Monday 30 September 2019

Monday 30th September

Thought that I had cracked the nut and should have been able to show you a couple of images but my pc has other thoughts on the matter, perhaps tomorrow...

The other day, Mandy had seen a juvenile Golden Eagle take off from one of the fields up at Carnduncan and it flew on towards Culbuie and then today she had seen a couple of Whitefronts fly over her house.

Peter had counted 140 Whitefronts fly over his house at Bruichladdich, the same geese I presume were seen by Fiona. Fiona had also seen 6 Whoopers as well, where though I was not told....
James was in touch to give his goose numbers, a count of 1767 Pink footed geese
flying in from the West through to the East. with 785 landing down on Loch Gruinart itself. James also had 23 Whoopers as  well as 3 Barnies as well... A sure sign that the Winter is not that far away...

Sunday 29 September 2019

Sunday 29th September

It was Bonnie Wood who had seen a  bumblebee skewered on the top wire of a fence line down on the Oa...and today Phill Catton went out and saw the culprit, a juvenile Red backed Shrike, so watch tomorrow evening and all going well I might be able to give you some images to ogle at...

Saturday 28 September 2019

Saturday 28th September

Today, I had a report of a possible Shrike being present down Glen Astle on the Oa. The plot thickens as nobody had seen the bird, but signs of it being there were seen, notably bees pinned on the barbed wire fence there... so hopefully David Wood will be able to locate the bird for us all tomorrow...

Friday 28th September

A Kingfisher was seen earlier on this week by Matthew Jackson down on the River Sorn.

Thursday 26 September 2019

Wednesday 25th September

Distillery Dave was in touch to say that he had counted 10 White Wagtails out on his lawn at Rockside.

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Tuesday 24th September

Oops sorry folks but just realised that today was the last Tuesday in September, a that I forgot to "arrange" the monthly meeting of the bird nerds.

I was speaking to James a short time ago, and the Barnies seen on Fair Isle are some of the Svalbard geese, probably en route to eventually down to the Solway.

Birds seen today on the reserve at Gruinart by James included an Osprey, a Merlin, 24 Wigeon out on the estuary and also 15 White Wagtails were present  as well.

Monday 23 September 2019

Monday 23rd September

Yesterday, James had seen an Osprey over the reserve at Gruinart...

I read this morning, that the first Barnacle Geese of this Autumn, all 10 of them, had been seen on Fair Isle. Possibly not geese from Greenland , but could they be some from Svalbard??? Will try to find where they have come from... I remember a good few years ago when we were staying on Fair Isle a few years ago, that one evening when the warden was going through the birds seen that day that much to everyone's surprise that I said we had a count of 20 Barnies. The assembled birders there questioned us, did we know what a Barnacle Goose looked like until we pointed out that we came from Islay....

Sunday 22 September 2019

Sunday 22nd September

By the sound of things the rain has come to wet everything again, not a lot but enough for sure to stop any harvesting of any barley that needed to be cut yet....

Speaking to Distillery Dave, the other night, and he was saying that the Greylags are still to be seen in numbers, in a flock of at least 500  down at Rockside. Along at the Coastguard cottages, before you head down to Machir Bay, he has been seeing some Stonechats on the stone dykes there.

Saturday 21 September 2019

Saturday 21st September

Some sightings through from yesterday...Jim Dickson and David Jardine had seen a Turtle Dove amongst 57 Collared Doves on the overhead cables at the grain drier down at Octofad. Later on, down on Machir Bay, they had seen a juv. American Golden Plover. It flew off and was located in a field round at Ballinaby. Peter along with Roger Broad and also Ian Buckley, had gone round to see the "AGP" at Ballinaby, no joy, but found it down on Machir Bay along with 30 Ringed Plover, 4 Sanderling as well as 30 Chough present there. They had seen a Merlin round at Ballinaby... Earlier on in the day, Peter, Roger and Ian had done a stint of sea watching down at Frenchman's Rocks, noting a lot of Gannets fishing there, along with quite a lot of Razorbills and Guillemots seen flying past.

Around midday today, Jim Dickson had counted 10 Slavonian Grebe and also 20 Red throated Diver on Loch Indaal.

Friday 20 September 2019

Friday 20th September

Visitor, Gordon Kidd sent some sightings in today ... when returning back into the campsite at Kintra, Gordon had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier float past him. He had also seen 2 different  male  Harriers, the place where that he had seen, he could not remember. Yesterday evening, Gordon had seen 3 Chough down on the beach at Kintra, being very inquisitive and noisy as ever.  A great weeks' visit to Islay by all accounts...

Thursday 19 September 2019

Thursday 19th September

Yesterday evening , James had seen an Osprey fly over the reserve at Gruinart.

Today on Islay, it was Mike Peacock's funeral, so needless to say that not many bins would have been used to spot any birds. Our thoughts are with his wife Val at this time.

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Wednesday 18th September

A new visitor to Islay, for the first time is Gordon Kidd. Back on Monday he had 3 Sanderling, close to him when he was over at Kilnaughton Bay.

Yesterday, James had seen a Golden Eagle, an Osprey and also he had a Hen Harrier, near to / around Loch Gruinart.

Today, James had an adult White tailed Eagle, a Peregrine, and a Sparrowhawk at Gruinart. He also counted 18 Pale bellied Brent Geese there too.  Gordon Kidd had seen a common Scoter out at the top of Loch Indaal, out from Cash Kelly's. This is a new species to Gordon...

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Tuesday 17th September

Just been watching on the TV, a program which we recorded last night, called "Islands on the Edge". It was produced by old friends John Aitchison and Nigel Pope and this week's edition featured Mull, Coll and Tirree. The interesting footage had some brilliant footage of White tailed Eagle and a Buzzard in the same image, and it really brought it home to me on how big a White tailed Eagle is in comparison to the Buzzard. Sad to say, I missed the program about Islay and Jura which was on last week…. no doubt it will be shown again sometime...

Monday 16 September 2019

Monday 16th September

Yesterday Bob had carried out his WeBS count from Port Charlotte back round to Blackrock, so here is the tally through from himself....1 GND, 3 Grey Heron, 12 Cormorant, 12 Shag, 5 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Razorbill, 2 Gannet, 22 Greylags, 23 Eider, 14 R b Merganser, 45 Dunlin, 30 Turnstone, 16 Ringed Plover, 6 Curlew, 3 Lapwing, 30 Oystercatcher, 86 Herring Gull and 6 Gbb Gulls. Also yesterday, James had seen a White tailed Eagle over at Dunlossit. Later on, he had another White tailed Eagle over at Gruinart. Also present was a Peregrine and 8 Pale bellied Brents there as well.

Sunday 15 September 2019

Sunday 15th September

A not bad day with the weather, over here where we are staying for a few days.. Today, we had seen a few Magpies , a Grey Wagtail was present on a weir across one of the rivers, with 3 Goosanders seen below the same weir. Last November, we watched some Salmon leap over the cauld there. Earlier on, on another river, we watched a skein of around 60 Pink footed Geese fly overhead

Saturday 14 September 2019

Saturday 14th September

Not heard from anybody about any birds seen on Islay today, so although I might not be at home at present, I am always looking to hopefully see some birds. Today, I saw a male Siskin out on the bird feeders, and it had a metal leg ring fitted to its' leg. Needless to say I was unable to read the ring, so I cannot say where it had been rung initially, could it be a fellow Siskin that we found dead here in our garden ..  it had been rung in the Spring down in Catterick in Yorkshire....

Friday 13 September 2019

Friday 13th September

Yesterday, over on the RSPB reserve at Gruinart James had a group (or rather a "charm") of 95 Goldfinches. Out on Loch Gruinart he had seen a Gannet, and also 8 Pale bellied Brent Geese as well as a Peregrine.

Today on Loch Gruinart, James had counted a total of 31 Pale bellied Brent Geese.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Thursday 12th September

The weather on Islay the past few days has not been that great, with not a lot of harvesting being carried out... The weather has been poor for birdwatching as well... Distillery Dave had seen a Sparrowhawk earlier on this evening over beside the former church at Kilchoman.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Wednesday 11th September

Back on Monday, Bob had a flock of 35 Twite seen from the North Hide at Gruinart.

Yesterday, James had seen 2 Ospreys fishing on the loch at Gruinart. He also counted 79 Knot present there as well. But more of interest was the count of 40 Pale bellied Brent Geese, the first arrivals of the Brent geese for this Autumn...

Late  this afternoon, visitor Chris Aller had been watching an Osprey at Bridgend...

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Tuesday 10th September

Some sad news which we have to share with you .. Mike Peacock, passed away on Sunday evening. Mike worked for RSPB for many years and lately worked over on Oronsay before retiring to live in Port Charlotte, here on Islay a few years back.  Mike was a great person to quiz, a great person to listen too as well. Yes, he will be sorely missed by us all... Our thoughts go to his wife, Val.

Monday 9 September 2019

Monday 9th September

Yesterday , James had 2 Ospreys out over Loch Gruinart, and one was seen catching a fish.

Good friend, Marsali, had sent me through the rainfall figure for August from her rain gauge at Mulindry, it came to just short of 7.5 inches, the wettest month since January 2018.

Sunday 8 September 2019

Sunday 8th September

Yesterday, Bob had seen a Marsh Tit in his garden and also a female Sparrowhawk was present there as well. A first for Islay and also Argyll if accepted by the rare bird committee

Also yesterday, Peter had been out spending some time doing a sport of mackerel fishing off Port Charlotte. not sure how the fishing went, but he saw a Sandwich Tern and then shortly afterwards, he had a couple of young Razorbills bobbing about on the water close by

Saturday 7 September 2019

Saturday 7th Septembr

Yesterday evening, Mandy had seen an Eagle eating a Greylag goose on one of the barley stubbles at Rockside...

Today before he headed back home, JD had seen 3 Grey Wagtails round at Kilchiaran. Down at Gortan, on Loch Indaal, he saw 6 Slavonian Grebes all in summer plumage, finally over at the Woollen Mill, 2 bullfinch were present.... As ever many thanks to JD for his sightings when he has been over here on Islay, great when visitors send some of their sightings to share with us..

Friday 6 September 2019

Friday 6th September

As we drove down through Bruichladdich, the other day, we saw a Collared Dove.

Gary today, had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier over the moorland between Coal Ila and Bunnahabhain. Shortly afterwards, Gary had spotted a juv. White tailed Eagle flying up beside Mulreesh. Here at home this afternoon, we have had 2 visits from the pesky Sparrrowhawk, it cleared the feeding cage out, but did not chase after any of wee birds at all, and then later on, it just sat on the garden fence.. This morning in on the feeders, we were pleased to see a Blue Tit on the sunflower seeds.

Thursday 5 September 2019

Thursday 5th September

JD had made good use the drier kind of  a day.. Over at Kilchiaran, he saw a Grey Wagtail. Off Bruichladdich, he had a Sandwich Tern and also 4 Red throated Divers. Up at the head of Loch Indaal, he counted 40 Red  breasted Merganser, 59 Barwits and also 69 Red Knot. Over at Gruinart, JD's top birds were a Sparrowhawk, a Peregrine and also he had an Osprey there as well.

Almost forgot to mention that around 7.30 yesterday morning, we had another visiting Sparrowhawk land on top of the feeding cage. Needless to say, it just sat and watched, as all the wee birds flew out of the cage and away out of sight.

Early this afternoon, and Margaret spotted a Fulmar down on the ground beside the bird seed crop... obviously a young bird that had flown from its' nest on the crag, but did not manage to fly over the top of the machir and onwards to the sea. So "Muggins" was sent to catch the youngster, which I did do, better still it never spat at me... So once we had it safely in a box, we took it down to Loch Indaal and released it on the sea... too fat to fly!!

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Wednesday 4th September

Another poor day with the weather, the wind  picked up leading to disruption to the ferries, some were cancelled and this will have a knock on effect until Saturday before the ferries are back to normal. The other thing that happened with the weather, was that it rained, with quite a few dirty, squally showers coming out of nowhere... Having said that,  and I struggled on and did manage to cut our grass, must be nuts.  And I managed to stay relatively dry...

Just as well that Rockside managed to cut their barley last week, as this morning, Mandy counted over 400 Greylags on 2 stubble fields there...

This afternoon, JD was out braving the elements and he was successful in finding a Pectoral       Sandpiper down at Carnain.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Tuesday 3rd September

Another wet day out here again, so yet again the combines were not out, and not much birding reported in either....

JD had ventured  out today and his top birds were a juv. Ruff on the ponds at Saligo gate and then he also had an Osprey flying over the merse at Bridgend . Up here this evening, we have been watching a Raven and a Buzzard having a tussle, up in the air outside, great to watch.

Monday 2 September 2019

Monday 2nd September

Just checking through some e mails earlier on and I read that George E. Jackson had a Redstsart over on Jura, when he was over there last month. Also Matthew his son, had been over on Jura last weekend and had counted 20 Grey Heron in a group at the head of Loch Tarbert. Back home on Islay and Matthew had 15 House Martins seen at his home at Rockside road end.

Today, well how can you describe the weather, apart from being "gie dreich" and windy with it as well, say no more!!! We even lit the big fire earlier on, giving us some cheer!!!

JD had seen 3 juv. Common Terns off Bruichladich, over at Gruinart he had 3 Hen Harriers, a male, a female and also a 2 cy male as well. He counted a flock of 110 Goldfinches at Coull with a flock of 180 Linnet present at Ballinaby.  Up here on the feeders were 2 Greenfinches seen in on the feeders, the first seen here for  some time...

Sunday 1 September 2019

Sunday 1st September

Might as well put you all out of your misery,.. Yes, August has turned out to be the wettest month so far for 2019, only a mere 6.25 inches in total, so it was just as well that I emptied out the gauge before the end of the  month, as I doubt that it would not have held it all...

Today, "JD" has been out and about... At Frenchman's Rocks, he had a Whimbrel and also a Great Skua. At Gruinart, he saw 8 juv. Ruff, 48 juv. Black tailed Godwit and a Greenshank, up at Ardnave, he counted 12 Greenland Wheatear and saw another 8 on his travels. Finally, on his way back to his cottage, he counted 18 Mistle Thrush at Gearach/ Gleann Mor.