Very changeable weather today - sometimes bright and sunny, at other times cloud and heavy rain showers. With a moderate SW breeze a couple of like-minded souls resorted to sea-watching. I took off with Roger Broad to Frenchman's Rocks and did an hour from 9.20 this morning. A count of 608 Manxies streamed by along with a couple of Sooty Shearwaters. Two Bonxies, 12 Whimbrel, a handful of Gannets, Kittiwakes, and Fulmars plus possibly the first 4 Purple Sandpipers of the autumn were recorded. Out on The Oa, David Wood was also watching and had a much better total of Sooty Shearwaters - minimum 18 - amidst "thousands" of Manxies, plus an Arctic Skua.
Eslewhere Merlins were seen at Kinnabus c/o David Dinsley and Craigens this afternoon c/o Roger Broad. James How had few goodies on Loch Gruinart during the day including 3 Ruff and an Osprey along with lots of Pied and one White Wagtail, several Sanderling, a Golden Plover and plenty of Dunlin and Ringed Plover.
Roger Broad was delighted to finish his visit on Islay with a sighting of lots of what I believe are Heather Solitary Bees - Coletes succinctus - always good to have other wildlife interests if the birding fizzles out!
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