Wednesday 30 September 2020

Wednesday 30th September.

Malcolm kindly sent through some information on a dead Razorbill found down on the beach, directly below Malcom's house by John Gamble...

This bird was ringed by the Scan Ringing Group at age at least 2 years, sex unknown, on05-Jun-2010 at Puffin Island, Isle of Anglesey, UK, OS Map reference SH6582.

It was found on 24-Sep-2020  at Bruichladdich, Islay, Argyll and Bute, UK, OS Map reference NR2763

Finding condition: Freshly dead Finding circumstances: Bird found dead ,Extra Information: On beach

It was found 3764 days after it was ringed, 313 km from the ringing site, direction NNW.

So, just over 10 years old.

Peter yesterday morning had seen 

2 pairs of Black Guillemots back close in at Bruichladdich Pier this morning - all of course in winter plumage, but the first I've noticed here for a while.

George E Jackson had seen a Barn Owl, out on the wing, in the car headlights as he drove home last night

This afternoon we had Wheatear fly across the road in front of us and then just shortly afterwards a brightly coloured Stonechat was seen

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Tuesday 29th September

Forgot to mention last night that there would not be any meeting of the Islay birders, due to the restrictions in place with the covid problems

I was speaking with Pat Jackson earlier on this evening and she reckons that some of the Tree Sparrows were along towards Sunderland Farm now.

Monday 28 September 2020

Monday 28th September

Peter today had counted over 250 Linnets on the barley stubbles at Kilchoman today, along with 4 Yellowhammers, but no sign of the Tree Sparrows..

Gary had gone to see if he had any joy in finding the Hoopoe, but no luck.. instead had seen a Grey Wagtail in a similar area to where the Hoopoe had been seen. Round at Bridgend, he counted over 200 Barnies  with 79 Pale bellied Brents along at Gartmain.

George E. Jackson had seen 7 Fieldfares down about half a mile after Sunderland towards Foreland.

This evening ,we have been watching several large skeins of Greylags as they flew out to their roost.

Sunday 27 September 2020

Sunday 27th September

Dave Wood sent through yesterday these birds which he had down on the reserve on the Oa..

"Nothing exciting here, but a few common migrants, 6 Goldcrest, 1 Blackcap, 4 Coal Tits. Coal Tits not usually seen on the Oa!" 

James yesterday had the following birds up at Gruinart...

183 Barnies, 2 Canada X Barny and also 2 Grey Plover 

George E. Jackson yesterday had sent through the following birds

"There were about 25 hirundines including at least 1 House Martin. On the same walk, at Uiskentuie there were 10 Pale b Brents also a female/imm R b Merganser near Blackrock (first I've seen this autumn though I haven't looked very widely yet!) Let's see what tomorrow brings. Today, George had seen 4 Sand Martins down at Machir Bay, with a count of 30 Ringed Plover in a field beside the car park at the beach itself. Further back along the road he had a flock of around 25 Tree Sparrows.."

James reckoned that there were at least 1,000 Greylags down on Loch Gorm and also 25 Barnies present there as well this afternoon.

Dave Wood had a Pied Flycatcher at Kinnabus today, plus 4 Goldcrest.

Gary today had  "WTE at Bridgend, one on rocky outcrop and one on the shipwreck. Small number of Barnacle Geese huddled down on sand between them. Both WTE rose and flew towards each other spooking the geese, geese didn’t know which way to go and the Eagles got one. They took it to the wreck and opened it up"

 Malcolm e mailed through this evening to tell me that the Hoopoe was seen down close to where it had been seen down close to Bridgend. 

All I can tell you is that we had an increase in Goldfinches again with around about 12 birds seen, none with rings on, although there was a House Sparrow with a ring fitted on the suet feeder !!!

Saturday 26 September 2020

Saturday 26th September

Forgot to mention that we saw 2 Swallows flying along the top of the raised beach down at Uiskentuie yesterday evening.

This afternoon, we had a Golden Eagle soaring over our heads up here at home  being chased by 3 Hooded Crows. We also saw 2 Buzzards soaring along above the dunes at Machir Bay, just after lunch time. 

Friday 25 September 2020

Friday 25th September

Gary today had the following birds... 

"19 Barnacle Geese dropped into the sand at Bridgend along with 3 Pale bellied Brent Geese.

Ring tailed Hen Harrier at Esknish."

Mary Redman saw a Hoopoe at Bridgend this afternoon. Mary contacted James who phoned up some of the others to share the sighting with. When James was there a White tailed Eagle flew overhead as well...

Apologies to James as he told me the count of geese seen by him at Gruinart, but sorry to say that it has slipped my memory already, a few more Barnies and also around about 20 Pinkies in as well.

The birds seen here at home out on the feeders included 6 Goldfinch, a Robin, 5 Chaffinch, 3 House Sparrows, 2 Dunnocks as well as 3 Starlings and about 12 Jackdaws who were not pleased with me as they could not get into the feeders!!!! The weather at least remained dry with a cold wind blowing for most of the day....

Thursday 24 September 2020

Thursday 24th September

James today counted 53 Pale bellied Brent Geese and also 16 Barnacle Geese at Gruinart. 

Up here at home, I had a Goldfinch on the feeders and then another one was seen down on the the hedge on the edge of the field. Also seen were several Choughs, some Hooded Crows and also there were some Ravens cronking away out over the crag.

Yesterday, Margaret had been speaking to a visitor who thought that he had seen a Goshawk earlier on in the afternoon.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Wednesday 23rd September

 Sorry folks about not putting an entry on here last night but I was well tired out as I finished after 10pm and had only got up at 5.30am, say no more!!!!

Still I will try to make some amends now!!!!

Visitor Tom Welch had sent his best sightings through..  Was out walking with my 2 year old daughter Esme today at battery at Bowmore today and saw a White tailed Eagle fly over Loch Indaal over towards Bridgend woods at about 10.30am. Also saw 2 Otters swimming in the water just offshore near the battery.

Gary today had seen 12 Scaup in bay at Black Rock. Counted over 50 GND from Bruichladdich pier earlier.

James today counted 106 Pale bellied Brents and also a Barnacle Goose at Gruinart today.

Monday 21 September 2020

Monday 21st September

 Some birds through from James tonight for us to look out for...

"Yesterday: White tailed Eagle Killinallan and Eion Brown had a Red Kite at Borichill Mor

Today: 2 Grey Plover, 5 Knot and a Blackwit on the Loch"


Sunday 20 September 2020

Sunday 20th September

 Dave Wood sent through some birds seen by him down on the RSPB reserve on the Oa today...

"Male Redstart on the reserve today. 8+Goldcrests and several migrant Robins also knocking about."

I read with interest the Fair Isle Observatory blog, and notice that on Friday the fund in place has risen to just short of £185,000, so keep sending the money through for a great cause.

Saturday 19 September 2020

Saturday 19th September

 Yesterday, Karen Graham from Bearsden  was in touch...

"Another hot day to come and we now hear the change in bird song, in the garden at Bearsden. A Robin a regular, range of tits including long tailed, male GS Woodpecker, Magpies, Wood pigeon, but today a first for the garden, a pair of Grey Wagtail. Have looked back on my notes and this is a first, so not a common garden sighting for here."

Friday 18 September 2020

Friday 18th September

 Colin Green emailed the following message saying that he had not seen many birds today as he had climbed up Beinn Bheigier apart from seeing many Meadow Pipits. A quick look at the Fair Isle Bird Obs where they had counted 669 Mipits on Tuesday, 540 on Wednesday with only 449 yesterday. Mind you, the count on Tuesday was the highest count so far of Mipits this Autumn so far there...

Thursday 17 September 2020

Thursday 17th September

Colin Green who is over for a few days e mailed me through to say that he had not seen the Glossy Ibis at Craigens today, but told me that it looked as if the field would be getting combined later on today... At around 11.30 am, Colin saw a White tailed Eagle flying North up Loch Gruinart towards the sea.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Wednesday 16th September

Visiting Birder from Nuneaton, Colin Green had seen the following birds today on Islay ...

"Ring tailed Hen Harrier. Over the hillside above Carraig Fhada Lighthouse, The Oa.

2 Red throated Diver, seen off Blackrock, Loch Indaal. Wheatear on beach."

Monday 14 September 2020

Monday 14th September

 Gary, later on yesterday, had seen 4 Pale bellied Brent Geese dropping onto the sand at Bridgend.

James was in touch with a few birds seen today. The Glossy Ibis is still present over at Craigens, with a White tailed Eagle seen over Loch Gruinart and also a Grey Wagtail seen out along the trail at Gruinart.

Sunday 13 September 2020

Sunday 13th September


"White tailed Eagle taking a Guillemot today at the River Sorn at the rocky outcrop back of Bridgend.

Glossy Ibis still here, up at Craigens."

Saturday 12 September 2020

Saturday 12th September

 Great breaking news is that a Glossy Ibis was seen in a barley field up at Craigens yesterday evening by a Mr Radcliffe from Edinburgh and later confirmed by the photos taken by his son Alex.... Jim Dickson was on the ferry heading home to Kennacraig  with the Radcliffes and now awaits the images through from Alex... A quick phone call and also some emails to some friends on Islay, allowing them to see it this afternoon...

James at lunch time had seen "quite a few White Wagtails round at Rock mountain as well as a Hen Harrier as well as many Stonechats seen there too.. Over at Gruinart, James saw another Hen Harrier and also an Osprey out over Loch Gruinart"

Friday 11 September 2020

Friday 11th September

 Not much to report from Islay today, but Gary had seen a Greenshank in the creeks at the top of  Loch Indaal beside Donald Bell's house. He also watched  an Osprey perched on top of the wreck out in Loch Indaal as the tide was going out.

Karen Graham who is still up North reported through say that there were not many birds around today, but the weather was great, nice blue skies etc..."Only 3 Oystercatcher which have been on same rocks for last two months, 2 Redshank and  a Curlew there too. Several House Martins still around." 

Thursday 10 September 2020

Thursday 10th September

Visitor Peter Norgate had sent through a couple of sightings seen by him so far.   "We found the Choughs at Ardnave Point , and 2 WT Eagles on Loch Indaal on small island between Bridgend and Bowmore..."

 Gary e mailed through the following birds..  "Two great sightings of WTE,  Yesterday one adult bird, hunting & catching Red breasted Merganser in the shallows as the tide came in. And then today both adult birds hunting and catching Red breasted Merganser around the wreck as tide was rising this morning."

 Jim Dickson today had seen the Bonaparte's Gull in along with the gull flock at Gruinart, seen from the East side of the loch. Apologies to Jim regarding my comment about the poor visibility, noting to do with Jim's eyesight, it was simply that the actual light was coming through from the wrong direction when he was doing the sea watch down at Frenchman's Rocks yesterday afternoon....

Peter had counted 13 Red-throated Divers - several still in good summer plumage, all seen off Bruichladdich Pier this afternoon -


Wednesday 9 September 2020

Wednesday 9th September

Gary had been out doing a spot of birding earlier on this morning. He saw an Osprey over Loch Indaal at Gartmain when tide was in, on his way to Bowmore. In Bowmore itself, he had a glimpse of the Rosy coloured Starling as it flew by with about 15 starlings. 

Meanwhile Jim Dickson had the following birds seen 7 Curlew Sandpipers and also the Bonaparte's Gull at Gruinart this morning. This afternoon, he spent an hour doing a sea watch down at Frenchman's Rocks where his highlights were 2 Sooties and 3 Bonxies... it was in poor light according to himself...


Tuesday 8 September 2020

Tuesday 8th September

The Rose coloured Starling was seen in Bowmore today by Samara Johnson who is one of our local vets, so needless to say we all now are asking the question, is it the same bird that we have had all summer???

Gary sent me the following birds seen today by himself...

"Some birds from Bridgend merse. There has been at least one Osprey fishing the shallows and larger creeks on the merse the last few days. There has been two WTE also frequently on the sand out from the merse scavenging any debris left when the tide goes out.

Loads of wader movement, Curlew, Whimbrel, Black tailed & Bar tailed Godwits, Greenshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover.

Small flocks of Meadow Pipit & Twite on the grass on the edge of the merse.

A regular Peregrine hunting small waders"

Jim Dickson sent through his birds as well

"A Carrion Crow at Octofad, female Sparrowhawk at Lyrabus, 1 Osprey, 2 Peregrine's, 121 Pale bellied Brent's, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Golden Plover at Gruinart, 1 Osprey, 2 White tailed Eagles, 1 Grey Plover, 40 alba wagtails at Bridgend flats, 1 Greenfinch at Portnahaven.."


Monday 7 September 2020

Monday 7th September

The weather has not been up to top birds being seen on Islay today but Peter had been out yesterday while Dave Wood had seen some birds over the past few days...

Dave's birds were as follows...

"Saturday – 2 Bonxies during a short afternoon sea-watch from near the monument

Sunday - Kintra – 10+ White Wagtails, 2 Greenland Wheatear, 7 Red-throated Divers."

Peter sent this info through to me this morning....

"A lovely evening on Sunday (unlike the foul weather today) so got out  and did some mackerel fishing in the evening off Port Charlotte. Caught plenty and while gutting them before coming back in, had for the first time ever, a Bonxie come in to scavenge with the gulls. It seemed very appreciative of the free hand out!!!"

Sunday 6 September 2020

Sunday 6th September

 Jim Dickson is back over this week again and has sent through his sightings seen today...

"A quiet morning sea-watch at Frenchman’s Rocks 06.20-07.10  included  3 Arctic Skuas, 65 Manx Shearwater, 28 Kittiwakes, 18 Fulmar, 11 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Divers. Good numbers of finches around Portnahaven including 100+ Goldfinch, 45 Linnet, 25 Twite, 22 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskin. At Nerabus - 45 Chaffinch. At Gruinart – the adult Bonaparte’s Gull still showing well, 2 juv Curlew Sandpipers, 5 Wheatears, 1 Lapland Bunting."

Meanwhile Karen Graham is up North and sent me though her birds seen when out today..

"A morning walk along the shore gave me a flock of Twite with some Goldfinches mixed in.

Sparrowhawk following on along shoreline.

Wheatear also on shoreline along with up to 20 Pied  Wagtails commonly found here. House Martins are still around. 

Large numbers of mainly Herring gulls gathering in firth so suspect fish shoals are coming in. No sign of dolphins yet."

Saturday 5 September 2020

Saturday 5th September

Some sightings seen down by Frenchman's Rocks today by Peter..

Peter emailed his birds seen down around Frenchman's Rocks today,

"A quick note to let you know I did an hour's seawatch this morning 8 - 9 

am. It was "quantity rather than quality" - but a lot happening and 
being there on my own it was difficult to watch and count the birds 
coming close by and far out to sea at the same time. I think more, in 
terms of numbers and species may have materialised with an extra pair of 
eyes or two. I would have stayed longer, but I was borrowing Pia's car 
(mine still in the garage).
Results: Gannet - c.275 feeding around Frenchman's Rocks - all other 
birds going east: . Fulmar - 41; Manx Shearwater - 705; European Storm 
Petrel - 1; Arctic Skua - 2 dark phase; Great Skua - 5; Auk sp. - 16; 
Kittiwake - 143; Common Scoter - 11 (single group); Brent Goose - 3. 
(Plus the usual resident Shags, but no other gulls except a single 
juvenile/1W Herring Gull."

Meanwhile Jim Dickson had forwarded on this set of birds through from Angus Murray. The actual birds themselves were seen by John Sweeney and as far as I can make out were seen mostly yesterday...

"per John Sweeney a 2 hr afternoon seawatch Frenchman's Rocks. Islay 1 juv. Sabine's gull, 1 Leach's Petrel,  3 Stormies, 450 Manxies, 5 Bonxie, 17 Pb Brent geese, all going south.

In addition he had a Pomarine Skua in a late morning watch past there too"

Friday 4 September 2020

Friday 4th September

 James How has whetted all our appetites by sending this e mail through recently...

"Gull Friday at Loch Gruinart – 2 very pretty juv Sabine's gulls in the Loch as the tide came in. Also: 2 Curlew Sands, 1 Greenshank, 4 Arctic Terns, a total of 19 P b  Brents, 14 Blackwits, 14 Turnstones, 1 Osprey, 1 Peregrine and lots of other waders."

So wonder what will turn up tomorrow/ over the next few days????

Thursday 3 September 2020

Thursday 3rd September

 Some birds seen by Gary today...

Carnain 9 Sanderling, on sand between Whin Park & Springbank,  two adult WTE hassling the gulls and scavenging their prey. Two Osprey on sand when tide out and the hunting the shallows as tide rose. 49 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff from lay-by at Donald Bell's. He had been watching the Ospreys for over 3 hours. Mid afternoon, and he e mailed me through to say that over 20 Wigeon had just flown in, and then just after 4pm, he contacted me to say that there were now 3 Ospreys present....

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Wednesday 2nd September

Sorry to Christine as yet again this blasted technology has beaten me, hence me not being able to share another of her images taken the other day... Must do better!!!

James yesterday had seen 2 Porpoises out off Ardnave Point and then today he saw 2 Stonechats while out and about.. Actually I had right good natter with him  just before tea time this evening, and he was saying that the rainfall figure for Mill cottage was 3.5 inches for August. Marsali was saying that the rainfall in her rain gauge came to 5.48 inches or 137 mm (if you want Marsali's figure in metric). Either way it was similar to the figure for July, but as she wrote in her e mail to me, it felt like August was not as wet, as there appeared to be some more drier days in August compared to July... Just had another rainfall tally through, this time from the Horwich Birders who claim to have had a similar rainfall to Marsali of 130mm  and they said it was raining with them when writing their e mail through to me, no shorts on today then!!!

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Tuesday 1st September

 Mandy e mailed this sighting seen by herself ..

"Yesterday, whilst driving to the beach, I saw an adult Peregrine on a fence post- probably the best view I've ever had! Between the phone box and Ballinaby."

James e mailed his birds seen yesterday as well....

"A quick look over the Loch at high tide before supper last night:

Osprey (caught a fish)

WTE juv


Hen Harrier

Black tailed godwits 5 flying south

Almost forgot, (oops!!!!) but the rain that was recorded in Matt Jackson's rain gauge down at Rockside road end came to a mere 2.76" for the month of August...