The last day of 2022 and the weather was a bit kinder. I'm writing the blog earlier tonight prior to celebrating Hogmanay, so may miss a few notes emailed in that I'll catch up with tomorrow.
Phil Edwards faithfully reports thus: "A quiet day. We had two Greenfinches by the ruined buildings across Gruinart Flats (our first on the island this trip) and 5 WTE on Loch Gruinart (one sub-adult caught a fish) with large (uncounted) numbers of waders on the rising tide – Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwits, Lapwing, Redshank, Dunlin, Oystercatchers, but only a few Curlew. Then drove to the Oa which proved very disappointing with ne’er a Twite to be seen. Best was a flock of 16 Rock Doves over the cliffs. Coming back to Smaull at dusk, a Woodcock flew across the road at the junction of the B8017/B8018 (south of Carnduncan); and we flushed 18 Snipe along the track to Smaull in the dark."
Jonathan Farooqi, just arrived, "hit the jackpot" and sent in the following:
"I arrived on the island yesterday evening and thought I would share a few sightings from my first full day (today, 31 December)…Spent this morning making the most of the calm conditions on Loch Indaal. A female Surf Scoter with 17 Commons off Blackrock was the standout highlight (phonescoped record shot attached). Also 10+ Slavonian Grebes, 20+ Great Northern Divers, 9 Long-tailed Ducks and 4 Black Guillemots on Loch Indaal, as well as an Otter and 4 immature White-tailed Eagles.
I'll finish the year with some further brilliant photos from Phil Edwards during his stay here this past week: