Friday 30 December 2022

Friday 30th December

Just one contribution today from Phil Edwards: "On a very windy and showery day we spent late morning in the hides at Gruinart.  Pick of the bunch were 74 Common Snipe on three adjacent islands near South Hide, with three more on another lagoon and then another 26 flying over – 103 in total which beats by far my previous highest count of 60 on the Somerset Levels.  Two WTE were present on the Loch but later an immature (one of these birds maybe?) passed close by the woods and landed near North Hide after we had vacated it.  A male and female Sparrowhawk were separately hunting around the woods and scrub.  Two Little Egrets were present, a ringtail Hen Harrier, 152 Lapwing, and the usual mix of ducks – but surprisingly not a single Pintail.  Amongst the Barnacle Geese feeding in front of North Hide, three were ringed – ETC, ETL (with a red colour-ring on its left leg), and  EVK.  On Gruinart Flats, a female Merlin flushed from the bushes near the road junction to Killinallan.  There was little on a gale-swept Loch Indaal although from Blackrock I managed six male Rb Mergansers, 7+ Common Scoters, a male Goldeneye and a single Slavonian Grebe.  Finished the day with another lovely Islay sunset on a spume-driven Machir Bay."

Thank Phil - that total of Snipe is probably an all-time record for Islay.


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