Tuesday 3 January 2023

Tuesday 3rd January

Not as windy as parts of yesterday, but breezy overnight and cloudy with a lot of light drizzly rain during the day. 

Jim Dickson hung on for a second day and did manage to catch up with the Red-breasted Goose: “Good to see the R b Goose eventually - it was over a brow & out of sight - I went through the flock 7-8 times without seeing it and then viewed from higher ground & saw it in the rain...

Jonathan Farooqi sends in this report on his last day:

We’ve had an amazing few days on the island but unfortunately today was our last full day of birding. First off, we were able to catch up with the Cackling Goose again near Lyrabus thanks to Jim’s message. From there we headed to Loch Gorm where the drake American Wigeon was a bit more cooperative as it swam along the south shore with 25 Eurasians. One drake Pochard was also still present, along with a Whooper Swan and hundreds of Greenland White-fronts.

Once the drizzle set in mid-afternoon we made our way to the Taigh Tuath Hide at Loch Gruinart RSPB. We were pleased to see the Red-breasted Goose among a flock of Barnacles in the field to the north and a couple of hours scanning also produced the Marsh Harrier, Greenshank, Little Egret and a White-tailed Eagle.

Thanks very much for maintaining the blog and allowing us to share our sightings during our visit. Hopefully the island will continue to produce rare birds for you all through the rest of the year. As usual, a few record shots are attached below.

All the best  -  Jonathan and Tariq Farooqi “

 Phil Edwards was also out and about, dodging the weather and doing at least a bit of catch-up:

“A day of seemingly unrelenting rain and drizzle meant we opted for a late start which was to our advantage since we bumped into Tariq and Jonathan between Loch Gorm and Gruinart who provided information as to the Cackling Goose’s whereabouts at Lyrabus and which we duly found.  That’s two UK ticks I owe them.  The rest of the day was pretty washed out.  We looked for the Red-breasted Goose but couldn’t find any decent-sized flocks of Barnacles, let alone it.  Walked around Loch Ballygrant and the woods there but found little – four pairs of Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe; and a ringtail Hen Harrier put in a brief appearance.  Drove across the middle of the island on the Storakaig Road hoping for a Golden Eagle but the cloud was so low we saw nothing.  Ten pairs of Teal were at Loch Tallant, and a male Hen Harrier was hunting over the adjacent moorland.  Still few geese at Gruinart as we passed through on a late visit to Sanaigmore where the bay held a single Grey Seal and the fields beyond held thousands of … Barnacle Geese; but the light was so low and the rain increasing that we simply gave up.  I didn’t even manage a single photo today.

Elsewhere, Steve & Lyn Rogers report a Carrion Crow at Port Ellen.

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