A change for the better in the weather today - sunny, dry, warm and fairly calm - a real treat to be out.
Some records in from Steve & Lyn Rogers who are very welcome new resident birders on Islay: on Monday 26th they saw an Osprey from the S. Hide and had a count of 140 Shags in Kilnaughton Bay, where they saw 4 Red-throated Divers the next day along with 2 White-tailed Eagles over their garden at Emerivale, Port Ellen. Today they had 3 Redwing in their garden.
Ed Burrel down at Cornabus on The Oa also had a small flock of Redwings today - both sightings being the first of autumn. Ed also notes a single Twite at Cornabus today.
I was out this morning, first on the Kilinallan side of Gruinart where I counted 254 Curlew. Then on to Loch Gruinart where they were another 102, so a total of 356 birds. At Blackrock on a calm sea there were 62 Common Scoter, 67 Red-breasted Mergansers and 4 Red-throated Divers. Further up towards Gartmain a further 24 Red-breasted Mergansers made the grand total 91, plus single Greenshank and 421 Wigeon.
A mid-afternoon check of Loch Skerrols was less interesting: 49 Teal and 22 Mallard being about it.
On the way home I noticed 3 Whooper Swans on Gruinart and Lucy RSPB had a group 0f 40 Barnacle Geese there later on.