Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Wednesday 5th October

Another day of westerlies bringing cloud and rain in the morning (even a bit of thunder at midday), then brightening a little in the afternoon with heavy showers between blue skies and intense rainbows.

I was at the N. Hide this afternoon and met with visitor Mark Newell who had seen a Little Stint at Gruinart on last Saturday 1st Oct. we watched an ever-increasing array of wildfowl in the ever-increasing water levels of the floods - all in bright sunshine. There was a lone Whooper Swan and the Black-tailed Godwit group had risen again to 11 birds today. There were also 120 Lapwing on the wet fields nearby. Raptors put on a great show: a distant golden Eagle was mobbed by a Peregrine that came past the hide later. A female/imm Hen Harrier glided across the flats several times - or was it 3 different birds? The fence just out from the hide provided a wonderfully close view of a perched Sparrowhawk, followed by the best looks at Merlin I've had in ages. Out on the high tide over Loch Gruinart a single Arctic Tern paraded up and down for a while.

While in the hide, a message came through about a possible Turtle Dove at Loch Gorm. I went off in pursuit, but not having any detail of who had seen it, what time it was seen, or where exactly around the extensive perimeter of Loch Gorm it was seen, it was inevitably a bit of a wild goose chase. However there were some wild geese to make it worth the effort - the small flock of 54 Barnacle Geese that came in ahead of the crowds last week were assembled with masses of Greylags in a stubble field next to Kilchoman Distillery.

Elsewhere, Louise Muir reports a flock of 43 Goldfinches and a young White-tailed Eagle at Craighouse, Jura today. 


Ben said...

The turtle dove was spotted (and photographed) today (05/10) on the Ballinaby stretch of road up to the North West of the Loch. 😀 Lovely to see!

Islay Birding said...

Would very much appreciate a photo if you can send one through. Thanks - Peter Roberts