Tuesday 30 April 2019

Tuesday 30th April

Well, another month is almost finished, but as ever I will keep the "official" rainfall figure close to my chest, so make sure and read the blog tomorrow when all will be revealed. In the meantime rememebr to go and wash your face in the May dew in the morning...
Nothing much to report through today as the weather has not been that great here ... There were 25 Barnies counted at Ballinaby around about lunchtine today along some Greylags. At the bird nerds meeting at Gruinart this evening, we had 6 locals and also visitor Angus Miler from Granton on Spey, for once we could relax and enjoy what was to be seen out of the hide rather than being "crammed in like sardines in a tin"!!!

Monday 29 April 2019

Monday 29th April

Some birds through from James seen when out of the office...
On the Flats this morning: 1 Grasshopper warbler, 1 Merlin, 1 Hen Harrier & 8 Canada geese 
On the Floods this afternoon: 1 Coot , 2 Gadwall, 2 Blackwit  & 3 Canada geese 

Gary sent through his top birds  from yesterday afternoon's tour.
7 Great Northern Divers, 11 Red throated Diver, 10 Common Guillemot, 21 Razorbill, 20 Red breasted Merganser at Claggain Bay. White tailed and Golden Eagle flying over coast line below Kildalton Cross.

George E. Jackson added to Distillery Dave's (yesterday) Rockside records as folows: a Whinchat on the garden fence, a mipit nest with 4 eggs near the parking area. Then driving down the High road towards Pt Ellen, Pat and son Matthew had a Water Rail cross the road in front of them.

Distillery Dave reported in to say that the Geese are still at Rockside, but now in a different field!!! He had a count of 70 Golden Plover present as well

Sunday 28 April 2019

Sunday 28th April

The day started off with being a bit warmer and dry, but by lunchtime, we had a spot or two of rain, not a lot but... and then the temperature fell as well, another jumper day...

Round at Rockside today, there were  9 Canada Geese, a solitary Barnacle goose and also 25 Greylags on the Barley fields. Up behind the steading, Distillery Dave had counted 146 Golden Plover, all in in summer plumage, great to see...
Up here at home, I watched a Hare hop along the edge of the bird seed crop, in effect chasing off some Linnets in the process. Out on the crag there are now 3 pairs of Fulmars sitting, for how long, we will have to wait and see if the Jackdaws move them on...

Saturday 27 April 2019

Sunday 27th April

Yesrterday, Gary had been out with some clients and when scanning along the crag at Kilchoman, he had seen 5 Fulmars .

This morning Mike had seen 4 Whimbrel, 2 Blackwits andhe had a count of 113 Golden Plover down on the fields at Rockside. Distillery Dave had seen 9 Canada Geese on the barley fields there this morning. Bob had a new "garden bird" this afternoon. A Heron flew in to his garden and started to eat some tadpoles out from his pond!!! Also this afternoon, up here at home there were 4 Twite along with the Wheatears and the Linnets having a "nosey" at the bird seed crop which has just germinated, and looking good at this stage, early days yet!!!

Many thanks to the visitors  Peter Gill, and family, Armin Grewe and also, last but not least to George E. Jackson for sharing their sightings with us.

Before I forget, the first outdoor meeting of the Islay bird nerds for 2019 will be on Tuesday evening at 6.30 pm at the car park at Gruinart for a look see what is out from the South hide. So hopefully see some of you there then, all welcome, come and put a name to the face...
armer here today, plus there have been some dirty squally showers in the mix.

Friday 26 April 2019

Friday 26th April

A bit colder out here today, glad to have a jersey to wear...

Distillery Dave had seen 4 Canada Geese, a Barnacle goose and 10 Greylags on the newly germinated Barley fields at Rockside this morning. An early morning walk by Mike along the track to Bolsay gave him his first Whinchat for the year. He also had 5 Sedge Warblers and 2 Groppers while out on his walk. James had a Ruff on the reserve at Gruinart. Also seen were 24 Barnies, 4 Whitefronts and a Greylag with a neck collar fitted. On one of the grass fields at Rockside, George E Jackson had seen 34 Golden Plover and 7 Barwits and also a count of 13 Whimbrel. Mark Shields had seen a few Whinchats when he was carrying out his survey work today. Peter Gill had a count of 80 Golden Plover in a field down at the Coastguard cottages early afternoon, earlier on he had seen a male Hen Harrier and at the visitor centre at Gruinart he had 6 House Martins. Mike this afternoon when along at smelly corner had a Greenland Wheatear and also a Northern Wheatear which was great for being able to compare them. Back at home in Port Charlotte, Mike had seen 2 White Wagtails, he also commented on the Common Sandpipers being back as well.

Thursday 25 April 2019

Thursday 25th April

Yesterday, Malcolm had a flock of 20 Whimbrel, on the shore, close to the Foreland road end. Mandy had seen an Orange tipped Butterfly on the path beside the River Sorn, below the Auction mart at Bridgend on Sunday.  Some sightings through from George E Jackson.. At Rockside, he has been seeing a mixed Finch Flock of around 150 Birds, mainly Linnets, Goldfinches, along with some Reed Buntings and House Sparrows there too. The flock was disturbed by a ringtail Hen Harrier on Monday and followed yesterday by a cracking male. The newly sown Barley fields have had 47 Greylags, 7 Whitefronts  and also a few Mallards. Down on one of the wee lochans, 3 Tufted Duck were seen. Yesterday, George and Pat had walked down to the Lily Loch where they heard "loads of Willow Warblers" and also a Sedge Warbler calling away. They also had seen a few Orange tipped Butterflies, Speckled Woods displaying and also a single Green Hairstreak.
On Tuesday, Martin Armstrong had a White tailed Eagle fly over the maltings at Port Ellen. 
Today,  he seen Wheaters at Kilnaughton and heard his first Cuckoo of the year at Glenegedale.
This morning, Louise had 5 Curlew, 3 Snipe, heard several Willow Warblers, 2 Redpolls, a Cuckoo heard and also a male Hen Harrier sky dancing, all up behind Port Charlotte. Bob, this morning had a Whitethroat, close to his house. James today had 2 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Siskins, a Golden Eagle, all on the reserve at Gruinart, he also had seen 2 Adders out on the moorland trail. Gary today had a juv. Golden Eagle at Torrabus. Along on Bunnahabhain Bay, he had 14 Tysties, 5 GND & a RTD. Out over Sgarbh Breac he saw a juv. Golden Eagle and also an adult bird. Down at Ardnahoe Distillery, he had 7 Yellowhammers.
Mike and Peter Roberts had gone to see the Dotterel on the Oa, no joy, but had seen 20 Whimbrel flying out over Loch Indaal from close to Bruichladdich. He also had seen one from his house, a new bird for the "Shore Street window list"!!! Val had seen a male Crossbill on the pine trees, close to the Lily Loch.
Also today, Peter Gill had an Osprey at Loch Skerols and shortly afterwards a Peregrine flew past.

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Some more sightings in for Wed 24th April

This morning David Wood e mailed through to tell me about a sighting seen by his friends who were over about a fortnight ago. They had seen a Redshank with coloured leg rings fitted, down on the edge of Loch Indaal at Bowmore. On checking about the bird, it had been fitted with the rings in North west Spain in February 2011 as an adult. David also said that the bird has been seen every autumn/ winter in the same location, but never reported being seen away from its' wintering grounds.

Today, David had seen the 3 Dotterel down on the Oa again, and also a flock of around 100 Golden Plover present there as well.  Peter Gill had seen around about 80 Dunlin down at Gartbeck. Along at the Council tip, Peter had heard 3 Sedge warblers calling and then as he came back along the road to Bowmore, he had seen 70 Barnies landing on one of the fields there. Peter's grandson had seen a Bonxie flying over Loch Indaal.

Wednesday 24th April

A grand chance to clear out the sightings sent through over the past few days, so off we jolly well go!!
Gary on Saturday had seen a "nice mixed flock of Linnet and Twite" at Rockside, 3 Hen Harrier above Gruinart, a juv. Golden Eagle on the wing above the moorland trail being mobbed by a Buzzard, and then a further 3 juv. Golden Eagles noted over Killinallan. Finally down at Bruichladdich, Gary had seen 4 Purple Sandpipers there.
James and Sally had gone out for a walk on Sunday, seeing 2 Golden Eagles, a Peregrine, a Merlin, 2 Hen Harriers, 2 Yellowhammers and a Common Sandpiper up and around Gortantoid.
There were several reports of folk hearing a Cuckoo, Dave P. had one over at Ardtalla, Lesley had heard one while on the walk up to Beinn Dubh and Steve Wrightson had heard one close to his house at Bolsay.
On Monday, Dave P had heard a Corncrake calling when he was down at Portnahaven.
Louise Muir had some sightings through from Jura.. All seen on Monday, a juv Whitetailed Eagle seen at the mouth of Loch Tarbert, a Yellowhammer present at Tarbert, 4 Short eared Owls on the Ardmenish flats  and also 2 Hen Harriers.
Down on the Oa yesterday, David Wood had seen 3 Dotterel. He also had Sedge Warblers, Groppers and a few Whinchats, all ticks for the year list!!!
Good friend, Armin sent  through a list of top birds seen so far on the Walkislay program so far... On Sunday, they had seen a Golden Eagle, a male Hen Harrier, Shags, Gannets, Sand Martins and an Emperor Moth. Monday's walk produced another Golden Eagle flying out over the sound of Islay. Yesterday, up at Loch Cam they had seen an Otter. Thanks to Armin!!
Also yesterday on the reserve at Gruinart, James reported through that there were SedgeWarblers around....
Yesterday, Peter Gill had seen a Whinchat on top of a fence while down on the Oa, also seen were some Chough there too  and a small flock of 50 - 60 Twite. Coming back up from the Oa, at Gartmain out of Bowmore, he had 70 Barwits and 20 Dunlin.
Yesterday, down at Rockside I saw 6 Whimbrel.
Another good friend was saying that she had seen a Bonxie  (Great Skua) yesterday, up beside Tain, not here on Islay!!

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Tuesday 23rd April

A bit of catch up so here goes... mainly from some of the Webs count carried by folk over the past few days..
James and Shona-Isla has done the count on Loch Gruinart seing the following  1 GND, 52 Shelduck, 368 Ringed Plover, 425 Dunlin, 105 Curlew, 35 Lbb Gul, 24 Knot, 22 Bh Gull, 116 Teal, 4 Pintail, 43 Wigeon and 2 Whooper Swans. Highlights from Mike's count on Outer Loch Indaal included 147 Common Scoter, 91 Pale Bellied Brent Geese, 375 Auk sp., 11 Gannet, 33 GND, 3 Whimbrel & 2 Sandwich Tern. Later on, off Port Charlotte, Mike had 3 B N Dolphins while up at Foreland, Val saw an Orange tipped Butterfly. Bob had done his patch over the weekend as well, counting 48 Ringed Plover, 42 Oystercatcher, 45 R b Meganser, 8 Eider,  4 Shag, 2 Tysties, 188 Common Gulls, 56 Herring Gulls and 6 Gbb Gulls.
Peter and Mike, the other day, had 2 Groppers (Grasshopper  Warblers!!!) between Ellister and Port Wemyss, with Lesser Redpolls heard calling around Octofad and later on up at Bruichladdich.
Yesterday afternoon, Peter had a small group of 8 Sandwich Terns off  Bruichladdich.

Monday 22 April 2019

Monday 22nd April

Got the e mails through folks, thanks for being patient..

Arjun van Egmond who had been over last week on Islay, spending some time birding, as well as visiting  and possibly sampling some of the produce from the distilleries.. Coming over on the ferry the other day, he had counted 17 GNDs. He was well pleased to see the choughs at various places around Islay. When down at Ardbeg, he saw an adult White tailed Eagle fly over head.
David Wood had a flyover  by a Tree Pipit, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Goldcrest,  5 Sand Martin, 2 Swallows all on the Oa last Thursday,. Dave also commented on a noticeable influx of Wheatears and Willow Warblers.
Yesterday evening, Peter Gill had seen a male Hen Harrier, just out of Bruichladdich. Today, Peter had seen 4 Crossbills on the trees at Ballygrant. He also had heard a Cuckoo calling close by. 2 Dabchick were on Loch Ballygrant, with a Chiffchaff calling over at Port Askaig. On the feeders at The Woollen Mill, he saw Lesser Redpolls and Siskins, with a Grey Wagtail seen down on the River Sorn. He also saw a Dipper flying upstream there too.
Down close to Rockside road end, I saw a a male Hen Harrier, just after lunchtime.
Hopefully tomorrow, I will manage to get the sightings in from the others for you to read about!!!!

Sunday 21 April 2019

Sunday 21st April

Yesterday, Peter Gill had seen the Litle Egret on the reserve at Gruinart,  and he counted  30 GND on Loch Indaal off Bruichladdich.
This morning, Bob had heard 2 different Cuckoos calling, one at Gearach, the other along the track that leads to Bolsay. In his garden, Bob now has 3 pair of Greenfinches as well as many Willow Warblers around as well. He also had seen 2 Swallows back yesterday and then at lunchtime today, a Peregrine flew over. He too has also got a Stoat in his garden, but it was carrying its youngster in its mouth rather than some prey...
Peter Gill today had seen a Sparrowhawk in a garden in Port Charlotte, tucking into its' newly caught meal... Later on, while walking along the track between Octofad and Lossit, he had 2 male Hen Harriers and also a ringtail. Down towards Portnahaven, he had a further 2 male Hen Harriers. Finally round at Kilchiaran, he had 2 Common Sandpipers.
Just as well that I worked away yesterday, sowing the wild flowers as today, although a much warmer day, it would have been too windy to allow me to even attempt to sow the seeds... This morning, I saw a male Siskin with a leg ring on when it was on the feeders...

Saturday 20 April 2019

Saturday 20th April

Another day finished and despite some valiant attempts, no e mails as of yet..

It started of a misty sort of a morning, with mist lifting and then shortly afterwards dropping again, the only good thing about was that there was no wind, so I pressed ahead and got the wild flowers sown which needs to be sown when there is no wind, so for once I was pleased with the sort of dreich conditions, as some other places,the temperature has been a lot warmer...

Peter Gill from Sunderland came over for another visit to Islay, arriving yesterday. Where they were staying last night at Lyrabus, once it was dark, they saw a Barn Owl perched on a fence post along the road. Today at Gruinart, on the flats they counted 15 Whitefronts. On the Woodland trail, they heard several Blackcaps calling and they also saw a couple of Treecreepers there as well. From the North Hide, they had a Golden Eagle which was then joined and mobbed by a Raven as well as a Peregrine. Up on Ardnave Loch,  60 Barnies were counted with 10 Whimbrel seen on the shoreline they headed down to Bruichladdich.
Mike had counted 91 Pale bellied Brent as well as 147 Common Scoter flying North up Loch Indaal. Today, up here at home there was a Collared Dove present, with Mandy hearing a lot of Willow Warblers singing down below at Kilchoman House.

Friday 19 April 2019

Friday 19th April

A day for cutting the grass, and it took some time to complete, but the job is now off the "must do" list...Still no emails coming through, peaceful in some ways but...
Mike today had seen a Jack Snipe this morning down at Ellister when he was doing his stint on the Tystie survey. He said that on his stint, he had counted 26 Tysties. Out on the bay out from his house in Port Charlotte, he had spotted 3 Sandwich Terns, and he also heard a Whitethoat calling away while he was up at his allotment. Also seen there by Mike were 2 Lesser Redpolls, the first seen there this Spring. 
This evening, I saw a pair of Siskin out on the feeders, wonder whether they were here last year??? Out on the newly worked piece of ground there was a small flock of around 40 Linnets. Earlier on, mid afternoon, next door I found a head off a male Chaffinch on the ground, and then shortly afterwards when to speaking to a friend, we saw the cuplrit carrying another male Chaffinch in its' mouth, a Stoat. Just before tea time I found the  remains of third male Chaffinch, so I willl have to find a way of catching the said Stoat!!!

Thursday 18 April 2019

Thursday 18th April

Sorry folks, a late entry tonight, been a long day and for some reason I can't check my e mails...

Speaking to Distillery Dave earlier on this evening, and he had seen a flock of 40- 50 Golden Plover and also a few pairs of Wheatears round at Rockside...
Up here at home, we just have had the local agricultural contractor in with his big tractor and his one pass seed drill sowing the birdseed crop, so at least that is one job off the list, a real bonus, and at present it looks really good with a fine tilth to finish it off, fingers crossd and hope it germinates!!
A job now for me is to sow the wild flower crops, with 3 diferent mixs to be tried this year... not tonight though!!!!

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Wednesday 17th April

Alistair Hutchison from Bowmore was in touch today with a couple of sightings. The other day, he had  seen a Blackcap in the woods at Bridgend, between Islay House and Blue Houses . Earlier on in the week, he had seen a Dipper on the River Sorn, just above the Woollen Mill.
James, today had a male Brambling in his garden at Mill cottage. On the floods at Gruinart,  20 Blackwit were present with 10 Barnies seen on the flats. This evening, Mike saw 6 Sandwich Terns and also 2 Commic Terns out on Loch Indaal. Up at Foreland House, there were Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff seen and heard everywhere. Also present were plenty of Swallows with some returning Lesser Redpolls displaying there as well.

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Tuesday 16th April

Mandy e mailed through today, saying that she had seen a flock of around 80 Barnacle Geese  at Ballinaby this morning. Some birds seen by Gary today, down at Gartmain, he had 17 Barwits, 20 Knot, 11 Dunlin and 4 Redshank. He also told me that the Willow Warblers have returned last night, to the trees adjacent to his house, with them all singing/ calling away, could be worse, a Corncrake makes a fair old racket when it wants too...
Hopefully, the ferries are back to the normal timetable after the disruption at the weekend because of the weather!!!

Monday 15 April 2019

Monday 15th April

Think I should repeat the opening comment on yesterday's entry, the only difference being that there were no ferries sailing today at all, yesteday they did sail...
Speaking with James, late afternoon, he confirmed that it has been rather windy with a cold wind at that, the only bird of note was that the Little Egret was present at Gruinart again today. 

I heard today of the sudden death of Andy Greenwood which occured last Thursday. Andy, proir to his retirement was the ranger in the Forest of Bowland. I met Andy and his other half Jane on Islay on numerous ocasions and Andy was something special. My thoughts are with Jane at this sad time. As the saying goes "Gone, but not forgottten."

Sunday 14 April 2019

Sunday 14th April

Going to a rather short entry tonight as / because it has been blowing  a "Hooley" (strong winds) coming from the South East. Mind you it did not deter Distillery Dave walking down with his dogs to the Rockside road end. He did manage to see a few Wheatears while he was out, but no mention seeing an Osprey yet!!! James also e mailed some birds seen by him on the reserve at Gruinart... He had the following birds, a White tailed Eagle on the flats, a Merlin, M & F Hen Harrier, a Brambling and also 2 Siskins.

Saturday 13 April 2019

Saturday 13th April

Yesterday was Jeff Hunter's last full day of this present visit. In the morning, he headed up towards Ardnave, and on his way there, he had spotted 2 different Merlin and also a male Hen Harrier all out on the wing looking for some food. He also saw a small flock of Barnies still present at Ardnave. Down in front of the South hide, on the "floods", he had a few Whoopers " courting" some Red breasted Merganser. On his way back to his car, Jeff noted plenty of Willow Warblers in the woods at Gruinart. going back to Port Charlotte by Carnain, he had seen a Sparrowhawk, his 8th different raptor species seen since he came over at the start of the week, and still no Osprey in that tally!!! In the afternoon, Jeff saw another male Hen Harrier out quartering its' patch as he walked up towards Bolsay. Many thanks for your sightings to David and also to Jeff, much appreciated as ever..
Yesterday, James had a Corncrake calling down at Portnahaven and today, on the reserve at Gruinart, 2 Golden Eagles were present...

Friday 12 April 2019

Friday 12th April

On Wednesday David Wood had seen 2 Sandwich Terns down at Kilnaughton Bay

Yesterday, the "vols" while out carrying out  a survey on the Oa, had seen a Ring Ouzel close to Port Alsaig down close to Kintra . Later on yesterday afternoon, Bonnie, Dave's wife had seen a Ring Ouzel at Risabus also on the Oa, but as Dave said, the big question was it the same bird or was it a different bird was seen? The survey in which the"vols" had been helping out with was a survey on numbers of Tysties  around the coastline of the reserve , their tally was 318. David Hunter who has been over for the past week with some friends had seen 2 female Snow Buntings while down on the Oa, and they also had a male Hen Harrier eating some prey which it had killed.
James had counted 5 Sandwich Terns at Bruichladdich,. He also reported on seeing "loads of Willow Warblers" now present on the reserve at Gruinart. James was also saying that the majority of the geese have now left Islay...

Thursday 11 April 2019

Thursday 11th April

An right early entry for once, not even had an afternoon cupa yet, but here goes.. 'cos I am away out shortly for an evening meal with the family and friends!!!
Yesterday, Peter did a quick count of the Tysties seen at Bruichladdich Pier noting 8 birds in all. In the afternoon, Peter noted another feeding frenzy out on Loch Indaal with mainly Gulls seen , 5 RTD, and a Common Guillemot with 23 GNDs present there at the same time. Also yesterday, Mike had counted 4 Sandwich Terns between Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte. Phill had the folowing birds down on the Oa, again yesterday, Sand Martin, Canada Goose, GND, Kestrel, Golden Eagle, 3 Eider, 43 Tysties and also 25 Twite. 
This morning, Mike had heard 3 Willow Warblers calling away, when he was walking along  the track leading out to Bolsay. Phill this morning had 25 Lapwing, a male Hen Harrier, 3 Sand Martin, 2 Curlew and also 9 Snipe, all down on the Oa reserve.

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Wednesday 10th April

Yesterday, Jeff  Duncan had seen a Golden Eagle on a carcass less than 30 metres from the road as he was driving down to Machir bay, no need for the bins for that one, Jeff... Also yesterday, Ed Burrell , an old chum from a few years back, and now an Islay resident, had seen 2 Swallows as he was out rolling some fields. Ed was also saying that he has been seen a lot of Wheatears around and also a Blackcap as well.
Today, Mandy has making the most of the weather sitting out in her garden up at Carnduncan where she has been hearing a Chiffchaff calling away.  James e mailed through to say that there  have been "loads of reports" of sightings of Sand Martins and Swallows seen at Gruinart,  Ardnave and also at Loch Skerrols. There was a House Martin present up at Ardnave. James was also telling me that the geese are slowly moving North, with geese seen around Islay "noticeably less" in numbers now.

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Tuesday 9th April

Gary had seen 2 juvenile White tailed Eagles, talon clasping and also tumbling along from Blackrock. James reported through to say that the Lapwings on the flats on the reserve at Gruinart are sitting on their nests. Mike P had seen a Brambling yesterday in his garden. Down at Easter Ellister, he had counted a flock of 30 Redwing when he was out that way with Peter. This morning, the Brambling was still present in his garden. Returning birder, Jeff  Duncan, who is staying up beyond Bob & Pat's house up behind Port Charlotte had seen the following birds during a "golden hour", all seen from the cottage, 3 Chough, a Peregrine Falcon, a male Hen Harrier and also 2 White tailed Eagles all in the air. In the garden, Jeff had seen 3 Redwing and a Stonechat. Later on in the afternoon, Jeff saw a Golden Eagle flying over Octomore hill. Another visiting birder, David Hunter is also staying in Port Charlotte for the week along with some friends... yesterday from the North hide at Gruinart, they saw a Golden Eagle causing havoc. On the water in front of  the hide, they saw  a male Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and also Mallard Ducks. Later on, they had seen a Chiffchaff on a gorse bush when they were driving up the East side of Loch Gruinart

Monday 8 April 2019

Monday 8th April

Some sightings in from various sources, mainly through from yesterday.. Mandy on Saturday evening had heard a Snipe calling up at her house at Carnduncan. Later on , Mandy had heard more than one Snipe drumming away. She also comented on hearing some Great Tits and also several Blackbirds singing away in her garden with great gusto...
Yesterday, visitor Iain Matthews from St Andrews had seen a Little Egret down in one of the many wee creeks at the head of Loch Indaal at Bridgend. James on his way home yesterday afternoon had seen a Merlin and a Hen Harrier as he drove across the flats at Gruinart both present over the reserve.

Sunday 7 April 2019

Sumday 7th April

Yesterday, Mike Peacock had seen a Sandwich Tern flying up Loch Indaal, out from Port Charlotte. Later on, Peter had seen 2 Sandwich Terns flying offshore out from Bruichladdich for the most of the day. Bob had seen a single Sandwich Tern out from Loch Gorm House, just North of Bruichladdich and then shortly afterwards Bob had an Arctic Tern up at Gortan. Jenni Minto and Jan Reavey had seen an Osprey at Loch Gorm.
This morning, at 7 am Mike had seen 5 Bottle nosed Dolphins swimming past the pier below his house at Port Charlotte.

Saturday 6 April 2019

Saturday 6th April

Alistair Hart e mailed through to say that he had heard a possible Corncrake calling down in Portnahaven, this bird was not seen, as not a Starling was present in the location, so possibly an early Corncrake.

Friday 5 April 2019

Friday 5th April

James has been down on holiday in the Lake District, climbing a few hills, and one day spent some time on his bike... While wearing his other hat, James had seen a pair of Ring Ouzels and had seen a Swallow, the first he has seen this summer... Last Saturday, after going on the ferry to Kennacraig, on West loch Tarbert, James had 2 Black throated Divers both in summer plumage.

Thursday 4 April 2019

Thursday 4th April

Yesterday, David Wood had seen 7 Whoopers on Loch Kinnabus, with a count of 260 Whitefronts still present.
Today, David  saw an immature White tailed Eagle seen on the reserve on the Oa. Over on the other side of Islay, Mike Peacock had seen 4 Wheatears in the dunes behind Machir Bay, with the Leucistic Common Gull present there down in the Bay itself. Alistair Hart was also out braving the elements again today. He saw the Leucistic Common Gull as well as the Wheatears. Alistair also saw  a male Merlin was seen up at Kilchoman with a female present over at Gruinart. Al was saying that there is a Starling mimicking a Corncrake down in Portnahaven, calling away in fine voice this morning...

Wednesday 3 April 2019

Wednesday 3rd April

Quite a bit of catching up with some sightings, so here we go, all seen yesterday
Alistair Hart had done a sea watch down at Frenchman's Rocks, a  "blisteringly cold watch".... A walk along Currie sands produced Skylarks singing with Mipits, some Linnets and a charm of Goldfinches noted there as well. Out to sea, the passage of Gannets was from South to North. Other birds seen included Fulmar, Kitiwake, a small groupof 4 Manx Shearwaters, Tysties, Guillemots and also Razorbills. On the rocks there, Alistair had a group of 20 Purple Sandpipers, a species usually seen at Bruichladdich. Another interesting piece of news was that he had sun, sleet and also a rainbow while he was out!!! In the afternoon, Al had a pair of Dippers and also a pair of GreyWagtatils onthe River Sorn in Bridgend Woods. Down at Buichladdich, he had 2 Ringed Plover and another 3 Purple Sandpipers.
Mike e mailed his sightings through to say that the Bait fish were back in Loch Indaal with Kittiwakes, Herring Gulls and Common Gulls all feeding on the surface. They were joined by 64 Razorbills, 91 Common Scoters, 6 RTD, 3 GND and also 27 R b Mergansers. Along at Foreland , Mike had seen a Peacock butterfly out on the wing.
Gill Gooch was in touch to remind me that her husband is Martin, not Graham of "The Goodies" fame....Oops, sorry another howler from me AGAIN!!! They had spent a very productive day in at Finlaggan, especially as this was their first visit when the visitor centre was open, enjoying much appreciated cups of coffee and gleaned a lot of information from the helpful, friendly staff there as well.... Birds seen included 2 White tailed Eagles soaring together, a Golden Eagle, Merlin, a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Sparrowhawk, numerous Buzzards, a lovely Grey Wagtail and then they saw a House Martin, and  also a pair of displaying Ravens. Later on, they had watched a  male Hen Harrier out quartering its patch over beside the Airport.
Phill, down on the RSPB reserve on the Oa, had seen 4 Chough and a Carrion Crow. David Wood saw a Blackcap on the track leading up to Kinnabus.

Think that will do for tonight folks...

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Tuesday 2nd April

Good friend Marsali sent through her rainfall figures for March, her tally was 5.7inches , only a mere 1.1 of an inch more than we had up at home...
Yesterday, Distillery Dave along with his sister Shirley had seen 3 different male Hen Harriers, one close to the  Coastguard cottages, another near to the former Kilchoman School and the third bird seen down at Foreland House. Over at Gruinart, they saw a Snipe from the North hide, with 6 GND seen on the Sound of Islay at Bunnahabhain. They also had seen a White tailed Eagle on their travels as well.
Graham Gooch who won the competition for to visit Islay,  a few years ago, has returned for his 3rd Islay fix along with his wife Gill and also their good friends Chris and Andy Mortimer. We usually meet up at Rutland at the Bird Fair, bit of an "old boys' re union"... Back on Sunday, they had a flock of over 300 Golden Plover down over Laggan Point. Yesterday, they had great views of some Redwing on their way up to Ardnave, with some Fieldfares close at hand as they drove round Loch Gorm. A ringtail was seen close to Coillabus, and they too had a Snipe at Gruinart and also a Moorhen.

Monday 1 April 2019

Monday 1st April

Well another month in with the rainfall tally up hee at home for the month of March coming to 4.6 inches in total.

Yesterday with the better , nicer, warmer weather around, Lesley had seen several small Tortoiseshells and also a couple of Peacock Butterflies in her garden. She also spotted a Thrush sitting on a nest in the hedge. Lesley was also saying that she has been hearing and also seeing both Redwing and Fieldfare flying overhead through the week...
Also yesterday Peter had been out for a spot of birding with some guests, after returning from leading a tour to Borneo, and then visiting family in New Zealand. Out on Loch Indaal, from Bruichladdich Pier, they had seen 5 GND, 25 RTD, and a single BTD all in non breeding plumage. At the Pier, they also had spotted a Tystie. Later on, up at Gruinart, they had a flock of 175 Golden Plover out in the fields below the visitor centre with some now in breeding plumage. Finally up at Ardnave, they had seen 2 Wheatear and also 2 Sand Martins..

This morning Phill had counted a raft of 16 Eider in the bay at Port Ellen. The weather out here was not as good as yesterday, just as well we took a daft turn and did some time working outside when we did.  I am not complaining, as long as the weather improves and stays for some time in a fortnight so we can sow the seeds!!!