Thursday 29 December 2022

Thursday 29th December

Further blustery, very wet weather from the SW today.

James How had been out on his home patch at Gruinart this morning seeing 3 White-tailed Eagles, single Merlin and Gadwall plus no less than 3 Little Egrets (there may be a couple of previous records of this number of Little Egrets on Islay, but it is quite unusual)

Phil Edwards reports: “Made a trip across the island today in a mixture of sunshine and driving rain to Claggain Bay.  There were two Chough feeding on the track at Smaull; 16 Curlew, 15 Lapwing and uncounted Barnacle and White-fronted Geese on Gruinart Flats and two Pale-bellied Brents on the field just past the junction to Killinallan; a male Goldeneye on Loch Indaal near the Gaelic Centre; and 11 Ringed Plovers on the beach in Port Ellen Bay.  Three Great Northern Divers were in Lagavulin Bay, two of which were calling and displaying (composite photo attached) and a female Red-breasted Merganser was fishing.  There was a female Goldeneye and 1m 3f Red-breasted Mergansers on Loch an-t-Sailein; a flock of 26 Curlew, 26 Blackbirds (I haven’t seen that many together in years), and five Song Thrushes in a field at Kintour; and at Claggain Bay there were two Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers,and four diver sp. (too far out to identify) … and an Otter!  Back to Smaull in the dark and we flushed five Snipe from the grass along the side of the track.  A nice day”.

Eric Bignal our resident “Chough-man” who ringed the birds replied regarding the dead Choughs found by Phil yesterday: “I collected them today. They were both 2022 born birds one from Ardnave the other from Portnahaven”.

Some more lovely photos of Phil’s to finish off with………….

More to follow tomorrow!

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