Another day of ever-changing weather. Stormy, rainy with rainbows for brief periods followed by sunshine after. winds still in a generally southerly/easterly direction.
There were several birders dashing around the island today:
Visitor Graham Cundall had seen 2 White-tailed Eagles and 2 Buzzards at Traig an Luig (where the road goes up to Foreland from the coast north of Bruichladdich) this morning. one of the eagles had a white wing-tag, If anybody knows its origin please let the blog know. Later, Graham was at The Oa and saw 6 Twite on the seed feeders at the RSPB car park.
Jim was active again today, and I joined him for some of the time. He was at Bun-an-Uilt (Killinalan on Loch Gruinart) this morning finding 5 Greenshank, 3 Golden Plovers and a comment that there seemed to be more Wheatears about today - several looking like the larger Greenland race. James How also reckoned there were more Wheatears present today as he was out with others doing an island-wide Greylag Goose census.
Louise Muir was also up at Gruinart and found a Swift. We don't see many on Islay and this could well be the last of the year?
Later in the morning Jim found an Osprey at Bridgend - possibly/presumably the same bird that has been on the island for a few days? Graham Cundall saw it later, back hunting over Loch Gruinart.
Back down on the Oa at Port Nan Galen, David Dinsley had a couple of Choughs, single Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Merlin, 12 Twite, 14 White Wagtails and a couple of Wheatears.
This afternoon Jim & I paid a visit to Margaret Brooke up at Kilchoman, calling in at a few birding spots along the way. The washed away track to Machir Bay seems to have been repaired now and allowed us to go down to the car park where the floods produced a couple of Ruff, another Wheatear and c.25 alba (mostly Pied) Wagtails. Sanaigmore held 4 more Wheatears seen flying in off the sea, another Sparrowhawk, 6 Chough a further c.30 Pied Wagtails, 10 Twite and a Great Northern Diver offshore. Nearby at Ballinaby there was a single Whinchat. Tufted Duck were building up in numbers on Loch Gorm with c.75 this afternoon along with 5 Wigeon and a family of Mute Swans.
We returned to the north hide in late afternoon, but it was much quieter than yesterday. c.70 Wigeon, a single Ruff and big numbers of Snipe were notable - small flocks coming and going totalling c. 80 birds.
Finally! Late this evening, Jim watched c. 890, mostly juvenile, Kittiwakes in 20 minutes between Port Charlotte and The Oa in the mouth of Loch Indaal and Laggan Bay. All seemed to be feeding. Good to know that some Kittiwakes are still breeding and producing young that aren't being hammered by bird flu...............