 May 2018

Thursday 3rd may

Some sightings in from today.. Richard Fletcher from Warwick had seen an Osprey at Finlaggan, later on Loch Indaal off Bowmore he had seen 50 R Bb Merganser and also 2 GND there as well. Yesterday he had been out for some birding with Gary. Richard said in his e mail that he had met us at the Bird fair last year. Last week, when down at Leighton moss, I spoke to an artist whom I met at Rutland last year as well... I often wonder how many contacts we have made over the few years of attending the Bird fair!!!
Today, Jim Dickson had seen over 100 species in the one day, 112 to be exact, and it could haver been more as he had not seen a Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Whitethroat, Peregrine or a White tailed Eagle. A great day Jim all the same, not bad going for only one set of eyes. More on Jim's birds tomorrow, as I myself am feeling rather tired.

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Wednesday 2nd May

Bob was in touch to say  that he has heard a Corncrake calling outside his house, the past 4 nights, worse still was that it had the cheek to walk up his drive this afternoon, before heading off in flight, needless to say Bob's camera was not to hand...
Today Jim Dickson had been out and about, a couple of Sanderling were on Uiskentuie strand, along on the merse at Bridgend a 2 CY Iceland Gull was seen with 61 P bb Geese counted further out on the estuary and in the trees at the Woollen Mill, a GS Woodpecker was added to Jim's bird list. From Gortan, he counted 16 RTD out on Loch Indaal.Down at Loch Gorm House, he had 24 Sandwich Tern, several in courtship, passing fish between each other, there were also 2 Common Terns  as well. At Craigens, another 2CY Iceland Gull was there as were 20 Golden Plover. On the flats at Gruinart, 10 Barnies and a GwfGWF Goose were seen while on the floods at Gruinart, 8 male and 4 female Wigeon , with a pair seen mating, a Ruff and also 9 Blackwits,. The 17 Whimbrel were still at Coull along with some Lapwing with their small chicks as well. At Rockside, an Iceland and also a Glaucous Gull were seen quite close together...

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Tuesday 1st May

Yesterday, Mike reported through some birds seen out on Loch Indaal from Port Charlotte,  in flat calm conditions, a count of 119 Common Scooter, which Mike thought this to be a high count for time of year. He also had a Glaucous Gull along with other gulls in a feeding frenzy. Mike also had 2 RTD and 10 GND and also a Common Sandpiper seen on the shore.
Today, the weather has not been that great, but it did not deter Argyll birder, Jim Dickson from spotting some birds for the blog, oh, to be young again... Jim had 39 Pale bellied Brent Geese at Uiskentuie, at Coull, 17 Whimbrel were seen. Over at Ballinaby, Jim saw 43 Golden Plover and a Grey Plover, with a count of 81 Linnet there too. Up at Ardnave, 32 Whimbrel, a Blackwit and 13 Canada Geese with some Greylags seen there as well. At Gruinart 4 pair of Wigeon were present.